Showbiz Update: Canada - The West - TV

With fewer than 200 employees, vfx house Zoic Studios is not a particularly large company, but you wouldn’t know it by its TV credits. In Vancouver alone, Zoic has worked on projects such as “Battlestar Galactica,” “V,” “Falling Skies, “Chuck” and the upcoming “Once Upon a Time.” But that list is a sampling of its TV, feature, commercials and videograme credits.

Perhaps the secret to its success is Zoic’s approach to the visual effects a production will use. “We always ask the question: Does it (vfx) add value to the story?,” says co-founder and creative director Loni Peristere. “And if it doesn’t, do we need it?”

Zoic has proven itself as a collaborative partner with producers — an open dialogue with Zoic often begins as early as the writing stage.

“We love to poke our nose into the story department and the development department, and basically get in there on the ground floor,” says Peristere.

“They bring us in as an expert in our field to know what’s ‘cool,’?” adds co-founder/vfx supervisor Andrew Orloff.

The technology, he insists, is there to tell a story, not as a means by itself: “It’s like a paint brush — a piece of software you create so that you can further express the creative desires of people that we work for.”

Zoic is known for creating signature looks for its clients. “When ‘Falling Skies’ wants to know what a new alien species looks like … that’s what Zoic does,” says Orloff. “We work with shows that need very specific creative collaboration to give them that signature they need to stand out.”

Zoic has proven to have a knack for genre shows like “True Blood.”

Although Zoic works in other media too, it has focused on television vfx. “When we created Zoic, we wanted to treat television with the sort of seriousness that it deserved,” says Peristere.

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