Atlantic, Sky form Colossus Productions for 3D production

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MUMBAI: Atlantic Productions and UK pay TV service provider Sky have announced that they have joined forces to create a brand new production company, Colossus Productions, to develop original 3D programming for both UK and international audiences.

Programmes made by Colossus will be showcased on Sky 3D, Europe's first dedicated 3D TV channel, before being distributed to other platforms and countries.

The multi-million pound joint production venture signals the launch of a new key global player in the creation of 3D content that will entertain audiences worldwide, and will champion the UK production sector's expertise and leading ability in this area. It builds on Atlantic's long-standing relationship with Sky that has already led to the film 'Flying Monsters 3D'.

Presented by Sir David Attenborough, the feature documentary premiered on Sky 3D and is currently on theatrical release, showing in cinemas and giant screen theatres in the UK and around the world.

Atlantic is already working with Sky on new commissions, including 'The Bachelor King 3D', a theatrical-release feature documentary that looks at the lives of penguins in South Georgia, and a 3D series on plants currently being filmed at Kew Gardens, also presented by David Attenborough.

Atlantic Productions CEO and creative director Anthony Geffen will also serve as Colossus Productions creative director. Atlantic Productions remains fully independent, and will continue to focus on producing innovative, high quality 2D programmes for leading broadcasters in the UK and around the world. Previous and current 3D productions will remain under the Atlantic Productions name. Future 3D film and television projects (broadcast on Sky 3D and then distributed internationally to broadcast/theatrical platforms), and any digital activity around them, will now go through Colossus Productions.

Sky says that this multi-million pound deal demonstrates its continuing support for UK production, particularly in 3D, and will ensure Sky continues to offer its customers the best choice of high-quality home-grown 3D content.

The co-investment with Atlantic Productions follows on from Sky's commitment earlier this year to increase the amount it invests each year in original UK programming by 50 per cent to £600 million a year by 2014.

To support these commissions, Sky has signed an exclusive 3D output deal with MTV, which follows on from the Discovery 3D output deal confirmed earlier this week. And in continuing its 3D relationship with Disney, Sky has secured rights to an expanded range of 3D film titles.

The MTV deal will cover episodes from the channel's World Stage 3D series, which will include performances by Snoop Dog and the Kings of Leon. The Discovery deal covers 3D content from a number of channels from the Discovery Network, including Natural History, Engineering and Extreme Sports. It will include 3D Safari, a ten-part series being filmed at Woburn Abbey, and Beautiful Freaks, a natural history special filmed in Namibia.

And Sky 3D's portfolio of films has been enhanced having secured the rights for key Disney 3D titles including 'Toy Story 3', 'The Lion King' and 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides'.

Since launching in October 2010 with live 3D coverage of the Ryder Cup, Sky 3D has broadcast more than 120 live sports events in 3D, the world 3D TV premieres of 'Avatar', 'Alice in Wonderland' and the 'Toy Story' trilogy, and a host of UK originated factual, arts and music programming. Sky 3D is available at no extra charge to all Sky TV customers who take Sky World and have a Sky+HD subscription.

Sky 3D director John Cassy said, "The Bafta award-winning Flying Monsters 3D showed just how stunning and genuinely immersive great 3D TV can be. Working alongside Anthony and his talented team will help us continue to deliver the highest quality home-grown 3D content to our growing number of 3D subscribers. We also want to help the UK become a global leader in 3D TV and this deal demonstrates the depth of our commitment. We look forward to extending our selection of content even further by showcasing the best of Discovery, Disney and MTV in 3D."

Geffen said, "We're delighted to have formed this new venture with Sky, who've once again demonstrated their belief in the power of 3D storytelling. With the support of forward-looking broadcasters like Sky, we believe there's a real opportunity for the UK production sector to take a world-leading position in 3D. The formation of Colossus Productions will engender the creation of exciting 3D content
to entertain audiences worldwide, and the pedigree of the company will attract top talent from across the industry to work on these projects.

This venture with Sky extends Atlantic Productions' historical ethos of creating award-winning television and theatrical titles which embrace new production techniques and technologies, and the company's work will complement our continuing dedication to high-quality 2D programming at Atlantic Productions."
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