A CZAR IS BORN

By (TK) Published on .

Dina Benadon and Brent Young are the co-founders of three-year-old Super 78, a small Hollywood production company with an unusual twist: it has a sister CGI studio in Moscow. Super 78/Russia opened in July in an exclusive arrangement with an eight-year-old Moscow CGI house called Dr. Picture. The Super 78 name itself is "a play on 70mm and giant formats," explains Young, 31 -- a running joke from the principals' years at CGI biggie Rhythm & Hues, where they worked on theme park animations, he as an editor, she as a producer. After they left R&H, "we wanted to get involved in CGI but we didn't want to invest the resources," says Benadon, 30. "It's not easy to operate a CGI business in this saturated market." But what about the Western image of Russia as a mob-ruled madhouse? The facility is actually "very stable," insists Young. "There are no dark underworld influences." The 78ers have yet to visit Russia, however; all communications are handled via the Internet. CGI-wise, the Russians have proved to be more than competent. "Their work has a different aesthetic, a neat Eastern European flair," he says. The Moscow facility has just completed a project for a Universal theme park in Florida and is currently working on videogame designs. "They have the same equipment found here, and they even buy it from American dealers," says Young. "We don't know how they get their software, but it's
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