Epic Games is getting serious about filmmaking. The company behind the hit game Fortnite and the engine that powers it, Unreal, has made a grant to the production of animated feature Gilgamesh. This is its first known grant to a film.
Here are the details:
- The film is based on the Epic of Gilgamesh, an ancient Mesopotamian epic poem and cornerstone of world literature. It will tell of the mythological hero Gilgamesh’s “quest for immortality and his rivalry then friendship with wild man Enkidu,” according to Deadline, which first reported the news.
- Hook Up Animation, a studio based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, will animate the film, incorporating Unreal into its pipeline. The studio’s credits include Winnie the Pooh: ABC’s for Disney TV Animation, Xilam Animation’s Lucky Luke, and spots for clients including Cartoon Network, MTV, and Turner.
- Argentine documentary filmmaker Tomas Lipgot is directing. His company Duermevela is partnering with Epic and Hook Up on the project, as is international sales and remake rights firm Filmsharks (which is also based in Buenos Aires).
- Epic is providing the grant through Megagrants, the $100-million fund it launched in 2019 to support projects that use Unreal Engine. Money has already been given to hundreds of projects in gaming, entertainment, education, and elsewhere. Toronto-based digital content company Relish Interactive, which is expanding its animation slate, is among the recipients.
- Unreal is at the heart of the real-time rendering revolution in animation and vfx. It is widely used in virtual production, the set of techniques that allows filmmakers to visualize and adjust synthetic elements throughout production. Some are using the software to introduce real-time puppeteering into their animation pipeline.