The globalization of VFX

The globalization of VFX

Syndicate Entertainment is one of the smallest VFX houses in Stockholm, yet it’s attracted major clients from all over the world. While post production and specifically the visual effects industry are undergoing major changes, Syndicate has maintained it’s unique spirit of collaboration to produce projects that are visually stunning and cost efficient. 

The digitalization of film has dramatically revamped post production. We’ve seen the green clad demonstrators at the Oscars and the chroma green profile pictures on Facebook. Competition has intensified to the point where many Oscar winners for “Best Visual VFX” have gone bankrupt, some even before they received their statuettes. Government tax subsidies have incentivized the film industry to take their projects abroad. The big VFX companies have experienced financial worries, shutdowns and mass layoffs. Film scanners, printers and silicone graphics machines which required costly investments are now antiquated. Personal computers have replaced expensive supercomputers. 

This change has afforded tremendous opportunities for smaller and far more agile companies to succeed during these tumultuous times. Syndicate Entertainment in Stockholm is one of the best examples of a streamlined VFX company that combines depth of experience, talent and connections to execute flagship projects around the world.  It’s lean operation is certainly one of the key secrets of it’s success. 

-“Digitization has not only reduced costs, but it has also made it possible for film projects to be produced across continents quickly and efficiently. Within one day, a clip is shot in Cape Town, color set in London, retouched in Mumbai, combined with special effects in Stockholm and sent to New York for approvals. At Syndicate, our small operation is a tremendous advantage in this context. We are a nimble team continually open to new technologies and techniques. Sweden has many extremely successful directors whose work is recognized here and abroad. We are fortunate to have been able to collaborate with them on very creative projects.” Björn Benckert, Creative Lead at Syndicate. 

Syndicate welcomes the digital revolution. Over the past year our company has worked on projects from every corner of the planet. Sometimes we work with a Swedish director, but we often work for agencies and production companies where we’ve only met virtually. 

Here are a few examples of Syndicate’s international projects: 

Johnnie Walker – Black Label / Dir: Johan Renck ProdCo: Reset NY. Agency Publicist NY.
BeeLine – Pterodactyl /Dir: Filip Engström, ProdCo:  Bazelevs Films Moscow.
Peptobismal – Goatboy / Dir: Sam Host, ProdCo: Sweetshop NZ. Agency Publicist NY.
Lifebouy – Sneeze Freeze / Dir: Eric Hillenbrand, ProdCo: Bakery films Bombay.  Agency JWT Singapore.
Heizen Mit Öl / ProdCo: OnFilm Zürich.  Agency RufLanz Switzerland.
Juhayna – Mix Man / Dir: Didier Poiraud, ProdCo: Silvergreen Cairo. Agency: Mi7 Egypt.
Jaquet droz – Watches / Creative digitial agency: Ireel Paris.


Bjorn continues: – “Some of our international clients come to Stockholm to work with us, but most prefer to follow the process online. I think the reason why so many producers and creators prefer to work globally is that they don’t actually have to watch as the paint dries. We also gain time by working across multiple time zones. It’s thrilling to get projects from New Zealand or Los Angeles when our clients may have so many other options closer to home.”

Between Skype, live video feeds and inexpensive flights, Syndicate/Stockholm has found a niche close to the Arctic Circle where they are challenging the world’s VFX giants. 

Anetka Zakrzewska
Managing Director
Syndicate Entertainment

Related links:
Syndicate Showreels
Life after Pi
Digital Domain goes bankrupcy
How VFX can be saved
People in Green
New turn on Tax subsidies