Fresh from Game of Thrones


An Emmy award win­ner known for his work on TV show Game of Thrones is the new­est mem­ber of a Wellington-based tech start-up.

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

The company was founded this year, and uses 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 the company’s ex­ec­u­tive cre­ative di­rec­tor.

‘‘This tech­nol­ogy is one of the big­gest steps in com­mu­ni­ca­tion and sto­ry­telling since the in­ven­tion of film,’’ he said.

‘‘I’m thrilled to be join­ing 8i’s team to de­velop 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 has been nom­i­nated for another for his work on TV show Cos­mos: A Spacetime Odyssey.

The tech­nol­ogy 8i is de­vel­op­ing is called Holo­graphic Vir­tual Re­al­ity.

Through the Ocu­lus Rift, it will give users a 360-de­gree view of con­tent they watch, ef­fec­tively plac­ing the viewer into the ac­tion.

8i chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer 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 cre­ative team and its vi­sion of cre­at­ing ex­tra­or­di­nary ex­pe­ri­ences for our clients,’’ he said.

The ap­point­ment is a boost for the Wellington tech com­mu­nity, which has grown out of Weta’s promi­nence within the film in­dus­try.

8i’s four co-founders set up shop in Wellington be­cause of the qual­ity of tech­nol­ogy de­vel­op­ment in the city.

‘‘Wellington is per­fect place for us, with so many world lead­ers in visual ef­fects and dig­i­tal me­dia here,’’ Gask­ing said.

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