Former members of Alter, including Jim Armetta, Juan Salas, Abe Finkelstein and other long-time collaborators in the VFX community, have teamed up again to start 16 Bit Pileup.
Located in Fulton Market on the West Side of Chicago, this team of creatives has grown accustomed to utilizing old and new tech’s ability to turn dreams into reality.
16 BIT has the energy and excitement of a startup with the experience and relationships that come with decades of collaboration. Creative Director and VFX Supervisor Juan Salas states “We’ve all worked together for a long time.” For many of them, it has been decades.
Their studio is filled with so many buddies that Creative Director Abe Finkelstein explains, “For lack of a better term, it is a family business vibe.”
Jim Armetta, 16 Bit’s unofficial Chief of Everything, adds, “Even though it is a family vibe and we have a good time doing what we’re doing, we get a lot of stuff done. You’ll walk in and aside from feeling comfortable here, you’ll be overly impressed with how organized and well-thought out we are when it comes to executing jobs.”
Salas remarks that if someone were to just walk into their studio, they would “probably walk in at the tail end of a joke and hear everybody laughing.”
However, 16 Bit Pileup’s body of work is no joke, and their reel is seriously impressive:
Another point of emphasis at 16 Bit is the work they do with other studios and artists. For example, the Jim Beam Smart Decanter project was a collaboration with the production and post studio, October.
Both 16 Bit Pileup and October plan on continuing their long-term relationship.
Jim Armetta also represents Dan McBride, a photographer who specializes in post.
Armetta emphasizes the value of such collaborations: “when people come to us, and they need something that a Dan McBride can provide or October can provide, we have those relationships in place, are used to working with one another, and we deliver consistently great results.”
Also Read: It’s always October in Chicago
Emphasizing that the creative process is meant to be personal, clear, and unique is part of their business model. As Finkelstein says, “We really like keeping things hands on. We like that you know who you are talking to. You’re not getting passed around a company and each day it is a new producer. The feel of everything we’re doing is letting our personality show through.”
16 Bit is proud that the process of working with them is so enjoyable that clients often want to change careers and work for them. For their CG Artist, Chris Greene, that is exactly what happened. Greene left his career as a business person, changed lifestyles, and became what 16 Bit’s website now calls “the oldest intern on earth.”
While 16 Bit’s members, clients, and collaborators have many ideas for what animals, robots, and moments they will turn from dream to reality during their first year, one thing can be certain, they are going to do it together and genuinely enjoy the process.
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Contact Joey Filer at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @FilerJoey