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Visual Effects House Rhythm & Hues Sold to Prana Studios Affiliate

by
March 31, 2013
Source: LA Times

Rhythm & Hues - Prana Studios

In what is hopefully a step forward towards calming the turmoil in the visual effects industry, Rhythm & Hues, the effects house behind Life of Pi, had acquired a new owner in a bankruptcy auction last week. Founded in 1987, Rhythm & Hues has been a powerhouse Hollywood digital effects studio for many years, but encountered trouble when a deal fell apart in 2013 and they went bankrupt, leaving hundreds of angry employees waiting for a paycheck. Many of them protested the Oscars this year and started the green avatar movement. Rhythm & Hues has been sold to a holding company that also owns VFX house Prana Studios.

While news about the sale of Prana Studios, with offices in Mumbai, India and Los Angeles, was "delayed" due to a legal hold-up regarding approval, a press release was issued as confirmation. "Our partnership will allow R&H to continue the business of creating world-class digital imagery," said Jeffrey A. Okun, Senior VP, VFX, Prana Studios. "While remaining a stand-alone company focusing on cutting-edge visual effects and innovative technology, R&H will be complimented by Prana's world-class long-form animation. Our complimentary talents and relationships will create a new, best-in-class one-stop boutique provider of digital imagery to clients globally. With the additional support of our strong investor group, we are confident R&H will continue to be the innovative quality leader in our field that they’ve been for 30 years."

This seems to be a mutual partnership that should benefit both effects studios and the entire industry, but we have yet to see how things shape up in the VFX industry from here. On Friday, March 29th, 2013, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Neil Bason approved Prana affiliate, 34×118 Holdings Inc., as the winner after a two-day auction. "This is a positive outcome to a difficult situation," said Lee Berger, Rhythm & Hues President, "and we are thrilled to be able to put this process behind us. We are grateful for Prana's support as well as the support of their investor group, and are excited to begin the next chapter of R&H’s history."

R&H is a global production powerhouse for the creation of visual effects and animation for Hollywood films. Among its 145 screen credits are Life of Pi, The Golden Compass and Babe, Academy Award winners for Achievement in Visual Effects, (in 2012, 2008, and 1995 respectively). R&H is also the recipient of four Scientific and Technical Awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). With headquarters in El Segundo, California, and additional facilities in Mumbai & Hyderabad India; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Vancouver, Canada; and Kaohsiung, Taiwan - R&H Films offers filmmakers a dynamic creative resource with a vast array of technology and talent. For more info, visit Rhythm & Hues or Prana.

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  • Linkfx
    Hmmmm...
  • Sal Featherstone
    Hopefully all the little crybabies making 6-figure salaries can have normal avatars now...
    • 3v0
      You obviously have no idea what you're talking about. Average starting salary for a VFX artist where I live is around 35-40k with crunch-time equaling between 70-90 hours a week. Do the math. You're looking at 10-12 an hour before tax.
    • http://twitter.com/RayHardlyKnows Ray Hartley
      I wish there was a way to downvote your post so far into oblivion we would forget that it was ever posted... who even mentioned 6 figures?
    • lattimore
      As someone working in the industry - I personally know plenty of VFX guys quite comfortably making 6 figures. Of course if you're talking averages, yes there are plenty of junior grunts doing nothing but hours upon hours of boring rotoscoping work for far much less.....but thats the same in all industries.
    • Alex O
      Wow. This is the most uneducated comment I have ever seen. You really have no clue how much VFX artists make.
    • jackofseveraltrades
      As a vfx artist myself, I can tell you there are very, VERY few senior artists who make can that much. Being freelancers, it's a feast and famine type of industry in that we have no job stability. (It is normal to be out of work for a few months, and then work 12 hour days 7 day weeks for a couple months). Those who make 100k (which I haven't met any at all) are probably senior artists who have full time positions at ILM. Most artists make between 40-60k per year, it usually varies because again, no job stability.
      • jackofseveraltrades
        ps: that's 40-60k in the US, or at least Los Angeles. It's less in other places like Vancouver and MUCH less in India and China. Though I don't know about countries like Australie or New Zealand.
        • lattimore
          You must work in very small circles dude. or mustn't be that good! (sorry to be so direct) A good freelancer can easily earn US$1k per day and that rate ultimately varies based on capabilities. As a producer I deal with this every day, so I do know what I'm talking about. The truly good artists are hard to snap up as they are easily booked on projects for most of the year. There are certainly hundreds upon thousands of struggling so-so operators (and I use that word intentionally, as you have to be exceptional to be labeled 'Artist' IMO) looking for gigs on a daly basis. It's a tough business and just like any other if you want the big bucks you have to be really good at your job!
          • lattimore
            P.S. If you're good you'll aways have work!......if your serious send us a link to your portfolio and I'll check it out.
  • Terry Clotiaux
    I personally could care less what any of you blue collar VFX monkeys are crying over. You are all making too much.

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