New World Designs on set

A North East media firm has recreated one of the most iconic scenes from the silver screen, for a Sky One show that will air this week (November 7).

New World Designs (NWD) - an award-winning bullet-time video and photography business - was drafted in by the production company behind Sky One’s new primetime show, The Sound of Movies, to help re-enact the famous slow-motion scene from The Matrix, when actor Keanu Reeves appears to be frozen in time as bullets skim past his body. 

The Sunderland Software Centre-based firm, which used an eight metre diameter rig and more than 90 cameras that are fired sequentially within a fraction of a second of one another to recreate the scene, is no stranger to Hollywood movies, having shot scenes for Zoolander 2, as well as delivering experiential rigs for Doctor Strange and Justice League.

Ian Wright, managing director of New World Designs, which has been in business for more than 20 years, said: “Whenever we are trying to explain what bullet-time photography is to people who don’t know, the example we give is The Matrix. That’s how iconic that movie scene is, and it was the first time that bullet-time photography really came to the fore and people understood its capabilities. 

“To be able to recreate such a scene was fantastic for us, and the final scenes are really entertaining. We’re looking forward to seeing the show go out later this week, and it’s great to have been involved.”

The business filmed the scenes in August, at studios in London, editing them to be a replica of those captured in The Matrix, which was filmed 20 year ago, and is now considered to be a classic sci-fi blockbuster. 

It’s another high-profile project for New World Designs, which undertakes projects right around the world working with some of the biggest global brands, including Pepsi, Nike and Dyson. 

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “NWD is a really cutting-edge business, that has been at the forefront of its field for nearly 20 years. 

“The company’s capabilities mean it is among the best in its field in the world, so it is no surprise that it was selected to help recreate a scene that catapulted bullet-time into the public psyche. 

“We’re very proud to have a growing cluster of world-class technology businesses operating not only out of our Software Centre, but out of Sunderland at large, and NWD is definitely among those fantastic companies, that is demonstrating the talent, ingenuity and technical know-how of the people and enterprises here.”

“There’s Something About Movies”, presented by Alan Carr, Tom Allen and Guz Khan airs on Sky One on Thursday, November 7 at 9pm.

Ashleigh Smith
Article by Ashleigh Smith
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