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Every story has a beginning.
Qubic Founder’s Story
By Justin Leach, CEO, Founder


Cinema Paradise

I was raised as the son of a movie lover, something akin to a non-tragic ’80s American version of Cinema Paradiso.

My father once owned a movie theater, and I fondly remember ascending to the projection booth, hearing the noisy sound of film threading through the projector, and seeing the images beamed onto the screen.

He owned 16mm prints of cinematic gems such as Ben Hur in CinemaScope and Star Wars. Star Wars had a huge impact on me and was a very influential force behind my decision to make movies.


Video to go

My father established one of the first video stores in the Midwest, “Video to Go.” I was exposed to many foreign films, Asian cinema, and anime, which broadened my perspective on filmmaking.

He would take me to local CES shows in both Chicago and Las Vegas, where I gained a different perspective on the movie and game industry. One time, I even had the honor of meeting the legendary Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Mario!


Consoles from Japan

At the same time, after the popularity of the ’70s consoles (Atari 2600, Intellivision, Colecovision) waned, a new crop of Japanese consoles hit the market during the ’80s bubble economy in Japan—Nintendo Entertainment System and Sega Master System. Shortly thereafter, game consoles jumped to 16-bit: Sega Genesis, NEC Turbografx (PC Engine), and Super Nintendo took it to the next level.

I’ll never forget that fateful day when I stumbled upon an NES at Toys “R” Us that had been released that day. I had been playing Super Mario Bros at my local 7-Eleven all summer while slurping Slurpees, and I felt astonished that I could play my favorite game at home.


Anime Fandom Begins

In addition to the outstanding movies and games that emerged in the ‘80s and ‘90s, the world of anime was experiencing what many consider to be the golden era of anime.

anime posters
anime posters
anime posters

Films such as Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Ninja Scroll, Robot Carnival, Memories, and Neo Tokyo (Manie Manie) grew my interest in Japanese animation.

anime posters
anime posters
anime posters
anime posters


Finding Miyazaki

There was one filmmaker who greatly inspired me through a set of seemingly unrelated experiences in the 80’s: An arcade game called “Cliffhanger” (a Laserdisc version of “The Castle of Cagliostro”), The Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind comic book published by Viz Media, and “Warriors of the Wind” feature animated film (the notorious re-edited version of Nausicaa). Then during my first week of college in 1992, I accidently walked into a screening Laputa: Castle in the Sky and I was blown away. After learning more about the film maker, I finally discovered it was the same person who had greatly inspired me when I was growing up—Hayao Miyazaki.


Art School

Art school opened my eyes to computer animation during a time when Toy Story was ushering in a new era of CG animation. While there, I also got a chance to get a glimpse at live-action film production as a Production Assistant on Alfonso Cuaron’s Great Expectations.


The Clone Wars: Skywalker Ranch

After returning from Japan and a brief stint at Avid/Softimage, I was initially offered the role of CG Supervisor at Lucasfilm Animation. I was the seventh employee hired at the company that was situated at Skywalker Ranch. I learned many invaluable lessons along the way and got to witness the birth of a new studio and the creation of the most memorable characters from the Clone Wars animated series.


My first foray into Producing

Shortly after returning to Blue Sky, I began working as a Rigging Supervisor. In 2013, with Blue Sky’s permission, I approached Production I.G about producing a short film called Kick-Heart, directed by Masaaki Yuasa. This would be the first successful crowd-funded anime that ended up raising about $220k on Kickstarter. Kick-Heart would indirectly lead to an unexpected collaboration with Pendleton Ward and Masaaki Yuasa called “Adventure Time: Food Chain” which led to the creation of Science SARU.


The Chance of a Lifetime

In 2016, I happened to reconnect with an old colleague from Production I.G named Taiki Sakurai. He was hired to head up a new Anime content division at Netflix. He gave me the opportunity to pitch an original idea. After working closely together on the pitch, I ended up selling my original IP to Netflix and formed Qubic Pictures in 2018.

Our Mission

If you’ve been following Qubic, we greatly appreciate your interest in our journey. The path to realizing a dream is an intricate one, filled with unexpected twists and turns, requiring skill, passion and conviction.

Guided by the traditional craft of Japanese animation, and Western story sensibilities, our mission is to create top tier animation that transcends cultural boundaries, reaching global audiences beyond the core fanbase of anime for all to enjoy

Every Frame Tells a Story.