As bankrupt visual effects company Rhythm & Hues sheds staff and overhead, key members of its Design Division have set up their own company dubbed Eevolver.
R&H’s Design Division was a revenue-generating division within the company. It created concept art and prototypes to secure contracts for features and commercials. The formation of Eevolver essentially makes it possible for other visual effects studios to hire the talent formerly attached exclusively to R&H.
Eevolver executive producer Stacy Burstin said the new company, which is already open for business, develops documents, artwork and models that can be handed off to any visual effects facility that’s once the project is fully greenlit. R&H will continue to have an art department capable of doing some of the same work but Eevolver expects R&H to be one of its clients, Burstin said.
The creation of Eevolver allows R&H to reduce staff and overhead costs, as many of the artists who had been design division staffers will move to the new entity. There they be independent contractors rather than permanent full-time staff. “The overhead for upfront work for film and commercials has to be at a lower cost,” said Burstin, who was head of the R&H Design Division for some 15 years. Some of the art directors, designers and artists now affiliated with Eevolver had similarly lengthy service there.
Among the credits for former R&H Design Division staffers who’ve moved to Eevolver are: digital environments for “Snow White and the Huntsman” and “Life of Pi”; and visual effects concepts for “The Hunger Games” and “X-Men: First Class.”
One Design Division client who has shifted to working with Eevolver is Ross Bagdasarian, whose company controls “Alvin and the Chipmunks.” Eevolver artists were among those who helped develop the CG versions of the classic cartoon characters. Rhythm & Hues supplied the CG visual effects for the recent “Alvin and the Chipmunks” features.