ILM Launches New Vancouver Visual Effects Facility

Disney/ABC Television

The 30,000-square-foot studio in the downtown Gastown district is expected to service production on "Star Wars Episode VII."

TORONTO – Industrial Light & Magic on Monday took the wraps off of its new and expanded Vancouver studio as it continues work on a new Star Wars franchise.

The VFX division of Lucasfilm, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, launched the 30,000-square-foot feature visual effects facility in the city's downtown Gastown district.

Approximately 200 artists are expected to be at work in the new Vancouver operation by summer 2014, with movies like Transformers 4, Warcraft and around a third of the production on Star Wars Episode VII to be done in the West Coast city ahead of a scheduled Dec. 18, 2015, release.

Randall Shore will manage the relocated Vancouver facility as supervising producer.

ILM first opened a temporary facility in the Canadian city before relocating to a permanent location on Water Street.

ILM's current global expansion plans also include a new visual effects facility in London.

The opening of the new Vancouver facility by ILM is also welcome after Disney closed its Vancouver-based Pixar Canada studio late last year.

Vancouver remains a destination for foreign VFX players due to a shared time zone with Los Angeles and digital animation tax credits offered to international producers.