Visual effects house Pixomondo announces plans to close its Berlin offices on May 31.
Visual effects house Pixomondo will close its Berlin offices on May 31, according to a report by The Wrap. The company – which is behind the effects for Oblivion and Hugo -- made the announcement last week on Friday via a message posted on its Facebook page.
CEO and founder Thilo Kuther reportedly said the closure was part of a company-wide restructuring process and that outstanding invoices would be honored. Already this year, the Santa Monica-based company has shut down branches in Shanghai, London and Detroit.
Twenty-three people have been let go following the closure of Pixomondo’s Berlin office. Pixomondo maintained five facilities in Germany in such cities as Frankfurt and Stuttgart and Kuther said it no longer needed to have a presence in Berlin.
"Berlin is not such an important market," Kuther said. "This is part of our consolidation."
The company, which employed more than 800 people at certain points, now employs roughly 600. Kuther reportedly plans to reopen the Shanghai office closed earlier this spring in July.
"There are cycles of production in any business," Kuther said. "Summer is not that busy a time for us."
He said that the bankruptcy and auction of Oscar-winning visual-effects company Rhythm & Hues last month had created an unfair amount media speculation about the health of other companies in the industry. However, other visual-effects companies including Digital Domain and Tippett Studio have suffered bankruptcy or severe cutbacks of late.
Kuther went on to clarify his earlier comments that Pixomondo was moving away from doing visual-effects work on feature films and focusing primarily on corporate clients.
“We're not getting out of the visual-effects business," Kuther said. "We’re diversifying the company and moving into a range of other areas, but visual-effects is a part of how we plan to build the business from here.
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.