Ryan Reynolds & Blake Lively’s GEI Teams with Dimension, DNEG 360


Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively’s Group Effort Initiative (GEI) has partnered with Dimension and DNEG 360 to launch the Rise Up program, which offers in-depth industry experience to U.K. residents from diverse backgrounds.

Rise Up, which opens on August 1, allows trainees to work on set at Dimension’s new virtual production complex in London, in collaboration with DNEG 360 and Sunbelt Rentals. Trainees will be provided accommodation, transportation and a stipend.

During their time in the program, trainees will be offered the opportunity to meet with production executives, including those working on the upcoming Animal Friends (2025), which is currently in production at DNEG and is co-produced by Legendary Entertainment, Prime Focus Studios and Reynolds’ Maximum Effort.

Reynolds and Lively launched the GEI program in August 2020 to create a pathway for members of underrepresented communities in entertainment to gain real-life work experience.

“We are genuinely inspired by the U.K.’s creative community and proud to partner with Dimension and DNEG 360 on the Rise Up Initiative,” shared GEI co-founders Reynolds and Lively. “Teaming up with best-in-class partners, we’re able to help trainees master cutting-edge virtual production technology and showcase the future of storytelling.”

Anna Lakshmi Sabapathy, chief people officer for Dimension and DNEG 360, said, “We are incredibly excited to host and sponsor the Rise Up program in collaboration with GEI. We have an incredible team of talented staff who are thrilled to share their real-time and virtual production expertise with future trailblazers. The partnership represents our commitment to nurturing underrepresented talent in the entertainment industry and championing authentic stories, now and in the future.”

Carl Gist, producer for Dimension and DNEG 360, added, “In alignment with our dedication to expand access and foster a more inclusive workforce, we couldn’t be more excited to bring this program to a new generation of diverse talent.”

Nana Duncan, Rise Up program participant, stated, “I am super excited to be accepted into the GEI, Dimension Studio and DNEG 360 Rise Up Initiative internship program. I can’t wait to begin my journey in the world of virtual production, where I hope to learn everything I can from industry professionals and witness the use of advanced technology to make films.”