Remote Control: Virtual Production for Film and TV Development

Application guidelines for companies

Introduction to the programme

The Screen Industries Growth Network (SIGN), in collaboration with Prox & Reverie and Screen Yorkshire is offering an opportunity for up to three SMEs from the Yorkshire and Humber region to supercharge understanding and use of Virtual Production in their projects and to develop critical understanding of the creative and commercial value of virtual production and real-time technologies.

Applications closed on 15th March 2022. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an interview via zoom on 21st March. For any enquiries, please email: with Virtual Production Programme Question in the subject line.

What is Virtual Production?

Virtual Production [VP] is an expanding range of techniques and approaches that use a suite of software tools, and techniques to enable filmmakers to combine live action footage and computer graphics in real-time.

Virtual Production is scaling at pace, and has already seen UK backing through DIT, DCMS, and ScreenSkills, to ensure the UK is a global centre of excellence in the field. It is also well documented that by 2026, Virtual Production will become an established part of the production process.

Adoption of Virtual Production can support cost savings for TV and film productions and accelerated time to market, whilst unlocking new workflows and techniques, and new creative possibilities. Changes within production workflows brings much of the production process up the content creation pipeline to the pre-production stage, which is where this Programme will be focusing efforts. It will demonstrate how virtual technology tools can help in visualising the creative ambition of a project before it reaches the filming stage of production.

Virtual Production uses established game engine platforms such as Unity and Unreal Engine. This environment enables filmmakers to enhance their creativity on-set, changing environments in real-time in a matter of moments, offering more creative freedom and minimising the need to ‘fix it in post’. It offers practical methods within any production, and levels of creative ambition to add Virtual Production workflows to the development and creation of content.

Prox & Reverie's state-of-the-art immersive studio The Forge

What is the Opportunity?

The filmmaking landscape is evolving. As immersive technologies leverage realtime game engines to open up new techniques for filmmakers, Virtual Production is rapidly becoming an established way of working at all stages of production – developing new projects, pre-production and on set – to expand creative vision. It also allows for time and cost savings through more and closer collaboration between creative and technical teams, improves the use and quality of VFX, and reduces the need to travel between physical locations.

Now, the latest developments in Virtual Production mean that teams and heads of department can begin to collaborate earlier in the pre-development process, from anywhere in the world. The new VP tools can help to communicate the original creator’s vision more directly for collaborators, stakeholders and funders looking to commission film and television projects into production.

Remote Control is designed to give creative teams a chance to access and learn these new previsualisation tools and processes, to help accelerate their vision toward full production.

Following a competitive application process, the successful applicants will commit to a programme of activities spread out over the space of 4 – 5 months and will receive:

  • Intensive hands-on Virtual Production workshop training at Prox & Reverie’s state-of-the-art immersive studio, The Forge, based in Doncaster South Yorkshire
  • Guided sessions within The Forge, in immersive World Building, interactive real time game engine for screen, performance capture, Volumetric Video and virtual camera techniques
  • Mobile VR hardware kits and collaborative World Building platform for the teams to work remotely on their production development activities, ready for sessions within The Forge
  • An opportunity to conduct their own project with guidance by Prox & Reverie experts in hands-on sessions in The Forge and in VP remote collaborative sessions.

By the end of the programme, participants will have:

  • Learned skills and knowledge to take their vision further using Virtual Production techniques
  • A suite of visual materials for pitching their project toward production
  • 3D assets and reference materials that can be moved directly into the production process

To apply, teams must have existing production materials and an established core production team. (See FAQ’s below)

Successful applicants will not receive any direct cash funding for this programme of activity, SIGN will fund the facilitators and programme delivery. Successful applicants will be expected to commit to the programme timeline, and also cover the cost of their own time and any travel relating to their participation in the programme.

Programme Activity timeline

Applications Open: 15 February
Applications close: 15 March, midday
Shortlisting: 18 March
Zoom Interviews: 21 March
Notification of award and training agreement sent: 25 March
Programme start: 11 April 2022

Workshop dates

  • Workshop 1 – W/C 25 April 2022
  • Workshop 2 – W/C 23 May 2022
  • Workshop 3 – W/C 25 July 2022

Evaluation Period: 1 – 26 August 2022
Programme end: 26 August 2022

Eligible Organisations

  • Participants in the Programme must be no larger than a Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) – definitions here and must be eligible to receive ‘minimal financial assistance’ under the UK Subsidy Control Bill (see further information in the FAQs section below).
  • SMEs must be a TV or Film Production company active and based in the Yorkshire and Humber region.
  • SMEs must be willing to engage in evaluation activities associated with the programme.
  • SMEs must be committed to diversity and inclusivity in their working practice.
  • SMEs must be willing and able to contribute time and resources to the company’s project and fully participate in all aspects of the Programme, attending the workshops as dated above.
  • Contributors from a company and it’s collaborating partners should include roles from within the creative production team, ideally to include 3 to 4 of the following: Showrunner/Writer, Director, Producer, Production Designer, Art Director or VFX Supervisor.
  • The project should be at the late development or early pre-production phase, the script and budget should be locked down and ideally there will be early stage designs and set drawings for the project. Ideally a VFX supervisor will also be on board.

We will ask you to complete and sign a formal eligibility check in addition to the assessment of the main project, and any businesses will be asked to supply baseline information about the company.


Thinking of applying? Read our FAQs

Does this programme count as a state subsidy?

