VFX Giant Digital Domain Opens Studio in Montreal

Morbius - Publicity still - H 2020
Courtesy of Sony Pictures

The Los Angeles-based visual effects pioneer cites Quebec as a "generous and supportive partner" as it opens its ninth studio to do work on Marvel Studios' 'Black Widow.'

Visual effects pioneer Digital Domain has opened its ninth worldwide studio in Montreal, lured to the Canadian province by local talent, generous tax breaks and other incentives.

"We are appreciative of the guidance and assistance we’ve received from the Quebec government, Montreal International and Investissement Quebec in welcoming Digital Domain to the Montreal VFX community," Digital Domain group executive director and CEO Daniel Seah said Wednesday in a statement.

Quebec's film tax credits, including incentives for digital work, can be stacked to secure a rebate of 40 percent. The new 35,000 square-foot Digital Domain Montreal facility will generate an initial 130 jobs, with room to expand to 500 artists and staff.

The Los Angeles-based VFX giant will use the Montreal outpost to create visual effects for Marvel Studios' Black Widow, the Jared Leto-starrer Morbius and Shawn Levy's Free Guy, starring Ryan Reynolds.

"By choosing Montreal as the location for its ninth studio, Digital Domain is contributing to the phenomenal growth of the visual effects industry in the city. Montreal's creative and cultural fields draw their strength from the 100,000 or so talents working there, making Montreal one of the world's digital creativity centers," the City of Montreal's Luc Rabouin, in charge of the economic and commercial development, said in his own statement.

Digital Domain Montreal is the California company's second location after another studio was earlier opened in Vancouver. "To complement our strong talent base in Vancouver, Montreal was an obvious choice and one that our clients had been requesting from us. With a thriving VFX community and a deep talent pool, it was an easy fit, and the Quebec government itself has been a generous and supportive partner to us every step of the way," said Digital Domain VFX global president John Fragomeni.

Other major VFX players for Hollywood with studios in Montreal include Cinesite, Framestore, MPC, Rodeo FX, and Mr. X.