Alex Ruhl is the founder of Cats Are Not Peas, a virtual reality film production studio. Based in Market Harborough, she has a fascinating history which includes becoming a champion kick boxer, travelling the globe and being one of the world leaders in virtual reality technology. In this episode she discusses how she discovered VR, what happens when an industry stagnates and opting away from building a product to instead focus on storytelling.
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Alex Ruhl 1:13
I got a phone call once being like, oh, there’s a patient that’s going to die. Very, very soon. Like could be hours could be days not sure, but it’s going to happen soon. And she is requested to go to the beach one last time. Can you help? Can you make that happen? You know, fiddling with the kits, I’m finishing it, and I’m like, Oh, crap, like, gotta go now. Like, jump in the call. I sack everything off, like jumping the car on the way to the hospital. And then like, you know, half an hour later, this patient is on the beach. And I remember it being like one of those really surreal moments like, this isn’t just like about technology. This isn’t just about a job. This is is about fulfilling someone’s dying wish. And this technology, and what I’ve done with this technology can enable that. My career made that happen. ones is that that is crazy. It’s crazy. Yeah. Gosh. So that’s what you got to bring it back to. You have to strim it back some days and be like, just out here changing lives.

Manish Verma 2:28
Alex Ruhl is 29 years old. She lives in Market Harborough. And the technology she’s talking about is virtual reality. She sort of one of the world’s leading voices in VR. And she really did make a film where the user puts on a headset, and felt like they were on a beach. She made it for Loros hospice in Leicester. Imagine taking someone from their deathbed to literally anywhere they wanted to be. But Alex isn’t just a life changer. She’s also the founder of a very Virtual Reality film studio. It’s called cats are not peace. Yep. You heard me right. Don’t worry. We get into the name later on. They work with global brands, high profile actors and as you’ve been hearing charities to I’m Manish Verma. And welcome to the Leicester startups podcast.

Alex Ruhl 3:32
I actually, I’m not a massive cinephile. I’m more of a TV buff. Because I grew up like when it was kind of, you know, like, accessible TV good TV series. My dad was always like, you know, had fantastic taste in really obscure and kind of caught TV classics.

Manish Verma 3:53
So what what programmes did you grow up watching?

Alex Ruhl 3:56
It was all about Xena the warrior princess. Dark Angel, yes, alias, dead like me. You’ll notice a trend all kind of slightly either Buffy the Vampire Slayer. So slightly fantasy or sci fi with strong female leads. I would argue that that had a massive impact on me growing up and really Yeah, but absolutely obsessed with those TV shows, like watching Xena the warrior princess growing up was basically the reason why I ended up in media or to get like you know all together but also probably the reason why at at the age of 14, I became a world champion kickboxer. Thank you.

Manish Verma 4:49
Your not? Yeah. Age 14, you became a world champion kickboxer?

Alex Ruhl 5:00
Well actually felina Xena, the warrior princess and Dragonball Z were basically my two favourite TV shows growing up, both of which revolve around a lot of fighting, right? So, funny story, I grew up kind of like performing and dancing and acting and that kind of thing. But my, it wasn’t until my parents wanted my little brother to go to a karate class. And they said, Alex, go with him go on. Like, he’s not the most sociable kid. And I went and was like, this is like, real life. Zener or Dragonball Z comes alive. I’m gonna stick to this. My brother did one lesson and quit. And I went on to say that was I think it was about 10 When that happened, so I went on to do it for years, up until the age of 18. And then I kind of slowly stopped when I went to uni. Just because University, a little bit of thought, and also I’ve got one of these personalities where it’s probably a detriment, but when I think about I’ve kind of gotten to the top of my game in some things. I find it quite difficult to stay enthusiastic about it.

Manish Verma 6:03
That’s interesting. Yeah.

Alex Ruhl 6:04
So I kind of like I was second degree black belt, and I had three world titles and I was like, You know what? kind of done the martial arts thing? I’m gonna move on. ]

Manish Verma 6:14
That’s 10 years ago. Do you still can you still throw it down?

Alex Ruhl 6:17
Oh, yeah, I could throw it down.

Manish Verma 6:18
Really? Yeah. Basically, that’s the impression I’m getting. So Xena though, when watching her on on TV, that that’s kind of what inspired you to want to get into some sort of production.

