Gravity Post sought the shelter of Chapter 11 protection this week but the veteran VFX company isn’t going out of business. And, unlike other troubled VFX firms in recent months, no layoffs are planned either. “The debtor’s business is fundamentally strong. In past several months (sic), the debtor has secured several profitable contracts from influential clients in the automotive and sports industries, among others,” Zviah Elder said in an affidavit (read it here) filed on September 17. Gravity has “ just finished up a feature film for The Weinstein Company and they are presently working on four commercials. They will continue working on these projects without interruption,” Elder told me today. The company filed a bankruptcy petition (read it here) in federal court in NY this week under its formal corporate name of Rhinoceros Visual Effects and Design. The move was designed to evade eviction from their Madison Avenue offices over a dispute with the landlord in which they now owe $464,381 plus legal fees. Gravity says they don’t have that money right now but they could pay it off in time. As the Chapter 11 process weaves through the courts, the NYC and Santa Monica-based Gravity will likely be moving NYC offices before the end of the year but they’re not closing up shop, says their CEO in this week’s filings. Last year, the company contributed to Warner Bros’ Crazy Stupid Love and has worked on various projects for Sony, Paramount, DreamWorks, Universal, DreamWorks Animation and on HBO series like Sex and The City and The Sopranos. Documents that Gravity filed this week list $100,000 to $500,000 in assets, with a liquidation value of $258,000. As well, the filings list $1 million to $10 million in liabilities, which includes two bank loans. A hearing on Gravity’s petition is set for Thursday with statements and schedules from the company due before the court on October 1. A full Chapter 11 plan is due by January 1, 2014, says the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Southern District of New York state.
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