Founded in 1993, Reel FX is an award-winning creative studio with locations in Dallas, TX and Santa Monica, CA, specializing in animation, visual effects, motion, audio and editorial for long- and short-form projects. Over the past two years, Reel FX has garnered multiple silver and bronze Tellys (honoring the best in film & video commercials, productions, and cable programs), in addition to consecutive Visual Effects Society awards nominations including one in 2012. One of its “Looney Tunes” shorts for Warner Bros. Animation was short-listed for an Academy Award as well as an Annie (animation) Award, and they’ve also received a Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) award for work on The Simpsons Ride for Universal Studios.

Several years ago, the principals at Reel FX embarked on a project to build a 3D screening room in its So-Cal location to host its industry-wide clientele. A team was put together to bring the project to fruition, which included Charles Pell of Cobalt Blue Technology who conceived the initial design, as well as supervised the construction and audio/video equipment installation, which was provided by Colin Ritchie of Aarmadillo. The architect on the project was Jonathan Brier, who also handled three Blue Sky screening rooms at Light Iron in Hollywood, Bruce Black handled all the acoustic specs and setup the room, Kam Majd and his crew built the basic theater structure, Tim Fejtek of Intek Development then took on all the theater finish work, and Joe Purcell built the custom desk and the client tables.

The screening room boasts a state-of-the-art production suite including a Barco DP2K-20C projector, Global Store system running Scratch Lab 6.0, Real D Post Production 3D system, Stewart Silver Screen, Lynx AES 16 Sound Card, Lucid 192 D to A Converter, and Symetrix Solus 8 DSP Module, in addition to a plethora of Blue Sky components: three SAT 12 Speakers for L, C and R; four I/ON Speakers for Surrounds, and one SUB 15 subwoofer.

Although Reel FX’s new room is technically a screening room, providing stellar sound was definitely at the forefront of the studio’s mind. “Because we work in both 5.1 and 7.1 on feature films, commercials, as well as short films, special attractions among other things,” said Frank Salazar, Reel FX’s Director Audio Engineering, “it was clearly important to us to have it sound as good as possible. We’ve always been a fan of Blue Sky, and the studio first demo-ed Blue Sky stuff back in 2003. Since then, we have been looking forward to working with them, and finally got the opportunity when we built this new screening room.”

“Our selection of Blue Sky components specifically was based on strong recommendations from vendor Aarmadillo Inc.,” offered Post Production Supervisor Tim Archer. “Other decision-making factors included Blue Sky’s reputation, sound quality and available sizes.”

“We found Blue Sky’s I/On speakers were the perfect size for the room,” added Salazar. “The shallow form allowed them to be mounted in the wall, which worked perfectly for our needs.”

“This 3-D theater is the best one we have ever done,” stated Charles Pell, “and is going to be the hottest screening room on the West side of L.A., that’s for sure.”

With the screening room in place, Reel FX is hard at work on a slew of new projects including dozens of commercials, a CG animated film titled Turkeys, and another, Beasts of Burden. This year, one of their biggest endeavors, the Paramount Pictures/Cirque du Soleil feature film collaboration, Cirque du Soleil Worlds Away, will be hitting 3D screens across the globe.

Top Right Photo (Left to right): Charles Pell, Tim Archer, Tim Fejtek, Sergio Amaya (Fejtek), Chad Eeds (Reel FX Wiring & Equipment Engineer), and Robert Jones (Reel FX IT Engineer). Not pictured, Bruce Black of Media Rooms, Joe Purcell of Purcell Productions, Jonathan Brier of Jonathan Brier Design, and Colin Ritchie of Aarmadillo.