Alex Ruhl 6:33
Yeah, well, I think so. I think because I consume so much TV essentially, as a kid. I was just constantly living in my own little fantasy world. I think every kid does. But I had a really active imagination. So I would run around the house like pretending I was like Xena imagining the episodes, you know, coming up with my own storylines, all that kind of thing. What I realised was I was more fascinated about the way that the TV show came together. So actually I got to an age where I thought. Maybe I want to be an editor. Or maybe I want to like be like a director or something like that I knew that I didn’t necessarily want to be in front of the camera anymore.

Manish Verma 7:16
Building new worlds playing make believe and fancy would become a lot more significant in later life for Alex, but first should go to study TV production in Leeds, she managed to get some work experience at Sky movies in her summer holidays. And then after graduating was chosen on an ITV talent scheme, where she learned all about how to develop TV shows. She was pretty good at it too. So good, in fact, that she got a job at a corporate company in Nottingham, that opened up a TV department that lasted about a year.

Alex Ruhl 7:50
And then what actually happened was the corporate company that was funding the department that was exploring TV, they just ran out of money. Yeah, yeah. And so and and it was really interesting and I often forget this part of my kind of like history, you know, when you have those moments in life that are like a fork in the road, and you can look back in hindsight think, How different would my life be if I chose that option. And when the department clothes, the kind of head of that company said to me who I was like, you know, I was kind of like a junior producer there. I was, like, you know, low in the totem pole. And he offered me and the head of that department to become directors in a separate company, but I’ll always remember, the head of that company said to me, that you Alex, don’t put director of a company on your business card Alex because of a 21 year old came to me with a card that said director on it, I’d left them out of the building. And I was like, right, well, I’m not gonna take this offer up then am I? What a bizarre ageist comments. And it’s like, but I am the director. You’re I’m sitting here because you know that I can do this and yet you’re telling me that I shouldn’t tell the world that because I’m a young woman, I can’t help but think that that’s part of it too. Maybe not. But you know, to be laughed out the room just seems so stupid to me. Now.

Manish Verma 9:25
So that was your decision made?

Alex Ruhl 9:27
Decision made. I move into Australia, basically. So anyway, long, long, long story short, moved to Australia.

Manish Verma 9:36
You actually did move to Australia? I though that was like a figure of speech. I went as far away as possible. But you actually did go to Australia!

Alex Ruhl 9:43
Yeah. Yeah. So I moved to Sydney, work there for a bit then travelled China, then came home and was like, right. It’s now whenever I’m going to move to London, and I’m gonna kick off this TV career, for real

Manish Verma 11:37
So let’s catch up. Alex Ruhl is 29 and lives in Market Harborough and she’s a world champion kickboxer. One of the biggest influences on her career has been Xena, the warrior princess, but it’s bed safe in her mid 20s. Alex was searching for something searching for something more, she’d had stints in Australia and China then tried London, realised she hated it in the capital, some moved to Canada, she was searching. And then finally in 2016, when she was back home in less to share, she started freelancing for corporate clients, video projects, films, that sort of thing. And it’s here, she finally finds the thing that would keep her interested and fulfilled creatively and financially. The search was over.

