ONE look out the window from Richard Pritchard’s home office confirms that he made the right decision moving from Sydney to Warrnambool with his family six months ago.
An impressive view of Lady Bay and the Fletcher Jones silver ball provides the backdrop to the two computer screens where Mr Pritchard toils away on concept design and computer graphics work for Brisbane-based visual effects company ALT VFX.
It’s a long way from his time working 15-hour days creating computer animation for Hollywood blockbusters such as Happy Feet and Prometheus while commuting three hours a day through Sydney.
These days, the 39-year-old works three days a week for ALT VFX and two days on his own projects.
“What I say to my friends is ‘you live on less but you live more’,” he said of moving to the south-west with his Warrnambool-born wife Rose and their two young children.
“It’s absolutely heaven.
“You could rent on the river here ... or get ocean frontage ... and for the same amount you’d get a three-bedroom house in a slum in Sydney.”
Mr Pritchard also worked on Happy Feet 2, the upcoming Mad Max: Fury Road, and George Miller’s aborted Justice League movie, but now his work focus is ads, creating concept designs and computer graphics for Tooheys, Pepsi and more.
Working remotely from home necessitates the occasional trip to Brisbane or Sydney to meet with clients, but he said the move to Warrnambool had paid off because it had given him more family time.
“Instead of doing three hours in commuting, I can do three hours longer at work and not compromise on family time,” he said.
“The biggest advantage to working remotely ... is I can work more hours on any given day and still be with my family or I can take the hours off and make the time up later.”
Outside of work, the New Zealand-born artist said he was loving the south-west landscape.
“It’s a beautiful place,” he said, highlighting Childers Cove, Port Fairy and Portland.
“Tower Hill is a great place to take the kids to, and the huge parks (like Lake Pertobe) for the kids are fantastic.
“And it’s a 15-minute job to the beach. We lived in Hornsby (in Sydney) and a 15-minute drive would only get you to the next suburb.”