12:28pm PT by Carolyn Giardina
New Visual Development Venture IO Entertainment Launched
A trio of VFX-previs pros have launched IO Entertainment, which offers visual story development including previsualization services, based at Pinewood Studios in the U.K. It's part of the New Sparta group of companies that includes New Sparta Films and Icon Film Distribution.
Company director Brad Blackbourn -- who started the venture with Jorge del Valle and Soren Bendt Pedersen -- said, "we founded IO to address the incredible upsurge of demand we've seen over the last few years to work earlier and earlier in the development process with directors, producers and art departments on smaller independent films as well as blockbuster franchises."
Blackbourn previously worked as a supervising director, director of photography and head of layout and previs at companies such as DreamWorks Animation, Double Negative and Framestore on projects including Avatar, Rush and Ron Howard's upcoming Heart of the Sea.
Del Valle, senior creative at the new venture, is a CG artist specializing in previs whose work has contributed to features such as The Golden Compass, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Les Miserables. He has worked with VFX companies including Framestore, Double Negative and MPC.
Bendt Pedersen, who assumes the role of art director, has created storyboards, previz and concept art for productions including Captain Phillips, Transcendence and The Dark Knight Rises.