EXCLUSIVE: A round of seed funding has been completed by Wonder Dynamics, the AI-driven visual effects venture hatched by VFX artist Nikola Todorovic and Ready Player One star Tye Sheridan to democratize the visual effects process using Artificial Intelligence and machine learning to develop production tools for filmmakers to produce VFX and CG elements faster and at a significantly lower price point.
The initial round raised $2.5 million, coming from Founders Fund, Cyan Banister, Paris Kassidokostas-Latsis & Terry Dougas’s Realize Tech Fund, Capital Factory, MaC Venture Capital and Robert Schwab. Todorovic and Sheridan, who between them hold three patents on their innovation, will use the funding to scale their AI engineering and VFX teams, and expand their AI production tool. They might do another round of venture capital funding by summer, and the innovation will be road tested on an unspecified film project that will shoot later in the year. After that, the service should be ready to generate revenue through clients that sign up to use the proprietary technology.
I got an opportunity to see a sample of the innovation, with the agreement I not describe its proprietary elements in any great detail. I could see where it will be of value in the area of world creation at modest budgets. The process can be done quickly and at a fraction of a traditional cost structure that has made this kind of moviemaking the domain of studios.
Wonder Dynamics hatched in 2017, and has put together an advisory board that includes Sheridan’s Ready Player One director Steven Spielberg, Avengers: Endgame co-director Joe Russo, Capital Factory CEO Joshua Baer, Rhea Films’ Terry Dougas, Google research scientist and Berkeley prof Angjoo Kanazawa, Schwab, MIT Head of AI Antonio Torralba and Film Finances president Gregory Trattner.
“Technological advancements have always pushed the film Industry forward by creating new opportunities and enabling more efficient methods for making films,” Todorovic and Sheridan said in a statement to Deadline. “Just like digital cameras enabled Indie filmmaking and computer advancements enabled CGI and 3D animation, we are confident that AI will play a key role in the future of filmmaking and most importantly it will empower artists to achieve their vision at a significantly reduced cost. Given the inevitable intersection of the two industries, we strive to surround ourselves with the best possible partners from both Silicon Valley and Hollywood, reflected in our advisory board and investment partners. We couldn’t be happier to have the support of such a strong team of investors, and we are extremely excited to continue exploring what the future of filmmaking will look like.”
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