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Alex Frisch and Vico Sharabani Launch VFX Studio COPA

VFX professionals and creative forces Vico Sharabani and Alex Frisch are launching COPA (Co-Op of Artists), a global collective of elite VFX artists working in the commercial and feature film space.

Press release from COPA:

VFX professionals and creative forces Vico Sharabani and Alex Frisch are launching COPA (Co-Op of Artists), a global collective of elite VFX artists working in the commercial and feature film space. COPA sets a new model in the evolving VFX world, establishing a powerful studio connected via hubs in strategic cities around the world. The new group is structured around COPA headquarters in LA and NY, anchored in NY by EP Yfat Neev, former Rhino and Gravity FX EP, and in LA by acting EP Steve Reiss, former Speedshape and Sea Level VFX EP.

"We are taking high-end VFX work in a never-before-seen model and an A-level team to build not just a company, but a community of the world's best talent," stated Sharabani. "This is a new collaborative model that will upend the current landscape, allowing us to adapt to projects of any scope by taking the best talent in the world anywhere on the planet at any time."

COPA initiates only those artists who have excelled in all aspects of the business: creative, technical, budgeting, scheduling, and client interface. This talent will work in a co-op structure united by the shared value of collaboration.

This talent convenes daily in a common cloud-based online workspace, eliminating constraints of time and distance to give the studio the flexibility its clients demand. Following an ethos of "virtual, but also local," COPA's model provides clients with the face-to-face contact they crave via unique online tools, as well as local spaces to meet and check on work. Each local office is equipped with meeting and viewing spaces, and will soon roll out proprietary technologies the studio is developing.

With their flexible resources, COPA can adapt to a job's particular needs, creating a unique solution for every project. Already, the company has provided manpower and hardware solutions for major studios.

After a year of quietly tweaking this new model with projects for Lincoln and Crayola via McGarry Bowen, COPA is now earning a torrent of interest through word-of-mouth referrals alone. The studio is roaring to life with the release of the music video "Turn me On" for David Guetta and Nicki Minaj, 150 shots for the feature film A Late Quartet, and a new P&G commercial for Leo Burnett directed by Dave Meyers from Radical Media. The studio is lining up new projects, and is ready for more.

While the studio is already galloping along, Frisch and Sharabani came together only recently.

Frisch, co-founder of Method Studios, has been working on this new business model for more than 2 years. "Meeting with Vico less than a year ago was the catalyst that ignited COPA and brought our common visions to life," Frisch said.

Sharabani, founder of the incredibly successful RhinoFX, is returning to the VFX fray after a year-long industry sabbatical, during which time he had his second child, got involved in the TED community, and dedicating time to nonprofit and environmental work.

"It's like I met another me," noted Frisch. "We both moved to the US in the late 90s and started what turned out to be wildly successful VFX shops in 1998 and left them at around the same time in 2009. Now we're both ready to re-imagine the future of VFX together."

The studio's global collaborative network includes COPA Headquarters in Los Angeles and New-York, and partnerships with existing studios in Chicago, Tel -Aviv, Toronto, Serbia, London and Paris.

About Alex Frisch:

One of the most respected and sought-after artists in the VFX industry, Alex Frisch has built his reputation creating renowned "invisible effects." Co-founder and former managing director of Method Studios, Alex's VFX work appears in movies ranging from David Fincher's The Game to Gore Verbinski's The Ring to the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy; commercials for Chrysler, Levi's, Sony PlayStation, Michelob, Exxon, Pepsi, Adidas and Bridgestone; and music videos for Madonna and Michael Jackson.

About Vico Sharabani:

A partner at RhinoFX from 1998 to 2010, Vico Sharabani's portfolio includes a range of commercials for Fortune 500 companies, including Mercedes, Nike, and AT&T; music videos for Kanye West; and work on Sex and the City. Autodesk describes Vico as legendary for his Flame work. With 23 years experience servicing the advertising and entertainment industries, Sharabani is heavily involved in managing the creative, production and technical elements of all projects.

About COPA:

COPA is a global collective of elite VFX artists working in the commercial and feature film space. By leveraging the best in breed via outposts around the world, COPA maximizes productivity while minimizing costs.

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.