F/x house Digital Domain gets $31 mil
Visual effects house Digital Domain, recently acquired by an investor group led by helmer Michael Bay, is getting an infusion of cash.GunnAllen Financial and Falcon Investment Advisors are putting $31 million into the company. Rafael Fogel, a principal at Falcon, will join the board of directors. Boston-based Falcon is one of the equity partners behind Legendary Pictures. GunnAllen is a Tampa, Fla.-based investment firm and brokerage that represents high-net-worth individuals. “Clearly, Falcon’s experience and reputation in the entertainment industry made them a very attractive investor for us,” Digital Domain CEO Carl Stork told Daily Variety. “We see them being able to help us with their contacts and insights.” F/x house was acquired in May by Wyndcrest Holdings. Wyndcrest includes Bay, Stork, Digital Domain chairman John Textor and former Miami Dolphins QB Dan Marino. Company had promised to reinvigorate Digital Domain at the time and cites this investment as “a promise kept.” Stork told Daily Variety, “Everything we’ve seen about the company and the industry has borne out our investment hypothesis. We’re seeing a trend toward more use of computer graphics and more production staying in the pure digital domain, so we’re investing toward becoming a full turnkey digital production facility. Digital Domain was long considered one of the “big four” vfx houses, but it has been eclipsed in features in recent years by New Zealand’s Weta Digital and companies in Blighty. Its commercials division retains its top reputation and continues to earn kudos in the advertising and musicvideo worlds. Company said it plans to use the money for “general corporate purposes,” including paying down debt and expanding technological support for its feature film, commercials and digital visual effects software business units.