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Former Computer Game Company Tries Its Hand At Producing High-Tech Commercials

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CARY — A former Cary computer game company has re-invented itself and plans to produce high-end TV commercials. Alternate Route Studios puts "the power to show" behind "the power to know" for its parent company,SAS Institute.

When SouthPeak Interactive folded, Alternate Route Studios was born.

"Initially, we're going to be looking at commercials, but we fully intend that to lead us to larger projects, features and so forth," says executive director Susan Ellis.

The first big project puts together two commercials for SAS, using the talent and facilities on the Cary campus. One commercial, "Flood," shows data deluging a city. The background is created with models and computer generated images.

"Flood," along with "Harvest," were edited in Alternate Route's digital editing suite. After a lot of difficult work, filming, green screen and compositing, there is finally a finished product.

The new studio wants to compete with the big West coast special effects companies.

"Our size and scale is certainly nothing like the companies who work on features, but in terms of commercial development, we feel like we're very unique," Ellis says.

About 75 former SouthPeak employees now staff Alternate Route Studios. The company hopes to develop its high-tech commercial production business on the East Coast.

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Tom Lawrence, Reporter
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