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madwerkz studio creates visual effects that are 'better than real'

Robots battling natural disasters. Historic downtown Burton and its collection of 19th century buildings transformed into a turn-of-the-century Alaskan mining town. A virtual tradeshow display in 3D.

Creating these and other eye-popping visuals is all in a day’s work for Cleveland-based MadWerkz

Joddy Matthews, Founder and Director of Madwerkz, spent nearly eight years working for Sony, Pixar and Dreamworks in Los Angeles. In 2000, the native Clevelander returned to his roots and started MadWerkz.

The result is a team of award-winning artists and animators creating content, animation, design motion and visual effects for the advertising, film, TV, gaming and music industries. The growing company's stable of clients includes General Motors, Audi, Sherwin Williams and U.S. Vision, among others.

“We’re currently working on two new feature films,” says Matthews, who adds that he is not at liberty to name the titles. “They’re shooting the film in 2D, and we’re converting it to 3D.” MadWerkz is emerging as one of just a handful of companies specializing in 'Stereoscope,' another name for 3D.

“We’re getting opportunities to produce groundbreaking work in a broad range of applications,” he adds. “As a small creative shop with less bureaucracy than larger ones and in-house talent that includes producers, animators, videographers and designers, we have lower overhead, which translates into more project flexibility and lower rates.”

The company recently moved into spacious new quarters in the city’s Slavic Village neighborhood, giving MadWerkz room to grow. MadWerkz also has a presence in Chicago.

“For what we do, we love Cleveland because of the resources here,” Matthews states. “The location is accessible, and there are excellent schools, like the Cleveland Institute of Art, turning out very capable students in the visual arts. In addition, Cleveland State and the University of Akron have world-class professors teaching film and animation.”

Source:  Joddy Matthews
Writer:  Lynne Meyer
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