The London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art (LAMDA) is to become one of the first drama schools in the UK to offer virtual production technology training to students.
LAMDA is to open a new state-of-the-art studio after receiving £1.9 million funded by a capital grant from the Office for Students – England’s independent regulator for higher education.
LAMDA plans to invest in virtual production and motion capture (Mocap) technology for the studio, noting that there is an industry-wide skills gap in virtual production.
Film and series such as Disney+’s The Mandalorian and The Suicide Squad starring Margot Robbie and The Batman with Robert Pattinson have used virtual production techniques.
Film director Joe Russo, who made You, Me and Dupree and the Avengers movies, said: “I don’t know any other drama school that is thinking about virtual production in the way that LAMDA is. This is a hugely creative endeavour, and shows real forward thinking ambition. By making unaffordable technology accessible, they will open up the playing field to new storytellers.”
Principal and chief executive of LAMDA Professor Mark O’Thomas said: “This is a substantial investment into LAMDA’s screen skills component and future-proofs the learning environment for changing industry needs. It ensures our students emerge from training being ‘set ready’ in a range of technologies, and technicians enter the work arena with the right skills, knowledge, and experience to meet future demand.”
To deal with the skills gap in VP and Mocap, LAMDA is set to introduce a new FdA (Foundation Degree in Education) course in Creative Virtual Production Management, an MA (Master of Arts) course in Production Management for Screen, Audio & Virtual Production, and academic credit-earning evening courses, in specialised digital skills which could eventually lead to a degree. LAMDA will also run a number of CPD (continuous professional development) courses in these emerging technologies.
LAMDA will also make its technology available for film makers to rent.