CreativeXR: Supporting the UK’s Immersive Content Industry
It can be tough starting out in the XR industry, developing projects purely for their creativity and forward-thinking, or something more commercial, either for consumer or enterprise use cases. It’s why funding initiatives like CreativeXR – a collaboration between Digital Catapult and Arts Council England – have proven to be so popular, with this particular UK-focused programme recently hosting its own event, CreativeXR Showcase and Market. VRFocus was in attendance, chatting to developers about their projects and organisers to see how the initiative was working.
Hosted in London, this was the second CreativeXR programme run by the two organisations, originally opening up applications at the beginning of the year. Looking for submissions which focused on creative, consumer-facing experiences enabled by immersive technologies, the initiative had a large number of projects apply, whittling them down to 20. Each one received £20,000 GBP of funding to develop their prototype to a far enough stage that it could be shown at the event, with two going on to receive further funding.
Held over two days, the CreativeXR Showcase and Market offered attendees the chance to testing early designs like Goliath by Anagram; an interactive theatrical documentary whose story revolves around a man who has spent a decade in psychiatric hospitals battling psychosis, finding friendship in online gaming. Or UnDust by Satore Tech which combined Magic Leap One with Akram Khan’s Dust for the English National Ballet.
The event wasn’t purely about the demos. Digital Catapult had several talks lined up, with one of the highlights being From Story Telling to StoryLIVING: A Journey to a Galaxy Far, Far Away, a session held by Vicki Beck, Executive in Charge, ILMxLAB. She went through the short but impressive history of ILMxLAB, discussing early projects all the way up to one of its latest, the VR experience Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series – Episode II – unfortunately she didn’t share any details for episode 3.
Below is a little mashup of several interviews VRFocus conducted. Digital Catapult and Arts Council England haven’t confirmed if CreativeXR will return in 2020 at the moment but judging by this year’s response it would certainly be welcome.