Game of Thrones Emmy winner joins Wellington startup

CHARLIE MITCHELL
Last updated 12:38 21/08/2014
GoT 8i startup

GAME ON: Wellington virtual reality startup 8i's Joshua Feast, Linc Gasking, Eugene d'Eon and Sebastian Marino.

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A Game of Thrones Emmy award winner is the newest member of a Wellington-based tech start-up.

Rainer Gombos, visual effects supervisor for numerous Hollywood blockbusters and television shows, has taken up a position at virtual reality firm 8i.

The company was founded earlier this year and uses the Oculus Rift - a virtual reality headset designed for 3D gaming - to explore the possibilities of virtual reality.

It recently received $1 million in seed funding from private investors and has increased its staff from four to 17.

Gombos is 8i's executive creative director.

"This technology is one of the biggest evolutionary steps in communication and story-telling since the invention of film," he said.

"I am thrilled to be joining 8i's team of visionaries and expert technicians in developing what is clearly the future of content viewing"

Gombos, originally from Germany, received an Emmy award in 2012 for his work on Game of Thrones and is nominated for another this year for his work on television show Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.

The technology 8i is developing, called holographic virtual reality, will give users a 360-degree view of content they watch, effectively placing the viewer into the action.

8i chief executive Linc Gasking said the company was excited to have one of the world's most sought-after visual effects supervisors on its team.

"Rainer is a fantastic complement to 8i's outstanding creative team and its vision of creating extraordinary experiences for our clients," he said.

It's a boost for the tech community in Wellington, which has grown out of Weta's prominence in the film industry.

8i's four co-founders, who come from various parts of the world, set up shop in Wellington because of the quality of technology development in the city.

"Wellington is the perfect place to scale this company.

"There are so many world leaders in visual effects and digital media here," Gasking said, shortly after setting up in Wellington.

"Wellington is the 3D capital of the world.

"There is no other place in the world where we could have set up."

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- The Wellingtonian

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