Framestore, The Third Floor Partner To Provide European Market With Previsualization Venture

The venture, called The Third Floor – London will see the two companies sharing staff, tools, skills and philosophies, first commissions include: Carl Rinsch’s "47 Ronin" and Marc Foster’s "World War Z."


London-headquartered VFX company Framestore and Los Angeles-based previs company The Third Floor have teamed up to launch The Third Floor London, a new previs venture aimed at the European market and housed at Framestore’s Wells Street office in London.

The two companies worked together on upcoming War Horse and Gravity, during which Framestore was hired for VFX and The Third Floor was separately hired for previs.

Previs, or previsualization, is the process of visualizing a project before it goes into production. This process has involved the use of storyboards and related techniques, though today it commonly includes computer animation techniques and is accomplished in the digital realm.

The Third Floor’s previs projects have including work on Thor, Alice in Wonderland, and Avatar.

Framestore CEO William Sargent told The Hollywood Reporter that while previs is related to visual effects, it is not an area that he wanted to tackle at Framestore. “We feel it is a very different space and mindset creatively,” he said. “(Third Floor CEO Chris Edwards) and his team have really gotten under the skin of what previs is all about. Their reputation is phenomenal. … We didn’t feel (Framestore) needed to reinvent the wheel.”

Sargent suggested that previs is not just a creative technique, but a tool that can make production management more efficient in that production knows exactly what needs to be shot.

The new venture will share the talent, tools and expertise of Framestore and The Third Floor. At least initially, L.A.-based Third Floor supervisors will come to London to work on projects.

Sargent related that the venture expects to have a dedicated team in place by the end of summer.

The first projects that will involve the venture are 47 Ronin and World War Z. Framstore is also working on VFX for 47 Ronin.

Framestore’s recent and upcoming visual effects work includes Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts 1 and 2, Captain America: The First Avenger, The Smurfs, Wrath of the Titans (Clash of the Titans 2) and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.