Western Images, the San Francisco-based post house, has closed its doors after 15 years in business. "It has a lot to do with the environment in the commercials business as it's been for the last year and a half, and our major backer can no longer support the business as it is," says Michael Cunningham, the shop's president. Cunningham says the closing was timed so Western can complete existing projects and pay severance to its 16 employees.
Michael Porte, managing director at Click 3x/New York, has left the broadcast design and effects house after six months at the helm. His departure comes within two months of Click's decision to sell off its Los Angeles office and shutter a branch in Atlanta.
Wild Brain, the San Francisco-based animation house, has opened a new office in London. The shop began expanding into Europe earlier this year with the opening of Wild Trixx Media in Munich.
Class-Key Chew-Po, the commercials division of Hollywood-based animation house Klasky-Csupo, has signed director Chris Prynoski for commercials representation. The animation director is known for his work with MTV, for which he directed the hallucination sequence in the feature Beavis and Butthead Do America and created the animated slacker drama MTV Downtown.
740 Sound Design has opened out of the facilities of West Hollywood-based sound house DaneTracks. The shop, founded by executive producer Scott Ganary and DaneTracks' Dane A. Davis, will focus exclusively on commercials sound design.
Super-Fi, a new design house, has opened its doors with offices in New York and Vienna. According to founders John Yuiska and Daniel Garcia - who have executed work for ESPN, HBO, and Showtime - the bicontinental house will focus on broadcast design, commercials and the development of branded games.