Published Wednesday, 31 October 2012
Director and producer RIdley Scott has revealed he is to produce six films in NI (© Getty)
Scott, who was behind Alien, Gladiator and Thelma and Louise, will be executive producer on the feature-length movies which will take three years to film.
They will be shot primarily in Northern Ireland and will use local crew, cast, services and facilities.
"Our target is to create a structure that enables filmmakers to push boundaries and to excite audiences," said Scott.
"Our proposed model of filmmaking allows us to give directors the opportunity to really innovate through narrative, production techniques and distribution strategies."
It is expected the low-budget productions will be horror, thriller and science fiction based and they will be made in association with Northern Ireland Screen.
Andrew Reid, Head of Production for NI Screen, said: "We have been looking for a model which would allow us to forecast future production in Northern Ireland over the next few years.
"Orchard and Scott Free brought us a compelling proposition to complement our other large incoming productions, such as Game of Thrones.
It also potentially provides an outlet for developing Northern Ireland creative talent.
Scott's company, Scott Free London, is partnering with Orchard Media and Focus Features International for the productions.
Scott Free London's Liza Marshall and Jack Arbuthnott said: "This slate is a fantastic opportunity to work in a genuinely liberating and creative way to make distinctive, commercial films."
While Focus Features International believe there is "an appetite and market for high-concept low budget films".
"That combined with Ridley Scott's pedigree will be very attractive to international buyers," commented Alison Thompson.
The deal was brokered by Orchard Founder Adam Kulick and Chris Billows, Orchard's Head of Media.
"We believe this is a very exciting opportunity for talent, distributors and investors," they said.
"Filmmakers often spend a great deal of time and energy raising and closing financing. By funding the slate up front we can allow filmmakers to focus entirely on the creative aspects of the filmmaking process."