Constellation VFX had a successful first year co-developing an industry defining ‘virtual and mixed reality experience’ in partnership with a high-profile American company.

It is hoped this will bring a multi-million investment into Manchester over the next two years.

Tim Newns, chief executive officer of MIDAS, Manchester’s inward investment agency, said: “Manchester’s broadcast and media production heritage is globally renowned and the city region accounts for approximately 15 per cent of all filming days and location spend in England outside London.

“Our city is home to world-class companies working across post-production, visual effects, motion capture, augmented reality, gaming, app development and digital design.

“Having a specialist company such as Constellation VFX is complementary to our creative, digital and tech sector, which currently employs 54,400 people, and we look forward to hearing about their future success in Manchester.”

To walk invisible BBC

Founders Jim Turner and Mike Parsons, who both hail from Manchester, met in Asia after separate stints in Hollywood working on large scale feature films. They were soon joined in the new venture by Parsons’ son Luke whose recent credits includes Spectre, Skyfall and X-Men Apocalypse.

“We had both decided that we wanted to establish a new company together outside of Asia and that there was an appetite for a specialised high-end visual effects company in the UK. Manchester seemed the logical place to set up given our shared history and the increased production happening in the North of England,” said Turner.

“We’ve spent the last year establishing Constellation VFX creating visual effects for three episodes of Paranoid on behalf of Red Productions, To Walk Invisible for the BBC, as well as the Sony Pictures feature film Awakening the Zodiac. We’ve also completed effects for commercial clients as diverse as Lurpak and Pepsi.”

Parsons said: “High-end VFX has always had a large R&D aspect to it, so it has not been that great a leap for us to segue into the complementary VR and mixed reality sector, which is heavily dependent on VFX techniques.

“One of our goals over this next year is that whilst producing VR content we will continue to create new industry standard practices for the medium which is currently quite fragmented in its production methods.”