Sky Studios Hires UK Drama Commissioning Chief; Richard Shepard To Adapt ‘The Wicked Girls’ For Playground; Singapore Virtual Production Fund – Global Briefs

Sky Studios Names UK Drama Commissioning Boss

Sky Studios has appointed Katherine Butler, former creative director at The Night Manager producer The Ink Factory, as director of drama commissioning in the UK and Ireland. Butler will take up the role in January, replacing Gabriel Silver, who left Sky Studios in September. She will be focused on commissioning third-party producers, adding to a slate of Sky Studios originals that includes Gangs of London. Butler has previously worked at Raw, where she produced American Animals, and Film4, where she was Deputy Head of Film. Sky Studios has also hired Adrian Sturges, producer of Netflix series The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself, as a drama executive producer. Meghan Lyvers, director of original drama at Sky Studios, said: “Katherine and Adrian are each respected and seasoned executives in the creative community and, together with our wider team, we cannot wait to bring audiences even more premium Sky Originals of scale and prominence.”

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Richard Shepard To Adapt ‘The Wicked Girls’ For Playground

All Creatures Great and Small producer Playground has optioned Alex Marwood’s The Wicked Girls and Girls director Richard Shepard will write, direct and exec produce. The psychological thriller will be developed as a limited TV series, with no network attached as yet. Published a decade ago, The Wicked Girls tells of struggling journalist Kirsty Lindsay who is reporting on a series of attacks on young female tourists in a seaside vacation town. When her investigation leads her to interview carnival cleaner Amber Gordon, both of their lives are turned upside down. Colin Callender, Scott Huff and David Stern will oversee development and executive produce for Playground. They said: “Alex Marwood wrote a novel filled with complex female characters and page turning thrills. We were hooked from page one by the story of Kirsty and Amber and how their past secrets unravel to form a fascinating relationship that upends both their lives.”

Singapore launches $3.68m virtual production fund; partners with NFTS, Epic Games

Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) is launching a $3.68m (S$5m) Virtual Production Innovation Fund to support the local industry to adopt virtual production technology. In addition, the IMDA has partnered with the UK’s National Film and Television School (NFTS) to tailor its ‘Certificate in Virtual Production’ course to meet the Singapore industry’s needs. It is also partnering with Epic Games, creator of the advanced real-time 3D creation tool, Unreal Engine, on an “industry challenge” to experiment with the technology, starting in the first quarter of 2023. Virtual production uses LED screens to display realistic background environments, powered by video game engines, so that cameras can capture actors and VFX in real-time. IMDA said the technology “presents a unique opportunity for Singapore to overcome our physical limitations such as limited sites for on-location shooting and space to build extensive sets.” The fund was announced by Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information, Tan Kiat How, at the opening of the Asia TV Forum (ATF), which also features speakers from virtual production pioneers, including XON Studios, ROE Creative Display and Disguise. 

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