Australian independent post production house Animal Logic has bought the business assets of Fuel VFX, the visual effects company which went into voluntary administration in late August.
The acquisition means the foundation of a new company Animal Logic Fuel, trading still as Fuel VFX, with both companies operating with their own distinct identities and client relationships.
It is good news for the VFX industry which has struggled recently due to a high Australian dollar acting as a deterrent to Hollywood production houses.
The original five founders of Fuel, Jason Bath, Paul Butterworth, Andrew Hellen, Simon Maddison and Dave Morley will lead all aspects of the new business.
Animal Logic CEO Zareh Nalbandian told Encore: “Our motivation was that we really felt there was a great brand, talent and legacy as an independent design and visual VFX company. I just thought it would be such a bad signal for our industry for a company like that not to exist. We quickly found common ground between Animal Logic and the founders at Fuel. It unifies two really strong teams and makes it the most competitive team in the country.”
Animal Logic’s advertising and short form VFX post-production services will be working out of Fuel’s Newtown headquarters by the end of the year.
Nalbandian said: “Fuel will become the short form and advertising house, and Animal Logic will continue in feature animation which Animal Logic specialises in, but both companies will pursue feature film VFXs.”
Fuel previously worked on big budget sci-fi films The Avengers and Prometheus, while Animal Logic is currently working on the new Lego film.
Nalbandian also said the new company was very close to announcing its first US film project and was hoping Fuel would be back up to close to its original staff numbers by Christmas:
“It’s the first day of our company and we’re starting on the front foot with being close to locking in a major US feature film. We are relaunching with a core team of Fuel staffers [but] I would hope by the end of the year we would have the majority of the team back under our combined roofs.”
However, Nalbandian wouldn’t comment on any of Fuel’s outstanding debts, saying that was with the administrators.