When it comes to Southern California animation and visual effects studios, there’s a 25-year-old new kid on the block. The new US outpost of European visual effects and animation studio Platige, which just marked its first quarter century in business, has laid plans for major expansion as it ramps up operations at its studio in Manhattan Beach.
Led by Executive Producer Aurélien Simon and Creative Director/VFX Supervisor Gawain Liddiard, Platige’s US office has moved into its Manhattan Beach Studios campus location to recruit additional creative talent and build on its credits. agency and feature films. Recent work includes a lyrical spot for New York-based agency Badger’s Beautyrest, directed by Academy Award-winning cinematographer Janusz Kamiński.
Simon and Liddiard are industry veterans whose perches have included The Mill. Most recently, Simon freelanced while Liddiard served as creative director at MSG Sphere, the new entertainment venue being built outside of Las Vegas.
Karol Żbikowski, Global CEO of Platige, said the rise of the Platige brand in the United States makes perfect sense at this time. “With all the viewing and content offerings currently available across the internet and various streaming channels and platforms, there has never been a better time for ad agencies, brands and producers to partner with Platige” , he commented. “Aurélien and Gauvain know the market, they know the talent and they know the landscape. They are perfectly positioned to grow the Platige brand in the United States.”
In Europe, Platige has been recognized for his work on the hit Netflix series the witcher, one of the most watched productions of the streamer. Platige’s list of feature films includes Oscar-nominated films…Cathedral (Katedra), nominated for Best Animated Short Film in 2003, and The dress, with a Best Live Action Short Film nomination this year. The first was directed by Tomasz Baginski who is on the Platige list in Poland. Baginski is currently in post-production on a major live action picture for Sony, Knights of the Zodiac.
Platige’s clients in advertisements span brands such as Samsung, L’Oreal, Pepsi, Gillette, Burberry, Huawei and McDonald’s. The studio has also produced trailers and cinematics for video games, including franchises such as “Call of Duty” and “Resident Evil.”
Simon and Liddiard said that in some ways the Platige brand is a secret weapon for customers in the United States. “We have a tremendous legacy of creative and technical excellence, and accolades such as Oscar nominations and BAFTA wins to prove it.”
Simon expects Platige to tackle a mix of entertainment and publicity assignments, with some additional work on special projects. He said one of the main differentiators of how Platige operates compared to other international visual effects studios is how it assigns dedicated global teams to each project, rather than having teams of artists who assign projects to different offices in different parts of the world as the work progresses. “Platige offers a globally distributed production team, rather than keeping each studio separate. We are adapting our processes to this new globalized landscape”
Simon continued, “The way we approach jobs is to identify the best artists for each individual project, regardless of where they are physically located. And so our productions are spread across different time zones, which not only helps in terms of workflow, but also respect for our employees and their time. We strive not to subject our staff to the usual nights and weekends so typical of VFX work. And for our customers, we find that the process is faster and more responsive.
Liddiard thinks the US industry will embrace Platige as an attractive alternative – smaller and more suited to working collaboratively, whether creatively or financially, than the big studios, but with much more firepower. bigger than the little shop. Simon and Liddiard are also eager to expand genres of work to include everything from theme parks to experiential installations to virtual production.