VFX studio LOOK Effects has closed its doors, according to a report by Variety, with staff and projects from its Los Angeles, New York and Vancouver locations moving en masse to commercial VFX boutique MassMarket.
MassMarket is launching a features division with LOOK's staff and current projects. There’s no word yet on how LOOK’s studio in Stuttgart, Germany, which launched in 2013, will be affected.
LOOK officially ceased operations on Monday and its staff is already at work at MassMarket. LOOK Effects partners Henrik Fett and Mark Driscoll will be co-managing directors of MassMarket’s feature division. They will report to Jay Lichtman, managing director of MassMarket.
“LOOK has struggled for some time,” LOOK Effects president and co-founder Driscoll reportedly said. “We came into 2014 limping significantly from the overages we had on Noah, and we were rebuilding, then a show went belly-up on us in New York, a significant installation project.”
As a result, Driscoll said, “LOOK is not able to survive financially.”
Almost all LOOK staffers are moving to MassMarket, with the exception of those hired on for specific shows. LOOK’s credits include features Man of Steel, Grand Budapest Hotel and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, as well as TV shows “Black Sails” and “Nashville.”
MassMarket’s Lichtman said, “In many ways it is business of usual for the bulk of the LOOK Effects team,” but they will benefit from “a more robust pipeline and financial environment.” Lichtman said bringing MassMarket’s technology with Look’s talent will benefit the artists.
“LOOK has always enjoyed a great reputation, but that’s almost in spite of the technology they’ve used,” Lichtman said. “We’re swinging for the fences. We plan on investing in in-house bespoke technologies. For us that is the only way for us to compete. I want LOOK to be renowned for creature work and effects.”
Mass Market has offices in Venice, CA, New York and Vancouver, Canada. The seven LOOK staffers in New York and the 10 in Los Angeles have moved into MassMarket’s offices. LOOK’s Vancouver office will remain intact under the MassMarket banner.