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Apothecary Films was founded in 2006 by Australian independent film maker Benjamin Richards. With over 18 years experience in the TV, Games and Film Industry as a 3d consultant, designer & visual effects artist, Ben has decided to apply his keen photographic eye and passion for story telling to film and documentary production.  

During his time with the software powerhouse Autodesk Ben was lucky enough to consult with the likes of Pixar, Weta Digital, Animal Logic, Electronic Arts, Sega, Ubisoft and many other industry leaders.

Over the years Ben has also filmed various pieces showcasing the Electronic Music Festivals he held, more than 40 events in total between the years 1998 and 2002, with his partner and founder of ArtCore. The most notable events were the annual Summer Dreaming festival, a 3 day outdoor event with over 30 international artists, numerous events in Sydney’s famous Darling Harbour and an Interactive Multimedia event in Centrepoint Tower called Odd which blended cutting edge electronic music and visuals with Australian Indigenous artwork and performances.

A passion for travel, photography, sociology, psychology, technology, science, technocracy, people and life combined with a truly empathic personality makes Benjamin Richards well suited to tell stories from all walks of life across a broad spectrum of topics.


Professional Synopsis: Benjamin Richards

I am an Australian citizen currently residing in Bratislava, Slovakia and have been involved in the medium of visual storytelling since 1993, winning numerous awards for my first animated film in 1995. I am currently the owner of Apothecary Films producing documentaries, art films and short form journalistic pieces.

Throughout my career I have worked in a variety of 3D fields and on hundreds of projects. My career began in the games industry a few weeks after leaving high school, and a few months later my student film won the Australia wide Panasonic Film Prize, the first time an animated work had done so. I subsequently worked for the Seven Network in Sydney and having gained a strong passion for the medium of television and film, I took the natural step to post production and worked for Cutting Edge in Brisbane, Australia, one of the leading post houses in the country, using Softimage 3D as well as 3ds Max.

I then returned to Sydney to form one of two ventures. Vertex3 was a boutique Post Production company specializing in high end design, animation and visual effects. My main clientele included cable tv and commercial television networks and various post houses across Sydney. During this time I worked on three Gold Promax award-winning jobs including two for the Seven Network's Sydney 2000 Olympics campaign and one for MTV Australia. 

In 1999 I formed another business called ArtCore which was an effort to bring together digital artists and electronic musicians to essentially host music events that were immersive digital interactive environments. My business partner and I were the sole organisers and executed every aspect on our own from concept, design, marketing & promotion on an international level encompassing print (flyers, brochures, magazine and newspaper advertisements), radio, internet, street level / grass roots campaigns, immigration / performance visas, sound & lighting and many other aspects. During four years we toured over 50 international electronic musicians and artists. The largest event was an annual three day outdoor festival, set in the Australian forest with around 5000 attendees, working with local, state and federal government, police and other authorities as well as co-ordinating over 100 staff and performers. During this time I also performed in San Francisco, London, Berlin, Tokyo, Thailand and Hong Kong.

I was with Autodesk from June 2002 based in Sydney and relocated to the regional head office in Singapore in 2003. In 2007 I relocated to London office to look after the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East and Africa).  I was fortunate enough to work with clients such as Pixar during visits to the US, throughout APAC and EMEA I worked closely with Weta Digital, Lucasfilm, EA, Sega, Ubisoft, NC Soft and Animal Logic amongst many others in the film, games and design vizualisation industries. My documentary work also provided an opportunity to look into the integration of Final Cut Pro with Autodesk Smoke & Lustre products through Apple XML formats.

Over the years I worked closely with the Product Development Groups in Montreal, Toronto, Beijing and San Francisco, working with product designers to implement features needed to address issues in next generation games and films at the cutting edge of technology.

I still do consultation work for interesting technology projects, currently working in Spain and Australia however my main focus is producing documentaries related to the arts and social issues, predominantly in Central Europe.


Major Technical Consultancy projects between 2002 and 2009.


Disney PIXAR – California, USA

‘The Incredibles’ film. 

A small team including myself, programmers and developers went to Pixar to offer advice and demonstrate existing solutions for creating crowd simulations.


Weta Digital – Wellington, NEW ZEALAND

James Cameron's 'AVATAR' film.

Avatar is the single biggest achievement in digital film making to date. The technical team pushed the limits of what was possible and as a result needed help from the development teams in Autodesk. A colleague and myself visited the MotionBuilder team to help resolve limitations they faced with the software. The motion capture they were doing was not just for the actors but also for full camera rigs so the director and cinematographers were able to move real world cameras within digital environments. The huge volumes of data produced by these workflows required them to receive early access to 64 bit versions of software that were in development and we connected them with the technology teams within Autodesk to further optimise their data pipeline.


‘The Lord of the Rings’ films.

Throughout the production of the 3 Lord of the Rings films I visited Weta Digital on numerous occasions to increase productivity by analyzing their workflow and implementing new software solutions, help solve major issues with their production pipeline by custom software development with Autodesk developers and to provide training in new software.


Lucasfilm – SINGAPORE

‘Star Wars – The Clone Wars’ film.

At this time I was living in Singapore and spent a lot of time in the Lucasfilm Singapore offices helping to build a production pipeline from the ground up, incorporating best practices and custom software developed in Los Angeles by Industrial Light & Magic. A dual art pipeline was established so that assets could be reused from the film for the computer game titles.


Animal Logic – Sydney, AUSTRALIA

‘Happy Feet’ film.

Animal Logic chose to work with Motion Capture for much of the animation in this film in a highly mixed pipeline incorporating Autodesk and other 3rd party software. Data translation between the various products was the main challenge to overcome and a custom file format was developed to solve these issues. My involvement was liaising between artists, technical directors and software developers.


Crest Communications – Mumbai, INDIA

Crest are the largest animation house in India with over 500 employees working on many animated television series for clients around the world. With many different teams working on separate projects, after a deep analysis of the different teams pipelines, I helped establish a coherent, company-wide pipeline, utilizing best practices from the various divisions to increase production capabilities and finally the implementation of asset management systems.


Sega – Shanghai, CHINA

‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ game series.

The Sega team in China were working on several game titles including the ever popular Sonic the Hedgehog series. 3 different 3d software packages were being used and the pipeline was in need of a major overhaul which I helped implement and oversee.



I had a long term relationship with many EA offices across the world, working on numerous projects including pipeline consultancy and development, custom software development and training.