About Us

Surround Vision is an award-winning, full service 360/VR production studio based in East London. We specialise in the bold, the cutting-edge, and the adventurous. We’re relentless innovators, dedicated to pushing the boundaries of immersive technology, and our team includes of some the most passionate and experienced VR/360° professionals in the world. Together, our mission is to tell groundbreaking stories across live action, motion graphics, CGI, and interactive content.

We’re experts in:

  • Original 360° documentary and drama development
  • Interactive web/custom VR app production
  • Live VR production
  • Advertising and brands
  • Charity and NGOs
  • News/sports
  • Arts, fashion, theatre
  • Film and music promos
  • Experiential/VR events
  • Volumetrics
  • VR game production

Meet The Team

Richard Nockles | Founder and CEO

Richard Nockles | Founder and CEO

Founding partner of Surround Vision and VR Creative Director at Sky’s VR studios.

A creative technologist at heart, Richard sees the blend of gaming and entertainment industries as the perfect opportunity to craft a new style of storytelling and uses VR and AR technology to take audiences into the heart of the narrative. An award winning writer and director he’s produced films for the UN, SKY, BBC, Channel 4, as well as developing VR apps for a number of platforms and devices.

Vashti Anna | Composer & songwriter

Vashti Anna | Composer

A brilliant composer. Vashti is one of the great secrets in the music industry.

The Founding partner of Surround Vision, Vashti has helped build the company over the last seven years. Her unique style and incredible voice is matched with her technical innovation and composition skills which compliment our 360 films perfectly. A singer songwriter by trade Vashti is currently producing her first album and will be looking to record sometime late 2018.

Craig Tuohy | Head of Production

Craig Tuohy | Head of Production

Award winning feature film Producer with over twenty years experience.

After spending a decade in theatrical film distribution with Disney and 20th Century Fox, Craig has now turned his attention to AR & VR and we are thrilled that he’s our new head of production at Surround Vision. Having produced & directed feature documentaries, narrative drama and short films, As Producer on Sundance winning ‘LIKE CRAZY’ Craig sees a huge opportunity for new boundaries to be broken in VR storytelling.

Mary Matheson | VR director & writer

Mary Matheson | VR director

A pioneering VR director developing ground-breaking 360 documentaries.

Mary sees VR as a revolutionary new medium to create a unique empathy between the viewer and the characters in her films, using intimate documentary techniques to bring the audience into the heart of a narrative. From day one her work with Surround vision has been a beautiful collaboration of emotion and cutting edge technique. breaking the mould as one of the first Female specialist directors she’s made six films with Surround Vision and travelled around the world. We are very lucky to have her on the team.

Lewis Ball | VR specialist director

Lewis Ball | VR specialist director

Director / editor & DoP with great knowledge of VR & 360 post production techniques.

Lewis is one of Surround Visions home grown VR all-rounders, An excellent Director and DoP with extensive knowledge of VR Post production which he uses to incredible effect. His documentary series ‘Wild Souls’ was shot in Thailand and raised the bar for wildlife VR production. Lewis is a director to watch. He’s as comfortable shooting low budget docs as he is in compositing studios and can see a project through from conception to delivery.

Emilie Hoggarth | Post Production

Emilie Hoggarth | Post Production

A brilliant VR post-production artist and compositing supervisor.

Never one to shy away from a challenge, Emilie has brought some serious skills to the table creating work-flows for complex plating and stereo compositing that are now adopted at Sky VR. Her dedication to production is second to none and her work has spanned across the 1st, 3rd and 4th episodes of The Female Planet, including some unbelievable integration of CGI and stereo 360 graphics. Not perfect though, she’s from up North.

Richard Stegmann  | Specialist VR DoP

Richard Stegmann | Specialist VR DoP

Specialist Director of Photography & VR producer with extensive knowledge of 360 technology.

