Pittsburgh has established itself as a great location for film production. Could a major animation studio be next?
) has sealed several major project deals and is gearing up to hire and establish an animation studio here, staffed with world-class artists and animators, says Michael Kadrie, founder and president of the animation studio. (For the record, the name is a blend of the Greek word for "life" as in animation and effects.)
"I'm a hometown boy," says Kadrie, who is currently running the company virtually from his home office. Kadrie graduated from Baldwin High School and Duquesne University where he studied multimedia technologies. "We're not talking about a little boutique studio here.
"Look at all the entertainment tech companies we have. We think we can match the quality of Pixar and Dreamworks and do it right here, doing the same quality of work for a fraction of the cost."
zoetifex recently secured the rights for several major projects going forward. The biggest coup is an adult-themed animated movie based on "Operation Mindcrime," a rock opera recorded by Seattle-based progressive metal band Queensrÿche in 1988.
It's a story of revolution and mind control, which has resonance today. It also has a phenomenal cult following, says Kadrie. The rights include permission to record the "Mindcrime" soundtrack with several popular rocks bands; discussions are underway with Foo Fighters, Evanescence, Linkin Park and Black Label Society.
The movie will include an accompanying video game package, he adds.
In addition, zoetifex has gotten a green light to create two animated projects for children: "Icarus Swinebuckle," based on the award-winning book by Michael Garland, and "Christmas Magic." These projects will provide a perfect opportunity to show potential investors what we can do, Kadrie says.
zoetifex is building a team from the ground up to begin work. Kadrie is in negotations with an executive producer from Pixar. Another potential hire, a former writer/director for Disney, is being finalized. Kadrie says 20 to 30 have committed to relocate here. He hopes to secure a studio space and hire more than 100 people for all the projects.
"I've got the pipeline for talent, the right ideas and now I've got the right projects," he says. "All we need now is investors. I'd like to see people from Pittsburgh profit from this."
Source: Michael Kadrie, zoetifex
Picture of Michael Kadrie courtesy of Zoetifex