F/X house options spec, develops series

Visual f/x and digital entertainment production house Netter Digital Entertainment has expanded into galaxies beyond its sci-fi series “Babylon 5,” now in its fifth and final season exclusively on TNT.

The company is producing two new sci-fi shows. The first, “Crusade,” is, like its forerunner “Babylon 5,” being produced under the Babylonian Prods. banner by Netter Digital exec VP John Copeland. Company founder and CEO Douglas Netter and show creator J. Michael Straczynski (who also created “Babylon 5″) are exec producing.

The show, which will air next June on TNT, has a new cast and will be more of an action-adventure series as opposed to the more cerebral “Babylon 5.”

For kids

The second show, “Voltron: The Third Dimension,” is a syndicated children’s program that Netter claims is the first all 3-D computer-animated series produced in the U.S. Owned by World Events Prods., the series is co-produced by Netter Digital Entertainment and Mike Young Prods.

According to Jason Netter, VP of business development, “Voltron” marks the first time a fully 3-D animated show has been done on an NT platform as well as being the first to exclusively use motion capture.

In addition to its television projects, Netter Digital has optioned a spec screenplay, “Safecracker,” which it is producing for theatrical release at an estimated $20 million budget. The action-thriller is written by Eric Garcia from a story by Robert and Anne Kurtzman. Robert Kurtzman (“Wes Craven Presents: Wishmaster”) will direct. Netter will provide the visual f/x and Kurtzman’s K.N.B. EFX Group will create the animatronics.

The high-six-figure script deal was brokered by attorney Leslie Abell for Netter and Dean Schramm of the Jim Preminger Agency and attorney Matthew Fladell for the Kurtzmans and Garcia.

Expanding horizons

Netter Digital, which moved into larger facilities in North Hollywood last July, is offering its services to outside clients under Netter Digital Technologies. Prior to this, the company had been primarily concerned with producing and creating the visuals for “Babylon 5,” the last episode of which runs Wednesday.

Jason Netter said the company keeps digital f/x costs low by primarily using desktop computers and the NT platform.

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