×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Tired of Waiting for VFX Work, Tippett Turns to Consumer App

Famed creature maker supplying animated characters for Efexio app

Famed creature maker Phil Tippett and his newly remonikered shingle Tippett FX aren’t waiting for the visual effects business in California to recover. Instead, the company has moved into the consumer space — a major departure for such an important visual effects studio.

Tippett has launched the One Stop Creature Shop, which supplies animated creatures consumers can put into their own videos using the Efexio app from Pixelux Entertainment.  An Efexio commercial, with screen credit for Tippett, is running ahead of  monsters-vs.-robots feature “Pacific Rim” this weekend.

“It’s a way for us to utilize the talents that we have and rebrand a little bit,” said Tippett FX co-owner Jules Roman. “It’s using the talent we have and putting it into the market place with a different revenue model, a very direct revenue model. And obviously we’re looking for other things to do rather sit around and moan about the state of the visual-effects industry. Which we still do sometimes, because it’s fun.”

The One Stop Creature Shop offers 12- to 15-second clips of animated creatures such as dinosaurs, zombies, robots and aliens that users can insert into their own video. Consumers can’t change the performance of the animated creatures, but creatures can be made larger or smaller, moved forward or backward in space to fit in the video, and can be lit to match the scene. That sets the Tippett/Efexio offering apart from similar apps, Roman said.

Efexio is available for iOS, Mac and Windows PC devices. It is a free download and comes with one free effect. Animations cost from $0.99 to $1.99. The pro versions of Efexio, which can output video in HD, is priced at $4.99 and $9.99. Efexio plans to release a new effect each month.

There have long been predictions that eventually visual effects and animation companies would eventually thrive shift from creating content to selling tools so consumers can make their own content — just as Kodak initially thrived by supplying the public with the ability to take snapshots, rather than having to go into a photo studio for portraits. But such products from vfx and animation companies have been slow to appear so far.

Corey Rosen, Tippett’s head of creative marketing, added: “We’re looking at the things we create in a different way than we do when we’re working for a big studio or a big movie, where we’re focused on the shot or the creature. This is a totally inverse model. We’re creating performances and looking out and saying ‘OK, what are you going to do with the stuff that we make, rather than making stuff for you to consumer.”

Tippett himself, famous for such classic f/x as the Imperial Walkers in “The Empire Strikes Back” and the dinosaurs in “Jurassic Park,” has taken a hand in creating the Creature Shop animations.

“Nothing has been lifted from movies,” Roman said. “It’s all unique things that we created and own and therefore are licensing to Efexio. We are creating a YouTube community channel and hope to be hosting little competitions, and hoping to get people to upload their movies and give us feedback so we can decide what the next thing to do is in terms of making more animations for them. If robots are the thing, we’ll make more robots.”

Tippett FX posted a fake trailer on YouTube, in the style of classic creature features, to show how the Efexio app can be used. Tippett FX, which is in the midst of changing its name from Tippett Studio, recently downsized as the “Twilight” franchise wrapped and vfx work has become scarcer for U.S.-based companies.

Tippett’s talks with Pixelux began when a Tippett researcher met the owner of Pixelux at the Siggraph computer graphics conference. Pixelux makes software commonly used in feature vfx production, but it had no content for Efexio. “We just realized ‘Oh my God, this is an amazing opportunity.’ Also it seemed different from anything in the marketplace. So we thought let’s just jump in and do this. And we’ll just see.”

More Film

  • Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman Starring in

    Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman Starring in 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' for Netflix

    Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman will star in the movie adaptation of the play “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” for Netflix. George C. Wolfe (“Lackawanna Blues”) will direct from a script by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, based on the award-winning play by August Wilson. Other cast include Glynn Turman, Colman Domingo (“If Beale Street Could Talk”) and Michael Potts. Denzel [...]

  • Crazy Bitches

    Why the CASE Act Will Empower Creatives to Fight the Horrors of Piracy

    Our horror film, “Crazy Bitches,” was released on Valentine’s Day 2015. We invested in an online marketing campaign that resulted in two times the industry clickthrough rate and 2.6M social media impressions in the week leading up to the release. So, we had reason to expect a successful return. What we didn’t count on was [...]

  • Alamo Drafthouse LA

    Alamo Drafthouse to Open in Downtown Los Angeles in July

    The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema chain is planning to open its first Los Angeles location with a “soft launch” in early July in the city’s downtown. The Texas-based chain, which has 38 locations, specializes food and drink service with unique programming. It announced Wednesday that the Los Angeles site, located at the Bloc, would offer an [...]

  • Max Landis Dropped by Manager Following

    Max Landis Dropped by Manager Following Sexual Assault Allegations

    Max Landis has been dropped as a client by his manager, a day after sexual assault allegations emerged against the  screenwriter. “I do not represent Max Landis,” Britton Rizzio at Writ Large Management told Variety in a statement. Landis is facing allegations of sexual abuse and psychological manipulation from eight women who told their stories [...]

  • Fox Layoffs

    Another Round of Layoffs Hit Disney and 20th Century Fox Film Divisions (EXCLUSIVE)

    Another round of layoffs are going down for employees merged in Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox, individuals with knowledge of the company told Variety. The Wednesday reduction is the smallest round the studio has enacted since formally acquiring the film and TV assets of 20th Century in March, with a few dozen employees being [...]

  • Lin-Manuel Miranda

    Netflix Lands Lin-Manuel Miranda's 'Tick, Tick... Boom!' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Following a heated bidding war, Netflix has walked away with the rights to “Tick, Tick… Boom!” a musical adaptation to be directed by “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. Sources say Andrew Garfield is the top choice to star, though no deal is done. “Dear Evan Hansen” writer Steven Levenson adapting the script based on the original [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content