The visual effects company believes there are huge opportunities for commercials work.
Framestore is a pioneer, at least when it comes to where it sets up shop.
The visual effects company is bucking a trend by moving into Los Angeles at a time when the industry can't get out of the city fast enough.
Over the past decade more than a dozen visual-effects companies, including Oscar-winning shops like Digital Domain and Rhythm & Hues, have filed for bankruptcy or closed down. They are the victims of an increasingly globalized business that routinely finds studios shipping their special effects work to other states or countries in search of the most lucrative subsidies.
Yet this month Framestore officially opened a branch in Culver City. The company, which also has outposts in London, New York and Montreal, believes there are still opportunities in Los Angeles. It's just not focused on the film business that many associate with the city.
Though the company derives roughly half of their revenue from film productions like "World War Z," "Iron Man 3" and the upcoming space adventure "Gravity," Framestore is migrating in search of more commercial work.
"We will be concentrating on the advertising opportunities," Jon Collins, president of integrated advertising worldwide, told TheWrap. "One of the reasons we’re opening is that we’ve lost business from friends of ours, who work with us, and who have for many years said, 'look even though it’s supposed to be a smaller world, people still want to walk down to the office and have a conversation with you eye to eye.'"
In particular, Collins and Head of Integrated Production Jonathan Shipman said the resurgence of the American car industry is driving business westward to Los Angeles, where the advertising agencies of the Big Three auto companies reside.
Commercial and advertising work has not been a victim of runaway production, they argue.
"There’s a huge divergence with what’s happening in visual effects in the film world and what’s happening in the commercial world," Shipman said. "What drives a lot of the decisions in film is purely cost, whereas in the commercial world it’s not driven by those tax incentives."
Roughly twenty of Framestore's more than 600 employees will be based in Los Angeles in a newly constructed office designed by David Howell of DHD and RAC Design Build.
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