×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Visual Effects Giants Prime Focus World, Double Negative to Merge

Updated 9:00 a.m. PDTPrime Focus World and Double Negative have agreed to merge in a deal that represents a major shakeup at the top of the visual effects business.

The combined entity will be the world’s largest provider of visual effects, animation and 3D conversion services. It will have the Double Negative name, and be led by DNeg managing director Alex Hope and CEO Matthew Holben. “We’ve made it clear from our side: You guys run visual effects, we’ll run 3D conversion and animation,” Prime Focus founder and CEO Namit Malhotra told Variety.

Prime Focus will hold 80% to 85% of shares following merger, Malhotra said in a TV interview today. Hope and Holben will run be members of the new company’s board, with Malhotra as board chairman.

Said Malhotra, “We have ceded control to them. They’ve embarked on a strategy to take Double Negative global. That means: They’ve got to have Canada, they’ve got to have China, they’ve got to have India, and they will make sure the Double Negative gold standard of service is inducted into those locations.”

London-based Double Negative is one of the world’s top vfx studios. Christopher Nolan routinely brings his pictures there and the company won an Oscar for his “Inception.” His next picture, “Interstellar,” is in production there now. The company has also announced a feature animation division.

Hope said that Double Negative and Prime Focus have been partnering “on and off” for the past three years, beginning with “Total Recall.” The two companies worked together on the upcoming “Hercules” (pictured).

Prime Focus World is the creative services branch of Indian company Prime Focus. PFW has branches in Los Angeles, Vancouver, New York, London, Dubai, Mumbai and China. and provides vfx, animation and 3D conversion.

Malhotra told Variety this merger will not simply mean that PFW’s branches will be re-branded with the Double Negative name. Hope and Holben will have free reign to look at PFW’s existing visual effects technology and infrastructure and choose what to keep, said Malhotra. PFW’s London location will exit the vfx business and focus entirely on 3D conversion and animation. Malhotra said that as a result of the merger, he expects Double Negative to grow and add jobs.

While it is a large and established company, Prime Focus has been considered a second-tier vfx studio and has long sought to buy its way  into the first rank of visual effects studios; it was a bidder for Rhythm & Hues Studios as that company came out of bankruptcy, and previously pursued Digital Domain when that company was bankrupt and for sale. This merger finally gives Prime Focus the top-flight vfx talent and brand it has long desired.

“We’ve been looking on the visual effects side to add alignment,” said Malhotra, “because in an already crowded market, it’s certainly critical to have a company that has the credibility, the technology and infrastructure to take it to the next step. Double Negative has that talent and quality of work.”

 

 

More Biz

  • Best Books of 2019

    The Best Books of 2019

    Whether you experience stressful days due to your professional position, your demanding family, or simply the barrage of never-ending depressing news, there is often no better way to unwind than with a good book. Letting your imagination wander into a new world unlike your own can be exciting, it can be thought-provoking, but perhaps most [...]

  • Makan Delrahim

    Antitrust Experts Decry DOJ's 'Outrageous' Stance in Writers Guild Case

    Several experts on antitrust law have expressed concern at the stance taken by the Department of Justice in the ongoing legal feud between Hollywood writers and their agents. Three agencies have sued the Writers Guild of America for alleged violations of antitrust law. A key hearing will be held in federal court on Friday, as [...]

  • Bob Bakish Viacom CEO

    Shares of ViacomCBS Dip in First-Day Early Trading

    Shares of the newly combined ViacomCBS were off in early trading, a sign that Wall Street continues to look for new signs of growth after two of the best-known names in entertainment merged to vie with bigger rivals. Shares of the company’s new common stock were off 59 cents, or 1.38%, in late-morning trading on [...]

  • David Cohen (l) Executive Vice President

    Comcast Veteran David Cohen to Step Down

    Longtime Comcast executive David Cohen is stepping down from his operational role overseeing public policy, government relations, diversity and other key corporate functions for the media giant. Comcast said Thursday in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that Cohen, senior executive VP and chief diversity officer, will step down from his operational responsibilities as of [...]

  • Lamar Jackson 49ers

    49ers Broadcaster Suspended After Lamar Jackson 'Dark Skin' Comments

    The San Francisco 49ers have suspended one of its radio color hosts, Tim Ryan, after he made a comment about Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, saying that he is skilled at faking handoffs because of his “dark skin color with a dark football.” Ryan made the comments early on on KNBR’s “Murph and Mac” morning [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content