Location California Magazine Features 32TEN Studios

Location California writer Andy Fry included 32TEN Studios in his look at California’s status as a global leader in the movie business.

Fry wrote: “Among the world-class companies in the Bay Area is practical effects studio 32TEN, which is based 18 miles outside San Francisco at San Rafael, in a building that used to be occupied by Industrial, Light & Magic (ILM). According to CEO Tim Partridge, the company has had a stellar year, providing effects for high-profile motion pictures including Gore Verbinski’s The Lone Ranger (2013), Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim (2013) and Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium (2013). “Nowhere else in the world has the kind of practical effects talent pool you see here,” Partridge says. “We can call on people that have worked on iconic franchises such as Indiana Jones, Back to the Future and Star Wars.”

That level of expertise is highly valued by top directors. Gore Verbinski, who was in charge of Disney’s The Lone Ranger, says: “I knew the story of The Lone Ranger was going to be epic. It was therefore essential to ground the film in as much reality as possible. I wanted to audience to taste the dust.” When it came time to scale the larger than life effects, 32TEN were in stride with that intention. They knew how important it was to make things feel raw, dynamic, and gravitationally correct. They painstakingly adapted their approach through craft, passion and good cinematographic science, until it was absolutely believable. It is almost a lost art, and I am so happy to have a team like 32TEN around who know all the tricks of the trade and are constantly advancing it to the next level.”

Equally enthusiastic is Lindy DeQuattro, co-visual effects supervisor, ILM, on Pacific Rim: “We love to use practical effects whenever it makes sense because it gives us a level of realism that can be difficult to achieve in CG. 32TEN built beautiful models and then utterly destroyed them. The results were spectacular and the blending of these practical effects with our CG work brought the project a higher level of realism.”

According to Partridge, northern California is “buzzing right now and we’re doing what we can to make San Rafael play a key part in that. While our core business is high-end practical effects, we have studio capacity here, to support producers that are in the area for locations. And we’ve rented out space in the building to a number of independent companies.”

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