Neville Spiteri spent a long time as a producer at Electronic Arts and went on to work at Digital Domain. With a rather impressive history spanning movie productions like Final Fantasy, Apollo 13, Terminator 2/3D and games like Medal of Honor, he's opened his own company called Wemo Media and the crew are now working on an interesting online project called theBlu.
Wemo Media is a digital studio with a difference. The team is comprised of a mix of academy award winning digital artists, top creatives from the gaming industry and software veterans. The spokespeople for theBlu are Andy Jones, (the Animation Director on Avatar), Kevin Mack (Academy Award winner, What Dreams May Come), Louie Psihoyos (Academy Award winner, The Cove), Joichi Ito (Director, MIT Media lab).
Inspired by the ocean, theBlu is becoming the largest online art and entertainment experience on the planet. A big part of the project is the engagement of ‘Makers’ who use their artistic and technical skills to produce creatures to populate the world. “It is ‘the ocean on the web,’” Spiteri adds.
Recently, Andy Jones finished animating an Ocean Sunfish in collaboration with a 3D artist at SAE Berlin, Germany. Schools like Ai Pittsburgh PA, Murdoch University in Perth Australia, Ex'pression in Emeryville CA, Loyola Marymount University in Marina Del Rey CA, and SAE in Berlin, Germany, have incorporated creating content for theBlu into their class curriculum.
Makers say they enjoy being a part of a project like theBlu that involves doing what they love while also being a part of a supportive community that helps them become a stronger professional within the industry. Karl Coombs from Blender said: "Even if at the very least this gives me a goal and a bit of direction then that's great. Right now I'm just loving being part of a bigger project that just so happens to involve me doing what I love. Everything else is a huge bonus."
Wemo Media has been building an e-commerce system to facilitate the buying and selling of assets created by the maker community. The project is an on-line persistent world which provides interaction with simulated creatures but also has elements of gaming such as missions and collecting. The environment is sustained by the digital arts community. “As a ‘geo-social’ web application where people connect across the web, exploring a vast and growing new ocean. TheBlu celebrates digital art, the web and the ocean,” Spiteri says.