Successful applicants will not receive any direct cash funding for this programme of activity, the SIGN project at the University of York will pay the programme facilitators, Prox and Reverie, directly on behalf of the companies that will participate in the programme. The successful applicants will be asked to sign an agreement to commit them to participating in the programme and confirm that they are eligible to participate. This programme is funded using a public grant from Research England Development Fund and companies will not be charged to attend the programme. Because companies participating in the programme will receive training and resources that they could potentially use to their own commercial advantage, under the UK Subsidy Control Bill, participation in this programme is counted as the company receiving ‘minimal financial assistance’ (section 36 of the Subsidy Control Bill). If your application is successful, your company will receive written confirmation of the gross value equivalent of attending the training (how much it would have otherwise cost to pay for the training yourself) before the programme starts and also at the end of your participation in the programme. At the application stage, you will be asked to confirm that you are eligible to receive this equivalent assistance and that this will not exceed the maximum amount of financial assistance your company may receive within a defined period (see section 36 of the Subsidy Control Bill for information about minimal financial assistance). The gross value equivalent financial assistance that companies will receive in participating in this programme will be £17,200.00.

I’m not a TV or Film company: can I apply?

This opportunity is for established TV and Film companies with a portfolio of projects and productions, who are looking to learn about Virtual Production and apply these tools to the development of active TV and Film projects. As such it is not suited to companies who produce screen content that is not TV or Film.

Who will decide which companies are included in this Programme?

Shortlisting and selection will be decided by representatives of Screen Yorkshire, SIGN and Prox and Reverie.

Who are the key people involved in delivering this Programme?

Producer: John Rose-Adams, SIGN and XR Stories. Responsible for overall effectiveness of the Programme. Programme Leader: Martin Taylor, Prox and Reverie. Responsible for Programme content. Programme Manager: Emma Whittaker, Prox and Reverie. Responsible for the day-to-day delivery of the Programme Communications: Rachel McWatt, Screen Yorkshire. First point of contact for all press and marketing about the Programme

What are the learning outcomes?

By the end of the programme, participants will have:
  • Gained skills and knowledge to take their vision further using Virtual Production technique
  • A suite of visual materials for pitching their project toward production
  • 3D assets and reference materials that can be moved directly into the production process

Where will the programme take place?

Workshops during the programme will take place at Prox & Reverie’s facility The Forge, in Doncaster. Remote collaboration in between workshops will happen virtually with the Prox & Reverie team.

What’s expected in terms of outputs and reporting?

Companies involved with the Programme will be expected to contribute their reflections and learning as part of the Programme workshops, and on completion of the projects. In addition, we plan to publish a White Paper on Remote Control, Virtual Production for Film and TV Development, including our assessment of the value of virtual production techniques to early-stage projects and pre-production. At the end of the programme all the collated feedback and data will be analysed and reported within a White Paper Field Guide. In particular the report will reference:
  • The benefits of using VR in TV & Film Production
  • Any challenges or restrictions of using VR in TV & Film Production
  • Wider benefits and added value
  • How future training programmes can be developed and improved to promote the use of VR

How do I apply?

Applications must be made through the Submittable platform. Links to the platform can be found on this application page.

Do I get help in preparing the application?

We cannot help individual companies write their applications, but we are happy to answer any questions you have. Email: with “Virtual Production Programme Question” in the subject line.

How to apply

Applications closed on15th March

For any enquiries, please email: with Virtual Production Programme Question in the subject line.

Remote Control partners and background to scheme

The Screen Industries Growth Network (SIGN) is a unique, business-facing initiative supporting the TV, film, games and digital industries in Yorkshire and the Humber. SIGN aims to make this region the UK’s centre for digital creativity, and a model of diverse and inclusive activity. In order to do this, SIGN connects companies, support agencies and universities through a programme of training, business development, research and evaluation.

SIGN is a £6.4M project funded by Research England, the University of York, and its partners. The University of York leads the initiative, working with Screen Yorkshire and eight other Yorkshire universities. An extensive network of collaboration ensures that SIGN is equipped to deliver maximum impact across the region.

Remote Control is managed by the Business Support Workstream of the SIGN programme. The aim of the scheme is to enable SMEs in the Yorkshire and the Humber region to access business development opportunities and training in the area of Virtual Production.

Remote Control is delivered in partnership with:

Prox & Reverie

Prox & Reverie is a next-generation immersive media, product development and technology Company. They specialise in world-building tools for Directors, Producers and Artists to explore their creative vision in new ways, for screen and location based themed attractions. Their studio facility The Forge, is a new class of studio that fuses Enterprise class metaverse simulation, Virtual Production pipelines for screen, and prototyping labs for developing tactile, multi-user XR experiences.

The Forge allows content creators to step into their story worlds earlier, collaborate with production teams around the globe, and then deliver their vision for screen, location based XR, and mobile VR/AR as a cohesive cross-media delivery. Prox and Reverie will be delivering the programme for SIGN.

Screen Yorkshire

Screen Yorkshire is the engine that drives the film and TV industries in Yorkshire and Humber. Their Film Office is staffed by industry professionals and supports productions from all over the world that want to film in the region. We designed and facilitate the Yorkshire Content Fund that provides production finance to encourage projects to shoot within the region.

In addition, we deliver ground-breaking training and development programmes to foster talent and build a skilled, versatile and diverse workforce. National partners have included ScreenSkills, National Film & Television School and BFI. Screen Yorkshire will be supporting the recruitment and selection of the companies involved in the Programme.