Magnet, Prime Focus ink pact

Deal covers three action-adventure thrillers

Magnet Media Group and visual effects specialist Prime Focus have signed a co-production deal for three pics, each carrying a budget of $20 million to $30 million.

The films will be futuristic and vfx-heavy action-adventure thrillers shot in Germany in co-operation with Cologne’s MMC Studios. The companies made the joint announcement at Cannes.

Prime Focus has provided vfx for “Tron: Legacy,” “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” and “Avatar” along with 2D-3D conversion with its View-D system, which was used to convert “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.”

“We have been providing visual effects services for a long time to producers, directors, networks and major studios,” said Shail Shah of Prime Focus. “Now is the time to become more involved on the content side of the business.”

Shah said the partnership arose from discussions with Magnet Media president Jeanette Buerling during production of her Halle Berry thriller “Dark Tide,” adding, “We realized her ambitions are exactly in line with ours.”

MMC studios have been used for “Amelie,” Stephen Frears’ “Cheri” and David Cronenberg’s “A Dangerous Method.” MMC’s Bastie Griese said the VFX films will help attract more H’wood pics.As part of the announcement, Magnet Media said it’s expanding into Germany with offices run by Frank Wegerhoff, who will be responsible for German productions including the three VFX thrillers.

“Prime Focus’ infrastructure and talent make them a perfect partner and the films we are co-producing with them are the ideal vehicle to launch our German office division and further enhance our global presence,” Buerling said.

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