Another bit of news that it might be important to keep up with. Sony Pictures Imageworks Its Culver City headquarters shown above) is expanding.
But it won't be happening in Culver City.
MUMBAI: Sony Pictures Imageworks (SPI) has picked up a 51 per cent equity stake in Chennai based visual effects and animation studio FrameFlow.
As part of the deal, FrameFlow will become Imageworks India and will work seamlessly with Sony Pictures Imageworks’ main production facility in Culver City, California.
The newly named entity expects to quadruple its workload in the coming years and deepen its capabilities through investments in infrastructure, technology and training from Sony Pictures Imageworks.
Imageworks India also plans a significant growth in its current talent base of 80 employees. To accommodate anticipated expansion, Imageworks India will relocate to a larger office in Chennai with a seating capacity of up to 300.
"We are extremely excited to announce this partnership with Sony Pictures Imageworks. It’s a testament to the passion and talent of our team and creative leadership of Krishnakant Mishra to receive this supreme validation of the quality of our work,” said FrameFlow co-founder Hitesh Shah, who now becomes co-managing director of the new entity Imageworks India.
FrameFlow’s Indian operation managing director Abhaya Kumar added, “This relationship represents the culmination of our strategic vision to expand and deepen our capabilities through integration with an industry leader like Imageworks. We look at this strategic investment as a part of the continuing Indian Success Story – one that elevates the standing of the whole Indian visual effects and animation industry on the global stage.”
FrameFlow was founded three years ago and has worked with Sony Pictures Imageworks on movies such as Click, Ghost Rider and Spider-Man 3.
“The level of professionalism and quality of work that we experienced in working with the FrameFlow team was exemplary, and gave us the confidence to extend and establish a strong long term relationship. We are very excited about expanding our capacity with Imageworks India in Chennai,” said Sony Pictures Imageworks executive vice president Jenny Fulle, who is now the co-managing director of Imageworks India.
As part of Sony Pictures Imageworks, Imageworks India will continue to provide visual effects and animation services as a resource to the industry.
Animation and effects work is more and more a global industry. I've never believed that this kind of thing means "all the work is going to India," because the pie steadily grows larger and Americans will continue to bake a large slice of it (of course, maybe I'm overly optimistic.)
But one way or the other, this seems to indicate that India will be getting a wedge of Sony's animation and effects work. How that impacts staffing in Culver City remains to be seen.