In a bold move to bring high-end visual effects services to content producers anywhere at lower costs, Engine Room, a veteran Los Angeles VFX studio, has launched, a cloud-based service platform, five years in development.

“QuickFX is our online platform for managing custom visual effects projects through the cloud, allowing those both inside and outside of the entertainment industry to tap into our pipeline and get their VFX shots done fast, at a great price, at industry level,” said Dan Schmit, founder of Engine Room.

Engine Room, with 18 years in Hollywood, produces thousands of visual effects shots each year for movie studios, broadcast, streaming networks and advertising.  “The over-arching end-goal of QuickFX is to deliver great work, fast and affordable, making Hollywood production more globally competitive and to help to reverse the decades-long flight of specifically visual effects post production work from Hollywood,” underscores Schmit.

“Through the QuickFX approach, we’re lowering costs and allowing Hollywood artists to compete in today’s international market.  In this business, artist selection is critical, so clients get the advantage of knowing that we are going to choose the right veteran team for their project, hand selected from our deep Hollywood talent pool of close to 1000 artists.  Those experienced in VFX production know that the right artist might get the job done in two hours; but the wrong choice can take two weeks and never get it right. So its all about the talent, which we have an abundance of, here in LA.” 

The unique, runs on AWS on a custom cloud-based software platform.  It is a complete ecosystem from client to artist, allowing content makers to launch and access their projects from any computer to get fast VFX quotes, greenlight jobs, review shots and receive final delivery files, much of which can be managed through their mobile device.

“While there are other platforms out there for VFX production, QuickFX as a service and management interface is specifically focused on both the production side and the business side of VFX.  Jobs can be any size, from one shot to a hundred or more. We even have an e-commerce component allowing users to pay with credit card or purchase order, without ever leaving the site,” said Schmit.

Once registered, content makers are prompted to identify where he or she is in the production process: pre-production or post, where they are directed to upload the specific information needed for their quote.  If in pre-production or shooting, this includes scripts or storyboards.  If in post, actual shot files are easily uploaded and dropped directly into the virtual pipeline.

“While QuickFX is primarily a VFX shot execution platform, anyone making content from movie productions to series to advertising or even YouTube videos, at any stage of production can get a free quote within a few hours,” said Schmit.

Once shots are green-lit by a user, they immediately kick into production.

“Everyone is working within the same interface, from clients to the VFX artists ultimately executing the work,” said Schmit.  Custom VFX services include cinema level compositing of green/blue screen, screen replacements, 3D CGI effects, light effects, fire, light, explosions, crowd duplications, cosmetic work, paint effects, sign replacement, set extensions, sky and weather continuity, custom graphics over picture, virtually any kind of digital compositing.

“We believe that QuickFX points to the future of what VFX production and the VFX business will become, which is why we have made such a huge bet in developing it”, says Schmit.  Having organically grown the QuickFX platform on the tough lessons learned from running a fast paced VFX compositing pipeline for close to two decades, Engine Room has introduced to the entire production market a new option that allows forward thinking content producers, both inside and outside of Los Angeles, to seriously up their game.

The visual effects business can be treacherous, as indicated by the regular turnover of VFX companies going in and out of business.  To this point, Schmit added: “We are especially excited to have built a bridge to reach and service the growing field of content producers among the heavy competition in the entertainment and advertising post market.”

Schmit is proud that in the past few years, a major studio security movement pertaining to pre-release content has become a requirement for anyone working in the entertainment industry, and both Engine Room, as a facility, and QuickFX, as a software service platform are Disney-Marvel content security-approved.