Rhythm and Hues Studios
|Industry||Visual effects, CGI animation|
|Founded||November 1, 1987|
|Headquarters||Los Angeles, California, United States|
Number of locations
|United States, India, Canada, Malaysia, Taiwan|
Rhythm & Hues Studios was an American visual effects and animation company, that received the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects in 1995 for Babe, in 2008 for The Golden Compass, and in 2013 for Life of Pi. It also received four Scientific and Technical Academy Awards.
Rhythm & Hues Studios was established in Los Angeles, California in 1987 by former employees of Robert Abel and Associates (John Hughes, Pauline Ts'o, Keith Goldfarb, Cliff Boule, Frank Wuts and Charles Gibson). The company used its own proprietary software for its photo-realistic character animation/visual effects—as well as for those that are more stylized.
By 2012, the company had become a global one, with offices and artists in India (the Mumbai suburb of Malad and HITEC City which is a part of Hyderabad), Malaysia (Cyberjaya just outside Kuala Lumpur), Canada (Vancouver), and Taiwan (Kaohsiung).
Director Ang Lee approached Rhythm & Hues in August 2009 to discuss a planned film adaptation of the fantasy novel Life of Pi. R&H VFX (Visual Effects) Supervisor Bill Westenhofer noted that Lee "knew we had done the lion in the first Narnia movie. He asked, 'Does a digital character look more or less real in 3D?' We looked at each other and thought that was a pretty good question." He also stated that during these meetings, Lee said, "‘I look forward to making art with you.’ This was really for me one of the most rewarding things I’ve worked on and the first chance to really combine art with VFX. Every shot was artistic exploration, to make the ocean a character and make it interesting we had to strive to make it as visually stunning as possible."
Rhythm & Hues spent a year on research and development, "building upon its already vast knowledge of CG animation" to develop the tiger. Artist Abdul Rahman in the Malaysian branch underscored the global nature of the effects process, saying that "the special thing about Life of Pi is that it was the first time we did something called remote rendering, where we engaged our cloud infrastructure in Taiwan called CAVE (Cloud Animation and Visual Effects)".
The resulting film, Life of Pi, was released in theaters in November 2012, and was a critical and commercial success. The British Film Institute's Sight & Sound magazine suggested that, "Life of Pi can be seen as the film Rhythm & Hues has been building up to all these years, by taking things they learned from each production from Cats & Dogs to Yogi Bear, integrating their animals in different situations and environments, pushing them to do more, and understanding how all of this can succeed both visually and dramatically."
On February 11, 2013, Rhythm & Hues Studios filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11, three months after Life of Pi was released. Around 254 people were laid off at that time. This led to a demonstration of nearly 500 VFX artists who protested outside of the 2013 Academy Awards, as Rhythm & Hues was nominated for an Oscar (which it won) for Life of Pi. Inside, during the Oscars, when R&H visual effects supervisor Bill Westenhofer brought up R&H during his acceptance speech for Life of Pi, the microphone was cut off as the music of Jaws slowly took over. This started an uproar among many visual effects industry professionals, changing profile pictures on social media such as Facebook and Twitter to show the green key color, in order to raise awareness of general negative trends in the effects industry. In addition, director Ang Lee was heavily criticized by the community for not acknowledging their work in the effects-laden film in his acceptance speech, despite thanking many other people, and for earlier having complained about the costs of visual effects.
After the bankruptcy and sale, Rhythm and Hues continued to work on film, television, and ride-film projects, winning multiple Emmy Awards and a Visual Effects Society award for their work on Game of Thrones. Rhythm & Hues Studios ceased operations in November 2020 due to various factors including financial pressure caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Bourne Legacy
- Big Miracle
- Django Unchained
- Red Dawn
- The Hunger Games
- This is 40
- Life of Pi
- Snow White and the Huntsman
- Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked
- The Cabin in the Woods
- Game of Thrones
- Red Riding Hood
- Mr. Popper's Penguins
- X-Men: First Class
- The A-Team
- Charlie St. Cloud
- Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
- The Wolfman
- Knight and Day
- Little Fockers
- Hot Tub Time Machine
- Yogi Bear
- Aliens in the Attic
- Ghosts of Girlfriends Past
- Fast & Furious
- The Time Traveler's Wife
- Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant
- State of Play
- Land of the Lost
- Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel
- Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
- The Golden Compass
- Live Free or Die Hard
- I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
- The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising
- The Kingdom
- Alvin and the Chipmunks
- Evan Almighty
- Charlotte's Web
- Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties
- The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
- Happy Feet
- Night at the Museum
- Superman Returns
- X-Men: The Last Stand
- The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
- The Longest Yard
- The Skeleton Key
- The Ring 2
- Ice Princess
- Around the World in 80 Days
- Garfield: The Movie
- Friday Night Lights
- The Flight of the Phoenix
- The Chronicles of Riddick
- Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed
- The Cat in the Hat
- The Rundown
- Intolerable Cruelty
- The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
- Cats & Dogs
- Dr. Dolittle 2
- Along Came a Spider
- Behind Enemy Lines
- One Night at McCool's
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
- Planet of the Apes
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas
- Little Nicky
- Fantasia 2000
- Dracula 2000
- Battlefield Earth
- The Sixth Day
- The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas
- Rugrats in Paris: The Movie
- Hollow Man
- Anna and the King
- The Green Mile
- End of Days
- Mystery Men
- Summer of Sam
- The Story of Us
- Stuart Little
- 2018: Won: Game of Thrones "Beyond the Wall"
- 2016: Won: Game of Thrones "Battle Of The Bastards"
- 2015: Won: Game of Thrones "The Dance Of Dragons"
- Industrial Light & Magic
- Sony Pictures Imageworks
- Animal Logic
- Weta Digital
- Digital Domain
- Moving Picture Company
- Pacific Data Images
- Blue Sky Studios
- "Rhythm & Hues". Linkedin.com. Archived from the original on 2011-02-11.
