By Belinda Willis
Bold moving images of the South Australian landscape changing over three billion years are soon appearing at the renowned Venice Biennale, and Anton Andreacchio is among the Adelaide creative team making it happen.
“It started with an exhibition in Adelaide at the Hugo Michell Gallery and everyone was so blown away in the contemporary space they suggested we submit to the Venice Biennale,” Anton says.
Now Living Rocks: A Fragment of the Universe by artists James Darling and Lesley Forwood with Anton’s Jumpgate VR, composer Paul Stanhope and the Australian String Quartet is the only Australian project this year selected as an Official Collateral Event.
The stunning installation headed to Italy centres on a shallow 30m-long pool flooding an historic Venetian building, rock-like microbial structures will emerge from the water while a 36.5m-long and 3m-tall moving image artwork towers over its sides.
It is yet another impressive achievement from the creative company Jumpgate VR that further adds to its growing global reputation. In 2015, Anton’s thriving business created what is believed to be a world first virtual reality symphony with the Adelaide orchestra, the performance attracting work from all over the world.
For Anton, Adelaide has been the ideal place to launch his creative businesses, with the first digital agency Convergen started in 2009 with his brother Carlo.
Since then they co-founded four other companies, virtual reality company Jumpgate VR, film production company Double Bishop, and data science consultancy GMTI Consulting. Just a few weeks ago they also started post-production company Artisan Post Group with Michael Darren.
“We are already doing some of the post-production work on The Hunting currently shooting at Adelaide Studios, and we’ve just landed our first Hollywood horror movie that is about to enter post-production,” Anton says.
As the businesses continue to grow Anton has also emerged as a leading voice promoting the state’s creative industries. He is now a board member of the SA Film Corporation Board, Adelaide Film Festival and the inaugural Entrepreneurship Advisory Board, which has supported the launch of the new SA Office of the Chief Entrepreneur.
His business is also taking a lead in moving into the State Government’s ambitious Lot Fourteen hub being created at the former Royal Adelaide Hospital in the CBD to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The 7ha neighbourhood is designed to bring together start-ups, mentors, corporations, researchers and investors with creatives in a bid to nurture talent in some of the world’s fastest growing industries.
Anton’s team of 14 staff will be spread between Lot Fourteen’s Eleanor Harrald building and the current Adelaide Studios office, home of the SA Film Corporation in Glenside, “as it’s important to also be part of that industry base”.
An office in Melbourne has been closed with Anton saying it was an important space for building interstate relationships but has now served its purpose. The company is keen to remain nimble in a quickly changing world.
“It’s almost impossible to see more than six months ahead, particularly with how fast tech is changing, there was 100 years of change happening in 10 years and then that change is now happening in one year,” he says.
It’s not only the arts world where the suite of companies are rising stars. There’s a strong relationship with industry-based training organisation PEER and contracts in the sporting world after Jumpgate joined forces with the Australian Football League a few years ago.
It’s cutting edge work with the game’s elite athletes to improve performance using virtual reality headsets to see replays or new game play simulations and has seen its AFL club clients swell from one to four.
Anton believes a key to building successful companies is taking “an Adelaide approach, let’s build relationships, then ask where it fits”.
“We’ve had to have a local sensitivity but a global focus, but wherever we work we like to act like we are local,” he says.
“We’ve found we have to be relationship focused and it’s not constructive to be over promising, in the entrepreneurial and tech space there’s a lot of over-promising.”
It is a consistent message from the young achiever who has a strong belief in the future of the state’s creative industries.
“I feel excited about the year ahead, we are in a great position, there is just so much to do and it’s good fun,” he says. “We are planning for our future as well as looking at what’s happening in SA and thinking this is a great time to be here, we are kind of countercyclical in SA from the rest of the country … we’re finding there’s more demand than ever.”
Anton Andreacchio is Brand South Australia’s latest I Choose SA ambassador for creative industries.
Industry in focus: Creative Industries
Throughout the month of March, the state’s creative industries will be explored as part of I Choose SA.
South Australia is home to a thriving ecosystem of creative businesses and specialists who are delivering world-class works VFX, TV and film production, app development and the VR space. Read more creative industries stories here.
Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.