Visual Effects Studio Atomic Fiction Expands in Montreal

Its first project is Robert Zemeckis' 'The Walk'

VFX studio Atomic Fiction — formed four years ago in the Bay Area with projects including Robert ZemeckisFlight — has settled into its second base, Montreal.

Both the Oakland, Calif., and Montreal bases of the company are currently working on Zemeckis’ next film, The Walk, which tells the story of Philippe Petit, the man who walked on a wire between the towers of the World Trade Center in 1974.

Filming of The Walk recently began in Montreal, where Atomic Fiction operated out of a temporary space while its new 15,000-square-foot space was being readied.

The company now has roughly 50 artists in the Bay Area and roughly 40 in Montreal. They will collaborate using Atomic Fiction’s new Conductor system, which runs on Google’s cloud platform and was developed in-house to handle cloud-based rendering and to manage and synchronize the work at both sites.

Atomic Fiction signed a six-year lease for its Montreal space and aims to expand the base to 100 artists. Co-founder Kevin Baillie told The Hollywood Reporter that the company had been looking to expand into Canada, and it chose Montreal due to the fact that The Walk was shooting there and, of course, healthy tax incentives that are "some of the best out there." He added that the availability of artists was the third factor; Montreal already houses numerous VFX companies as well as VFX software developer Autodesk Media & Entertainment.

Other VFX houses that have set up shop in Montreal include Framestore (Gravity); and Cinesite, which on Tuesday announced that it was launching a feature animation division with a deal to make movies for 3QU Media, newly-launched by Shrek franchise producer John Williams.

Atomic Fiction — which also recently opened a sales office in Los Angeles — has worked on projects including Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, Star Trek Into Darkness and The Lone Ranger.

Twitter: @CGinLA