AtomFilms stocks up on PixelWave

Netcaster deal to help launch online Atom Studio

HOLLYWOOD — AtomFilms has acquired Web design shop PixelWave in an undisclosed stock deal to create an inhouse animation production arm and produce interactive entertainment content for businesses, the Netcaster is expected to announce today.

Although financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, Seattle-based AtomFilms is said to be offering the nine-person Pasadena, Calif., outfit a portion of its privately held stock.

Through the acquisition, AtomFilms plans to expand its offerings to online filmmakers, launching what it calls the Atom Studio, enabling producers of animated shorts, for example, to expand the pics into a weekly series for online auds out of its inhouse facility, partly funded by AtomFilms itself.

Plans reach fruition

AtomFilms said it has been planning to open such a facility since its launch earlier this year, to offer more services to filmmakers.

AtomFilms, which will operate the studio out of PixelWave’s facilities in Pasadena, will also acquire exclusive rights to PixelWave’s original episodic programming series for online and offline distribution, including non-entertainment-related businesses.

Targeting consumers

The deal further signals that AtomFilms wants to appeal to the consumer market rather than buddy up to Hollywood the way competitor IFilm has opted to do.

“PixelWave delivers an important ingredient toward our vision of being a broader-based entertainment company,” said Mika Salmi, founder and CEO of AtomFilms. “Our focus has always been to partner with independent filmmakers and content creators.”

Founded in 1998, PixelWave has designed Web projects for Warner Bros., SciFi.com, Broadcast.com, Sprint and Columbia TriStar television. It recently launched “The Stock Market Psychic,” an animated icon whose reactions change depending on how a user’s stock has performed.

AtomFilms will include the property on its site and license the technology to others.

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