Hoping to leverage its animation expertise in new ways, Vancouver, Canada’s Mainframe Entertainment has set up a division dedicated to creative services including video game animation, graphic design, motion graphics, titling, show opening sequences and branding. Art director Michael Douglas says the company hopes to take on 20 to 30 projects of varying scope over the next year, kicking things off with a staff of eight, and picking up more bodies as needed on a per-project basis. The prodco has picked up piecemeal creative service jobs in the past through word of mouth (i.e. doing graphics for the 2003 MTV Movie Awards), but this is its first concerted effort to go out and find this kind of work. Douglas says it could account for as much as 10% of Mainframe’s total revenue in the next year or two, adding that market demand for creative service work has grown lately as graphic technologies have improved and come down in cost.
The new division’s first service job will be a website for local travelogue series Pink Planet (Mantavision Productions), featuring e-commerce, video blogs and WiFi-based based social networking. In kids stuff, the team is working with parentco IDT Entertainment on logos and branding for an Arthur direct-to-video, as well as two series – Stan Lee Presents and Tony Hawk.