Entity opens Vancouver branch

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TORONTO -- Expanding to serve "Hollywood North," Santa Monica-based visual effects creator Entity FX on Monday said it has opened a full production and supervision studio in Vancouver.

Best known for its effects work on "Miami Vice" and "The Aviator," Entity FX will use its new facility in Vancouver's chic Yaletown district to offer theatrical and episodic visual effects for U.S. projects shooting on location in British Columbia.

The Canadian facility also is wired for seamless cross-collaboration and file-sharing with Entity FX in Santa Monica, which recently expanded its workforce to 75.

"We're growing in Los Angeles and now in Canada, too," Entity FX president Mat Beck said in a statement. "It's exciting to be able to work on projects with all of the advantages of multiple locations."

Beck added that the expansion northward by Entity FX helps answer an increased need for coordinated effects work in both Los Angeles and British Columbia.

He added that the Vancouver studio will initially house between 20 and 30 employees, with room for further expansion.

Entity FX's move into Canada comes as domestic and foreign, mostly American, film and TV production in British Columbia continues to rebound from a sharp fall in 2004.

Total in-province production fell sharply from $1.4 billion in 2003 to around $800 million in 2004. Local spending on film and TV shoots then climbed to about $1.2 billion in 2005, due in part to more generous tax credits and other lucrative subsidies on offer to foreign producers.

While 2006 figures are not yet available, production spending is expected to continue climbing during the current year.

Entity FX's current effects slate includes the Jieho Lee-directed feature "The Air I Breathe," starring Kevin Bacon and Sarah Michelle Gellar; Sean Penn's "Into the Wild," which stars Emile Hirsch; a TV crime pilot of A&E; and the sixth season of Warner Bros.' "Smallville," which shoots on location in Vancouver.
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