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Cinesite (also known as Cinesite Studios and 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]


Cinesite opened its doors in Hollywood in 1991 and London in 1994, originally as a service bureau for Kodak's Cineon digital film system. Both locations subsequently evolved to become full service visual effects facilities. 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 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. It also won a Royal Television Society award for its work on Band of Brothers.[3]

Cinesite has completed visual effects for all eight films in the Harry Potter franchise.[4] The company's former model-making division created the scale model of Hogwarts, 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).[5]

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.

Since then, notable productions Cinesite has created visual effects for include Independence Day: Resurgence (2016), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Ant-Man (2015), Spectre (2015) and The Revenant (2015), for which it won a Visual Effects Society award in 2015. In 2016 Cinesite announced that it is working on Assassin's Creed (2016) and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016).

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.[6] Its initial employment target was reached 18 months early, in August 2015.[7] Since opening, it has contributed visual effects to productions including Assassin's Creed (2016), Independence Day: Resurgence (2016), X-Men: Apocalypse, The Revenant (2016), The Last Witch Hunter (2015), The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (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.

Feature Animation[edit]

On February 8, 2016, Cinesite announced the launch of Cinesite Animation, a dedicated feature animation studio at its Montréal Studios,[8] 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.[9] 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.[10]

VFX filmography[edit]

Year Film Title

Animation Filmography[edit]

Year Film Title Notes
2017 Charming in collaboration with Vanguard Animation
The Star in collaboration with Sony Pictures Animation and The Jim Henson Company
2018 Gnome Alone


  1. ^ Kelly, Amanda. "Visual effects company Cinesite to open offices in Montreal". Retrieved 2015-10-07. 
  2. ^ Barraclough, Leo. "Visual Effects Companies Cinesite, Image Engine Merge". Retrieved 2015-10-07. 
  3. ^ "RTS Craft and Design Winners 2001 - 2002 | Royal Television Society". Retrieved 2015-10-07. 
  4. ^ Hurst, Adriene. "Cinesite's Antony Hunt Looks Back at Harry Potter – and Beyond | Features". Retrieved 2015-10-07. 
  5. ^ "Cinesite creates vfx for V for Vendetta - News". Retrieved 2015-10-07. 
  6. ^ Kelly, Amanda. "Visual effects company Cinesite to open offices in Montreal". Retrieved 2015-10-07. 
  7. ^ "Le Grand Montréal fait de l'effet à Cinesite". Retrieved 2015-10-07. 
  8. ^ Barraclough, Leo. "Cinesite to Produce Nine Animated Movies in Montreal in Five Years". Variety. Retrieved 2016-02-08. 
  9. ^ "Cinesite joins forces with Shrek producer". Retrieved 2015-10-07. 
  10. ^ "We challenge you not to laugh at Cinesite's first animated short, Beans". Retrieved 2015-10-07. 

External links[edit]