Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively’s Group Effort Initiative (GEI) has partnered with Dimension and DNEG 360 to launch the ‘Rise Up’ programme.

The programme, which opens on August 1, 2024, offers UK residents from diverse backgrounds in-depth and hands-on professional experience working on-set at Dimension’s new cutting-edge, multipurpose virtual production complex in London, in collaboration with DNEG 360 and Sunbelt Rentals. Trainees will be provided accommodation, transportation, and a stipend.

During their time on the programme, trainees will be offered the opportunity to meet with prominent production executives, including those working on the upcoming Animal Friends (2025), a feature combining live-action and animated characters, currently in production at DNEG and co-produced by Legendary Entertainment, Prime Focus Studios, and Maximum Effort––Ryan Reynolds’ production company.

Dimension and DNEG 360 have announced a series of independent British productions to shoot this summer onwards, including 2040Campbeltown ‘69 and HUMANOID (Cambridge Picture Company), as well as sport and live event projects for brands and broadcasters.

Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively launched the GEI program in August 2020 to create a pathway for members of underrepresented communities in entertainment to gain real-life work experience. GEI worked with local community-focused organisations to recruit trainees and is partnering with Dimension and DNEG 360 to ensure financial barriers will not impact trainees’ professional development.

“We are genuinely inspired by the UK’s creative community and proud to partner with Dimension and DNEG 360 on the Rise Up Initiative,” shared GEI co-founders Reynolds and Lively. “Teaming up with best-in-class partners, we’re able to help trainees master cutting-edge virtual production technology and showcase the future of storytelling.”

Anna Lakshmi Sabapathy, Chief People Officer, Dimension and DNEG 360, said: “We are incredibly excited to host and sponsor the ‘Rise Up’ program in collaboration with GEI. We have an incredible team of talented staff who are thrilled to share their realtime and virtual production expertise with future trailblazers. The partnership represents our commitment to nurturing underrepresented talent in the entertainment industry and championing authentic stories, now and in the future.”

Carl Gist, Producer, Dimension and DNEG 360, added:  “In alignment with our dedication to expand access and foster a more inclusive workforce, we couldn’t be more excited to bring this program to a new generation of diverse talent.”

Nana Duncan, Rise Up Programme Participant, said: “I am super excited to be accepted into the GEI, Dimension Studio, and DNEG 360 Rise Up Initiative internship program. I can’t wait to begin my journey in the world of Virtual Production, where I hope to learn everything I can from industry professionals and witness the use of advanced technology to make films.”

Jon Creamer

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