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Cake Editorial Launches Pi for VFX

Santa Monica-based Cake Editorial has launched Pi, a new visual effects, graphic design and 2D/3D animation division led by creative director Josh Kirschenbaum.

In addition, Pi has added visual effects artist Brian Dickett, who comes to Pi following a freelance career that included an extensive stint at Outpost Digital, Los Angeles, where he worked on recent projects for GM and the Tennis Channel.

"Although Josh has been a part of Cake since we opened in 2004, clients were requesting Josh independent of the editorial work we were doing," said Derovanessian. "Because of that high demand, now seemed like an ideal time to launch Pi with its own identity, staff and creative vision."

Also for Derovanessian, the fact that more feature film opportunities have emerged recently meant that Pi needed its own branding, marketing and infrastructure to handle the workload and truly become a player in this ultra-competitive market.

"We are not a one-stop-shop: I don't think it's truly possible for a company to be good at everything," noted Derovanessian. "Cake and Pi are high-end boutiques that specialize in creative editorial and design, animation/visual effects respectively. The launch of Pi is about better accommodating our clients and tailoring the creative process to their specific needs with specialized talent."

Kirschenbaum joined Cake when it launched in 2004. Prior to that he was a visual effect artist/technical supervisor at the now-defunct effects/supervision house Banned From The Ranch. It was there Kirschenbaum worked with numerous feature filmmakers, most notably James Cameron, on such blockbusters as TITANIC, DANTE'S PEAK and TWISTER, among others.

"With Pi, it's important that we give our clients visual effects/supervision resources that they could access independent of the editorial work Cake does," said Kirschenbaum. "We want Pi to be its own thing."

In addition to an array of advertising projects currently in production, Pi just wrapped an effects-laden six-minute short film titled X-ELEMENTZ for the LA-based rock band X-Elementz. Inspired in part by the look of the film SIN CITY, the project, which is part short film, part music video, contains more than 300 effects shots. For Derovanessian and Kirschenbaum, the project was an ideal platform to showcase the array of creative services Pi brings to the table.

"We saw this as a great opportunity to not only showcase everything we can do but also provide us with complete creative control over the process-- from concept/scripting to execution to greenscreen production, compositing, 2D/3D animation and complete post," added Kirschenbaum.

Founded by executive producer Tatiana Derovanessian, Pi is a new, independently operated graphic design, 2D/3D animation and visual effects studio led by creative director Josh Kirschenbaum. The company specializes in high-end advertising, multimedia, television and feature film projects. Its relationship with sister company Cake Edit, provides clients with a scalable, multifaceted creative resource offering top talent and technology while maintaining a boutique experience.