Alex Ruhl 12:31
So I’m producing the shoots. One of the shoots is for a big supermarket that are basically like, we’ve heard about this VR virtual reality thing. We kind of want to do something, we’ve got a bit of budget, Maybe we should just do something? And, and so I get the call, like, Can you help us pull this off? Or what do you know about this, that kind of thing? And and I was like, I know absolutely. Nothing about this. And I was like, well, this is fascinating. Absolutely, we’re going to go down this rabbit hole. And the more I started learning about it, and I tried their headset on, and I was like, literally blown away. And I started looking into the fact that this was a completely new industry. No one knew what the hell they were doing. But at the time, you know, cameras were super temperamental, it was literally like six GoPros, you would stick together, and then you would have to, like, get the software to stitch it all together and pose but if you got too close to the camera, like you’d end up like a cyclops because like, you know, cut people in half, you get on on on location, it’s like, oh, we’re gonna hide the crew, because all of a sudden this camera can see everything course. So it was all these interesting challenges that I was like, this is fascinating that no one has the answers for this yet right. And what an opportunity to be one of the first people to kind of start working in this so I bought a camera on the side And whilst doing some other bits and bobs I started just like shooting stuff and started become a little bit known for someone that – because there wasn’t many people doing it so started become a little bit known for knowing vaguely how to do this and at the time the script that I’d written in Canada I was like I really want to get this made I just want the feel for like making a drama go back to my like Xena days, like you know what I love about that I loved you know, creating characters and worlds and then just making it myself. So ended up getting connect with this director. And as we were just like getting to know each other. I started talking about how I was working with this VR technology. She was super fascinated by that. And she was like, crazy idea. Why don’t we make your drama into a VR like drama, and I was like, Whoa, never even crossed my mind. To be honest. I probably own my whole career to Chloe Thomas. She basically was like, Yeah, why don’t we look at kind of like reworking there? Why don’t you look at like rewriting it from the point of view of someone because obviously, the way that you tell a story in, in a VR film was very different. And at the time, there was maybe one drama that had been made in VR. And it was like this action sci fi, what you kind of imagine nothing had been made that was like more of that kind of indie, character driven vibe. And so I was like, this is fascinating, because at the moment, I love this VR thing, but there’s nothing on it that really appeals to me personally. So we would like to know Well, let’s do it. Let’s just make it. And so Chloe is a fantastic TV director. And so she had worked with Gemma Whelan who is Yara Greyjoy on Game of Thrones. Yes, she was like, Oh, I’m just gonna send the script to Gemma Whelan and see if she’s in interested, I’m like, Yeah, yeah, or whatever. I will never forget. I was sitting in like, my kind of bedroom with my makeshift kind of office desk in the corner. I get this text from Chloe, and it’s like Gemma’s in. And I’m like, What? What do you mean?! And she’s like, oh, and she could only do this date because she’s flying out to film the next season the Game of Thrones, like the week after. So I’m like, right. So all of a sudden, this very lofty idea of creating this VR drama became very real, very much like, we have to make this happen now. And bear in mind, like, I had no money, I was completely self funding this on credit cards, like all of a sudden a production that was going to be like me and a couple of mates that work in production. And Chloe became like, Oh, well, if we’re going to do in London, and we’re going to have this very well known, actually involved, we should probably make it look a bit less in the you know what I mean? So we ended up like, you know, and all of a sudden we chose the location that all of a sudden needed runners and we needed like, an ad because we suddenly realised how are we going to queue people because again, people can’t be in shock. Where’s Chloe gonna be like, she’s, she’s kind of like going to be on the ground directing the actors. How is she going to direct them if she can’t be in the shot, so we let her under the tripod. And like, you know, all the crew every time that you know, she’s kind of like we’re getting ready for a tape. We’re all hiding behind the bush is. It was ridiculous. The most stressful day of my entire life. By far.

Manish Verma 17:40
As stressful as it was Alex was all in on VR. This is what she’d been looking for. At the end of 2016. All of her work was coming from virtual reality. So she decided she’d set up her company. Cats not Peas?

Alex Ruhl 17:56
Cats Are Not Peas. Because they’re not are they?

Manish Verma 18:02
Yeah (laughter)

Alex Ruhl 18:08
Okay. So the real the real answer to that is that during my last year at uni, and during my last time actually, I ended up getting a part time job working in the library. It was the science department, which to me was pretty boring as a creative kind of, you know, low degree, pursuer. And one day, amongst all the scientific jargon, I saw this book that was called cats are not peas. And I was like, What is that?! And I took the book out, and I’ve actually got the book here actually, and it’s, I bought it, it’s really expensive book. It was like 20 quid, but it’s a it’s a book about the genetics of this particular kind of cat. But what I thought was so interesting about it was like, I’m not particularly interested and I’ve not been interested in any of these books but that book has just screamed at me Pick me up and look at me because it’s like with a name like that you can’t ignore that name and and I really love the name just on a pure a just sent me on a bit of a kind of in my own head a bit of a tangent of like cats on peace yeah cats are not peace. But are they like on a genetic level? Could they be like I was just really like quite interested. And now how I look why I love it. And it works on a few levels number one is because it’s the best marketing tool ever because people remember the name of people always asked me about it. And even to the point where like I’ve like rang up bank customer service people like for business banking, and they remember talking to me because of the company they were like we’ve spoken before Yeah, like you do this you do virtual reality. I remember you like super funny. And, and basically Yeah, the other level is that I like that. It’s a statement. That is You can’t dispute it, but it makes people question it. Right. Right. It’s like cats and puppies. Yeah, it’s a really obvious thing to say. But actually, why does it then make you really think about it and want to question it. And also, if in 10 years, I decided screw this, we asked if I could open a cushion company and no one v none the wiser. Cats Are Not Peas cushions, also works!

