Sunderland software partnership is number one with a bullet

A prize-winning collaboration between a firm of North East regional software experts and a Sunderland media companyis showing the rest of the region how it's done.

Monday, 13th February 2017, 8:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 28th February 2017, 11:49 am
Waymarks Paul Lofthouse (left) with New World Designs co-owners Ian Wright and Steve Reeves

New World Designs, based at Sunderland Software Centre, commissioned software house Waymark to streamline a pioneering filming process used in several recent blockbuster movies.

The collaboration won the Technology of the Year category in last year’s Sunderland Echo Portfolio Awards - now it has been shortlisted in the prestigious ‘Northern Powerhouse’ awards.

Waymark, who have offices in Sunderland and Gateshead, succeeded in reducing the time taken to produce the innovative Bullet Time filming effect, used in movies such as The Matrix, from days or hours to minutes or seconds.

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The technology, which is a means of slowing a film down and allowing the audience a 360-degree view of a chosen scene, was also used in Zoolander 2, which was in cinemas last year.

New World Designs are one of only four companies worldwide with the experience and know-how to professionally exploit the possibilities. The company has created a specialist Instacam360 rig with up to 50 cameras which capture the action from a scene.

Now the collaboration has been recognised in the UK Northern Powerhouse’s Northern Lights Awards, the winners of which will be announced at an awards ceremony in Manchester later this month. Waymark and New World Designs have been shortlisted in the Creative Industries category.

Paul Lofthouse, Commercial Director at Waymark, said: “We’ve worked with Steve Reeves and Ian Wright at New World for some time and we’re continuing to work with them. They bring us interesting projects and problems, and we’re always happy to work with them to find a software solution to whatever challenge they have for us.”

The technology produced by Waymark has also been used by YouTube on a new football channel, Copa90, and with several of New World Design’s high profile clients.

The awards dinner is part of a UK Northern Powerhouse conference and exhibition held over two days at Manchester Central.

The awards are designed to promote and highlight collaboration within and between companies in the Northern Powerhouse region and are judged by the UK Northern Powerhouse Advisory Board.