VFX giant DNEG growing Vancouver presence with new animation studio

DNEG CEO says Vancouver-based Feature Animation division will start work on five new animation projects.

The visual effects (VFX) studio behind films like Ex Machina and Interstellar is bulking up its Vancouver ranks, hiring up to 100 new workers in the city.

Double Negative Ltd. (DNEG) announced its expansion plans Monday morning, which are part of a move to increase its Canadian operations and talent pool. As part of its Vancouver hiring, DNEG chairman and CEO Namit Malhotra said a new, Vancouver-based Feature Animation division would “move into production on five new animation projects.”

“Growth in our Canadian talent and capabilities will help us strategically align with the demands of the entertainment industry and seize upon our new growth initiatives and content creation opportunities,” Malhotra added.

The news comes just weeks after Disney announced plans to open a Vancouver animation studio.

DNEG’s current office is located in the bustling False Creek area, surrounded by countless other tech companies and VFX studios. Firms within a 10-minute drive of the area include Samsung Electronics, Tesla, Chinook Therapeutics, Inc., Genevant Sciences, MEC, O2E Brands, Blackbird Interactive, Axiom Zen and Semios. Plus, Electronic Arts announced it’s also moving a short distance from False Creek, securing 1077 Great Northern Way, a 120,000 SF LEED platinum office building.

DNEG is also hiring in Toronto and Montreal as part of its North American expansion.

DNEG has won six Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects (including five in the last seven years), as well as multiple awards for its visual effects work. Opportunities to join the DNEG team will be posted at DNEG.com.

The film, television, VFX and animation industries are a major economic contributor to BC, generating $4.1 billion in spending in 2019, according to the Vancouver Economic Commission’s annual film industry research report.