Manish Verma 20:24
Thankfully, cats are not peas, the VR film studio does take off. And Alex is in demand. VR is getting a lot of attention to, for example, Facebook buys Oculus, a company making VR headsets for a couple of billion dollars. But let me ask you a question. Do you own a VR headset? Do you know anyone who does? Have you even ever tried it? No. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. VR just isn’t mainstream yet. And Alex knows it.

Alex Ruhl 20:57
At that time, VR was like the new high thing, especially in marketing agencies loved Facebook and Google were investing, you know, billions of pounds into it. And so everyone was like hot for VR. Everyone wanted to do something. And so at that particular time, there was tonnes of work coming in for the problem was that people were kind of doing it a bit recklessly. They were throwing money at it, and not really knowing how they were going to get it out, you know, if a brand’s putting, you know, five figures behind a VR campaign, but no one’s got a VR headset. I mean, how many people do you know that have got a VR headset? Even now, it’s very little. And so I think there was this big realisation around 2018, early 2018 or late 2017 of people being like, right, well, we’ve thrown all this money at this medium, but actually, as amazing as it is, unless people are actually going to consume it was the point. And so I think people started kind of really tracked and kind of brands in particular agencies started to kind of be a bit more wary of using it. I think everyone who ever uses VR in general can see the potential of it. But it’s still We’re in 2019 is it’s still not there yet. It’s still got a long way to go.

Manish Verma 22:17
And what does that mean for your business when they start to retract the but actually you’ve got fewer jobs coming in no jobs command, what was the reality?

Alex Ruhl 22:27
Well, so the reality for me quite quickly once I set up was actually I was getting as much income from being brought on as a consultant and a speaker. I was like getting flown around the world. So I speak on this medium, like really surreal, like really amazing, like, you know, so fortunate to have been in that position at the right time at the right place. But I was kind of I was secure enough, I think in kind of the fact that I was one of the people that were in it. enough to not be too affected by it. I think a lot of companies that were kind of half in half out or were dabbling with it a little bit, but didn’t really know, you know, they were also doing stuff on the side. They were the ones that kind of stuff at the most. And the thing is, even though there was like a contracting of the industry, in terms of the marketing stuff, what was becoming really apparent, was that the big use case for VR was in training. Okay, massive in training and make sense, I guess, you know, you think about what VR is, it’s allowing you to do something that’s physically impossible or expensive. So, from something as small as a tour around a factory for a new worker, all the way up to you know, someone working in a really dangerous kind of, you know, firefighter emergency services kind of role. And, you know, having that kind of like training that they wouldn’t be able to have it so, so training became like a really obvious use case. That would get return on investment companies.

Manish Verma 24:05
So business is going great. Alex is the person to go to for virtual reality. She’s also found the use case for trading. What happens when your service business and all of your income comes from your time? Well, there are some thought leaders who actually say Stop, stop selling your time. Instead, try to leverage your skills and experience, build something innovative, design a product, create something that makes you money, rather than you being the sole income for your business. It’s kind of what Alex moved on to with her brother.

Alex Ruhl 24:43
If you make a video. Like it’s, you don’t even think about it, or you just upload it to YouTube and send someone a link. Everyone knows how to do that. Everyone knows how to consume that. But with VR, that process wasn’t there. So if I want it if you had a headset and I wanted you to see my film I have to send you the link, you would have to download like a five gig film, you would then have to load it onto your headset. And then like once it was locally on there, then you would open the native app, and then you would play it and there would be issues and that wouldn’t be compatible and they’d be all this bizarreness. So really early on, and I did well, I did something and made a decision. And that kind of ended up having this knock on effect. And it was completely random. But basically, me and my brother ended up building this app that would host videos basically. So it made it super simple so that if you had a headset and you had our app, I could upload a film my end and you can watch it your end. And because we’d kind of made that and I didn’t realise at the time that was actually quite an interesting proposition. No one was really doing that. A year ago in summer 2018. We got accepted on to the UK is only accelerator for a massive startup. Yeah, so all of a sudden, I was going from doing production, speaking and talking about, like, the creative side of VR, all of a sudden, I’m kind of like presented with this opportunity to essentially be a tech startup, you know, we could kind of pivot and become an actual, you know, kind of like an app company, I guess. And so yeah, so I did the accelerator, and it was absolutely fascinating, got kind of connected with loads of like VCs and angel investors and could see this feature started to kind of carve out this future of what that would look like to you know, to pivot in that direction. So I was thinking, Okay, well, maybe this is, we all know that working in a service job is not the quick, rich scheme, because you’ve only got so many hours in a day. So I thought, well, maybe this is an opportunity to build a tech company that then creates this kind of, you know, monthly recurring revenue,

Manish Verma 26:54
Where is the monetization, a monthly subscription thing?

