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Visualizing the Future of Cinema: AIC Studios

AIC Studios is a collection of Canadian companies that work in animation design and film production. A digital studio that aims to bring the work of artists to the mainstream audience, AIC Studios has worked in various projects through the years. Find out more about AIC Studios and their experience in the film industry.

Who We Are

AIC Studios was founded in 2013. Based in Toronto, the digital studio has not only worked on feature films, but also on tv series and animated programs as well. The group consists of bright and innovative creators and artists who want to showcase their talent and skills to the international film industry.

Aside from VFX and animation, AIC Studios also helps finance and produce films and television shows. With the quote, ‘We visualize the future of cinema’, AIC Studios is one of the new and promising brands to make it in the busy and colourful world of show business. Here is AIC Studio’s core team:

President: Andrea Iervolino

COO: Ferdinando Dell’Omo

Creative Director: Matt Lyon

VFX Supervisor: Peter Nalli

Production Manager: Courtney Wolfson

EA to the President/Producer: Char San Pedro

Studio Operations Coordinator: Meghan Armstrong

VP of Business Development: James O’Donnell

Bookkeeper: Peter Nykiel

What We Do

AIC Studios’ mainly works on VFX, film animation and 3D conversion. At the same time, the studio also invests in promising films for the international market. They also are in charge of distribution and post-production of a few titles.

Visual Effects (VFX)

AIC Studios has a team of dedicated visual effects artists and graphic designers. Their VFX work is not solely for animated projects. They also create CGI and other special effects in live-action films.

In the modern age of films, visual effects are already essential with storytelling. It helps bring a filmmaker’s vision to life. Most of the recent global blockbuster films like the superhero genre of Marvel and DC use dramatic visual effects. Here are some of the modern techniques used in the VFX industry:

  1. Computer-generated imagery 
  2. Special effects
  3. Motion Capture
  4. Matte painting
  5. 3D modeling
  6. Rotoscoping
  7. Rigging

Animation

There are different types of animation we see today in movies and television shows. Basically, animation is the practice of making figures become moving images. This industry started with traditional animation. It is basically a series of drawn images that shows an action. 

Even before society enjoyed the art of filmmaking, animation was already appreciated by many all over the world. The magic lantern device which is basically an old form of an image projector is one example of this. 

With the technological advancements in animation, there have been other techniques that developed over the years aside from traditional animation:

  1. Stop motion animation
  2. Computer animation
  3. Mechanical animation

AIC Studios’ expertise is in traditional animation and CGI technology. Arctic Justice, an animated feature that was released in 2019 is one of the examples of AIC Studios’ work in this field.

2D to 3D Conversion

Also called stereo conversion, this technique is used to convert 2D films to 3D form. This process is done in the film industry because the conversion adds more depth to a movie’s visuals. Basically, the quality is better. This practice is also very common in filmmaking nowadays.

However common, this technique requires detailed work. A 2D to 3D conversion should be accurate and correct because it might ruin the quality of the 2D images if it is not done correctly. This technique is also used with computer-animated 2D films. 

Avatar (2009), one of the world’s most popular films with a $2.79 billion box office, has used this technique in several scenes. They were originally shot in 2D and were converted during the movie’s post-production.

Films

AIC Studios have already worked in various films since its founding. Some of these films have also featured top actors like James Franco, Vincent D’onofrio, and Al Pacino. Here are some of the studios’ works:

Arctic Justice (2019)

Also known as Arctic Dogs, this animated film is about an arctic fox, Swifty, who wants to work as a messenger in his company. However, his journey on making his career dreams come true becomes even more interesting as he and his friends discover a sinister plan of a walrus to take over the North Pole. 

The film’s voice cast is as follows:

  • Jeremy Renner
  • Alec Baldwin
  • Heidi Klum
  • John Cleese
  • Anjelica Huston
  • James Franco
  • Omar Sy

In Dubious Battle (2016)

The film is directed and produced by James Franco. It is also based on a 1963 novel of the same name, written by John Steinbeck. In Dubious Battle officially premiered at the Venice Film Festival.

