Cribs: Framestore, Los Angeles

Editor Update—March 26, 2018

Since the time we first published this back in August of 2016, Framestore’s VFX supervisor Rich Hoover won the 2018 Oscar for Blade Runner: 2049.  We’re honored to have been given the opportunity to go in and give our readers a peek inside one of Hollywood’s powerhouse VFX houses. Be sure to check out our #MadeInFrame series premiere where we look at another VFX darling, Ingenuity Studios (who did the work on another 2018 Oscar-winning film, Get Out.)

This is a photographic peek inside the crib that is Framestore, a visual effects and post-production house with offices in London, Montreal, New York and this one, in the Culver City area of Los Angeles.

The facility in Culver City opened in May, 2013. This branch of the company is mainly focused on advertising production and post. More recently, they have made the move into virtual reality. We asked them to kick off our “cribs” series highlighting cool places to work in our industry.

DHD Architecture + Design joined forces with RAC Design Build to transform an aerospace workshop into a post-production facility. The firm had designed Framestore’s previous spaces in New York’s SoHo district.

Updated modernism

The original building was a flame-retardant fabric workshop, providing fire protection for the airline industry. As an hommage to the past, the client lounge features a pair of period TWA business class seats with ashtrays.

Connection to the spacious sunshine of L.A. itself

Framestore opened shop in this location in 2013, with the idea of keeping the industrial feel in a comfortable, creative open plan. The effect of the “birds nest” tower and “floating conference room” is “outside-in, inside-out.” The vision of artists, producers and clients alike is expanded with ample glass windows and inviting open spaces.

The gift of an unusual framework

The tower is part of the original building, the area where treated fabric was hung to dry. It now includes a game area overlooking the city. This area of L.A. was dominated by the aerospace industry in the post-war period of the previous century. What’s more, it remains convenient not only to the airport but to Hollywood and west L.A.

Mad Men crib for advertising clients

A set of NYC subway strap hangers hangs in the lounge. Elsewhere around the facility are other 20th century period elements. It’s like the Jet Age still lives and breathes in this building.

Crib photos by Chinaedu Nwadibia

Mark Christiansen

Author at and of the After Effects Studio Techniques series (Adobe Press); VES Member, VFX Artist and Supervisor on Avatar, Pirates of the Caribbean At World's End, The Day After Tomorrow, Beasts of the Southern Wild; Founder of New Scribbler (developers of Cinefex for iPad); past employee of Lucasfilm, Adobe and