|Industry||digital production, Visual effects, advertising production|
|Founder(s)||James Cameron, Scott Ross, Stan Winston|
|Headquarters||Venice, Los Angeles, California|
|Key people||Ed Ulbrich, Terry Clotiaux, Joseph Gabriel, Dennis Morrison|
|Owner(s)||Galloping Horse, Reliance MediaWorks|
Digital Domain is an American digital production company founded by film director James Cameron, Stan Winston and Scott Ross. It is based in Venice, Los Angeles, California. The company is known for creating innovative digital imagery for feature films, advertising and games, from its locations in California and Vancouver, BC, Canada, including its own state-of-the-art virtual production studio. The company is privately owned by a joint venture led by Galloping Horse America LLC in partnership with Reliance MediaWorks.
The company began producing visual effects in 1993, its first three films being True Lies, Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, and Color of Night in 1994.
It has produced effects for more than 100 films including Titanic, Apollo 13, What Dreams May Come, The Fifth Element, Armageddon, Star Trek: Nemesis and The Day After Tomorrow. More recent films include Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End,The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, 2012, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, TRON: Legacy, Thor, X-Men: First Class, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Real Steel and most recently G.I. Joe: Retaliation ,Oblivion and Iron Man 3.
In October 2002, Digital Domain launched a subsidiary, D2 Software, to market and distribute its Academy Award-winning compositing software, Nuke. The move was partially motivated by Apple's acquisition of a similar program, Shake.
In May 2006, Digital Domain was purchased by an affiliate of Wyndcrest Holdings, LLC, a private holding company whose principals then included Wyndcrest founder John Textor, director Michael Bay, former Microsoft executive Carl Stork, former NFL player and sports television commentator Dan Marino, and Jonathan Teaford. However, in 2009, Carl Stork sold his shares in the company to parent company Digital Domain Media Group, Bay sold his shares in the company in or around March 2010, and on September 8, 2010, Stork filed suit against Textor and Digital Domain Holdings, Inc. (referred to in the pleadings as "DD California") seeking to rescind the sale of his stock. The case, Carl Stork vs. John Textor, Digital Domain Holdings, Inc. et al. (U.S.D.C., Central District of California Case No. 2:2010-cv-07631-JHN-PLA), was settled on August 2, 2012 (while the jury was deliberating).
In 2009, Digital Domain parent company DDMG launched Tradition Studios in Florida to develop and produce original, family-oriented CG animated features. The studio moved on January 3, 2012 to the new 115,000-square-foot (10,700 m2) facility in Port St. Lucie, built with the city's incentives. The studio attracted many talents, including Aaron Blaise, the director of Brother Bear, and Brad Lewis, the co-director of Cars 2, and had in development an animated feature film The Legend of Tembo for a 2014 release with Aaron Blaise and Chuck Williams directing it.
Also in 2012, subsidiary Digital Domain created a virtual likeness of the late rap star Tupac Shakur for Dr. Dre's and Snoop Dogg's show at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival that gained worldwide recognition. Digital Domain also announced that the company would create virtual Elvis Presley in partnership with CORE Media Group. Digital Domain also embarked on its first co-production, the live-action feature film Ender's Game.
It was announced, on September 7, 2012, that due to financial troubles, all of DDMG's Port St. Lucie's operations, including Tradition Studios, was shut down, laying off nearly 300 employees, including 100 of them working on Tembo. The CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Digital Domain Media Group (DDMG) John Textor, resigned effective as of the close of business, September 6, 2012.
On September 11, 2012, Digital Domain Media Group Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after defaulting on a $35 million dollar loan, and reached a deal to sell its operating businesses – Digital Domain and Mothership—to stalking horse Searchlight Capital Partners, L.P., a private investment firm, for $15 million. At the public auction on September 21, 2012, Digital Domain’s visual effects business in California and Vancouver, BC, Canada, and production company Mothership were acquired by a joint venture led by Beijing Galloping Horse America, LLC in partnership with Reliance MediaWorks (USA). Galloping Horse holds a 70% stake and Reliance MediaWorks a 30% stake. The sale was approved on September 24, 2012, severing all ties between Digital Domain (the original company founded in 1993) and former owner DDMG.
Digital Domain artists and technologists have been recognized with seven Academy Awards: three for Best Visual Effects (Titanic, What Dreams May Come, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button); and four for Scientific and Technical Achievement for its proprietary technology—i.e., for Track (proprietary tracking software), for Nuke (proprietary compositing software), for Storm (proprietary volumetric renderer), and for its proprietary fluid simulation system.
The company has also been nominated for five Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects (Apollo 13, True Lies, I, Robot, Real Steel and Transformers: Dark of the Moon. In addition, its excellence in digital imagery and animation has earned Digital Domain multiple British Academy (BAFTA) Awards.
