Short Fuze Secures $2 Million to Accelerate Mass Adoption of Consumer-Friendly Machinima Based Movie Making Application

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We’re aiming to make machinima an offshoot of animation. The fact that it uses technology developed by and for the games industry is a bit of a red herring. What this is really all about is ultra-low budget film-making.

Cambridge based computer software company Short Fuze today announced that it has secured $2 million in Series A funding, co-led by Create Partners and IQ Capital Fund with a consortium of private angels participating. The funding follows the company's seed round of funding in October 2005.

“It is a great endorsement for the company and our technology,” said David Bailey, CEO of Short Fuze. “We are delighted with our successful fund raising, our investors have been very supportive of our aspirations and the capital that they have provided will be used to accelerate the development of our technology and speed our progress to market, through the strengthening of our product development team and to increase our business development activities. Having such high calibre investment partners on board underlines how far we have come since our seed round of funding.”

Short Fuze plans to launch Moviestorm a new 3D movie-making tool in June 2007. With its dedicated machinima engine Moviestorm will demonstrate how computer technology can truly transform film-making into a mass medium. “Moviestorm is the first dedicated movie-making tool based on machinima, it uses the same technology that powers modern computer games,” said Dave Lloyd, Technical Director at Short Fuze. “People are making movies with The Movies and The Sims, but these are still games, whose tools and features are not specifically designed for use by film-makers. People are telling us that although they like the games, mainly they just want to make movies. Moviestorm gives the user more freedom by not having to follow pathways laid down by the game.”

“Machinima has always been thought of as an offshoot of games,” stated Matt Kelland, Creative Director at Short Fuze. “We’re aiming to make machinima an offshoot of animation. The fact that it uses technology developed by and for the games industry is a bit of a red herring. What this is really all about is ultra-low budget film-making.”

Boyd Mulvey of CREATE Partners said, "We are very excited to be involved with Short Fuze at a time when consumers are poised to benefit from all new forms for digital expression. The demand for user-generated content continues to grow exponentially. It’s very exciting to find a European company like Short Fuze that is positioned to be the leader in this particularly new and exciting market segment."

Max Bautin of NW Brown & Company, manager of IQ Capital Fund, added, “This is the first investment the IQ Capital Fund has made and we were fortunate to be joined by our long standing partner Create and a number of sector experienced ‘IQ’ business angels, led by a well-known Cambridge entrepreneur Jack Lang, who will not only invest in this funding round but will also strongly support the business development. We are excited to support the company's continued rapid growth in the market that has the potential to grow substantially over the next few years."

Notes for editors

About Short Fuze:

Short Fuze was founded in summer 2003 by Matt Kelland and Dave Lloyd, former founding members of pioneering Cambridge-based mobile game company nGame, which was subsequently acquired by Mforma Inc. The company has undertaken a variety of work in the games market, including PC and console game design and mobile game production. Matt and Dave are co-authors of Machinima (Ilex 2005), the first book published in Europe on the topic. Short Fuze’s early machinima work has been acclaimed by machinima makers worldwide, and has been shown at film festivals, game conferences, art exhibitions, and on television. More information can be found at http://www.shortfuze.co.uk

About Moviestorm:

Moviestorm is the first dedicated movie-making tool based on machinima. Machinima is about making movies in real-time 3D worlds. Moviestorm uses the same technology that powers modern computer games. Few games supply the machinimator with a sufficient range of facial gestures and body positions to achieve the range of emotions that a hand animated character or actor can perform. Where game engines concentrate on action, Moviestorm™ focuses on dramatic and realistic performance. Where game engines focus on high-speed graphics, Moviestorm delivers subtlety and richness in its visuals. And where game engines provide a challenge to the player, Moviestorm provides opportunity and flexibility to the film director. Moviestorm will allow individuals and small groups of people the ability to create high-quality complex movies that traditionally have only been affordable to larger studio endeavours. More information can be found at http://www.moviestorm.co.uk

About CREATE Partners Ltd:

CREATE Partners Ltd is a fund management company that is focused on providing value beyond capital - to generate profitable returns to shareholders. We pride ourselves on our attention to detail, and high levels of integrity learned first hand in the investment banking sector. Since its establishment in 2000, CREATE has built a reputation for successfully implementing an innovative investment approach to meet the needs of investors seeking international diversification in specialist private equity funds. CREATE Partners Ltd manages The Create East of England Fund, a £20m venture capital fund investing in high growth companies that are based in the East of England. The fund is a private fund and since mid 2003 the Fund has made 26 investments across various sectors ranging from seed capital to Management Buy-Outs. More information can be found at http://www.createpartners.com

About IQ Capital

IQ Capital, managed by NW Brown & Company Ltd, is a £25 million early stage venture fund that partners exclusively with select expert business angels to invest in seed and early stage high-tech businesses, as well as fast growing companies in more traditional sectors throughout the UK.

The IQ Capital Fund ensures that each investment is supported by an experienced sector expert, an ‘IQ Angel’, both financially and with hands-on strategic and operational advice. The Fund’s key asset is its network of many allied ‘IQ Angels’ which comprise some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs re-investing proceeds of successful ventures, and seasoned business executives, who add value at all key stages of company development. The IQ Capital network is also closely integrated with OION, GEIF and SWAIN, our partner business angel networks.

IQ’s focus is upon the ‘intelligent capital concept’ whereby small businesses have an enhanced prospect for growth with the provision of specialist guidance and tutelage from a seasoned industry expert. More information can be found at http://www.iqcapitalfund.co.uk/partners

For more information contact

Ann Garner, Director of Marketing

E-mail: ann.garner shortfuze.co.uk

Tel: +44 (0)7720 404611

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