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Double Negative, Apollo Productions, Pinewood pact for production drive

EXCLUSIVE: VFX specialists teams with Steve Norris and Pinewood to expand film and TV production activities.

VFX specialists Double Negative has created Double Negative Films as it aims to become more actively involved in the production process and financing of film production.

London-based Double Negative is teaming with industry veteran Steve Norris of Apollo Productions and Pinewood Shepperton on the initiative.

Hope and Norris explained to Screen that the new venture is to provide backing and VFX support to “visually bold, interesting and ambitious” market-facing films with a VFX component, but that there could also be potential to invest in high-end TV productions.

The budgets of films the company anticipates working on are likely to be above £2m due to the cost of VFX but the partnership did not rule out working on lower budgeted films that displayed sufficient ambition and promise.

Ron Howard’s upcoming Formula One biopic Rush marked the first film in which Double Negative has had an increased financial stake, but as yet no new films have been earmarked for backing.

Double Negative MD Hope told Screen: “This is a good news story for the creative sectors in the UK, especially at a difficult economic time. Building partnerships with new talent is very important to us. With VFX being such a vital story telling partner in so many of today’s movies, production is a very logical next step in furthering our lead role within the British film industry.Our collaboration with Steve Norris and Pinewood Studios will allow us to build on this heritage and enhance the service that we’re able to offer to the independent film industry. We firmly believe that we could not have found a more perfect partnership to further our ambition than with Apollo.”

Pinewood’s chief executive, Ivan Dunleavy, said of the new partnership: We are delighted that Double Negative has come on board to help drive forward this venture. With Pinewood’s reputation in the studio sector, Double Negative’s in the post sector and Steve Norris’ experience gained from both sides of the Atlantic, I am confident we will be able to help productions make first class content in the UK.”

Hope and Norris jointly commented: “We are excited to be working together, our mutual ambition and intent being to work with, and support, the best of British talent as well as encouraging independent filmmakers from around the world to see Britain as the ideal film location for both filming and post-production.”

“We also believe that the UK’s film infrastructure, including world-renowned studios such as our partner Pinewood, talent pool and tax credit make it the most attractive destination in the world for filmmakers,” they continued. “In addition, the fact that the UK government has extended their support of the sector with the announcement of Tax relief for high end television will give us an even larger canvas to work on from next year.”

Pinewood, Framestore and Norris launched Apollo in January 2011. Apollo’s slate includesThe Laureate, Weightless and The Keys to the Street.

In recent years Double Negative has worked on Inception, The Dark Knight, Bourne, Iron Man, Harry Potter, Shaun of The Dead, Attack The Block, The Debt, The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, In Bruges and Billy Elliott.

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