Method, Riot become roomies at Ascent

Postproduction/FX houses coming under one label

Ascent Media Group's creative services unit, which operates a global collection of postproduction houses, is bringing Method and Riot -- two of its best-known brands and creative teams -- under one roof.

Operations are being combined under the name Method, which will offer visual effects services for feature, TV and commercial projects at Riot's Santa Monica location.

Method, a boutique headquartered a few blocks from Riot, has always been a VFX house. Riot has offered VFX as well as digital intermediate/telecine services. Meanwhile, Ascent's Company 3 brand also is headquartered in Santa Monica and focuses on DI/telecine.

With the change, Riot's DI/telecine services move to the Company 3 umbrella.

Senior colorist and Company 3 president Stefan Sonnenfeld -- who this year took over as head of Ascent Media Creative Services shortly after Jose Royo was named Ascent Media Group's CEO -- said that the previous setup was such that the two businesses often were bidding against each other for jobs. The goal of the change, he said, is to offer more streamlined services and support.

When the move is complete, Method founder Alex Frisch will continue as the company's managing director. Also leading the company will be recent hires Gabby Gourrier, vp and GM, and Helen Hughes, executive producer/director of production. Both recently arrived from post/VFX house the Mill.

Riot managing director Michael Taylor will assume the newly created role of COO of VFX for Ascent Media Creative Services.

Company 3 and Method share a strategic relationship with post house Digital Garden in Tokyo, which gives Ascent a base in Japan. Next year, the New York offices of both companies will move into a new, shared facility in Manhattan.

Ascent's Riot Atlanta, where editorial is the primary service, will maintain its name.

Method and Riot were both founded as private businesses. They were acquired by the company that is now Ascent Media in the late 1990s.
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