Dan Tonks


After a few years of university I quickly realised that there was a great big world to explore, and so began over 18months of Far East and NZ travels!

I started at Gravit8( then DB) on my return from NZ, over 8 years ago now and I’d be lying if I said that travel wasn’t a small factor in my keenness for the job position!

My role at G8 is varied. I am in charge of anything and everything digital multimedia. Animation, Motion graphics, illustration, UI, UX, Graphic/Visual design, Video editing, Marketing content creator, Visual effects, Audio editing, (still with me?) 3D & simulations, Compositing, Videography, Photography and more recently, I am the ‘go-to’ for the panorama virtual event platform creation.

“The industry is fun and, although cliché, isn’t going anywhere. It’s satisfying to be able to be creative and clever with cutting edge tech.”

The driving factor in my role is peoples’ reactions. Whether it’s “oh wow I love that transition”, or “how on earth did they do that?!” it’s all satisfying!

The constant requirement for ‘the next new thing’ can be challenging, especially without realistic timelines to accommodate for making it.

If I could give any advice to my successor I would say where possible, keep things built in simple and editable parts. Due to lack of pre-production time there will be changes to make from client feedback, sometimes quite significant.

I would also say complex and technically heavy animations tend to backfire. Oh, and don’t underestimate render times.

“It’s all very inclusive and transparent. People are approachable and happy to help if required.”

‘Tech’ is just a broad term for things considered technologically advanced compared to now. There’s always going to be something seen as ‘tech’, whether it’s referred to in a software sense, in a hardware sense, or in a virtual/’meta’ sense! The current environment is seeing hardware/physical events come back to life but there’ll always be opportunity for virtual and hybrid for companies that truly took advantage of their events budgets during the sad times of COVID.

“The success and statistics of how efficient virtual events are at connecting with people won’t be forgotten and I see a lot more of this ‘blend’ over the next 5 years.”

I don’t think we’ll see people rushing to buy cumbersome VR goggles for another decade or so (when they’re not cumbersome anymore) but there’s already virtual experiences aplenty using more conventional & easily accessible methods. ‘Web3’ and ‘ownership’ will grow more and more – despite what the mainstream news may like to tell you about the NFT ‘bubble’ – and we’ll be able to connect with people in new and innovative ways.