Montréal cements its strategic position in the global film industry
Picture (from left to right): Antony Hunt, Managing Director of Cinesite; Jacques Daoust, Minister of the Economy, Innovation and Exports; Chloé Grysole, General Manager of Cinesite’s Montréal studio; Nick Baker, British Consul General in Montréal; Élie Farah, Vice President, Investment Greater Montréal, Montréal International.
Montréal, August 18, 2015 – UK-based Cinesite, a world-leading studio specializing in film and television visual effects and animation, has announced exceptional results, 18 months after setting up in Greater Montréal. The Montréal studio far exceeded expectations by hiring some 200 people in record time, i.e., in half the time planned, and by working on elite movie productions.
On hand for the announcement made by Antony Hunt, Managing Director of Cinesite, were Jacques Daoust, Minister of the Economy, Innovation and Exports, Nick Baker, British Consul General in Montréal, Dominique Anglade, President and CEO of Montréal International and Élie Farah, Vice President, Investment Greater Montréal, Montréal International. An honorary plaque was unveiled to celebrate this great achievement and highlight the strategic support provided by the government of Québec, Investissement Québec and Montréal International.
The British firm is renowned for its spectacular visual effects, including its work on the Harry Potter series. Since its inception in 2014, the studio has worked on major films such as X-Men: Days of Future Past, San Andreas, and The Man From U.N.C.L.E., as well as upcoming releases The Last Witch Hunter, The Revenant, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and Now You See Me: The Second Act.
“We’re delighted to see our Montréal operation exceed its employment target; the team of people that we have gathered together are very talented and growing in confidence. We wish to thank the Minister of the Economy, Innovation and Exports, Jacques Daoust, and the team at Investissement Québec and Montréal International for their support and their understanding of the visual effects industry, which gives us the opportunity to dream big for our studio,” said Cinesite Managing Director Antony Hunt.
A booming industry in Montréal
“The special effects industry, Cinesite and Montréal have something in common—they are places where art and technology converge. Montréal is a pioneer in the industry and the fact that Cinesite was able to hire 220 people shows how great our training programs are and how easily companies can gain access to creative talent here. These results confirm Montréal’s position as city of film and a true smart city with an impressive pool of creative talent,” said Montréal Mayor Denis Coderre.
Greater Montréal’s visual effects industry has seen 24% annual job growth following the 2009 tax credit increase and subsequent arrival of international players like Cinesite, Framestore, Technicolor and Atomic Fiction.
“The visual effects industry creates a lot of value for Québec because its companies invest more in wages and intangible capital, i.e., R&D, technology transfers, training and professional development,” explained Dominique Anglade, President and CEO of Montréal International. “The success of a key player such as Cinesite also positions Greater Montréal as an attractive destination for the motion picture industry and as a world leader in high-value-added creative industries,” added Ms. Anglade.
Through a multi-picture deal with 3QU Studios, an animation pipeline has been created to support a slate of four films, the first of which, Charming (Demi Lovato, Avril Lavigne), is set for release in 2016.
About Cinesite (www.cinesite.com)
London-based Cinesite is one of the world’s leading providers of digital visual effects. Originally owned by Eastman Kodak, the company was one of the first digital effects businesses in the world, having opened its doors in 1995.
With over 650 seats and 500 in Canada, Cinesite is one of a very small number of companies in the world with this capacity and one of the biggest visual effects employers in Canada. For over 20 years, Cinesite has been contributing visual effects to big-budget films ranging from James Bond and Harry Potter to Iron Man 3 and World War Z, as well as to television productions. Cinesite has worked on numerous BAFTA and Oscar award-winning films and won an Emmy for Generation Kill in 2009.