Prime Focus already has a global footprint with offices in the LA, NY, Canada, the UK and India. That makes it more immune to the problems American-based VXF firms like Rhythm & Hues have had sustaining a viable business model (Prime Focus was one of four companies in the running in the R&H bankruptcy auction eventually won by another global firm, India-based Prana Studios). In March, Prime Focus announced a Chinese joint venture with Hong Kong–based private equity group AID Partners and local partner Zhejiang Jingqi Wenhua Chuanbo Co to invest $3M in a new operation that will provide 2D/3D conversion, VFX and postproduction services on the mainland and in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. Its recent credits included stereo VFX, 3D conversion and archive footage colorization work on Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby. Here’s today’s release out of the Shanghai International Film Festival announcing the Beijing opening:
Mumbai, India – June 19, 2013 – Prime Focus Limited (“Prime Focus”, BSE code: 532748), a global leader in media and entertainment industry services, announced today that the company will open a new office in Beijing, China. The move brings the full array of services offered by the Prime Focus group of companies to China, including visual effects, 3D conversion, animation via its Prime Focus World (“PFW”) subsidiary, technology and media management solutions via its Prime Focus Technologies (“PFT”) subsidiary, and overall production and post-production services offered within the larger Prime Focus group. The announcement was made at the Shanghai International Film Festival.
Set to open later this year (expected Q3), the move into China comes on the heels of the recent joint venture between Prime Focus Limited, AID Partners Capital and Zhejiang Jingqi Wenhua Chuanbo Company Limited. AID Partners Capital is a Hong Kong-based private equity firm focused on expansion capital and buyout opportunities primarily in the media and entertainment sector. In March this year AID Partners Capital had made an equity investment of US$10 million (Rs. 550 mil) in the creative services business, Prime Focus World NV (PFW), a subsidiary of Prime Focus Limited.
In addition to Beijing, Prime Focus maintains offices in Los Angeles, Vancouver, New York, London and Mumbai.
According to the Chinese State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, China’s 2012 box office receipts increased 30%; in majority part due to imported films; ranking China as the world’s second-largest box office next to the US (surpassing Japan). People’s Republic of China (PRC) is also the largest 3D market outside of the United States, encouraging the government to relax import restrictions that now allow an additional 14 foreign films to be distributed in China provided they are in 3D or large format.
“We are enthusiastic about the shared opportunities our expansion into China brings,” said Namit Malhotra, founder of Prime Focus, “We have always recognized the advantages that globalization coupled with intense localization brings and have evolved our business strategy accordingly. After India, Europe and North America, China was the growth story waiting to happen. We are fortunate to have had AID Partners Capital extend the relationship beyond investment in to a formal market entry vehicle to expand our footprint in to one of the most influential markets in the world. I look forward to offering our full suite of creative and technology services to the Chinese market.”
Prime Focus continues to thrive, having secured multiple rounds of growth capital in the past six months and underscoring the company’s unique capabilities in working with industry partners around the world.
PFW has brought its expertise to many wide release Hollywood films, including most recently Baz Lurhmann’s The Great Gatsby, and upcoming releases such as Paramount’s World War Z and Sony Pictures’ White House Down. Previously released films that the company contributed to include such major hits as Men in Black 3, Star Wars: Episode One – The Phantom Menace, Dredd 3D, Total Recall, Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Resident Evil: Retribution, Green Lantern, Immortals, Wrath of the Titans, Mirror Mirror, Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Avatar, to name a few.
Prime Focus Technologies (PFT) brings together a unique blend of Media and IT skills backed by a deep understanding of the global media and entertainment industry. CLEAR Media Cloud infrastructure and digital content services help broadcasters, studios, advertisers, sports bodies, news agencies, the government and service providers drive creative enablement, enhance ecosystem efficiencies & sustainability, reduce cost and realize new monetization opportunities. PFT works with major content owners like News Corporation-owned STAR TV, EROS International, SONY Music, Viacom 18, SONY MSM, BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India), IPL (Indian Premiere League), Hindustan Unilever Limited, The Associated Press, A & E TV Network, Netflix, Schawk! and WPP.
Prime Focus has crafted its own path when it comes to how creative and technology services businesses are run globally – be it the WorldSourcing model, establishing a sustainable global digital pipeline for delivery, developing View-D – a proprietary 3D conversion process or creating the world’s first hybrid cloud platform, CLEAR. Under Namit’s leadership, Prime Focus has in the last 5 years transformed from being an India organization to a truly global creative and technology services powerhouse of significant scale and influence in key content markets around the world.
At the recently concluded Festival de Cannes 2013, Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby (Warner Brothers) for which PFW delivered stereo VFX, 3D conversion and archive footage colorization was the inaugural film and received rave reviews. The company was also honored to be the exclusive 3D conversion partner on Bernardo Bertolucci’s nine-time Academy Award®-winning film The Last Emperor (Columbia Pictures) which held its debut presentation during the festival.