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Cinesite (also known as Cinesite VFX) is a visual effects and feature animation studio. Its registered office in London opened in 1991, offering services in visual effects for film and television. It subsequently opened a studio in Montréal in 2014, for visual effects and feature animation.[1] The company's feature animation division is Cinesite Animation.

In August 2015 it was announced that Cinesite had merged with Vancouver-based visual effects company Image Engine.[2]


Kodak established Cinesite offices in Hollywood and London in 1991 and 1994 respectively, as service bureaus for Kodak's Cineon digital film system. Both Cinesite locations quickly evolved to become full service a visual effects facilities completing VFX work on many notable films.

Initially, the two company locations worked solely as film based visual effects facilities, completing effects in the 1990s on Space Jam (1996), Mission: Impossible (1996) and Tomorrow Never Dies (1997). In 2003, Kodak merged the Cinesite Hollywood office into LaserPacific.

In 1999, the London facility became increasingly involved in television work, creating Emmy Award nominated visual effects[3] for Cleopatra (1999), Band of Brothers (2002) and Into The Storm (2009) and winning Emmy Awards for Rome in 2006 and Generation Kill in 2008.[4] It also won a Royal Television Society award for its work on Band of Brothers.[5]

Cinesite has completed visual effects for all eight films in the Harry Potter franchise.[6] The company's former model-making division created the scale model of Hogwarts, which features in the first six films, as well as Wonkaville in Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) and the grand finale parliament explosion sequence in V for Vendetta (2006).[7]

Cinesite contributed 500 visual effects shots to The Golden Compass, which won a visual effects Academy Award and BAFTA in 2007.

In August 2010 Cinesite created the stereoscopic 3D conversion for their visual effects on the 2011 film Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.[8] It then undertook the stereo conversion for John Carter, released March 2012.

In May 2012 Kodak sold Cinesite to a UK based private investor. Current ownership is a combination of its existing management team supported by private investment.

Cinesite has worked with a variety of directors, including Sam Mendes, Andrew Stanton, Chris Weitz, Tim Burton, Wolfgang Petersen, Christopher Nolan, Brian De Palma, John Woo, Alfonso Cuarón, Joel Schumacher and David Dobkin.

Growth in Canada[edit]

In January 2014, with the support of Investissement Québec, Cinesite announced its opening of 27,000 sq ft studios in Montréal.[9] Its initial employment target was reached 18 months early, in August 2015.[10] Since opening, it has contributed visual effects to productions including The Revenant (2016), The Last Witch Hunter (2015) and San Andreas (2015).

In July 2015 Cinesite announced its merger with Vancouver-based visual effects facility Image Engine, known for its work on productions including Jurassic World (2015), Chappie (2015), Battleship (2012), Zero Dark Thirty (2012) and District 9 (2009), for which it received an Academy Award nomination.[11]

Feature Animation[edit]

On February 8, 2016, Cinesite announced the launch of Cinesite Animation, a dedicated feature animation studio at its Montréal Studios,[12] which is developing nine animated features scheduled to be in production by 2020. This followed the announcement by Cinesite in September 2015 that it had secured a deal with production company 3QU Media to create a slate of family-targeted animated films.[13] The first production, Charming, is scheduled for release in 2016.

In December 2013, Cinesite released the animated short "Beans", to showcase its creature animation skills. The 30 second animation went viral, amassing over 13 million views on YouTube.[14]

VFX filmography[edit]

Year Film Title

Animation Filmography[edit]

Year Film Title


External links[edit]