Monday, February 13, 2012
The EU recently considered Speed-FX, an R&D project developed by YDreams and Barcelona’s Universidad Pompeo Fabra for UK-based Filmlight, as one of the 15 key success stories in recent years.
Millions of people saw the 2011 Academy Award winning film, The King’s Speech but few people know that this box office hit was made possible, at least in part, by a groundbreaking R&D project funded by the European Commission.
In 2002, startup Filmlight carefully targeted EU funding and teamed up with then startup YDreams and Universidad Pompeo Fabra (UPF) to revolutionize the world of cinema post-production. The resulting R&D project, dubbed Speed-FX, provided the basis for FilmLight to develop a more efficient, flexible and cheaper system for cinema post-production than anything previously available.
Between mid 2002 and mid 2004, experts at YDreams and UPF provided Filmlight with the technical research and development input needed to produce the new required application that became known as Baselight, and ensure that the new open architecture system would be entirely reliable. The impact of this development was to bring post-production within the reach and the budget of far more users than ever before, and propel FilmLight to recognized industry leadership.
While FilmLight’s founders had the vision and commitment to spearhead the project, it would not have been possible without YDreams’ and UPF’s R&D capabilities and of course EU co-funding. The EU funded 2.1 million euro of the 3.5 million euro SpeedFX project. As a result FilmLight was able to out-compete more established players and establish itself as a clear market leader, quickly achieving sales that dwarfed the initial project cost.
The SpeedFX project further contributed to FilmLight’s winning a highly prestigious UK accolade – the 2006 Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade. In addition to this, in 2010, it won four Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Scientific and Technical Awards. The SpeedFX project’s vision was, without a doubt, an important part of FilmLight’s dramatic rise to international success.