In conversation with Mr. Jiri Mika, Managing Director at PFX Studios. He spearheads a dynamic team dedicated to redefining the landscape of visual effects, post-production, animation, and advertising. Jiri’s strategic vision is reflected in PFX’s unique approach, where specialized teams under his guidance seamlessly integrate their expertise across diverse segments. With a commitment to excellence and operational efficiency, Jiri ensures that PFX Studios stands out as a versatile and innovative player in the competitive world of multimedia production.
Managing Director at PFX
Market Positioning and Competitive Edge
Jiri Mika: What sets PFX apart from its competition is mainly the fact that we have segmented our services into three divisions – VFX and post-production, animation, and advertising – which is rather unique, as most post-production houses only target one or two of these segments. What is more, we have been building up our expertise in each of these segments, led by dedicated teams and management, including specialized supervisors. We have one strong pipeline team to provide support for all of our staff in order to ensure that everything runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Whenever the need arises, we can always bring in artists from various departments to help realize our projects.
Another notable quality that sets us apart from the rest is that we can collaborate with producers of animated feature films in the position of co-producer by funding projects using our own resources and providing assistance throughout the entire process of acquiring government incentives. We currently operate in two markets: the Czech Republic and Slovakia, where we are able to help projects obtain up to 20% in government funding, or 33% of the total budget. In the upcoming year, we are planning to expand into other Central European markets, so our range of services will continue to evolve.
Jiri Mika: A crucial aspect that differentiates us on the global market is our price. We provide all of our clients with top notch service no matter how big or small the project, and the quality of our outputs is on par with the world’s biggest studios, as evidenced by our work ranging from Napoleon by director Ridley Scott, to HBO’s Winning Time, to the Netflix hit Stranger Things. The fact that we are based in Central Europe gives us a considerable competitive advantage, as reflected in our pricing. In contrast to the markets in the USA, UK and Western Europe, our overheads are not as high, meaning we can offer our clients competitive rates.
Partnerships and Collaborations
Jiri Mika: Our VFX and post-production studio collaborates with clients from all over the globe. We are constantly building relationships with production houses. Over the last few years, the market has transformed significantly due to the rising popularity of streaming platforms. This is why we have established ties with many of the biggest players in the field and are currently collaborating on projects with HBO, Netflix, Disney +, Apple TV, Hulu, Sky and others. We work directly with studios and producers, as our ambitions are not limited to big projects but also extend to VFX and post-production services including grading, editing, finishing or deliveries, for smaller, independent films. We are also open to working with other post-productions houses when the project calls for such cooperation.
In terms of animation, we often find ourselves in the role of co-producer, which is why our participation is at the highest level. We are currently working on three animated feature films, which, in addition to service work, also requires us to actively seek out possible avenues for funding. An equally important segment, in which we are seeking long-term partnerships, is the production of various animated content. This includes cinematics for the gaming industry, a special field for which we are currently building a dedicated department.
Our advertising studio cooperates with clients from all around the world, from North America to Asia. We seek out work with production houses and advertising agencies but also with clients directly. Such partnerships have proven very beneficial for us, like our long-standing and close partnerships with major automotive brands, for whom we produce creative content for technology exhibitions, shows and trade fairs, e.g., by creating projections on larger than-life screens. This has shown us just how crucial it is for our business to foster long-standing, strategic partnerships.
Jiri Mika: We are always striving to elevate our business and meet our clients’ needs. This is why our long-standing partnerships automatically contribute to our ever-evolving service offerings. Sometimes we start with small jobs, creating the effects for just several shots, and over the course of several projects, these jobs grow into much larger projects, calling for more of the services that we have to offer. Just like in other sectors, it holds true that outstanding work will spark a chain of positive reactions through word of mouth, even across continents. We can confidently say that our expertise, together with our solid credentials, is opening doors to new markets.
The evolution of our company is a testament to this, as in just 10 years, our small studio with only a handful of employees has grown to where it is today. We have recently joined forces with the private equity fund Genesis and together are planning to expand into new markets.
Jiri Mika: We are constantly striving to improve and develop our pipeline to ensure that it is in line with the latest state-of-the art and that we can operate swiftly and effectively. We invest a lot of resources into our own internal tools and software, allowing us to have greater control over our projects both in terms of production and financials.
Jiri Mika: The advent of AI is something we definitely do not want to sleep on and we are doing everything in our power to move forward with the times. This is why we have set up an internal team to follow the latest trends and choose the most suitable tools for our work. In the vast sea of new software and tools it can often be difficult to find the right ones that will actually advance our business. Our experts are always testing available solutions and are able to quickly identify what actually works and what is only dead weight riding the AI wave.
AI will certainly have a significant impact on post-production in the coming years.
PFX is a leading full-service post-production studio in Prague, Czech Republic. It is based in the heart of Europe and works as a partner on film productions, working closely with film and television creators, advertising agencies, and producers. Its collaborative efforts result in outstanding content across various formats. It was founded in 2012 as a small boutique studio with just 4 artists, but it has grown to become one of the most significant and trusted VFX companies in the CEE region, boasting 4 branches and an experienced international team of over 150 artists.
PFX's Latest Projects
- Visual Expertise: PFX excels in visual effects, animation, and CGI, providing top-notch services for enhanced content quality and creativity.
- Diverse Capabilities: Offering a wide array of post-production services, including color correction, 3D animations, motion graphics, and more, ensuring comprehensive solutions.
- Industry Recognition: PFX’s high-ranking position in post-production and its engagement levels signify industry acknowledgment and reliability, ensuring a trusted partnership.
- Proven Track Record: The studio has collaborated on notable projects like “Stranger Things” and “Blonde,” showcasing its competence and experience in handling major productions.
- Innovation and Collaboration: With a commitment to excellence, PFX leverages cutting-edge technology, such as generative AI, showcasing an innovative approach and fostering collaborative endeavors.