Richard is one of the VR industry’s pioneers who’s been pushing the boundaries of 360 production techniques for the last 7 years. His calm professionalism has ensured a number of ground-breaking projects were delivered under difficult situations, including NASCAR and Formula One where grip and cameras were pushed to the limit. With 20 years experience in broadcast Richard loves finding ways to bring ideas to life, and loves solving problems. He is a rock!

Sophie Vandenbroucke |  VR Editor

Sophie Vandenbroucke | VR Editor

Documentary Filmmaker and specialist VR editor with Ninja like stitching skills.

With an academic background in anthropological observational Filmmaking, Sophie creates ethnographic documentaries, and has already clocked up films for SKY VR and Google. An excellent all-rounder, she understands end-to-end VR production techniques and can turn her hand at all aspects of filmmaking from shooting to editing to directing. sophie loves telling compelling political stories. Definitely one to watch.

Jack Howard | VR specialist filmmaker

Jack Howard | VR Filmmaker

Creates VR docs, drama and commercial VR production for the world’s top broadcasters.

An excellent filmmaker and specialist VR DoP who understands the nuances of VR production right down to delivery. Brilliant work ethic, he’s one of the best camera operators in the business. His gyro and handheld VR work has been used in Anthony Joshua and Premier league docs, an excellent all rounder and brilliant VR filmmaker. Jack loves making films and is developing a number of projects on the side of his busy schedule with Surround Vision.

Erfan Saadati | VR specialist director

Erfan Saadati | VR specialist director

Award-winning VR director & producer with extensive knowledge of VR & AR production.

Surround Vision prides itself on our home grown VR all-rounders, and Erfan is one of the best, working in docs, drama and commercial VR production. His documentary films are always crafted with passion, using state of the art techniques. Creative, dynamic and dependable. Erfan is the go to director for shooting compelling and dynamic VR content and can see a project through from conception to delivery.

Stephen Stephenson | VR Developer

Stephen Stephenson | VR Developer

A talented animation and motion graphic artist working in unity VR and AR development.

Stephen’s technological expertise has furthered the companies post production techniques and the development of vr interaction from app based development to game experiences. Stephen has been instrumental in driving Surround Vision towards Volumetric and AR production with creative and original concepts and techniques. Enjoys all forms of media, especially music and games.

Shannon Leigh Russell | Development

Shannon Leigh Russell | Development

A keen eye for immersive opportunities across broadcast and advertising industry.

Creative and technologically focussed she joined the team at Surround vision and took to VR like a duck to water. Shannon is a great all rounder, able to conceive and develop original formats for this blossoming genre whilst also being ready to jump in and help with production and camera operating. Definitely a great asset to any project Shannon produces great content and brings a fresh perspective to narrative storytelling.

Winston Henry | CGI Artist

Winston Henry | CGI Artist

A talented Animator and CGI Artist with 7 years of broadcast experience.

An excellent 3D Generalist who works closely with our directors and producers to create visually stimulating content and is always striving to push the boundaries of what is possible within any design brief. He has an impeccable eye for detail and always ensures that Surround Vision delivers content of the highest standard.Winston has created award-winning work for Channel 4, ITV and Discovery Channel. Also a bit of a sci-fi nerd.

James Hedley | VR director

James Hedley | VR director

VR director working in docs, drama and commercial VR production.

One of the original Surround Vision talents, James crafts beautiful and engaging VR films which connect with audiences at a deeper level. His award-winning VR documentaries set the standard for VR production. His first film ‘Simon’ was premiered at the 2016 London Film Festival and showcased at the Cannes International Film Festival & Kaleidoscope VR Festival. His next VR drama project ‘Finding Haka’ was Sky VR’s first commissioned project and was shot in New Zealand with the Maori communities.

Tara Watney | VR Producer

Tara Watney | VR Producer

Award winning producer with 17 years experience across branded content and docs.

