Saban and Potter alums form Zag Animation Studios

050208_1154_saban_173x1360Haim Saban is one of a quartet of industry names who have teamed to create Zag Animation Studios.

The media industry veteran is teaming with filmmaker and best-selling author Chris Columbus, producer Michael Barnathan and Jeremy Zag, the founder and boss of privately-owned kids and family producer Zag Entertainment.

Columbus and Barnathan both count the Harry Potter features among the credits. Zag already has a TV animated division, France-based Zagtoon, which was created in 2009 in association with Jacqueline Tordjman.

The new studio has a slate of animated features and will release one 3D animated film and one CGI-live action hybrid film per year theatrically, before they travel to TV and other platforms.

Production will be handled out of Zag’s current California base.

“This is an incredible moment for our business as we partner to create a world-class animation studio that will produce extraordinary feature films,” said Haim Saban, of Saban Capital Group and Saban Brands.

The studio’s first featurewill be Melody, a full CGI offering, co-directed by Columbus and Zag. Additional films in the line-up include: Ghostforce, a CGI-live action hybrid, and Abominable, in full CGI.

“After all of these years, it’s fantastic to start a new venture that brings together talented artists from around the world under Jeremy’s excellent leadership and Haim’s brilliant international business experience,” said Columbus.