In 2019, we announced ftrack’s acquisition of cineSync developer Cospective. This acquisition was as much about people as it was about product – and Neil is one of those people. We were delighted to welcome Neil to the ftrack team, as both a colleague and a leading industry expert in media review. Learn a little about Neil and his role below.
Can you please tell us a little about your background?
I’ve always been interested in 3D graphics, so after university, I landed a job making video games. For about ten years, I worked for several companies in both the UK and Australia, working mainly on graphics technology for the Playstation 1 and 2, and the original Xbox. I enjoyed working on many projects, from sports games like Mike Tyson’s Boxing to shooters like Medal of Honour. When a company I was working for closed down, I moved over to the film industry. Rising Sun Pictures offered me a position as a TD on Charlotte’s Web. After that project completed, I was asked to join Rising Sun Pictures’ sister company, Rising Sun Research (now Cospective), to work on cineSync.
Product Manager, cineSync
How have you seen cineSync develop over the years?
I’ve worked at Cospective for over a decade. Over that time, there have been many changes within the industry, and it’s been my job to ensure that cineSync continually evolves to meet those emerging demands. We’ve added stereo support, color grading, support for higher resolutions and frame rates, new security features, and more. We’ve also worked on several integrations with other products that help embed cineSync into the creative pipeline. It’s been a remarkable journey, but it certainly feels like there’s a great deal more to come yet.
What excites you about Cospective and ftrack joining forces?
I look forward to acting as part of a larger team, particularly one with so many talented and knowledgeable people. It’s also exciting to have extra resources to take cineSync in new and different directions. The ftrack team has an in-depth understanding of web technologies; it will be great to leverage this to evolve and develop cineSync.
What excites you most about the creative industry?
I enjoy the many different challenges that the film industry presented. We get to solve many kinds of problems, using a variety of technology. It never gets boring; there’s always a new challenge to tackle. I love that problem-solving process. Also, it’s always a great feeling to see a movie on the big screen that’s used cineSync and benefited from the tools that we build.
What are your primary responsibilities as Product Manager of cineSync at ftrack?
I oversee all of the ongoing development and maintenance of cineSync. I ensure that cineSync meets our customers’ requirements and that we keep it up to date alongside new technologies. I especially enjoy working with our customers who have specific problems and working with them to find a solution. That sometimes requires the reworking of existing features or the development of something entirely new. It’s a great feeling to work through that process and deliver the exact solution the customer needed at the end.
What are you most excited about regarding the future of ftrack?
We have some big plans for cineSync over the next year, but I can’t say anything about that just yet! Rest assured that there are exciting things in the pipeline. In the short term, we’re collaborating with the ftrack team to roll some of our technology into ftrack. In the months to come, this development effort will result in some advantageous benefits for users of ftrack.
If you could give someone new to cineSync one piece of advice, what would it be?
Just dive in! We designed cineSync for simplicity, so you should get to grips with it in no time. Even the more advanced features are accessible and intuitive. If you do have any issues, get in touch with our support team. We’re always happy to help!