Bringing the perfect balance of experience and creative flare, Tara enjoys the challenge of the ever changing world of VR. A keen storyteller and adventurer she produced Sky VR’s first commissioned project ‘Finding Haka’ and is currently producing our ‘The Female Planet’ series for Google. An adventurist at heart, recently driving across the Sahara and racing yachts in the Rolex Fastnet race; always packing a camera wherever she goes.

Dan Stankowski | Games Developer

Dan Stankowski | Games Developer

Cutting edge game designer and Unity developer specializing in augmented and mixed reality.

Always searching for unique and evocative ways of implementing cutting edge new technologies, Dans work includes components as diverse as volumetric capture, AR development and educational games, and lives to make rewarding user experiences across a multitude of platforms. His passion lies in creating the perfect audience experience, creating engaging interactive products with visual flair and and precise functionality.

Patrick Dawid | VFX Artist

Patrick Dawid | VFX Artist

Patrick is the go-to artist for VFX production in 360 and stereo delivery.

Like many of the team at Surround Vision he loves technology games and film making and has helped rewrite the rules of complex stitching in 360 video. Headphones on, eyes like a hawk. Patrick gets the job done. A problem solver and excellent compositor who brings branded content to life. Dedicated to creating the best immersive experiences for VR audiences. Some say, he’s a living legend. Amongst other things he is also an avid gamer. Loves animals too.

Omar Dick  | VR Camera Operator

Omar Dick | VR Camera Operator

Omar is a VR camera operator working across sports, events and documentary.

Omar views VR as an exciting and immersive new medium that allows for a greater emotional and physical connection between subject and audience. A great VR camera operator who understands strategic camera placement and brings his lighting, camera operating, video editing and directing skills into play on a range of surround vision projects, and relishes the opportunities to create more exhilarating content within the fresh genre.

Meet The Tech

ZIP WIRES

ZIP WIRES

Dynamic non-static shots are an excellent tool for engagement and they can bring any location to life. ZIP WIRES help achive that.

Any decision for adding movement to a shot can only be made following the recce, and is based on production timescales, budget, and of course the location. When shooting the DoP and director ensure that the footage will be as clean as possible, then we use a combination of software and custom plugins to stitch, mask, matte and composite the rigging, crew out of the final shot. We have developed a number of workflows for complex stitching of close proximity actors that avoids time consuming roto work too. If required, we also lean on our CGI team for 3D elements to help clean up stitch work.

 

360º CAMERAS

360º CAMERAS

Surround Vision use the range of camera rigs but the gopro (Freedom) range with Kolors AVP stitching software is our preferred option.

The cameras can be awkward to use, but the results can be stunning and the size of the rig allows you to get right into the action. For low light options we use custom rigs, however these always increase any budget substantially. We certainly would never recommend expensive or custom solutions unless it’s the right fit for the delivery format. Post production is a huge part of this technology and any camera rig decision will be assessed by the Post team.

MOBILE RIGS

MOBILE RIGS

There are few places we haven’t put a 360° camera.

We are proud to boast a house style that mixes camera movement with plenty of choreography and have developed rigging systems to allow us to pull off stunning floating shots including underwater rigs, drones, zip wires and mobile dolly and gyrostabilizer systems. We use a selection of great tools to take the audience into the heart of any experience and recommend a number of great and simple solutions which work across our range of camera solutions.

BINAURAL AUDIO (Ambisonic or Spatial Audio)

AMBISONIC AUDIO

When creating VR & 360 content, sound cues are one of the only tools that VR producers have available to them when directing viewers’ attention.

Binaural audio or spatial tracking audio mimics the real world, meaning when one looks around with a VR headset, the audio also changes based on where the viewers’ ears are receiving the sounds, as per real life. This further immerses the viewer creating a more intimate and believable experience. Spatial audio is captured through a mix of binaural and directional microphones. In post using the recorded assets our sound designers re-create the environment using specialised software.

DRONES

DRONES

Motion not only adds dynamics to a scene — along with sense of depth to the environment and is one of the few tools we can use to draw the viewers’ attention to a subject.

