Baton Rouge goes ‘Rogue’ with new production studio

The Advocate

The Rogue Initiative, a Los Angeles-based production studio, will launch a studio in Baton Rouge to develop interactive entertainment projects.

Founders Pete Blumel and Cathy Twigg said the satellite location will employ 20 people with an average salary of $55,000, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in an additional 15 indirect jobs.

The Rogue Initiative specializes in projects that incorporate traditional storytelling with interactive virtual reality through film, television and video game productions. The company is in the final stages of evaluating locations for its Baton Rouge operations and expects to begin operations by November.

The company was established in 2016. Blumel, CEO and creative director, has experience at Dreamworks Feature Animation, Amblin Entertainment and Activision’s Infinity Ward studio, where he worked on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Twigg, chief production and content officer, has worked at Dreamworks Feature Animation, Sony Pictures Television MTV Films, New Crime Productions and Bandeira Entertainment.

“With my strong ties as a Baton Rouge native, graduate of LSU and adviser to the LSU Digital Media Arts and Engineering program, we are excited to work with LED and expand The Rogue Initiative with a local production office,” Twigg said. “It’s important to have the opportunity to mentor and foster local talent.”

Film producer and director Michael Bay joined The Rogue Initiative as a strategic adviser. In addition to its work with Bay, The Rogue Initiative is working on other titles and has produced the 360-degree virtual reality film “Agent Emerson,” which was shot in Baton Rouge, and Crowe: The Drowned Armory, an interactive virtual reality game for high-end VR headsets.

The satellite studio was announced in conjunction with the annual Red Stick Video Game Symposium. The event is held at LSU and showcases work from students and local independent video game production companies.

To secure The Rogue Initiative, the state offered the company an incentive package that includes Louisiana’s Digital Interactive Media and Software Development Incentive.

“This project is an all-around win for the capital region,” said Baton Rouge Area Chamber President and CEO Adam Knapp. “The company is a cutting-edge digital firm that will add diversity to the area economy and is led by a great team that recognizes Baton Rouge as an ideal place for business and talent.”

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