Startup Spotlight: OVFX

OVFX is a full service production company, 2D/3D animation studio, and IP holder specializing in Kids and Pop Culture content. Based in Baltimore Maryland, the OVFX team is paving the way to modern filmmaking using technology similar to that of Avatar and Planet of the Apes at a fraction of the cost.

We recently chatted with Walter Carter, the Director of 3D and Visual Effects at OVFX, who carries 20 years of entertainment software development experience. Check out what he had to say about the challenges and highlights of leading a creative team and what goes into building a successful VFX studio.

— In a single sentence, what does OVFX do?

We’re a full service visual effects (VFX) and animation studio with its own IP––Kulipari––currently on Netflix.

– How did OVFX come to be? What was the problem you found and the ‘aha’ moment?

The cost of high-fidelity visual storytelling is going down. Dovetail that with an area ripe with experience, but low on opportunity and you get us. When you look at the number of streaming providers (globally) and their need for original, cost effective content, we saw we could provide a very stable and cost effective solution to their needs in a number of forms.

— What sets OVFX apart in the market?

VFX are typically bid upon to provide a service for clients. In this new age of streaming formats, content providers need a constant stream of NEW entertainment to satisfy their subscribers. OVFX is its own client which provides fully-packaged theatrical entertainment to theaters and streaming providers alike.


— What are people most excited by when they first see OVFX?

If it’s the public, I’d say season three of Kulipari which is in early development now. If it’s the team, it’s the fact that we have an opportunity here in Baltimore of all places to pull this off. We’re going to make Skywalker Ranch East Coast a real thing. But ours will be called… “The Amphibilands.”

— Have you pursued funding and if so, what steps did you take?

We have generous private investors that believe in us and we’re currently entertaining investment suitors.

— How do you manage growth vs sustainability?

We reduce our burn rate by having a core team of creatives that scales as the project needs.

— How do you build and develop talent?

We start from a talented base and then provide the latest software and best hardware to provide our artists with a creative platform competitive with any AAA studio.

— What are the biggest challenges for the team?

The render puzzle is the most expensive and time consuming thing we have to plan and mind our dollars and cents around. This is where storytelling though advanced visual engines––like unreal engine — begins.

— What’s been the biggest success for the team?

Landing our project on Netflix for two consecutive seasons and being the second most watched show over the long Thanksgiving weekend during season two of Kulipari’s debut.

— What milestone are you most proud of so far?

Our proof-of-concept animation sprints. We’re doing Hollywood quality animation and problem-solving in the same time it takes other teams to get off the tarmac.

— What advice would you give to other founders?

Don’t give up. And also hire smart people — smarter than you.

— What’s up next for OVFX?

We’re currently shooting the live action reboot of Kulipari: An Army of Frogs using the same techniques and pipelines that were used to make films like Planet of the Apes and Avatar. And we’re are now applying that same technology and storytelling to the private sector: Medical, Government, Science, Defense. We call it the Disney-fication of information. Because content is content, whether it’s Hulu or Hopkins.

Startup Spotlight: OVFX was originally published in Startup Grind on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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