- "Prana Studios Buys Bankrupt 'Life of Pi' VFX House Rhythm & Hues". Blogs.indiewire.com. Archived from the original on 1 April 2013. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
- Stech, Katy (21 February 2013). "Rhythm & Hues Looks to Finish 'Seventh Son'". Wsj.com. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
- The Hollywood Reporter (1999-03-03). "Rhythm & Hues Rounds Up Vifx". AllBusiness.com. Archived from the original on 2015-11-07. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
- "A glimpse of Rhythm & Hues (Asian Facilities) work on Ang Lee's masterpiece 'Life of Pi'". Animationxpress.com. 2 January 2013. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
- "Free 3D tutorials for Blender, Maya, ZBrush, Cinema 4D for CG Artists". 9 April 2021. Archived from the original on 9 June 2013. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
- Rhythm & Hues Taps NVIDIA Technology for Life of Pi. Animation World Network, November 26, 2012
- A First Mate Bares His Fangs: Creating a Tiger for ‘Life of Pi’. The New York Times, November 16, 2012
- Rhythm & Hues Makes Skies Soar, Computer Graphics World, November 27, 2012
- "Malaysian team behind special effects for Life of Pi and Snow White movies". Archived from the original on 12 January 2013. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
- 'Life of Pi's' digital magic. Los Angeles Times, January 18, 2013
- EXCLUSIVE: Life of Pi's Stunning Effects. The Daily (News Corporation), November 26, 2012
- "MAAC KAROLBAGH | Best Animation & VFX Course in Delhi | Graphic & Web Design". Bestanimationandvfx.in. Retrieved 4 April 2022.[failed verification]
- "Life of Pi: a tiger's tale", Fxguide, November 26, 2012
- Vfx team dares to take tiger by the tail. Variety (magazine), December 15, 2012
- "Local touch to Life Of Pi" Archived 2013-04-02 at the Wayback Machine, New Straits Times, November 26, 2012
- Video essay: The animal menagerie of Rhythm and Hues". British Film Institute's Sight & Sound magazine, December 21, 2012
- Variety (2013-02-12). "Rhythm & Hues bankruptcy reveals vfx biz crisis". Variety. Retrieved 2013-02-13.
- Johnson, Ted (15 February 2013). "Rhythm & Hues gets $17 mil loan from Universal, Fox". Variety.com. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
- "VFX protest at Oscars: images from the picket line + audio interview". Fxguide.com. 22 February 2013. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
- "Biggest Oscars snub: A shark attack on the VFX industry". The San Francisco Chronicle.
- "Entertainment – UPROXX". Archived from the original on 17 October 2013. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
- Pulver, Andrew (February 26, 2013). "Ang Lee under fire from visual effects artists over Life of Pi speech". The Guardian. London.
- Giardina, Carolyn. "Oscars 2013: VFX Artists Blast 'Disgraceful' TV Moments". The Hollywood Reporter.
- "Two-Day Roller Coaster Ends Delivers L.A. VFX Studio to Indian Owners". Variety, March 28, 2013.
- "Rhythm & Hues finalizes sale to Prana Studios". Los Angeles Times, March 29, 2013.
- "Life of Pi Wins Best Visual Effects Oscar". Eonline.com. 25 February 2013. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
- "Oscar Award for Best Visual Effects - Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects". Awardsandshows.com. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
- "BAFTA Awards Search | BAFTA Awards". Awards.bafta.org. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
- "BAFTA Awards Search | BAFTA Awards". Awards.bafta.org. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
- "Outstanding Special Visual Effects Nominees / Winners 2018". Television Academy. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
- "Outstanding Special Visual Effects Nominees / Winners 2016". Television Academy. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
- "Outstanding Special Visual Effects Nominees / Winners 2015". Television Academy. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
- "15th Annual VES Awards". Visualeffectssociety.com. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
Further reading and viewing
- Lee, Kevin. "Video essay: The animal menagerie of Rhythm and Hues". Sight & Sound, British Film Institute. December 21, 2012.
- "'Life of Pi's' digital magic". Los Angeles Times, January 17, 2013.
- Zahed, Ramin. "Beyond Talking Pigs and Chipmunks". Animation Magazine, April 2, 2012.
- Life After Pi (2014 documentary)
- Giardina, Carolyn (26 February 2014). "Revealing 'Rhythm & Hues: Life After Pi' Doc Exposes Grief, Anger and Troubled Business (Video)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 4 April 2022.