Tenants Update: Viju and Eloise Whitmore
After the initial rush to fill spaces after the opening of The Sharp Project, things are settling down a little with regard to tenant comings and goings. Two relative newcomers, however, are the Viju Group and Eloise Whitmore. Here’s what they do.
The Viju Group
Thanks to the ubiquity of webcams and the normalisation of high speed internet, we’re all used to video chatting. Hollywood predicted it long before the technology could catch up, but at last we can have video chat with our much missed kids (better than going all the way upstairs to see them) or get a creative brief with live pictures from the other side of the world.
But while domestic technology is fine for everyday purposes, business places higher demands on audio-visual networking. Communication might need to be in high definition with super-clear sound, or perhaps it needs to be permanently streamed. But most of all, it must be reliable and managed. For this, only a professional service provider such as the Viju Group will do.
The company was founded in Norway in 1998 under the name InfoteknikkAS, and has seen massive success since then. After rebranding into Viju in 2008, the company’s turnover reached US$100m in 2011. The Sharp Project’s office is just one of eleven, joining New York, New Jersey, London, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Stavanger, Oslo, Trondheim, Bergen, Amsterdam and Singapore. (In that respect they are not alone at The Sharp Project; Ward Hadaway and BetFred have creative-focused offices here but are just parts of larger entities.)
The company offers long-term conferencing and telepresence contracts but they can also be hired for one-off events. The collaborative possibilities opened up are striking and can create massive cost savings to businesses that regularly fly representatives all over the work to meet clients and suppliers. Viewing one of their brilliant HD link-ups brings home the fact that they are a million miles from Facetime and Skype – although they do have the technology to allow users of these and other video messaging services to join in with conferences using their professional setup. That’s useful if one of the collaborators is out in the field.
If you have any video conferencing or telepresence requirements, visit their website at http://www.vijugroup.com.
If you’ve ever listened to a Radio 4 play or dived to the seek button and landed on BBC Five Live, there’s a good chance you’ll have sampled the post-production and sound design skills of Eloise Whitmore. As well as the BBC, she’s also worked for Channel 4, Red Productions, Sparklab, Savvy Productions and Somethin’ Else Productions.
During her time at The Sharp Project she has collaborated with Mighty Giant and for a while was based at 80 Hertz, our resident recording studio. However now she’s got her own space at The Sharp Project and she’s converted it into a studio of her own, complete with a recording booth that’s perfect for vocal work, if not cat-swinging.
One of her specialisms is location recording. While many of us (i.e. me) might have assumed that the sound effects are always dubbed over studio voice recordings, a surprising amount of location audio is backed by real howling wind, braved cities and outperformed crickets. She reckons 70% of her current work is based around the recording and post-production of BBC dramas; she was involved with the BBC’s Learning Zone series on Shakespeare, too, which must have taken her back to when she started out working for the Globe Theatre in Stratford-up-Avon.
Eloise is also an avid collector of sounds, something she does with the zeal of a Victorian lepidopterist, snaring those little tics of the aural sphere for posterity and filing them for occasions as yet unknown. A side-effect of this is that she has the most enviable collection of ringtones on her phone. If you think you’ve heard some strange and spooky sounds during your late nights at the project, don’t worry – it was probably a tone attached to one of her clients.