During the past few years, a number of visual effects facilities and game developers—big names, mind you—have been forced to file for bankruptcy or worse, close their doors for good. The latest victim appears to be Rhythm & Hues.
The situation is doubly cruel. The studio has been on an emotional high, being nominated (and most agree, a front-runner) for an Oscar on the work done in "Life of Pi." (The studio created one of the lead characters, the tiger Richard Parker.) Rhythm & Hues also created effects in another VFX-nominated film: "Snow White and the Huntsman." A week ago, the studio won a BAFTA for "Life of Pi."
A few weeks ago, it looked as if the situation was under control, with a deal expected between Rhythm & Hues and Prime Focus. But it appears the deal is now off, though there is no solid information about it at this time. At the time, a $20 million bridge loan was given by three studios to keep Rhythm & Hues afloat until April, when work on a number of films would have been completed and the deal with Prime Focus complete. Those films include: "300: Battle of Artemisia," "Percy Jackson & the Sea of Monsters," "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," "RIPD," and others.
The studio has a grade-A reputation, having tackled some of the industry's most jaw-dropping work in recent years. Perhaps this will prompt a buyer for the studio, as it did not long ago for Digital Domain.