CafeFX’s Jeff Barnes and David Ebner have released an official statement on the closure of the studio they co-founded in 1993.
According to the statement, which was released shortly before Christmas: “After 17 years in business, CafeFX/ComputerCafe has decided to officially close its doors. The current economic climate and global marketplace have made it unrealistic for us to continue to deliver the highest quality visual effects work, which has been our hallmark, at a competitive price and a sustaining profit.”
The announcement marks the end of one of the longest-established visual effects studios in the US: in addition to numerous ads, music promos and idents, CafeFX had worked on over 80 movies, notably acting as lead facility on Snakes on a Plane and Pan’s Labyrinth.
The studio’s workforce had been scaled down dramatically at the end of stereo conversion work on Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland earlier this year.
CafeFX is the latest small-to-mid-sized North American effects studio to close this year, following in the wake of Toronto’s C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures and Santa Monica’s Asylum VFX.
In an interview with Variety, Asylum’s Nathan McGuinness blamed the influence of tax incentives in the UK and Canada for driving down the profit margins of US studios.