Alex Ruhl 26:59
That’s how it started. It that’s how the app started. But then we kind of pivoted to be, oh, well, people are wanting interactivity. People are wanting kind of like this, like seamless interactivity. And no one’s really offering an authoring tool to make that. So we essentially ended up pivoting it from just an app that became like a distribution, my app, you know, like a YouTube to authoring tool that allowed you to make interactive VR projects and then publish them. Yeah, so we called the product subconscious VR, because it was all about interactivity that would happen without you knowing xos happening by your choice choices that you’re making subconsciously. So where your eyes were following someone, you know, where you were looking, yeah, it was kind of using that information about where you were looking in this film, and then kind of interacting and changing the film around you.

Manish Verma 27:53
It sounds very black mirror.

Alex Ruhl 27:54
I mean, it is. But so anyway, so this happened and and after finishing the accelerator after three months, I was presented with this idea of like, okay, we could go after investment for this, there’s an appetite for this. So we started, like speaking with investors started to look at, well, who could we bring on board as a co founder who would, you know, be kind of, you know, in it with me full time. And I started going down that road and I really had to kind of like take a minute and be like, what, what am I doing this for? And is this something Am I going to fall into the same trap I did with TV? I’m just doing it because for the suppose it like money and the kind of the status of having a tech company. And what I realised was what I love most about what I do is, is actually direct producing, and also speaking and my being at the forefront of next generation storytelling. That’s what I’m interested. I’m interested And being, you know, having those conversations and going to those film festivals and like, you know, meeting these people that are like creating art for this new medium, because we are, you know, this this analogy gets thrown around a lot in our industry, but we’re like, day one of cinema, you know, cinemas had hundred hundred odd years to develop its language. We’re like day one, we’re like, you know, Lumiere brothers train coming at an audience and then running out, that’s where we are with this medium. And I’ve got an opportunity to be part of this small group, really, that are creating that language. And if I took my finger off the pulse and went to be a tech startup founder, yes, it probably would be more lucrative because there’s an absolute need for it. But would I regret that?

Manish Verma 29:48
My question to that though, is my challenge back to that is it is needed, right? If that’s not there, who makes it? Have you passed that idea on to someone like surely That’s got to be made to be able to move the industry forward like you wanted to.

Alex Ruhl 30:04
Yeah, well, it’s interesting because at the time that we were on the accelerator, there was no one that was doing it not the way that we were intending to do it. But then actually, funnily enough, I don’t know how I came across them, or how they came across me by end up connecting with this Canadian company called liquid cinema, who essentially are doing the same thing. Now I’m kind of chatting with them. And we’re like looking at, you know, how we could work together and that sort of thing.

Manish Verma 30:32
Oh, good. At least the world is not lost of this idea. And this is good.

Alex Ruhl 30:35
So with more patience than me.

Manish Verma 30:38
So Alex doesn’t pursue the techie scalable business idea. Instead, she follows her passion of storytelling. Fair enough, I say, but what does that mean for her future and the future of VR? She’s got a history of going away and starting again, she tempted to reset.

