Success stories


Cumulus VFX: Breathing life back into Australia’s regional film industry

Visual effects master Will Gammon is bringing Hollywood to the New South Wales north coast.

Having contributed to globally iconic blockbusters including Lord of the Rings, Blood Diamond and the Harry Potter series, Will has over 15 years’ experience in film post-production, working under the guidance of top talent in Adelaide and Sydney.

In 2010, he founded Cumulus Visual Effects Pty Ltd (Cumulus VFX) from his garage in Bangalow. Today, his studio is based in Byron Bay and employs 11 full-time staff and up to 22 contractors during peak times. The space has expanded to a fully fitted-out studio with grading and film finishing capabilities.

Alongside other high-quality visual effects techniques, Cumulus VFX specialises in “compositing” – assembling multiple images to make a single image. This is a largely sought-after skill in the industry, and one which has afforded them contracts with a portfolio of high-grossing films.

Experience working with large blockbuster films gives Cumulus VFX an edge in the industry. ‘Our experience means that we can offer medium-budget films the same effects that big Hollywood films have, but for a fraction of the price’, says Will.

The investment

To meet the strict security requirements of global film companies, Cumulus VFX needed to upgrade their infrastructure to deal with 4K High Resolution video and expand their team.

‘One of the biggest problems for small businesses in the industry is that if you want to work with big companies, you need to have cutting-edge software’, says Will.

To fast-track their growth, Cumulus VFX was awarded a $300,000 Regional Growth Loan. The investment allowed them to fit-out the Byron Bay studio, as part of their growth plan to create up to 40 local jobs, with a focus on youth employment.

‘It’s a great industry for youth to be involved in as it’s unlikely a robot can replace you’, says Will. ‘It’s fast-growing and, with a lack of youth employment in the area, I hope to be able to bring on one junior for every senior staffer that I hire’.

Capturing the boom

The fragility of the Australian film industry highlights the need for fast-growth film studios like Cumulus VFX to shake-up the usual ways of working.

While sitting at the cutting edge of the visual effects industry, Cumulus VFX is ready to capitalise on its imminent growth, having engaged with industry heavyweight FrameStore US to subcontract to high-profile clients such as Marvel and Netflix.

This relationship could give Will and his team the perfect springboard for their already expanding business, and capture an even greater percentage of the global high-end film market.

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