Prime Focus Opening London Operation

Martin Hobbs appointed managing director of new effects-and-conversions division.

Prime Focus -- a Mumbai-based public company with visual-effects and 3D-conversion operations in Hollywood -- is opening an effects-and-conversions shop in London.

Martin Hobbs, formerly head of film production at MPC, has been appointed managing director of the new division.

“This is a bold statement of intent -- a new business model, launched with drive, energy, enthusiasm and experience at a pivotal time for the visual effects industry,” Hobbs said.

Effects artists set to join the unit include Jon Thum, who won a visual effects Oscar for contributions to The Matrix; Michael Eames, whose computer-animation credits include Charlie and the Chocolate Factoryand Where the Wild Things Are; Pablo Grillo, an animation supervisor on The Golden Compassand Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire; visual effects supervisor Stuart Lashley (G.I. Joe, Watchmen); CG supervisor Alex Pejic (Inception, The Dark Knight); visual effects producer Fiona Foster (Angels and Demons, Robin Hood); and Alexis Casas, who was instrumental in setting up animation pipelines at Mac Guff and Weta Digital on Avatar.

The site’s digital art department will be led by visual-effects art director Neil Miller (Children of Men). Matte painter and concept artist Ludo Iochem (The Bourne Ultimatum) also is on board.

Digital-intermediate producer Matt Bristowe will supervise 3D conversion operations, whose staff also will include producer Marcus Alexander and supervisors Richard Baker and Ben Murray.

Prime Focus also operates visual-effects studios in Mumbai and Vancouver.