FNE Film Meets Games: Q&A with Dovydas Vilkelis, CEO and Producer of Animatrix

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    Dovydas Vilkelis, Animatrix Dovydas Vilkelis, Animatrix credit: Foko Foto studio

    VILNIUS: FNE spoke to Dovydas Vilkelis, CEO and producer of Animatrix, about their current activities, as well as the state of the Lithuanian animation and game development industries.

    Central and Eastern Europe is one of the most important locations for global games developers and studios, and artists in the region are increasingly working for both film and games. FNE looks at how these two sectors of the entertainment industry are converging and why this trend is important for the future development of both.

    FNE: When was Animatrix founded and what have been your main missions and strategic projects so far?

    Dovydas Vilkelis: Originally, Animatrix was founded in 2002, but as I love to say, it was reborn in 2016 once we found our true path and narrowed down our services to CG animation & VFX. We are very lucky for getting a chance to work on many LEGO projects through our partners scattered all over the world.

    Games industry was always very interesting for us and we would be very happy to get a chance to collaborate and work on game trailers or cinematics. At the moment we are in the middle of discussions with a games marketing agency for possible collaboration on various game trailers.

    FNE: Film and games convergence is a hot topic now. What can you tell us about the relationship between the games industry and film in your experience? Do you have any experience using VFX in terms of games? What can you tell us about your experience and vision of game cinematics?

    Dovydas Vilkelis: We don’t have too much experience working with the games industry yet, but I’m actively looking for a way in. The closest experience we had with this industry was the LEGO Overwatch project for which we provided animation & VFX services. It was a collaboration between LEGO and Blizzard Entertainment. Also, we have worked on the My Talking Tom and My Talking Angela animation projects, for which we collaborated with the company Outfit7.

    In general, I’m very excited about the opportunities which these two industries can bring. We already have great examples of which Arcane and The Last of Us are one of my favourite TV series.

    FNE: Are there any films and animations from Lithuania or other FNE countries that are being turned into games or games that are being turned into films, animations or TV series?

    Dovydas Vilkelis: Not that I know of. However, we have a great brand Kake Make, which was born as books and now it’s turning into a feature film, TV series and possibly a game.

    FNE: What can you tell us about the Lithuanian animation industry?

    Dovydas Vilkelis: We are a small country, but the animation industry here is growing rapidly, it doesn’t matter if it’s experimental, 2D or 3D animation. The documentary Aurora's Sunrise (2022) by Inna Sahakyan, on which Lithuania was a minor coproducer, was even nominated for an Oscar.

    FNE: Which Lithuanian animations would you single out that have had international success, on which did you work?

    Dovydas Vilkelis: In the past we were mainly working with short format commercial projects, but for example LEGO Overwatch and LEGO Brick to the Future were very successful campaigns with very positive feedback from internet audiences and comparisons to LEGO Films.

    FNE: How much is the turnover and how much is the percentage of expected growth in the region? What can you tell us specifically about your company's numbers?

    Dovydas Vilkelis: We are getting more and more attention from European companies. Our revenue grew more than 100% in the past two years and I expect it will grow more than 50% in 2023. We still have a capacity to grow as a studio and adding some numbers from the game industry would be a great incentive for this growth.

    FNE: How do you see the development of the relationship between the film and games industries?

    Dovydas Vilkelis: I believe that it will grow exponentially. It does not matter which way you start, converting a great game to series/film or viceversa, you already have time tested characters and universe. It’s a safe way for big companies to invest their money and a great opportunity for studios to work on exciting projects.

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