Rising Sun Pictures, one of the world’s best-known visual effects companies, has been acquired by FuseFX, a U.S. effects company owned by EagleTree Capital. The move comes at a time when Australian film and production services sectors are booming due to the country’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.
The agreement was announced on Rising Sun’s website. Deal terms were not disclosed.
Rising Sun Pictures, which is based in Adelaide and Sydney, and has worked on films including “Mortal Kombat,” “Game of Thrones,” “Thor: Ragnarok” and Chinese blockbuster “The Eight Hundred,” said that there will be no operational changes to its business. Rising Sun co-founder Tony Clark will continue to lead the studio and it will still operate under the Rising Sun Pictures brand. The combined FuseFX and Rising Sun companies have nearly 800 artists at eight locations across the globe.
“Our vision for Rising Sun Pictures is to be a cornerstone component of the next generation global full-service visual effects company, and with the FuseFX partnership, we can achieve this vision to ensure that we stay at the forefront of visual effects production and remain a trusted creative partner to our clients,” said Clark in a statement. “RSP will embark on an expansion plan over the next few years, and we’re grateful to be partnering with (FuseFX founder and CEO) David Altenau and the team at FuseFX to help fully realize RSP’s potential.”
The move was welcomed by the South Australian state government. “South Australia is enjoying a golden age in the production of film, television and streaming services, and the decision by FuseFX to invest in Adelaide vindicates the Marshall Government’s ambitious strategy,” said minister for innovation and skills, David Pisoni.
Australia has recovered from the coronavirus far ahead of other parts of the world. International film and TV production and post-production work are being drawn to the country by generous government incentives, which were expanded last year. Australia’s offset scheme currently provides a 30% rebate for post, digital and visual effects production. That is further enhanced by an additional 10% incentive on South Australian PDV work and by the still weak Australian dollar.
To accommodate the inflow, Rising Sun Pictures recently took over a renovated building next door to its main Adelaide facilities. That added 480sq m (5,167sq ft) of space, enough for 80 artists, a cinema-style screening room, and sound-proofed meeting and review facilities.
FuseFX was founded in 2006 by Altenau, Tim Jacobsen and Jason Fotter. It now provides full-service visual effects for episodic television, feature films, commercials, virtual and VR productions. The company has seven studio locations: its flagship studio in Los Angeles, as well as New York, Atlanta, and Vancouver. The company’s studios in Montréal, Toronto, and Bogotá are serviced by Folks VFX.