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Pixomondo Shuts Shanghai Office, Exits Feature VFX

Visual-effects company Pixomondo to abandon feature film work after shutting its Shanghai office in the wake of closures in London and Detroit.

Visual-effects company Pixomondo said it will abandon much of its film business after shutting its Shanghai office in the wake of closures in London and Detroit, according to a report by TheWrap.

CEO and founder Thilo Kuther said Pixomondo, which recently completed work on the Tom Cruise action film Oblivion, has just laid off roughly 20 animators and artists in the Shanghai office. About a half-dozen employees were moved to its Beijing office.

Most significantly, Kuther reportedly said that Pixomondo, based in nearly a dozen cities worldwide, is moving away from Hollywood projects because of the challenges facing the visual-effects business.

“We are revamping the whole thing, moving on,” Kuther said. “We are taking our business further from here. The feature side will be part of it, but we’re moving on.”

He said Pixomondo would be focusing on design and conceptual work, which he has been ramping up for the last three years.

With about 850 employees based in nearly a dozen global cities, Kuther claims that only about 30 percent of his business comes from Hollywood animation and visual-effects work, with more revenue coming from corporate clients.

Kuther also disputed rumors that Pixomondo was near bankruptcy. “We’re not closing. We’re not bankrupt,” he said. “I believe in the philosophy that every seven years your company has to reinvent itself," he added. "For two to three years you build up, five years you run your business, and six to eight you come up with a new idea and the business has to adapt. “

Read the full story, which also addresses moving productions and global tax incentives, here.

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