Yesterday, Stu Maschwitz, the co-founder of San Francisco-based visual fx house The Orphanage, announced on his blog that they’re “suspending operations indefinitely.” The studio, founded in 1999 by Maschwitz, Jonathan Rothbart and Scott Stewart, employed 160 people at its peak and contributed vfx work recently to Iron Man and The Spirit. If the hundred-plus comments on Maschwitz’s blog are any indication, the studio set high standards for the work it produced and was well-loved by its former employees. Its TV commercial unit is also shutting down, however, the LA-based Orphanage Animation Studio, headed by Genndy Tartakovsky (Samurai Jack, Dexter’s Lab) will continue to remain in operation. More details come from this Variety article:
OAS [Orphanage Animation Studio] and the Jim Henson Co. continue to work on “The Power of the Dark Crystal,” OAS’ first announced feature. Maschwitz told Daily Variety on Thursday that while the Orphanage Inc. had had an ownership stake in OAS, “The management of the Orphanage no longer has any ownership in Orphanage Animation Studios.” Maschwitz said that the company’s owners were unsure whether they would sell or liquidate, but “whatever we do, that money is going first to creditors,” including employees who have not yet been paid in full.
(Thanks, Karl Cohen)