Thilo Kuther, the German founder of the international visual effects company Pixomondo, died Tuesday of cancer at his home in Marina del Rey, his nephew, Niklas Fissel, told The Hollywood Reporter. He was 58.
A native of Frankfurt, Kuther launched Pixomondo in 2001 out of Stuttgart, creating video installations and 3D animation for corporate clients before jumping into films four years later. By 2012, it had offices in those two cities and 10 others: Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Shanghai, Beijing, London, Toronto, Santa Monica, Burbank and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
By 2018, Pixomondo had added branches in Vancouver and Montreal to go with its two offices in China, plus London, Frankfurt and Stuttgart.
“It’s about finding a spot that is capable of doing great work and then joining the other facilities to share the work [among them],” he said in 2012.
Pixomondo’s notable credits include Martin Scorsese’s Hugo (2011), which won five Oscars, including one for visual effects, and movies in the Fast & Furious and Hunger Games franchises.
It also is known for its relationship with Roland Emmerich, having worked with the German filmmaker on such effects-driven movies as 2012 (2009), Independence Day: Resurgence (2016), Midway (2019) and Moonfall (2022).
In television, Pixomondo was among the key effects vendors on HBO’s Game of Thrones, which won seven Emmys in the VFX category.
In July 2018, Mayfair Equity Partners took a majority investment in Pixomondo that valued the company at $65 million. Kuther, at the time, remained CEO and executive producer.
In October, Sony Pictures Entertainment acquired the company from Mayfair. Kuther had departed by then, his nephew said.
The talented Kuther’s most recent endeavor was running Xmachina, a themed entertainment and design firm based in Marina del Rey (his nephew works there as well). It was the name of his first company.
Survivors also include his wife, Claudia.