A Lancashire company, which supplied equipment used in the production of several Harry Potter movies, is preparing to launch a new camera slider to the video and film industry.
Longridge-based Slideshot has been supported by the UCLan Innovation Clinic – a part of Boost Business Lancashire – in developing its lightweight camera slider, The Slideshot.
Founder Graham Moffatt, who also runs manufacturing supplier Franke Bearings Ltd, set about creating the slider following a request from a prospective customer in 2014.
After receiving positive feedback on the bespoke slider he had created, Graham saw an opportunity to develop it into an off-the-shelf product which would appeal to customers across a number of market sectors.
He spent time on further design and development of the product and now, two years on, he is ready to launch it.
The UCLan Innovation Clinic has helped Graham in the development of The Slideshot, by supporting him with market research, providing branding advice and redesigning the adjustable legs for the system following feedback from expert users.
Graham said: “I had the design, but it needed further development, which UCLan helped me to do. They saw the potential in the slider and recognised it could be positioned as a premium product and they’ve helped me to do that.
“The team has been a great help to us in a number of areas and they believe in the product. They have been very encouraging and supportive and they continue to support us.”
Once the product is launched to the market Graham is planning to create jobs locally, including sales and assembly positions.
Slideshot’s systems have been used on several films including Harry Potter, Howitzer, Fury and The Martian.
Graham added: “We are a small company but early sales are encouraging and everyone has said it is a brilliant product. It differs in a number of ways to what is already available on the market and is ideal for professional photographers, film makers, film studios and those working in special effects.
“The system is flexible and it has a number of USPs, including a higher load capacity than anything else on the market and there is no shake, judder or wobble, which means users can get their shots quicker, with fewer takes.”
Iain Martin, project manager at the UCLan Innovation Clinic, said: “The Slideshot is a high quality professional product which Graham designed from his experience and knowledge of linear motion movements. We were able to support him in the further development of the product and guide him on the branding and positioning of the slider, to meet the needs of professional photographers and videographers.
“There has already been a lot of positive interest about the camera slider, which we’re confident will continue to grow and we’re pleased to have played a part in this project.”
The UCLan Innovation Clinic has received £1.4 million of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.
The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for ERDF. Established by the European Union ERDF funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information, visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.