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Pixomondo bringing studio to Louisiana

Pixomondo LLC, which won an Academy Award this year, said Wednesday that it will spend $1.2 million to create a visual effects studio in Louisiana, creating 75 jobs in film, television and commercial production.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Pixomondo LLC, which won an Academy Award this year, said Wednesday that it will spend $1.2 million to create a visual effects studio in Louisiana, creating 75 jobs in film, television and commercial production.

Plans call for the company to use about 6,000 square feet (5,571 square meters) at the Celtic Media Centre in Baton Rouge. The studio will be the German company's 12th international location.

The company said annual salaries will average about $65,000. Plans call for 50 people to be hired during the first year of operation, followed by 25 by the end of the second year.

Gov. Bobby Jindal said the state began working six months ago with the company to gauge its interest in a visual effects studio that could handle major movie and television productions in the state. The studio will work with Pixomondo's international locations that require around-the-clock production across different time zones.

The state is providing several economic incentives for the project, including work force development assistance, tax credits for high-paying jobs and state digital media and film production tax credits of 30 percent to 35 percent.

"Louisiana offers a very generous production tax that we can pass on to our clients to bolster our project load as well as our growing teams in Los Angeles, London and Germany, not to mention China and Canada," said Thilo Kuther, the company's chief executive and founder.

Pixomondo won an Oscar for its visual effects work on "Hugo" in Sunday's Academy Awards. It also has created visual effects for such films as "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island," "Red Tails," "Sucker Punch," "Super 8," and "Fast Five."

It currently is working on visual effects for "Snow White and the Huntsman" and "The Amazing Spiderman" as well as several television shows.

Kuther said the computer science department at Louisiana State University would help set up remote connections with the company's other studios.

The Celtic Media Centre has about 150,000 square feet (13,935 square meters) of stage space and 80,000 square feet (7,432 square meters) of office space.