Greek Graphics Company Expands to Hollywood

Six years ago, Terry Politis was living in Greece working as a Motion Graphic designer for television station ERT when he met a young entrepreneur and head of IXOR Visual FX, Andronikos Bisogiannis. Politis didn’t foresee living in the U.S. again after finishing his studies at the Center for the Media Arts in NYC, until an opportunity to partner up with Bisogiannis and move to Hollywood changed all of that. Greek Reporter recently spoke with Terry Politis on his journey to finding an extended home for IXOR Visual FX outside of Greece, right in the center of the motion picture capital of the world.

Before heading to Los Angeles, Politis lived in New Jersey, where his parents decided to settle after leaving Athens. At the age of 11, they moved back to Greece, but the budding designer decided to try the U.S. once more when he got a little older by attending college in the States. Even though he had a lot of friends in Astoria, Queens, and visited them every weekend to hang out at Greek cafes and clubs, Politis still wasn’t sure the lifestyle and culture suited him, so he returned to his homeland after getting his degree to work as a graphic designer. As he worked his way up the ladder, he found his career moving along well at ERT, ultimately becoming Head of the Creative Department.

After Politis had a chance meeting with IXOR Visual FX’s founder Andronikos Bisogiannis, they began working together and collaborated on the biggest Greek film production ever, “El Greco.” Having ten employees in Athens, the company set up shop in Los Angeles with only three people and a few freelancers. Politis became a partner in 2012, and now heads the Hollywood office.

At first, he says he felt “intimidated. [You think], ‘I’m going to Hollywood where everything is so much more advanced than what we’ve been doing.’ And I’m realizing that’s really not the case.” Even though he says “the best of the best is in Hollywood,” he knows there are plenty of Greek talented artists waiting for their turn to shine.

“I’ve seen the talent, I know what’s out there and it’s such a shame the way things have turned out the way they have [with the Greek economy]. And so many talented kids at the moment are either unemployed, or when they do work, it’s not enough for them to support themselves. I hope we can get them as much work as possible from here.”

And the company plans on doing what they can to make that happen. Wanting to amp up the work IXOR has lined up in the U.S., Politis says ideally they’d like to fly Greek artists in, train them, and send them back to work in the Athens office because “there are certain things they don’t know how to do.” He believes that regardless of what is happening with the economy, “reports show that Greeks are the hardest working in Europe,” adding, “the people who are dedicated to what they do, they over-exceed.”

With two feature films and a large Las Vegas project in the works, the graphics company may need more help soon. While they have yet to take on any projects they can’t handle, they are pushing harder to get into the film market, and “eventually want to be able to do something like ‘Transformers,’ or something along that line,” Politis says, who admits he still has a soft spot for a Greek NesTea commercial they did using special liquid effects that may have inspired a recent ad he saw on television.

Working anywhere from 16-18 hour days to make up for the 10-hour time difference between Los Angeles and Greece, Politis is still trying to get acclimated to a Hollywood lifestyle since moving five months ago. His wife, a director of television game shows in Greece, and 4 year-old daughter are still back home as he searches neighborhoods for them to settle into.

Of course, he also makes time in his busy schedule to discover local Greek tavernas and visit “Papa Christos,” a market that sells imported groceries, so he can get his feta and Papadopolous cookie fix. The entire process hasn’t been the easiest path, he says, because “if you’re living with Greek standards and you come to [Los Angeles], it’s like, ‘Wow! Ok, yeah.’” But, he is quick to confirm that if he had moved to La La Land a long time ago, he possibly may not have gone back to Greece and ended up where he is today.

Check out the NesTea commercial IXOR Visual FX created, with a behind-the-scenes look at how they made it:


Life – Tea (TVC + Making Of) from IXOR on Vimeo.






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