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SCU graduate and music computer whizz recruited by Hollywood


13 March 2003
A Southern Cross University graduate and music video award winner has been hired by Hollywood for his unique computer/special effects skills to work on the latest feature film by director of Independence Day and Godzilla, Roland Emmerich.

Andrew Lyons, 32, is flying to LA on Saturday to work for US production company Digital Domain, owned by producer/director of the Titanic and Terminator, James Cameron. The company sponsored Andrew to attain a hard-to-come-by US working visa.

"It's been great, they've forked out all this money to get me a US visa," Andrew said. "They had to get a full record of all my education, to work out the US equivalent, to justify why they need to hire me rather than an American. There are other animators in the
States but not using this software."

He'll be contributing to special effects on a film called Tomorrow, which is due out in the middle of next year.

Andrew sent Digital Domain his DVD, a showreel and CV last year.

"They happened to be hiring and I had an interview over the phone," he said. "They said they were interested in having me come over to work on this film."

Some of the people at Digital Domain had also seen his work on the web. "Only a small community of people (in the world) use the
software I use," he said.

Andrew, originally from Melbourne, completed a Bachelor of Arts at Southern Cross University in 1995 majoring in Music Composition and Video Production. He is about to complete his PhD through the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, including spending the past two years at Southern Cross University's Lismore campus as a Visiting Research Fellow.

Andrew won a Dolphin Award (NSW North Coast Entertainment Industry Association Awards) in 2002 for 'Best Music Video Category' for his DVD called Heisenberg. He composed the music as well as created the images for it. "It's kind of like an imaginary landscape," he said, adding it was a little like the concept of Disney's Fantasia.

"The DVD contains some of the first works to use virtual reality sound spatialisation techniques."

Andrew's work involves amazing images and audio special effects, designed to be played on a 'surround-sound' speaker system, like in a cinema but with extra features.

Since graduating, Andrew has worked professionally as both a 3D animator and 'sonic artist', or musician who creates music not using instruments based on an acoustic sound, but using synthesised or re-synthesised found sounds.

Starting his studies as a saxophonist, he has ended up as a computer music engineer, composing using computers, as well as doing sound engineering and recording.

For more information about Andrew's audio-visual art visit

Contact: Andrew Lyons Ph: 6620 3869 (uni) or 6622 3543 (h) till Sat am; or SCU Contemporary Music Program Leader Jon Fitzgerald Ph: 6620 3856, or Sara Crowe, SCU Media Unit, Ph: 6620 3144.