Television programmes and films recently have required more visual effects than ever. Viewers’ expectations for better quality have increased and, as a consequence, audiovisual companies need to up the ante to satisfy consumers in the best possible way. Stargate Studios Malta CEO Matthew Pullicino tells Business Malta how the Maltese arm of the international high-tech production company Stargate Studios offers visual effects and production services out of the island nation.
With six studios all around the world, from Los Angeles to Beijing, Mr Pullicino says that Stargate blends all the available production technologies into one fully-integrated and high-tech production and editorial service.
Founded in 1989, the company can count on a number of artists, supervisors and producers who work on digital production and visual effects. Stargate Studios Malta is the only Europe-based studio of the group. It was established in 2012 when Sam Nicholson teamed up with a Maltese company, formerly known as The Bigger Picture, headed by Matthew Pullicino and David Serge. Stargate Studios Malta now has a team of 30, working in production and on visual effects. It has recently moved its offices to Techno Park in Mosta.
“The situation here in Malta is always developing. We are all enthusiastic about this studio based here in Malta.”
“Although business here in Malta is always progressing, we do not work for productions being serviced locally. We collaborate with European producers based in cities such as Rome, Germany and Madrid, which means that we travel around and connect directly with our clients overseas,” Mr Pullicino tells Business Malta.
Stargate Studios Malta has supplied high-end visual effects to shows like “Medici – Masters of Florence”, “American Gods”, “Pietro Mennea – La freccia Del Sud”, “El Principe”, “You Me and the Apocalypse” and many more. Mr Pullicino notes that this thriving studio at the heart of the Mediterranean has geared itself to bring an effective and successful American workflow to European markets.
In addition, the cash rebate by the Malta Film Commission is a significant factor in helping the island become a viable option for quality post-production. The Malta Film Commission offers financial incentives to audiovisual productions which are shot in the island nation. These incentives are in the form of a cash rebate of up to 40% of costs incurred on the island.
“The situation here in Malta is always developing. We are all enthusiastic about this studio based here in Malta,” says Mr Pullicino. Nevertheless, the playing field of the audiovisual industry nowadays has become highly global, moving beyond the boundaries of local markets. Producers want to create stunning visual content in foreign languages, especially in the case of Europe. For instance, LuxVide, one of Stargate Studios Malta’s Italian clients, has recently invested in creating television content in English, while the whole work takes place in Italy with an Italian crew.
“We want our clients to know that Stargate Studios Malta is able to guarantee a high level of product which fits these new projects run by European film companies. We offer the quality that is generally found in US television projects at a competitive European price-point,” the CEO adds.
Mr Pullicino, however, notes that recruitment is a major issue at the moment, as finding the right talent is challenging due to a very limited talent pool in Malta. “Stargate Studios Malta is looking into ways of helping nurture local talent,” he emphasises.
The global reel of Stargate Studios for 2018 below shows some of the productions the company has been involved in recently.