Cutting edge digital film and television production

Film and animation company, Vue Group, in a joint venture with ISA Technology, has established a new company in Bunbury to promote digital innovation.

Working closely with the City of Bunbury and the South West Development Commission, the Australian Centre for Digital Innovation (ACDI) was opened in May.

“The film and animation industry has undergone a massive transition in recent years with the rapid development of digital content,” said Alan Lindsay, Managing Director of Vue Group. “Computer generated effects for film and television including documentaries is in great demand worldwide.”

In selecting Bunbury as the location for the ACDI, Alan said that the key considerations included being within reasonable distance from Perth or Melbourne, and for its research and development purposes, it needed to be in close proximity to a university.

“We selected Bunbury as it was 175 kilometres from Perth, has the Edith Cowan University (Bunbury Campus), offers a great lifestyle to attract and retain quality staff and provided the opportunity to lease premises in Council’s new ‘smart’ building Regional Library complex.

“The excellent broadband connectivity this building provides has resulted in our partner, ISA Technology, locating another data centre here as well.”

Alan Lindsay said that with 90 per cent of its clients located overseas, ACDI needed the best broadband width it could get.

With a current team of 19, if successful in its current bidding for jobs, this number could exceed 70 by early 2011.

ACDI is working with Edith Cowan University to develop advanced courses and provide postgraduate students with the opportunity to work in a real animation studio environment, as well as undertake research and development work through their PhD studies.

“Worldwide there is a shortage of Technical Directors so we are aiming to address this situation,” Alan Lindsay said.

Vue Group’s alliance Vue/Act3 has developed 4D special effects for the Museum of Victoria and has recently commenced work on a virtualisation project as part of the Bunbury Dolphin Discovery Centre’s redevelopment. Visitors to the Dolphin Centre’s new circular theatre will experience a fish bowl effect of being up close and personal with dolphins in their natural environment.

“As many countries are now banning exhibiting dolphins in captivity, this project is attracting international interest,” Alan Lindsay said.

As well as the need for wide broadband to send and receive material, ACDI has developed a new connectivity product which means no matter where its partners are located, joint projects can be worked on simultaneously.

“We recently had animators in London, the Blue Mountains and Bunbury working on a pilot as though they were all in the one studio,” he said. “With different time zones, this can speed up production with the potential to work 20 hours per day.

“As the length of time to produce animation is a major factor, this will deliver many benefits.”