UK's Cinesite Acquires Vancouver-Based Image Engine

Courtesy of Universal Pictures
'Jurassic World'

The deal gives Cinesite a larger Canadian presence as it joins forces with the company that has done visual effects work for 'Jurassic World,' 'Game of Thrones' and 'Straight Outta Compton,' among other movies and TV shows.

British digital visual effects company Cinesite is expanding in Canada by acquiring Vancouver-based Image Engine.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the merger sees Cinesite add a studio in Vancouver to a CG feature animation facility opened in Montreal last year to complete work on Guy Ritchie's The Man From UNCLE for Warner Bros. The tie-up gets Cinesite and Image Engine to a combined staff of around 525 artists worldwide.

After Canada has taken VFX jobs from Los Angeles due to tax breaks and an expanding talent pool, the deal also signals Canadian industry consolidation has gathered pace as Vancouver facilities bid against rival VFX and post houses in Toronto and Montreal for film and TV work.

"In addition to widening our reach to achieve even greater heights in high-end visual effects, this alliance will present new career development opportunities for all our artists and crews and will deliver benefits and opportunities to all our stakeholders," Image Engine CEO Greg Holmes said Thursday in a statement.

Launched in 1995, Image Engine has contributed VFX shots to film and TV series like Chappie, Jurassic World, Game of Thrones and upcoming releases like Point Break and Straight Outta Compton. The continuing Canadian expansion for Cinesite follows the sale in 2013 of the U.K. VFX house to private equity firm Endless LLP as part of a management buyout.

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