Finance Yorkshire helps movie makers hit the big screens

Pictured (L‑R) are Green Screen MD Alan Latham, Ian Atkinson, Finance Yorkshire Investment Manager and Martin Bell from Red Sky Business Funding

Yorkshire film makers producing a unique visual effects movie have been awarded a business loan from Finance Yorkshire which will help put the region on the map for specialist filming capabilities.

Green Screen Productions Ltd (GSPL), based in Bubwith, near Selby has completed filming of ‘The Knife That Killed Me’ after the funding helped purchase state of the art equipment and support capital.

GSPL was awarded a £150,000 business loan which has been used to purchase computer hardware, specialist lighting, a green screen studio facility and is also funding working capital to cover labour costs including eight graduates from the University of York. GSPL intends to further extend their employment under the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP).

Alan Latham, GSPL managing director, said: “I established the company in 2008 with Thomas Mattinson to make productions on a green screen background and to create a lasting business in Yorkshire for visual effects.”

It took a number of years for Alan and his team to put together the screenplay and business idea and in July 2011 the company took over the former film studios in Bubwith to create a permanent home for its green screen stage.

In November 2011 Alan approached Finance Yorkshire for investment into equipment and labour costs including supporting the company’s Umbrella Agreement with Heslington Studios, the commercial arm of the Department of Theatre, Film and Television at the University of York.

Alan said: “As a creative industry I wasn’t sure if Finance Yorkshire could help us, but I received a very positive response.”

GPSL was introduced to Finance Yorkshire by Martin Bell of Red Sky Business Finance who helped the company put together its business loan application.

Alan added: “We had to deliver very detailed paperwork on the rationale and nature of the company as it’s not a traditional business and we had to meet strict conditions.”

Ian Atkinson, Finance Yorkshire Investment Manager, said: “GSPL is a really interesting company and our funding has helped to buy very specialist equipment that is not only helping university graduates to gain vital experience, but is also supporting the work of the creative industries and helping to sustain its future.”

Alan and Thomas have produced many UK films over the past 20 years and The Knife That Killed Me is based on the award-winning novel, of the same name, by Antony McGowan about the tragic story of a boy from Leeds who spirals into knife-crime.

Alan said: “It is a contemporary teenage movie about teenage issues, but what makes it unique is that the film was shot entirely on a green screen stage and will be 100% computer generated with live actors composited into stylised computer-generated scenes utilising an all-digital production pipeline.”

To create its unique look, multiple passes of both real and computer generated footage are processed to reflect the memories of the lead character.

It stars Waterloo Road actor, Jack McMullen, and Alan said using the green screen is vital as it gives total creative freedom as to what can surround the real-life actors.

“It is similar to how Sin City was shot, but that cost £20million to make, this is costing £3million and is creating a business in Yorkshire for visual effects,” added Alan.

Thomas said: “The green screen setup has given us the unique opportunity to have major studio movie control over every frame, whilst working to a UK indie budget.

“The support of Finance Yorkshire is very important to our ongoing development and the loan will help to prove our visual influence in Yorkshire. We are now looking to make at least five films a year.”

Finance Yorkshire provides seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15,000 to £2m to help a range of small and medium sized businesses to meet their funding requirements for growth and development.

The project is supported financially by the European Union. It has attracted £30million investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme, £15million from Yorkshire Forward’s Single Programme, and £45million match funding from the European Investment Bank.

The Knife That Killed Me will be released in the UK by Universal Pictures (UK) and will be out at the end of the year.

For more information about Finance Yorkshire, please visit or ring 0845 649 0000.

Note: this news article is from Finance Yorkshire’s previous fund. Read more about Finance Yorkshire