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Warner Bros. Pictures and digital production company Animal Logic have signed a deal to develop and co-produce a slate of animated feature films. The pact builds upon the companies’ collaboration on last year’s Oscar-winning animated feature film “Happy Feet.”
Under the deal, three projects will be put into the development pipeline immediately. Warners will have worldwide distribution rights for all films produced through the deal.
” ‘Happy Feet’ was such an incredible achievement that expanding our development and production partnership with Animal Logic felt like a natural next step,” Warners production president Jeff Robinov said. “We’re thrilled to be in business with such a respected and innovative animation and digital production studio and look forward to many more successful joint projects.”
Warners executive vp digital production Chris deFaria expects the first project under the new deal to be announced early in the summer. He said it would be produced in 2-D, stereoscopic 3-D “and, we hope, Imax and Imax 3-D.” He added, “I think we’ll start to see all animated pictures released in both formats as well as some in Imax and Imax 3-D.”
With the production of “Happy Feet,” Sydney-headquartered Animal Logic grew from a primarily visual effects company to a fully operational animation studio. It also set up a technical pipeline that could be used for the production of 3-D stereoscopic films, according to Animal Logic CEO Zareh Nalbandian.
Nalbandian said in an interview that Animal Logic produced a few “Happy Feet” scenes in stereoscopic 3-D to prove the workflow. (The 3-D sequences were not used in the final film, which was released in 2-D.)
Along with the Warners deal, Animal Logic also named Jackie O’Sullivan head of development/executive producer to oversee development of all of the company’s projects into production. O’Sullivan has worked in England and Australia as a film executive/producer in development and production for the past 15 years, including as head of business affairs at the U.K. Film Council and GM/executive producer at Columbia TriStar Prods.
“We’re thrilled to continue and expand our relationship with Warner Bros. Pictures,” Nalbandian said. “The wide slate of project opportunities assures Animal Logic’s ability to continue to produce engaging and innovative digital features.”
Pointing to Australia’s new film incentives, he added, “That combination and the relationship with Warner Bros. puts Animal Logic in a position that it can really accelerate its ambitions.”
Nalbandian said Animal Logic also aims to serve as a breeding ground for emerging talent, including directors.
O’Sullivan’s film credits include “The Proposition” and “The Sound of One Hand Clapping.” Animal Logic recently provided visual effects art direction for Warners’ “300.”
With offices in Sydney and Los Angeles, Animal Logic is repped in the U.S. by CAA.
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