We have been attaching our cameras to drones for years now, we’re very comfortable with the process. We are continually reiterating and adapting our best practise as new drone and camera solutions come onto the market.

MOTION CONTROL SYSTEMS

MOTION CONTROL SYSTEMS

Rig removal and camera movement adds time in Post production which can be streamlined with motion control systems .

Our directors and DoP’s use a range of 360 rigs and custom camera solutions and are always on the look-out for new tools to improve the quality of our content. We are proud to boast a house style that mixes camera movement with plenty of choreography and have developed rigging systems to allow us to pull off stunning floating shots including underwater rigs, drones, zip wires and mobile dolly and gyrostabilizer systems. there are few places we haven’t put a 360° camera. We use a selection of great tools to take the audience into the heart of any experience and recommend a number of great and simple solutions which work across our range of camera solutions, motion control gives our directors a huge advantage in blocking out the scenes and allows our post production artists to easily composite and remove rigging and crew.

STEADI-CAM & OB’s

STEADI-CAM & OB’s

By attaching our lightweight rigs to existing steadicam operators, we can get right into the heart of the action (we have produced content in sports and drama using this technique).

This will provide stunning shots, and we typically use these as the main shots for our films.

LIVE PRODUCTION SERVICES

LIVE PRODUCTION SERVICES

When producing a live VR experience there are a lot of technical challenges to overcome. Surround Vision works closely with both our hardware and software partners to make sure we deliver an enjoyable and hassle free experience for our viewers. We make sure each and every step of the process is tested and for the duration of stream our specialists are on hand to oversee the production and assist in the event of any unexpected errors.

VOLUMETRIC CAPTURE

VOLUMETRIC CAPTURE

We took a huge leap into the future of entertainment by offering our clients the ability to capture volumetric (holographic) elements directly into a game engine.

This system takes sport documentary and drama content and translates it into 3D mesh form to allow the ultimate audience experience. A real time capture in a limitless 3D space.

RUSSIAN ARMS

RUSSIAN ARMS

To get the best from VR we need to be in the heart of the action. A russian arm is best for proximity and simple removal in post.

Traditional filming techniques do not apply when Shooting 360º because we cannot ‘cut to a close up’ instead try to see this as Theatre, We can’t shoot good content from the sidelines. By using a stabilised gyro with russian arm we are able to ghost out the tracking vehicle allowing the camera to move freely through space and follow the action. Surround Vision first tried this with Chris Froome on the tour de France but have since used this technique in Formula one and drama to get the camera as close to the action as possible. It’s about creating content that gives audiences a fresh perspective, we want to blow the audience away with intimate fast paced shots that keep them engaged and constantly looking around.

POST PRODUCTION

POST PRODUCTION

A good post-production team is essential in the process of creating VR experiences.

Regardless of how well a live-action VR experience has been shot, if not dealt with elegantly in post, viewers tend to be put off. Post-Production comprises of stitching and blending footage to make it as seamless and high quality as possible. As well as using a variety of commercially available software, we work closely with partners and make use of tools that are still in development and publicly not available.

GAME ENGINE & INTERACTIVE

GAME ENGINE & INTERACTIVE

The future of content lies within the efficiency of the game engine, it allows broadcasters to deliver custom content seamlessly.

Broadcasters are just beginning to scratch the surface of applying video game engine technology to achieve creative milestones in interactive and real-time CG production. Arenas that were once limited to static video can now be populated with dynamic content, opening up new worlds of interactive expression and storytelling. Early adopters of Game Engine in broadcast have achieved a new level of quality and creativity for their projects by connecting the ecosystem of broadcast technology to the game engine environment. CG assets, scenes and virtual sets can be adapted to VR, AR and other forms of digital experiences. Virtual sets eliminate high costs associated with physical sets, and the real-time production power means that complex scenes can be shot live, without requiring extensive post-production, further driving down costs.