Award-winning French animation and digital effects company, Sparx, is opening an office in Los Angeles, it was announced today (Oct. 19, 2004) by Sparx new ceo, Jean-Philippe Agati. The L.A. office will be managed by Laddie Ervin, new vp of business development for North America.
Founded in 1995, the Paris-based studio quickly became one of the preeminent 3D animation studios in Europe for its work on television commercials and music videos, as well as the Emmy Award-winning childrens series, ROLIE POLIE OLIE, it produces with Nelvana Limited. Other notable credits include the CG movie trailer for ROBOTA, created and directed by Doug Chiang; and another award-winning TV series, ZOE KEZAKO. The company has more than 100 credits in feature films, direct-to-video movies, television shows, television commercials and music videos.
Sparx employs 100 digital artists in Paris and 120 digital artists and programmers at its own studio in Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam. Co-founder Guillaume Hellouin has departed Sparx to pursue his own projects, while co-founder Jean-Christophe Bernard remains active with the company.
Sparx has built a tremendous business in Europe over the past 10 years by providing world class, cost effective digital animation and visual effects services, said Agati. The time is right to expand our operations to the U.S. and to offer our creative talent and expertise to Hollywood. With the companys studios in Paris and Vietnam, Sparx can offer high end animation and visual effects services at very attractive prices.
Agati told AWN that Sparx is taking meetings with top studios aware of its demonstrated character animation ability to pick up outsource work, get into co-productions and pitch its own products. The studio has also been doing gaming work and can be especially helpful in transitioning from vfx and 3D-animated productions to games with its production experience and capabilities in each of these fields.
Agati has 20 years of international executive management experience specifically in the area of entertainment technology. Agati was gm of Europes largest interactive entertainment company, Infogrames SA, and most recently served as the head of production for Ataris office in Santa Monica. Agati directly managed many top entertainment franchises including THE MATRIX, UNREAL, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, THE TERMINATOR and GODZILLA.
Ervin co-founded the Los Angeles-based entertainment production company Sparkshore Productions Llc. Prior to Sparx, Ervin worked as a senior producer at Atari Inc. producing videogames for PC and console systems. Before that, he served as the director of program development at the G4 television network (now G4TechTV). He has also worked as the director of marketing for Accolade/Infogrames (now Atari) managing many successful brands including UNREAL TOURNAMENT, NEVERWINTER NIGHTS, TEST DRIVE, DRIV3R and HARDBALL.
More moves are afoot for Sparx (www.sparx.com), which will be relocating its headquarters to a Parisian suburb, offering lower costs for more space. Sparx is majority-owned by comic book publisher Humanoid Associés (backed by Fabrice Giger).