Last week Digital Domain announced they were adding a 20,000 square foot "visual effects outpost" in Vancouver. This facility is planned for an early 2010 opening and is expected to employ 100+ by the end of the year.

This week they announced an expansion in Florida with plans for a digital production studio that "will create original content for animated feature films and video games." David S. Cohen writes in this Variety article "The incentive package requires DD Florida to have at least 500 employees, paid an average of $65,000, within four years."

After the jump are the two press releases and David's article adds several details not contained in the press releases.



David S. Cohen's Variety article

Here are the full press releases:

Venice, CA—October 6, 2009 — Academy Award®-winning digital studio Digital Domain is expanding its business with plans to open a new visual effects outpost in Vancouver, British Columbia. The company also announced that it has named veteran production executive Gloria Borders to the position of President, Feature Film Operations, overseeing visual effects production across its Venice, California and Vancouver studios.

Digital Domain’s expansion is funded by a new infusion of capital from its parent company, Wyndcrest Holdings.

Digital Domain CEO Cliff Plumer said, “The current economic climate has created a new set of challenges for all companies in the entertainment industry. By expanding our talent and resources across multiple locations we are able to offer solutions to production challenges – whether they’re economic, creative, or technical.”

Digital Domain’s main studio, headquartered in Venice, California will continue to be the base of the company’s feature film visual effects and advertising production operations.

Vancouver – Visual Effects Outpost
Digital Domain is building out a 20,000-square-foot visual effects studio in Vancouver and is in the process of recruiting and hiring 50-60 digital artists immediately, primarily from Canada, for an early 2010 opening, with the intention to expand the employee base to 100+ by the end of the year. The new Vancouver studio will mirror technology and processes at Digital Domain’s Venice, California studio headquarters, enabling the company to seamlessly extend feature film visual effects work across identical production pipelines. This will enable Digital Domain to take on multiple high-end feature film projects while reducing costs and delivering the cutting-edge work that is the company’s hallmark.

By basing its visual effects outpost in Vancouver, Digital Domain is able to take advantage of local production and R&D incentives, and also benefits from the region’s thriving artist talent pool, educational programs, and well-established production industry. The first project Digital Domain will bring to its new studio will be to take on additional visual effects work for Disney’s highly-anticipated Tron: Legacy, which is already in production at Digital Domain’s California studio.

Kevin Krueger, B.C. Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts said, “Having one of the world’s top digital studios develop a base in Vancouver adds immeasurably to the strength of our overall production community. This new studio brings not only new infrastructure, but also knowledge-based jobs and opportunities in the fast-growth visual effects, animation and games arena. Companies of Digital Domain’s caliber choosing to locate here both testify to our capabilities as a world-class production center and help us further that mission.”

Gloria Borders Named President of Feature Film Operations
Digital Domain also announced that it has named veteran feature film production executive Gloria Borders President of Feature Film Operations. Reporting to Plumer, Borders will run the daily operations of visual effects productions across the Venice and Vancouver studios.

“I can’t imagine a more ideal leader, or a more perfect combination of studio and client-side expertise than Gloria,” said Plumer. “She has managed large artist staffs, run several successful studios and overseen hundreds of productions. Gloria’s twenty-plus years of experience are a huge advantage and her presence strengthens both our strategy and our execution.”

Borders has been working with Digital Domain in a consulting capacity architecting and planning the studio’s global expansion since early in 2009. She joined the company from DreamWorks Animation, where she was Head of Studio, overseeing the productions of Shrek The Third, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa and other productions. Prior to DreamWorks she was Head of Post Production at Revolution Studios, where she managed all post and visual effects work. Previously, she was VP of Lucas Digital and General Manager of Skywalker Sound, where she oversaw award-winning soundtracks for Saving Private Ryan, Titanic, Toy Story and Toy Story 2, Fight Club, A Bug’s Life and others. She received an Academy Award for Sound Effects Editing for Terminator 2: Judgment Day and was nominated for her work on Forrest Gump.

Borders said, “What impresses me most about Digital Domain is that it’s a group of people who truly want to do something different -- and are driven and nimble enough to achieve it. We’ve been working on taking the company into the global production community, to continue Digital Domain’s legacy as an innovator in visual effects and create opportunities to develop original content. The culture of ‘nothing is impossible’ is practically palatable here and I’m excited to kick off Digital Domain’s expansion.”

