Business

Belfast studio secures second round of funding for VR short

Pictured on the Millennium Bridge in London are (from left) Pippa Bostock, Juan Ayala, Alex Counsell, Andrew McHugh, Rebecca Gregory-Clarke (lead technologist at Digital Catapult), Jeremy Silver (chief executive of Digital Catapult), Olie Kay, Ben Samuels, Lucy Hammond, Rebecca Saw and Laura Doye, winners of funding through CreativeXR, a programme dedicated to unlocking the potential of UK immersive technologies
Gary McDonald Business Editor

BELFAST-based production company Boom Clap Play is one of five companies to win second round of funding from a UK-wide programme which begin with more than 1,000 applicants UK wide.

It will share a pot of £350,000 for production funding on its virtual reality short film 'When Something Happens' after learning from London based digital technology accelerator Digital Catapult that it was getting a cash injection from the Creative XR programme.

Boom Clap Play was previously one of 20 UK teams who had taken immersive technology projects through a three-month prototyping phase which involved pitching, workshops and rapid development of their work.

The short film 'When Something Happens' is an epic journey that takes viewers from their bedrooms to the outer reaches of the known universe, and it combines animation, music and poetry. It is hoped the experience will inspire the next generation of scientists, storytellers and astronauts when next they look up at the night sky.

The piece is written and performed by Leicester-based poet Boston 'the Orator' Williams. The project is also supported by Northern Ireland Screen and the Northern Ireland Science Festival, and is set to launch at the festival next February.

Boom Clap Play is a story first production company on a mission to inspire curiosity and encourage the art of play. It works across television, gaming and VR using design, animation and audio to create stimulating experiences for the eyes, ears and brains.

In addition to developing VR experiences the company works on design for branding, motion graphics and interactive audio.

Founders David Baxter and Andrew McHugh previously worked for a large design agency together, but have known each other through the local electronic music scene going back more than 10 years.

David said: “We're delighted to make it into the second phase of the programme, and excited about this opportunity to realise the potential of the concept.

"We've moved into a new office in the city centre and have taken on an additional four full time staff members to work on the project.”

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