European VFX and animation studio Platige settled in Manhattan Beach under veteran visual effects executive producer Aurélien Simon and creative director/visual effects supervisor Gawain Liddiard, both hailing from visual effects house The Mill. The studio’s new US operations are moving to its So-Cal campus as it recruits additional creative talent and builds its list of agency and feature credits. Recent work includes a spot for New York-based agency Badger’s Beautyrest, directed by Oscar-winning cinematographer Janusz Kamiński.
“Platige is one of the strongest companies in the visual effects industry,” Simon noted. “While we may not be the most recognized name here, VFX insiders, artists and producers know our work and are aware of our reputation. And that gives Platige a lot to build on.
Karol Żbikowski, Global CEO of Platige, commented: “With all the viewing and content offerings currently available on the internet and various streaming channels and platforms, there has never been a better time for advertising agencies, brands and producers to partner with Platige. Aurélien and Gauvain know the market, they know the talent and they know the landscape. They are perfectly positioned to develop the Platige brand in the United States.
Platige is known in Europe for his work on the popular Netflix series The witcher. Its feature slate includes Oscar-nominated films and its business clients include Samsung, L’Oreal, Pepsi, Gillette, Burberry, Huawei and McDonald’s. He is also known for his video game trailers and cutscenes like Call of Duty and resident Evil.
Simon and Liddiard liken the Platige brand to a secret weapon for customers in the United States.
“We’re not a boutique at all,” Liddiard said, citing the studio’s strength of more than 300 artists, producers and technologists. “We have a tremendous legacy of creative and technical excellence, and accolades such as Oscar nominations and BAFTA wins to prove it.”
“We knew that even though our name may not be as familiar to producers or agencies here as some of the American or British giants, there is always an interest in working with studios that have a proven track record of doing great work. “, added Liddiard. “And that’s Platige in a nutshell.”
Simon expects to take on a mix of entertainment and publicity assignments, with a few additional special projects. He highlights a significant difference in Platige’s pipeline compared to other international visual effects studios when it comes to how global teams are assigned to projects.
“Platige offers a globally distributed production team, rather than keeping each studio separate,” says Simon. “We are adapting our processes to this new globalized landscape. The way we approach jobs is to identify the best artists for each individual project, regardless of their physical location. And so, our productions are spread across different time zones, which not only helps in terms of workflow, but also, it’s respectful of our people and their time. We strive not to subject our staff to the usual nights and weekends so typical of VFX work. And for our customers, we find that the process is faster and more responsive.
Studio management has expressed expectations for expansion into various genres, from theme parks to experiential installations to virtual production.
“The capabilities of our teams, both here in the United States and in our offices in Europe and Japan, are truly impressive,” notes Simon. “We do everything from rendering ads using game engines to partnering with major broadcasters to provide them with virtual sets. There’s really nothing we can’t execute.”
Liddard predicts that the Platige brand will emerge as an attractive alternative to US-based agencies and producers and will be embraced by the industry as an attractive alternative. A smaller studio, more responsive to collaborative work from creative and budgetary considerations, but with greater support than smaller boutique studios.
He adds: “We are here to tell them that we have the same level of quality, without some of the baggage of the larger studios. We have a great value proposition that allows us to stay creatively focused and create the best images possible. »
“What Gawain says is really important,” concludes Simon. “We are a real force, with a lot of muscle that can compete with the biggest names in effects and animation. It will take time to get an idea of our scale, but once people realize what we offer, they will really come to us.
Debbie Diamond Sarto is associate editor at Animation World Network.