Adelaide-based Rising Sun Pictures eyes global growth after being acquired by Hollywood studio

Rising Sun Pictures Tony Clark

Rising Sun Pictures co-founder Tony Clark says the sale to FuseFx will allow RSP to expand. Image: Ben Kelly.

Visual effects studio Rising Sun Pictures has been bought by Hollywood studio FuseFX, in a move that the Rising Sun says will help it grow.

Under the deal announced last week, Rising Sun Pictures (RSP) will maintain its brand and continue to be based in Adelaide, South Australia under the guidance of co-founder Tony Clark.

FuseFX is a full-service visual effects company with studios in Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, Vancouver, Montréal, Toronto and Bogotá.

It says there will be no operational changes to the RSP business and that the team will look to grow after a recent expansion of the Adelaide headquarters that increased capacity to 270 staff.

The acquisition now gives the combined companies nearly 800 artists at eight locations across the globe.

Clark said the buyout would allow RSP to embark on an expansion plan over the next few years “to help fully realise RSP’s potential”.

“We’re very excited to be partnering with FuseFX, which comes at an ideal time as we grow to meet the demand over the coming years,” he said.

“Our vision for Rising Sun Pictures is to be a cornerstone component of the next generation global full-service visual effects company, and with the FuseFX partnership, we can achieve this vision to ensure that we stay at the forefront of visual effects production and remain a trusted creative partner to our clients.”

The Adelaide-based company currently has about 170 staff and was co-founded in 1995 by Clark alongside Gail Fuller and Wayne Lewis.

Over its 25-year history, RSP has provided work on blockbusters including Mortal Kombat, Black Widow, Ford v Ferrari, Spider-Man: Far from Home, Game of Thrones, and Thor: Ragnarok.

FuseFX founder and chief executive David Altenau said the acquisition would fuel RSP’s expansion plans and offer a broader range of skill sets, geographic locations and storytelling solutions to clients.

“Tony, Gail, Wayne and the entire team at Rising Sun Pictures have created one of the most well-established and respected independent studios in the world,” he said.

“Their commitment to delivering the highest quality art and service to their clients has helped make them an icon in the visual effects industry.

“Their previous work and position in the industry make them a fantastic partner for FuseFX.”

FuseFX is a portfolio company of EagleTree Capital, a New York-based private equity firm, and was founded in 2006 in Los Angeles by Altenau and co-founders Tim Jacobsen and Jason Fotter.

It added the studios in Montréal, Toronto and Bogotá in 2020 when it acquired Folks VFX last year.

The price paid for RSP has not been disclosed.

This article was first published by The Lead South Australia.

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