Gravity FX has just opened a new West Coast office in Santa Monica, lead by Karin Levinson, to work on some of their new contracts like ‘Arthur’ and ‘Crazy, Stupid Love’. In particular, I find this comment about the recent VFX house failures a bit blunt.
Levinson told Daily Variety that Gravity will expand gradually, depending on its L.A. workflow, and said Gravity wants to avoid the fate of Asylum and CafeFX, California-based mid-sized vfx studios that folded recently.
“Our expansion plans are to evolve methodically and strategically so we remain fiscally responsible while growing our company,” she said.
I’m not sure rapid expansion was what killed those houses, rather I always thought it was incredibly slim margins and bad contracts.
Update: I got a response from Gravity’s PR department mentioning a few “inaccuracies” in my coverage.
- “Arthur” was awarded through Gravity’s NY office, not its Santa Monica office.
- Karin Levinson wasn’t discussing failures re: Aslyum or CafeFX, but rather commenting on the economic climate and Gravity’s HAVING to be fiscally responsible in this decision to expand into the West Coast. Gravity had an extremely high opinion of both CafeFX and Aslyum’s work, and it was sobering to see that those two houses could shutter their doors (given the caliber of what they produced) due to the economic climate –they had to make the tough decision.
- Gravity’s expansion into LA has not been RAPID by any means. Karin did not imply, on any level, that Aslyum and/or CafeFX closed their operations due to any expansionary plans.
My only response is that if he didn’t imply it, then Variety sure wanted it to look like he did. Just look at what they wrote:
Levinson told Daily Variety that Gravity will expand gradually … wants to avoid the fate of Asylum and CafeFX, California-based mid-sized vfx studios that folded recently.
I wouldn’t put it past a clever reporter to start implying things that weren’t said, but I have to imagine that it was rolling around Levinson’s head, even if he didn’t say it out loud.