/News 16.02.23


From humble beginnings, which involved Founder, Will Gammon producing visual effects for major films on a laptop in his garage, to the company’s current status as a highly sought after VFX studio with an enviable reputation for environment and set extension work, the story of Cumulus Visual Effects makes for interesting reading.

Gammon and his Chief Technology Officer, Nicky Ladas, needed to think on a grand scale to overcome the complexities of achieving world-class VFX while living and working in paradise – their studio is based in the regional area of NSW’s Northern Rivers, home to some of Australia’s finest beaches. The duo established a setup through partnership with industry-leading organisations like NBN, Pure Storage and Aussie Broadband. The setup proved to be an irresistible drawcard for talented professionals, enticed by the possibilities of doing the work they were passionate about from an idyllic location. 

Cumulus firmly established its ability to work at the highest level of the film industry by building relationships with key global outsource vendors such as Framestore. Following their successful collaborations with major studios such as Netflix on projects like The King and Sweet River, and under Ladas’ guidance, Cumulus embarked on the process of becoming an accredited TPN-certified VFX vendor.

Above right: Cumulus founder, Will Gammon
Below right: CTO, Nicky Ladas and team member

Cumulus’s exceptional standard of work, combined with their TPN certification, earned them key vendor status on high-profile projects such as Netflix’s Man Vs Bee featuring Rowan Atkinson, and Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis. In fact, VFX Supervisor Tom Wood remarked on the quality of Cumulus’s work, showcasing the studio’s prowess in delivering top-notch visual effects.

“Cumulus were instrumental in shaping the look of Elvis. It is inconceivable to think we could have achieved a completed director’s cut in the contractual 10 weeks with the highest quality post viz without Will and the team producing such incredible work so fast.”

Tom Wood, VFX Supervisor on Elvis

Drawing from Gammon’s expertise and passion for photography, architecture, and the natural environment, Cumulus has developed a reputation for producing photorealistic CG environments and set extensions that have captivated a new tier of clients in the VFX industry. This, coupled with their recent Ausfilm membership, has catapulted the studio onto the global stage of high-quality VFX for film and TV projects.

With the help of the NSW Government’s Regional Job Creation Fund, Gammon secured $1M in co-funding to drive Cumulus’ next stage of growth and continue expanding their VFX working model outside of capital cities. The grant came at a critical time and provided the necessary resources for the team to broaden their reach and capabilities. They were able to construct a purpose-built studio. The new facility provides ample space to accommodate an expanded crew of up to 50 artists and includes a communal eating area and a pool for exercise.

Within its walls, you’ll find the relaxed environment Will always envisioned for his studio – with Japanese design and floor-to-ceiling windows offering incredible vistas of the Richmond River and the hinterland beyond. A creative himself; it was vitally important for Gammon to devote time and attention to the detail of developing a space that evokes creativity and promotes a happy work environment.  

The Cumulus Visual Effects Studio headquarters, on the Richmond River

Walk into the dog-friendly studio on any given day and you’re likely to find one of Cumulus’ multi-talented artists creating a chalk mural on the corridor wall, a sizeable number of the crew off to their weekly lunchtime soccer game, and the staff record player showcasing a range of music from Neil Young to Radiohead and everything in between.

With Will known for his integral role in Damon Gameau’s documentary 2040 and subsequent Regenerating Australia short film, sustainability was top of mind throughout the construction of the studio, priority was given to sustainable building practices, minimising waste sent to landfill and utilising eco-friendly, low-toxicity materials whenever possible. One year after moving into the new facility, Cumulus has begun putting the jewel in the crown of their expansion: a cutting-edge 4K dailies theatre.

The Cumulus team playing Wednesday Soccer
dogs welcome
creativity at play in the Cumulus office space

An imaginative childhood spent with his head in the clouds became the inspiration for Will to bring life to his dreams of heading up one of Australia’s leading, livable, VFX facilities. Gone are the hours of idle daydreaming as Gammon has reached limits he never thought possible; and now works to bring colour and form to the dreams of others through Cumulus VFX.

Regenerating Australia, VFX breakdown reel