After 11 years it appears that Asylum Visual Effects in Santa Monica is closing. Nathan McGuinness built a shop that had a strong reputation providing high end visual effects for films like Master & Commander, Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Terminator Salvation (IMDB) as well as commercials like the recently released Call of Duty Black Ops spot.
Phones across Los Angeles were buzzing today with reports of a company meeting where everyone was let go, and in this socially connected world Twitter and Facebook exploded with the gossip including mentions of filing Chapter 11 and closing their doors immediately. Director Fred Ramondi reacted to the news: “Good People. Great Work. Very sad. I did my last 4 spots there as a director. They treated me great. The work was stellar. A lot of talent there.” adding “Nathan: You had a dream and had the balls to make it happen. You’re the man.” We have reached out to Asylum for comment and will update if we get further details.
UPDATE: 11/18/10 David S. Cohen at Variety reports that McGuinness pins closure on their inability to compete with incentives from Canadian and English companies. More troubling was the statement that while no job was affected, artists are being left unpaid for their final week. Full article at Variety.