Sony Imageworks Relocates HQ to Vancouver

Sony Pictures Imageworks will be moving its headquarters from Culver City to Vancouver as a result of the growing base of talented VFX workers and provincial tax breaks. SPI, which already has a satellite studio in Vancouver, is moving into a new, state-of-the-art, 74,000 square-foot complex, capable of accommodating up to 700 employees, which will be the largest footprint for a visual effects company in Vancouver.

The Vancouver team, which recently completed work on Edge of Tomorrow and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will lead Imageworks’ current and future projects, including Guardians of the GalaxyPixels, Angry Birds movie, Hotel Transylvania 2, and the untitled Smurfs movie.

The move builds on Imageworks’ growing presence in Vancouver. In 2010, the company opened a production office in Vancouver with a staff of 80 artists. Last year, during the production of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Imageworks staff in Vancouver topped 350 people.

“Vancouver has developed into a world-class center for visual effects and animation production,” stated Randy Lake, EVP and general manager, Digital Production Services at Sony Pictures Digital Prods. “It offers an attractive lifestyle for artists in a robust business climate. Expanding our headquarters in Vancouver will allow us to deliver visual effects of the highest caliber and value to our clients.”

Jason Dowdeswell will continue to lead Imageworks’ operations in Vancouver as VP of Production Operations. A native of British Columbia, Dowdeswell joined SPI in 2013 after a lengthy career as a visual effects artist, supervisor and manager.

The company is deepening its Vancouver leadership with the addition of Mark Breakspear as visual effects supervisor and Shauna Bryan as VP, New Business and production exec. Both arrive from similar roles at Method Studios in Vancouver. Breakspear brings more than 60 feature film credits as visual effects supervisor or artist, including Seventh Son, Thor: The Dark World, Elysium and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2. Bryan’s background includes 10 years with Rainmaker in Vancouver, including three years as executive producer/head of business development.

“Shauna and Mark are both well-respected in this market, and throughout the industry,” said Dowdeswell. “They will help us continue to attract top talent, broaden our client outreach and compete at the highest level.”

Sony Pictures Animation will remain in Culver for development, story, and production design along with a small contingent of around 270 workers from Imageworks.

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Clips, Movies, previs, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production

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