GigaPix Opens Mega Studio for CG Features

CG animation company GigaPix Studios is ramping up to challenge the majors in the computer-generated feature film biz. The company has set up headquarters in a 32,000 square foot facility in Chatsworth, Calif. with the goal of producing feature films, television series and TV spots.

Formed in 2002, GigaPix is headed by CEO Chris Blauvelt and president John Savage. "GigaPix Studios enters the market at an opportune time for the independent," notes Blauvelt. "Financing for moderate-budgeted, well-crafted CG features with great storytelling is readily available."

There are currently four feature productions in development at GigaPix–an adventure comedy titled Junk Bots, an irreverent rabbit fantasy titled Twilight, a sci-fi thriller titled Alien SAR and a super hero spoof titled Hypnopig. In addition, the studio will soon announce the start of a $30 million, 90-minute theatrical film tied to a major theme park in development in the western U.S.

Having produced several short projects, including corporate-related works for Merrill Lynch, GigaPix is building its feature pipeline and plans to add 15 new artists over the next 90 days. According to Savage, the studio will eventually have 120 to 160 artist workstations to accommodate its feature production staff.

Savage, who is responsible for spearheading content creation and licensing acquisition, started his career as a traditional artist and spent more than a decade in the video game industry before moving to California. As technical director for Netter Digital Entertainment, he contributed to such CG TV productions as Max Steel for Sony Pictures Ent. and the Emmy award-winning mini-series, Dune, for the SCI-FI Channel. After Netter, he joined Foundation Imaging, working as TD on the Sony Video Game, Twisted Metal Black. In addition, he was heavily involved in the CG work for Power Puff Girls–The Movie, working with Savage Frog.

"We are excited about this new era of development and production that has essentially leveled the playing field between the large production and distribution powerhouses and the small independent studios," comments Savage. He says the studio will keep costs low and maintain creative control in the U.S. by using a smaller, more mobile domestic talent pool and overseas technical and programming staffs, all networked together through high-speed Internet connections.