Video game and software developer Epic Games (Fortnite) has partnered with Film Victoria, Screen NSW, Screen Tasmania, Screen Queensland, Screenwest, Screen Territory, Screen Canberra and the South Australian Film Corporation to launch a national short film competition.
The initiative calls for creatives to produce a short using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine, a real-time engine that allows photorealistic rendering and virtual production.
Unreal Engine has been used on more than 100 television and film projects, assisting with previs, VR scouting on virtual sets, in-camera visual effects and final renders. Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) used the toolset to create virtual environments on The Mandalorian.
To ease creatives into the world of real-time technology, Epic Games will run a series of free training sessions to learn about the software across August 10-23.
Following the training program, participants are encouraged to submit a pitch using the engine. Each state’s winning candidate will receive $20,000 to develop and produce their short film. Finalists will then have their shorts judged, with the winner taking home a grand prize of $50,000.
“There is an abundance of incredible creative work coming out of Australia and we’re thrilled to partner in this initiative to support exceptional talent,” said Epic Films head of LA Lab Connie Kennedy.
“The Unreal Engine Real-Time Short Film Challenge will not only help discover new storytellers, but also provide free training to encourage the use of collaborative virtual production techniques that open new doors, particularly in this era of physically-distanced production requirements.”