Thilo Kuther, founder of vfx company Pixomondo, died on Thursday, December 1, of cancer in his home in Marina del Rey, California. He was 58.
A Frankfurt, Germany, native, Kuther established Pixomondo as a commercial video and 3d animation company for corporations in Stuttgart in 2001. The company expanded rapidly, and by 2005 it was handling vfx work for German television programs and feature films. At the end of its first decade, Pixomondo had offices in 12 cities around the world, including Santa Monica, where Kuther eventually settled down.
Among the company’s feature credits was its award-winning work on Martin Scorsese’s Hugo, which included a win for best visual effects at the Oscars. Pixomondo also worked as one of the major effects companies on HBO’s Game of Thrones. A vfx breakdown of the company’s season eight work can be viewed below:
In 2008, the German vfx company began working closely with German filmmaker Roland Emmerich, known for directing vfx-driven blockbuster fare. The two benefitted greatly from their relationship, with Pixomondo handling much of the effects work on films such as 2012 (2009), Independence Day: Resurgence (2016), and Midway (2019).
In 2018, technology and consumer private equity firm Mayfair Equity Partners took a majority stake in Pixomondo, with Kuther staying on as CEO and executive producer at the time. In October of this year, Mayfair sold the company to Sony Pictures Entertainment, although according to sources with knowledge of the deal, Kuther was no longer at Pixomondo when the Sony sale took place.
According to his nephew Niklas Fissel, speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Kuther was most recently working at California-based themed entertainment and design company Xmachina.
Kuther is survived by his wife, Claudia.
Pictured at top: Screenshot from a Thilo Kuther interview with Dell, Hugo