Up until a few days ago. Superlight Studios
in Santa Monica made a name for itself as a production facility for interactive (online) automotive and advertising.
That’s until executive producer/general manager Pat Hadnagy steered the company towards feature film and commercial visual effects, a sleight of hand accomplished by joining forces with MacGuff Los Angeles
. The Los Angeles outpost of the well known Paris-based visual effects house
was acquired by Superlight, becoming MacGuff’s partner and U.S. production arm. We’ve taken over their facility and have an arrangement for exclusive use and the use of their name MacGuff,” explains Hadnagy, who adds they have access to the resources of the parent company in France. “We’ve had a core group of CGI artists, retouchers and photographers from our standing automotive work,” he says. “From that, we’ve brought in producers, Flame artists and so on. Our staff is around 15 now and we will grow as needed.”
Hadnagy also added executive producer Sarote Tabcum, Jr., a member of the Visual Effects Society
, who brings a depth of experience as VFX producer on films including Bratz, Hostel II, Timber Falls, Psych: 9, Redline and The Devil’s Chair, ,as well as co-producer on The Rainbow Tribe.
Superlight Studios is already working on its first feature, the indie “A Way with Murder
,” doing Flame compositing and CG work.
Hadnagy says he was inspired to expand Superlight Studios’ mission from his background in feature film visual effects. For over 10 years in the Czech Republic, he worked with ILM and other big effects firms on location shoots. “Our interest was taking our incredible base in automotive and building upon that into different types of work that’s not automotive,” says Hadnagy, who notes the company will continue to work in the automotive arena. “The reality is when you do an automotive piece, you have to build environments, elements, integrate VFX with people. It’s not all automotive pieces.”
In a competitive environment, Hadnagy says that Superlight Studios brings a philosophy to its work gained from servicing the automotive advertising industry. “Entire interactive/online campaigns are repurposed for print use,” he says. “Our core expertise is in thinking about how work can be repurposed, for online, mobile, print. We come from a manufacturing ype of environment where you think about processes, about how to achieve a project effectively and if there are any repeatability factors you can use in the future to benefit the client. We’re strongly based in continual improvement philosophies.”
The facility also maintains photography studios and post facilities in Rancho Dominguez, CA (a 40,000 sq. foot studio) and Troy, MI (a 10,000 sq ft. studio).