Digital Domain Sydney, India, Florida, London, and Abu Dhabi?!

Last week I posted about the huge news that Digital Domain was partnering with Reliance Mediaworks to manage a facility in India and a small team in Reliance’s office in London.

Now this week there is a report that Digital Domain will be opening a facility in Sydney and it should be no surprise that the reason for this opening is for film subsidies! :

Stoner said Paradise Lost will bring an estimated AUS$88 million ($93 million) in production expenditure and an 1,300 jobs to NSW, including over $21.2 million expenditure and 200 jobs in the visual effects area.

While details of the incentives offered to Paradise Lost weren’t revealed, part of the deal includes for California-based digital effects house Digital Domain to establish a base in Sydney that will continue beyond the production of Paradise Lost.

At this rate the only place a VFX facility hasn’t been opened is in the Middle East! Oh wait I spoke too soon:

Plans also are afoot to possibly build a sister facililty in Abu Dhabi, Textor said.

As you know, I posted about problems in New Zealand and Austrailia:

It’s not rocket science to realise our incentives of 15 per cent are behind everyone else’s…

The rising dollar has hurt the industry…

Their currency was quickly rising against a falling US dollar making it more expensive to film there. Secondly, their film subsidies of 15% was dwarfed by other countries like Canada which provided 35%.

Recently NZ was leveraged by WB to offer more subsidy money and now Australia has increased it’s subsidy to almost 40%! The news comes as no surprise given Fox Studios owner Rupert Murdoch’s currently tenuous relationship with the UK government.

We are truly witnessing a race to the bottom. Not only are vfx facilities underbidding each other to win US studio work, but now international regions are outbidding each other to lure work over.

Soldier On.


21 Responses to Digital Domain Sydney, India, Florida, London, and Abu Dhabi?!

  1. Anon84 says:

    I wonder when they will open a facility in South Africa? You never know!

  2. sick of your crap says:


    • vfxPeon says:

      Is it xenophobic to not want to lose your job?

      • VFX Soldier says:

        I don’t mind being called names but xenophobic is far from the truth. My parents were immigrants and I’m incredibly pro-immigration.

        My stance against subsidies has been consistent against here in the us for states even California.

        But speaking of xenophobia, Canadian film subsides are only for hiring Canadian citizens, one could argue that they are engaging in xenophobia also.

    • AB/CD says:

      “troll on” sick of your crap…

  3. Scott Ross says:

    Digital Domain’s slogan used to be “Dream with your eyes wide open”…. what is it today?

  4. kaboom says:

    anyone remember HDO / “Digital Renaissance”? DD attracted by subsidies in Germany…

    here’s how it started

    and here’s how it ended 3 years later (google translate doesn’t do a very good job, but you get the gist of it – at least 34 million marks of tax payer money gone with no lasting benefit whatsoever to the German employment market)


  5. Scott Ross says:

    Well, once again… one cannot believe the press, either because they are uninformed, stupid, or have another agenda…. or all of the above.

    The facts were that a West German consortium, headed up by an Isreali post production executive, Ligad Rotleavy, had gotten involved with a “Hi-Def” post house built in Oberhausen Germany. This facility was being outfitted to do Hi Def 1125 TV work. Dieter Geissler, producer of THE NEVERENDING STORY, made some illegal deals w some folks and wound up cutting a deal with Bosch to outfit this white elephant.

    DD was contacted by the Isreali partners to ask if we could help bail them out. The fact was it was too little too late. We were paid a consulting fee, tried to rebrand it to Digital Renaissance, brought some work there, send some DD folks over… but the body was cold.

    End of story.

  6. Name says:

    Hire a facility per seat?

  7. Steve Fredericks says:

    Having been directly involved with Digital Renaissance, I can add to Scott Ross comment on this: the facility was in place and paid for and the mayor of Oberhausen, in addition to the Minister of Trade for the region envisioned Oberhausen as a destination resort with the VFX facility as the centerpiece (wierd but true). Additionally, they intended to convert a gas storage tank into a sound stage ( the vision of a gas storage tank linked with Germany always made me uncomfortable). As Scott mentions, we sent a team from DD over there but productions never got off the ground.

  8. Sanjeev says:

    What is the contact detail for Mumbai studio ?

  9. […] losses were overhead costs for opening facilities in locations that are offering subsidies like Australia, London, Vancouver, Abu Dhabi, and Florida and compensation for executives and board […]

  10. […] The Animal Logic CEO also commented that part of the reason Digital Domain failed was that it wasn’t a talent-driven company. As much as I’d like to disagree with that statement I have to say it’s true: The company lost it’s focus on it’s core and was too busy trying to get subsidies from all over the world. […]

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