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Wellingtonian wins prestigious Emmy Award

5 Dec 2018

A boutique Wellington software design studio whose tools are being used on TV shows and films such as Stranger Things, Game of Thrones and Blade Runner 2049 has picked up an Emmy Award for contributions to the television industry.

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The National Academy of Television Arts and Science (NATAS) awarded The Cargo Cult for excellence in engineering creativity in the field of Automated Sound Conformation for their Conformalizer product – an audio post-production tool allowing sound editors in the film and TV industries to conform audio data to match an evolving picture edit.

CEO Justin Webster launched The Cargo Cult in Wellington’s Miramar in 2006, and their suite of products are known as an industry standard toolset for people designing or mixing sound to picture. Justin’s sound work has also been featured in ground-breaking feature films like The Hobbit, Ready Player One, District9 and Tintin.

“We’re thrilled to win such a prestigious award for Conformalizer. I come from a background of sound post-production and tools like Conformalizer are created in response to problems I faced myself while working on film projects.

“It’s become a critical tool in sound post-production globally because it allows teams to track changes made in picture editing and automatically update sound elements to match.

“This saves a massive amount of time for sound editors and allows them to work concurrently with the picture and visual FX teams. But more importantly, it gives film-makers a lot more freedom and flexibility in the way their film evolves.”

The Cargo Cult tools are used by independent sound designers world-wide as well as major studios such as Warner Bros, Disney, Fox, Skywalker Sound and Park Road Post.

WREDA Regional Development, Destination and Attraction General Manager David Perks says The Cargo Cult is an example of Wellington’s ground-breaking talent, making the region a wildly famous place to live and work. 

“The Cargo Cult is taking Wellington’s screen and tech expertise to the world. Justin’s products solve issues for people working in post-production – and we couldn’t be prouder of his successes.

“The industry’s leading minds and businesses are recognised at the annual Technology and Engineering Emmy Awards, and we’re especially proud to see a Wellington business at the forefront of post-production technology,” says David.

Justin will receive the award at the 70th Annual Technology and Engineering Emmy Awards on Sunday 7 April 2019 in Las Vegas, hosted by NATAS.