The University of Southampton

IT Innovation helping to change the face of movie making

Published: 7 January 2010

IT Innovation Centre, the School's applied research centre, has teamed up with Pinewood Studios to demonstrate the next generation of film and TV production.

In an action-packed day the MUPPITS team showed how a near-live production (the kind of thing produced for a news insert or review) could be shot in various locations, use visual effects from a separate post-house and be edited somewhere else again, with all the content handled as files and the file transfers managed by an automated system under the control of the producer.

Visitors to the demonstration, representing a wide range of professionals from the media industry - from producers and directors to special effects companies and equipment manufacturers - watched as a mock news item was created about the BBC's research facility at Kingswood Warren in Surrey, including a live interview with the former head of technology, animated graphics and other shots edited into a complete piece that they could see delivered over a network connection and played out in the auditorium in Pinewood.

IT Innovation manager Paul Walland says: "Visitor response was ecstatic with comments such as 'This will bring an immense benefit to post-production operators'. There were a lot of questions from the audience, the most common theme being 'When can I start using MUPPITS in my own productions?' and 'How is this going to work commercially?'.

"These are the questions that IT Innovation are setting out to answer in the final phase of the MUPPITS project," Paul added, "continuing their close liaison with industry leaders Pinewood Studios, the BBC, Smoke & Mirrors and Molinare. IT Innovation are aiming to change the face of movie making for ever ... Wow!"

IT Innovation is the lead technology partner in MUPPITS. Their primary role is development of a service-oriented business and lifecycle management architecture, which supports the management of the content production lifecycle of film and television using tapeless workflows. The project is co-ordinated by the Digital TV Group, and other partners are BBC, HDDC, Molinare, Ovation Data Systems, Pinewood Group, Smoke & Mirrors and Sohonet.

MUPPITS is a two-year R&D project supported by the UK Technology Strategy Board.

For further information contact: Joyce Lewis; tel.023 8059 5453

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