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Tassie high flyers selling drone technology to global film and TV industry

FILMMAKERS from around the world are buying technology created by a small Hobart company.

Engineer Chris Fox and cinematographer Tom Waugh have combined their skills to develop drone technology for the film and TV industry.

Their business Ignite Digi started in 2014 as an aerial cinematography company. The equipment, built by Mr Fox for the film work he and Mr Waugh were involved in, is now being sold to filmmakers in the US, Canada, Europe and East Asia — including Hollywood.

“I enjoy building very hi-tech equipment and then creating amazing images with it,” Mr Fox said.

media_cameraIgnite Digi owners Chris Fox, left, and Tom Waugh in their workshop. Picture: ROBERT HEAZLEWOOD

He said having an engineer and cinematographer developing the products gave Ignite Digi an advantage over other manufacturers.

One of Mr Fox and Mr Waugh’s first projects was aerial cinematography for award-winning Tasmanian series The Kettering Incident.

Mr Waugh said the work “launched” the company.

“It was the first significant series to use a drone [and] that got us a lot of work in Melbourne and Sydney,” he said.

Mr Waugh said drones were more widespread now, which led to the company’s expansion into selling accessories for digital movie cameras.

Ignite Digi’s high-end accessories have attracted buyers from around the world. The pair have recently made a 3D gimbal — a pivoted support that allows the rotation of an object about a single axis — for a Hollywood production company which is using it to shoot an IMAX feature film, due for release in 18 months.

Both men grew up in Tasmania. Mr Waugh moved to Sydney to study film and Mr Fox was working in the mining industry in WA where he said he was interested in industrial applications for drones.

When the two met, their shared interest in aerial cinematography and the combination of their skills led them to establishing Ignite Digi.

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