IMMERSED: Jobs for NSW chair David Thodey test drives a virtual reality headset at Cumulus VFX in Byron Bay.
IMMERSED: Jobs for NSW chair David Thodey test drives a virtual reality headset at Cumulus VFX in Byron Bay. Christian Morrow

Byron regional jobs boost creates strong vision for future

THERE is nothing virtual about the ongoing success of Cumulus VFX, Byron Shire's very own visual effects company.

Founded by Will Gammon in a shed in Bangalow, Cumulus currently employs 20 staff at its new production facility based at Habitat in North Beach, Byron Bay, where they create sophisticated visual effects for films such as Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings.

The company's expansion came thanks to a $300,000 Regional Growth Loan and chair of NSW Government backed Jobs for NSW, David Thodey, called in to Cumulus to get an eye-full of the amazing visual effects they produce.

Mr Thodey got to test drive a set of virtual reality goggles and also saw excerpts of the new work Cumulus is producing for Framestore US, who subcontract work for major Hollywood studios such as Marvel and Netflix.

REAL SUCCESS: Cumulus Office Manager Philippa Bennett, Chair of NSW Government backed Jobs for NSW David Thodey, Mark Holden from Byron business mentoring group Sourdough and Cumulus lead compositor and visual effects artist Richard Hall.
REAL SUCCESS: Cumulus office manager Philippa Bennett, David Thodey, Mark Holden, from Sourdough, and Cumulus lead compositor and visual effects artist Richard Hall. Christian Morrow

"Jobs NSW was set up by State Government to create new jobs in the state with a specific focus on regional areas,” Mr Thodey said. "It is really important for the future of NSW that we create a really strong regional jobs base.

"We have a strong agricultural base but we need to get into the information and services sector, so to see a business here like Cumulus is really exciting.

"What's great about Cumulus is they are connected to the rest of the world through the NBN, and that gives them longevity and stability in terms of their business opportunities.

"Their connectedness is particularly important in enabling them to create opportunities for other local businesses.”

Mr Thodey also called in at Cape Byron Distillery, which received a $30,000 grant to enable investment in its cellar door fit-out and website.

He said Cumulus was set to create 40 new jobs over the next four years while Cape Byron Distillery was set to create an additional 13 jobs running a successful gin distillery and eco-tourism business in the rainforest.

"The company has just extended its eco-tourism distillery tours to three days a week, plans further growth targeting the Byron conference market, will soon launch a new macadamia nut based spirit, and will also expand into whisky production.”

For more go to https://www.jobsfornsw.com.au/.