A MEDIA company is hoping to offer young people opportunities to work in the film industry from its new base in Blackburn.

Pixeleyed Pictures, a film production company with its roots attached to Pinewood Studios, has worked in the North West region focusing on communities’ efforts in Blackburn for the past year. Company director Rizwan Wadan says the area has potential for future development and growth.

Rizwan is recognised for his contribution to the film industry in helping to develop camera stabilisation solutions which have been used on productions including Star Wars: Rogue One and Artemis Fowl as well as Oscar and BAFTA-winning The Favourite.

Now Pixeleyed Pictures is joining forces with Suz Cruz North.

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Rizwan said: “Our collaboration with Suz Cruz North who are based in Manchester would be of great benefit to the town. The company is a respected and trusted provider of crew within the film industry and it covers the entire North region.”

During the summer break students from Blackburn College and UCLAN will join other individuals from the local region to gain hands-on experience in workshops with specialist filming equipment.

An event at the Reel Cinema is being planned where people will be able to get their hands on some of the technology used to make major blockbuster films.

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This Is Lancashire:

Rizwan said: “We are creating an initiative called the 'Step Up Hub' within Blackburn which will help to set realistic expectations of what it takes to work in the industry, and along with partners such as Suz Cruz North will help to create a gateway into the film, commercials and broadcast industry.

“There are a growing number of companies such as Channel 4 an the BBC moving their operations up North. Peaky Blinders recently shot parts of their upcoming series in Lancashire.” 

Denise O’Doherty, director of Suz Cruz North, said: “The industry is booming in the Northern regions, creating more and more employment opportunities. I’m supporting the Step Up Hub to offer a wider range of individuals, particularly from under-represented backgrounds, the much-needed opportunities and accessibility to the film and TV industry.”

The recent technological developments in remote digital and virtual film production are allowing film-makers to produce content in ways that were previously not possible.

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Mo-Sys Engineering is one of the companies developing unique remote digital and state-of-the-art virtual production solutions. With their support and guidance, Rizwan, who is a part of Mo-Sys Academy, will incorporate and test some of their solutions in their Step Up Hub projects.

He added: “Due to Covid lockdowns there was a real bottleneck in productions. The industry is booming right now with little signs of slowing down, the demand for content is higher than we’ve ever seen before. Skilled professionals are highly sought after, this is a great opportunity for anyone who is serious about wanting to get into an industry. The doors are really starting to open up.

“If you are interested in telling the story of Blackburn during the Pandemic, or want to take part in an action packed “Heist” short film, or perhaps you’d like a better understanding of what opportunities there are within the film industry.

Rizwan said: “This opportunity is open to everyone, however only those that are committed and prove themselves through the Step Up Hub challenge will be taken on by Suz Cruz North and Mo-Sys Academy.”

For further information and to register interest email support@pixeleyed.co.uk.