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Zombie film, sea-crossing bouncy castle top UK's creative ideas

Accelerator Creative England names its Future Leaders, 10 exciting up-and-coming British businesses.

Zombie movie "The Girl with All the Gifts", produced by Future Leader Camille Gatin.
Warner Bros.

The producer of zombie movie "The Girl with All the Gifts" and a tech-obsessed marketing agency planning to row a bouncy castle across the Atlantic have been named some of the UK's most creative figures.

They're among the Future Leaders, a list of 10 businesses selected from Britain's creative industries and backed by funding from accelerator Creative England. The winners were chosen by judges including Emily Forbes, founder of video platform Seenit, MediaCom UK CEO Josh Krichefski and writer and director Simon Bird. Yes, Will from "The Inbetweeners".

Film producer Camille Gatin was named one to watch after producing the intriguing zombie movie "The Girl With All The Gifts", which was released in the UK last year and online for US viewers in January.

Meanwhile, Bristol-based marketing agency Strange Thoughts received recognition for embracing new and exciting technology in its advertising and branding campaigns for clients like Reebok and Heineken. The agency designed, prototyped and built a "cloud harvester" drone to draw moisture from clouds that was then brewed into "Sky.P.A" beer by Scottish brewer Innis and Gunn.

Speaking of booze, the agency also built a beer pump operated by thoughts alone. A sensor built into a baseball cap reads brainwaves and controls the pour.

"If you're good at it you can pour a perfect pint," founder Seth Jackson explained. "If you are bad at it you'll get beer and foam pouring everywhere. It measures mental focus -- people like magicians and accountants are really good at it. People that are pretty bad at it? Creatives."

Strange Thoughts is currently working out how to send a bouncy castle across the Atlantic, if a brand can be found to back the ambitious plan -- and more importantly, if some foolhardy soul can be persuaded to do the paddling. Jackson is discussing the crazy scheme with experts in tides and amphibious landing craft, an example of what he calls "radical collaboration". He spends part of his week seeking out unusual collaborators such as artists, scientists and other visionaries to come up with ever wackier ideas.

Also on the list is Antstream, which describes itself as a Spotify-style streaming service for classic video games. Among the founders is Games Workshop and "Fighting Fantasy" creator Ian Livingstone. Currently in beta, the service is set to have 1,000 games that gamers can dip in and out of, with a focus on iconic games that'll appeal to older fans. It hasn't launched yet, but we'll be keeping an eye out.

Another winner is Gateshead-based virtual reality studio Hammerhead, which this week releases its first consumer title Syren on Steam VR and Oculus. Then there's Evidential, which creates VR reconstructions of crime scenes for court cases. They're joined by 104 Films, a film production company focusing on disabled talent.

The results were announced at the CE: Live Synthesise event Wednesday, supported by Facebook and Barclays.

Creative England has invested in 35 feature films and invested over £31 million (about $38.6 million, AU$50 million) to support more than 700 businesses.