With the expansion, Digital Domain executive Mark Miller will now focus more of his time on development of original content as Executive Producer. Commercials Division President and Executive Producer Ed Ulbrich continues to oversee the company’s advertising and marketing operations and develop new cross-media projects with filmmakers.

Digital Domain earned a 2009 Academy Award® for Achievement in Visual Effects on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and recently completed visual effects for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, and 2012. The company is in production on Tron: Legacy, and Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.

About Digital Domain
Digital Domain is an Academy Award®-winning digital production studio focused on visual effects for feature film and advertising production. Founded in 1993, the company has built a legacy of achievement, listing Titanic, The Day After Tomorrow and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button among its 75+ film credits. A creative giant in advertising, Digital Domain has created some of the world’s most memorable spots. The studio works with top directors including Michael Bay, Rob Cohen, Clint Eastwood, David Fincher, Joseph Kosinski, Mark Romanek, the Wachowskis and more. Digital Domain is continually pushing into new territory and is being recognized for its pioneering work in photo-real digital humans and productions that bring the worlds of movies, games, advertising and the web closer together. Digital Domain is privately held and based in Venice, California. Director Michael Bay is Co-Chairman of the company. www.digitaldomain.com


POSTED : 10/12/2009

Venice, CA — Following the recent announcement of its new visual effects studio in Vancouver, BC, Academy Award®-winning digital studio Digital Domain announced today that it is expanding its business with plans to develop a digital production studio in Florida.

Digital Domain is working with parent company Wyndcrest Holdings to build a new digital production studio in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The new studio will create original content for animated feature films and video games. Plans are in the early stages, and Digital Domain expects to begin operations in Florida next year. Initial operations include building a creative development team as well as training and recruiting artist and production staff for animation and video game development.

The new studio project is being financed with a $50 million investment by Wyndcrest. The project is also receiving support in the form of a grant from the state of Florida’s Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development and an incentives package administered by the city of Port St. Lucie and St. Lucie County.

Digital Domain CEO Cliff Plumer said, “Developing original content has always been a key part of our strategy, and a natural extension of the artistic and creative talent that the company has developed over the last fifteen years. We have identified a set of promising projects that are ideally suited to the Florida studio and look forward to getting started.”

Digital Domain will announce specific projects and the leadership team for the Florida studio at a later date.

John Textor, Chairman and CEO of Wyndcrest, added, “Digital Domain brings our studio a great breadth and depth of experience in filmmaking. Cliff and his team have experience building studios all over the world and we welcome them to Florida.”

About Digital Domain
Digital Domain is an Academy Award®-winning digital production studio focused on visual effects for feature film and advertising production. Founded in 1993, the company has built a legacy of achievement, listing Titanic, The Day After Tomorrow and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button among its 75+ film credits. A creative giant in advertising, Digital Domain has created some of the world’s most memorable spots. The studio works with top directors including Michael Bay, Rob Cohen, Clint Eastwood, David Fincher, Joseph Kosinski, Mark Romanek, the Wachowskis and more. Digital Domain is continually pushing into new territory and is being recognized for its pioneering work in photo-real digital humans and productions that bring the worlds of movies, games, advertising and the web closer together. Digital Domain is privately held and based in Venice, California. Director Michael Bay is Co-Chairman of the company. www.digitaldomain.com

About Wyndcrest Holdings
Wyndcrest Holdings, LLC is a Florida-based private holding company focused on technology-related opportunities in Entertainment, Telecommunications and the Internet. Wyndcrest was an early lead investor in Art Technology Group, a Boston-based developer of integrated server-based personalization (CRM) applications that became one of the world’s best performing IPO’s in the late 1990’s. Wyndcrest was also involved, as an organizer and lead investor, in Virtual Bank, an Internet bank start-up that has evolved to become known by its parent company, Lydian Trust Company, a multi-billion dollar diversified financial services company, private bank and private wealth management company. Wyndcrest remains a significant shareholder of Multicast Media Networks, an Atlanta-based provider of technology solutions and broadcast infrastructure for IP-based interactive television networks. The principals of Wyndcrest acquired Digital Domain in early 2006.


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