Deluxe’s new Method

Arms combine feature, spot expertise

Deluxe Entertainment Services Group announced Wednesday it has combined its two vfx houses and their U.S. and international offices under the new name Method Studios.

Prior to the rebranding the two companies were known as CIS Visual Effects and Method, the latter of which Deluxe had acquired from Ascent Media in December 2010. CIS had a strong reputation for its feature projects and Method had built its clientele largely on commercial projects. According to executive VP Dan Glass, these combined abilities open Method Studios up to a many different projects.

“There’s a wide range of services we can offer,” Glass told Variety. “The idea was to build on the strengths of these two companies together for our clients.”

Glass, an accomplished vfx supervisor and producer who most recently worked on “Tree of Life” as an independent senior vfx supervisor, will be part of a leadership team at the new company that includes former Weta Digital chief technology officer Paul Ryan, who will serve as VP of technology.

The combined companies also set up clients to use their services all over the world. Before the formation of Method Studios, CIS had offices in Vancouver and Hollywood and Method had locations in London, Santa Monica and New York. Method Studios now operates the offices in Vancouver, London and New York. And, as part of the restructuring, the CIS Hollywood location was folded into the Santa Monica offices. The total number of staff overall hovers around 350, though it varies depending on what current projects require.

Method worked on “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” and “Fast Five.” Future credits include “J. Edgar” and “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.”

Multiple locations also mean multiple opportunities to take advantage of incentives in the U.S. and internationally.

“Regional tax incentives are a big part of our business these days,” said Glass. “We know it’s important for many productions.”

In addition to visual effects, Method Studios also does a variety of stereoscopic services for film production and their sister organization, Company 3, has a full stereoscopic color-grading suite located in the same building as Method Studios’ Santa Monica facility. This suite was used on “Alice in Wonderland.”In May, Deluxe Entertainment Services Group also acquired the privately owned 2D-to-3D conversion company StereoD. Glass said it’s all part of a plan to expand their services.

“It’s also a belief that there’s a value in a trusted brand,” said Glass. “Deluxe is a very known, present and trusted in the film community and the goal is to offer a vfx service and other post services that have that same trust.”

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