This drama film is about the forming of a union after the characters deal with a wage cut during the Depression. Here is the film’s cast:

  • James Franco
  • Nat Wolff
  • Josh Hutcherson
  • Vincent D’onofrio
  • Robert Duvall
  • Selena Gomez
  • Keegan Allen
  • Ed Harris
  • Bryan Cranston

Rupture (2016)

Directed by Steven Shainberg, Rupture is a sci-fi horror film that revolves around the abduction of Renee Morgan (Noomi Rapace) after she drops off her son at her ex-husband’s house. Morgan was loaded onto a van where she finds other captives.

Rupture had its initial premier at the Fantasia International Film Festival on July 15, 2016, and had a later UK release in September of the same year. Here is Rupture’s cast:

  • Noomi Rapace
  • Peter Stormare
  • Kerry Bishe
  • Michael Chiklis
  • Lesley Manville
  • Ari Millen

Before I Go to Sleep (2014)

Featuring a star-studded cast, Before I Go to Sleep is a psychological thriller that is based on a 2011 novel of the same name. The movie is written and directed by Rowan Joffe. Before I Go to Sleep is about a 40-year-old woman who wakes up every morning with no memories of her life beyond her early 20s. Below is the film’s cast:

  • Nicole Kidman
  • Mark Strong
  • Colin Firth
  • Anne-Marie Duff

2047 – Sights of Death (2014)

Released on July 24, 2014 in Italy, 2047 is an action film that is directed by Alessandro Capone and written by Tommasso Agnese and Luca D’Alisera. The movie is about a rebel soldier on a mission to collect evidence for war crimes. Here is 2047 – Sights of Death’s cast:

  • Danny Glover
  • Daryl Hannah
  • Michael Madsen
  • Stephen Baldwin
  • Rutger Hauer
  • Neva Leoni
  • Kai Portman

The Humbling (2014)

With its initial release at the Venice International Film Festival, The Humbling follows an old actor, Simon Axler, who has dementia. His journey begins from being in a mental institution and the whole film unfolds from there. 

It is also based on a 2009 novel of the same name, written by Philip Roth. Al Pacino leads the cast of The Humbling and he is actually the one who asked Barry Levinson for a film adaptation after he read the novel. Here is The Humbling’s film cast:

  • Al Pacino
  • Greta Gerwig
  • Dianne West
  • Charles Grodin
  • Kyra Sedgwick

East End (2014)

East End is another animated film that AIC Studios has world on. This was also AMBI Pictures’ first project into the animation industry. Like AIC Studios, AMBI Pictures is an Italian film group that is also growing fast in the business.

This animated film is produced by Monika Bacardi and is written by Federico Moccia, Giuseppe, Squillaci, and Luca Scanferla. East End is about two best friends who grew up in Rome’s East End community.

AIC Studios’ Clients

AIC Studios has worked with various film production companies since 2013, including Italian group AMBI. They have worked with Millennium Media as well. With almost 30 years of experience in the film industry, Millennium Media has already 325 movies credited to them. Some of Millennium Media’s most popular works include the following:

  • The Mechanic
  • Olympus Has Fallen
  • London Has Fallen
  • The Expendables franchise
  • Rambo: Last Blood

Some of AIC Studios’ other clients are Paradox Entertainment and Nu Image Films.

Overview

AIC Studios was also one of the sponsors of the 40th Toronto International Film Festival (2015). Founded in 1976, TIFF is one of the most popular film festivals in the world. Yearly, it attracts about 480,000 people from all over the world.

With the presence of giant animation companies like Pixar and DreamWorks, it’s easy to overlook other animation studios that are smaller than these huge companies. However, AIC Studios continue to be a place where artists and graphic designers thrive. 

Most of the popular animation studios of today can be found in the USA, Japan, United Kingdom, and Canada. With less than a decade into its founding, AIC Studios can be considered as one of the newest players in the animation industry. 

Along with Big Bad Boo and Bardel Entertainment, AIC Studios is one of Canada’s leading animation studios that has worked with international titles. It’s expected that they will continue to collaborate with other film production companies in the years to come.

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