Alex Ruhl 30:58
It’s interesting talking to you Right now because I’m going through that kind of next wave of like thinking about where do we go next? Because I think ultimately the industry isn’t moving as fast as people want to do necessarily. And we’re still thriving in terms of we’re getting more and more kind of clients coming to us, again, a lot on the corporate side, but we’re also reinvesting back into original project. So the latest project that I exact produced is about to premiere a rain dance Film Festival, which is like the biggest VR kind of related festival in the UK. So I think like in terms of like, where we’re going where the future of ice like cats, not peas, it’s absolutely in that space of kind of like looking being on the cutting edge of kind of where the next generation of storytelling in this medium is. Where I think that is, is in spatialize storytelling. So at the moment, the technology doesn’t necessarily it’s not accessible enough and it’s not cheap enough for me to be able to make your film where you could literally walk around the film and interact with the characters. I think the future will be something of a blend between film and game will have a name for it then but I don’t know what it is because we don’t know where so early, it will be something where you all that and you’re a character and it’s funny ties back to the to me loving Xena as a as a kid, when I look back now, what I loved about that, as a kid was running around pretending to be a character in those stories and creating the story around me. And that future for VR, I think will look quite similar to that. I think you will step into a world and you’ll either be able to be yourself, but you could also be anyone else. And you can be a character in this new world. And you could be the one you know, maybe you’ll pick like a predetermine story and you’re like go along on this adventure. Or maybe you’ll create your own story a bit like you know, Ready Player One Maybe it’s kind of you know, it’s your own adventures. And ultimately, though, I think that VR is not the next entertainment industry. It’s the next industry full stop. So, which is quite a statement? I think that you know, what the Internet has done to society. That’s what VR will do. And it will take 50 years, it might take 100 years. But if you think about it, what did the internet allow the internet allowed every single person on the planet to connect with any single person on the planet that had access to internet. But what VR does is allows you to actually be there be anywhere, anytime. And I think every invention in technology’s history was to kind of like a make our lives easier and make every day easier. But also it was flight so that we could communicate and connect with each other. easier, right? That’s why the phone was invented. That’s why Like, that’s why things are invented, right to connect with one another. And so VR will allow you, you know, you and I to be having this podcast and feel like we’re sitting here recording this podcast. But we might be on, you know, in different countries. But we’ll feel like we’re here because we both got a headset on and we can see each other in VR and it fit and I promise you, if you’ve never tried VR before, it feels real. It is so bizarre, but it does, like your brain believes and just imagine what the technology is going to be in terms of like, you know, the image quality or the kind of fidelity or, you know, it genuinely mind boggling to think where this goes. In terms of like the near future of how we get there, though, you know, you know, Facebook are basically the biggest driver behind VR because they own Oculus, which is the company that is one of the largest kind of kind of VR headset providers, and Mark Zuckerberg vision for I guess, this is to have I think he’s he was Like 100 million people in VR by a certain time, and he looks at this timeline, he’s always talking about the fact that we’re here. But we are going to be there. Because every person that tries it sees what it could be. So it’s a long way away, don’t get me wrong, I am playing a very long game. But I want to my big thing is I want to not only am I just fascinated by it, but there’s a little part of it as well, that is about even 10 years ago, you wouldn’t have seen a young woman under 30 being able to have that opportunity to be in an industry like this to be a part of that kind of like setting the kind of foundations. But VR is totally new industry. And so it almost feels a little bit like not only is it the best job in the world, it’s so much fun. And it’s you know, it’s it businesses thriving, but also, I get to be that person that inspires that next generation of like female founders or I get to be the one that makes sure that there is opportunity where there wasn’t before and actually really important for me to shout about the fact that like, yes, YOU young women, the next generation, like, this is something you can do. It’s one of those things where actually, if we talk about it now, and the kind of women in VR and in technology in general, kind of like, almost rally around each other and give each other support. It is making a difference.

Manish Verma 36:28
Sydney, London, China leads Toronto, she’s been all over the world and continues to travel America, Ireland and Germany for speaking gigs. But let’s just say it is home. And I guess her work proves that you can be anywhere in the world to be able to build a business. But the reason she came back here to Let’s share his personal.

Alex Ruhl 36:50
My grandma was like really quite poorly. And I thought if I can be based anywhere in the world, and my family need extra support, maybe I should like move back to Lester. And so that’s why I came back to Leicester, in all honesty, but then the reason I ended up staying was because I was like, Leicester is actually the best. Like the city centre is like, it’s changed so much since I was a kid. It’s got everything you need, although, arguably, I would say does need more burrito places, right? Just a shout out to any of the founders out there looking into that. Actually, weirdly, there’s loads of VR going on in Leicester. Really? Yeah, so National Space Centre, nse creative. They’re, like one of the world leaders in like, some VR, and you got matchable dodo, who are a theatre company and they create some like incredible VR pieces and like you got independent artists and the my latest project playing God is whether or not a local artist called Ben Frederick’s, he’s working in VR and kind of leading the way and Phoenix Lester like they came to me we’ve done like we just did a six month season with the BFI of like VR cinemas. There’s a lot of kind of grassroots Amazing innovation being here. People wouldn’t know that was happening. But it is I don’t. I kind of like selfish. We don’t want it to be part of the map because I’m like, this is where I’m from this where I grew up like, everyone come here. But at the same time, I do kind of like think, you know, people will start to associate with Leicester for some of those big things that are coming up.

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