London is currently in the ascendant as the home of high end vfx but a little bit of that kudos may be heading back to LA too.
DNegTV, the television arm of vfx house Double Negative, has announced it is to set up a new team based in Los Angeles, headed up by former Stargate Studios’ head of production, Andy Williams.
DNegTV, set up three years ago, has worked on shows including Emerald City (NBC), BrainDead (CBS), Fortitude (Sky) and Agent Carter (Marvel TV).
Exec producer and co-founder Louise Hussey says that the move is, in the first instance, a practical one. “We’ve been building relationships with US broadcasters and gaining some traction. While it works very well for the feature side of DNeg to have clients in LA but not have an office there, for TV the turnaround times and the speed of decisions means it’s helpful to have a presence in LA for faster communication."
For TV clients on tight deadlines, the time difference can make all the difference. “Clearly for some clients it can be frustrating. If it’s the middle of the night here and they need something answered, while we’re quite happy to be up a lot of the night, we also need sleep.”
There’s also the desire from some of the US clients to be working closer to home, says Hussey. “Even with all the communication technology in the world, sometimes being in a room with somebody can make the biggest difference.”
But it’s also about accessing a new talent pool, she says. “There’s a heap of talent in LA. We want to be able to access some of that.” And there’s a lot of talent that’s been forced out as LA’s vfx industry has declined. “There are an awful lot of artists who’ve had to move away to Vancouver who might prefer to be doing great work in LA. We’re going to be offering some really big TV shows.”
But while the LA presence will be real, much of the work will still happen in London. “This is not about taking work out of London, it’s about creating new work from LA and sharing it with London.”