Digital Domain's Advertising division provides digital imagery and animation for television commercials, working with top commercial directors. To date, it has been awarded 34 Clio Awards, 22 AICP awards, 8 Cannes Lion Awards and numerous other advertising honors. The Advertising division has also produced multiple music videos working with artists that include The Rolling Stones, Faith Hill, Creed, Janet Jackson, Busta Rhymes, Björk, Celine Dion, Michael Jackson and Nine Inch Nails, and has earned Grammy and MTV "Music Video of the Year" Awards.
- "Digital Domain Announces Vancouver Leadership Team". Digital Domain. 2010-01-12. Retrieved 2010-02-02.
- "Digital Domain launches software unit". 2002-10-10. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
- "Digital Domain Hires Three Creative Senior Executives from Visual Effects Industry". Computer Graphics World. 2006-09-21. Retrieved 2011-05-30.
- "DDMG Prospectus". NYSE Euronext. Retrieved 2011-12-14.
- Civil Trial Minutes, Aug. 2, 2012, U.S.D.C., Central District of California, Case No. 2:2010-CV-07631-MWF-PLA Carl Stork v. John Textor et al.
- Palmer, Maija (June 3, 2009). "The Foundry returns to former management". Retrieved October 3, 2012.
- Erazo, Christin (December 29, 2011). "Digital Domain ready to open its dazzling Tradition Studios | Photo Gallery". TCPalm. Retrieved December 30, 2011.
- Giardina, Carolyn (2011-06-29). "'Cars 2' Co-Director Brad Lewis Joining Digital Domain's Animation Studio". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2011-06-29.
- Giardina, Carolyn (2011-08-10). "Aaron Blaise and Chuck Williams will direct the film, currently in development.". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2011-08-11.
- Howk, Alexi (2011-05-27). "Port St. Lucie's Digital Domain positioning itself to rival Disney, Pixar". tcpalm.com. Retrieved 2011-06-29.
- Howk, Alexi (Autugst 11, 2011). "Digital Domain's Tradition Studios' 1st feature film to debut fall 2014 | Exclusive 1st look". TCPalm. Retrieved August 16, 2011.
- staff, NASDAQ (October 23, 2012). "Digital Domain Media Group IPO". Retrieved October 23, 2012.
- Press, Associated (May 21, 2012). "Film Effects Company DDMG Plans Abu Dhabi Studio". Retrieved May 21, 2012.
- Suddath, Claire (April 16, 2012). "How Tupac Became a Hologram: Is Elvis Next". Retrieved April 16, 2012.
- Amidi, Amid (September 7, 2012). "300 Digital Domain Employees Lose Jobs; "Legend of Tembo" Shuts Down Production; John Textor Ousted". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved September 7, 2012.
- "Digital Domain Port St. Lucie facility closing: Nearly 300 employees laid off". WPTV News Channel 5 (Port St. Lucie, FL). WPTV. September 7, 2012. Retrieved September 11, 2012. "According to Port St. Lucie Police, a Digital Domain executive flew in from California to inform employees their doors were closing. Port St. Lucie police were called in as a precaution. The company said Digital Domain executive Ed Ulbrich has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer of Digital Domain Productions. Earlier this week Digital Domain Media Group defaulted on a $35 million dollar loan, according to a public filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission."
- Szalai, George (September 24, 2012). "China's Galloping Horse and India's Reliance MediaWorks Win Auction for Digital Domain". Retrieved September 24, 2012.
- Giardina, Carolyn (2009-02-23). "'Benjamin Button' is VFX's Holy Grail". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2011-05-30.
- (Recipient) Roble, Dr. Douglas R. (1999-02-27). "1998 Scientific and Technical Academy Awards: Technical Achievement Awards". AMPAS. Archived from the original on 2007-12-08. Retrieved 2011-05-30.
- (Recipients) Spitzak, Bill; Paul Van Camp; Jonathan Egstad; and Price Pethel (2002-03-02). "2001 Scientific and Technical Academy Awards: Technical Achievement Awards". AMPAS. Archived from the original on 2008-01-13. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
- (Recipient) Kapler, Alan (2005-02-12). "2004 Scientific and Technical Academy Awards: Technical Achievement Awards". AMPAS. Archived from the original on 2008-02-13. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
- (Recipients) Roble, Dr. Douglas R.; Nafees Bin Zafar; and Ryo Sakaguchi (2008-02-09). "2007 Scientific and Technical Academy Awards: Scientific and Engineering Awards". AMPAS. Archived from the original on 2008-04-22. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
- "Digital Domain Recruits ILM Trio". VFXWorld. 2006-09-20. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
Further reading 
- Bizony, Piers. (2001) Digital Domain: the leading edge of visual effects, London: Aurum. ISBN 1-85410-707-0
- Official website
- Official website
- Official website
- Official website
- Official website
- Digital Domain at the Internet Movie Database