VFX Legion, the full-service Burbank-based visual effect company, has launched a studio in British Columbia, Canada. The new division accesses the provinceâ€™s substantial tax rebates, and the diverse roster of senior artists needed to efficiently craft the high-quality photo-realistic visual effects that feature films and episodic television shows demand.
Although the expansion to B.C. marks the first time that VFX Legion has established a presence outside of LA, it has been a global company since Founder, and Creative Director James David Hattin opened its doors in 2013. Launched with a next-generation pipeline at its core, Legionâ€™s ability to renders an artistâ€™s location irrelevant establishes its Kelowna, B.C. studio as a powerful creative hub.
The company kicks off the new venture with a skilled roster of in-house talent, along with a scalable collective of specialized visual effects artists based beyond commuting distance to its studio. Hattin is currently finalizing the signing of a head of production/senior VFX supervisor to helm the B.C. operation as Legion continues to solidify new relationships with top-tier talent based throughout the whole of the province.
â€œBritish Columbiaâ€™s dense pool of experienced artists makes it an ideal location for VFX Legionâ€™s first foray into a tax haven,â€ says Hattin, the architect of the companyâ€™s pipeline. â€œIt enables us to take optimum advantage of our infrastructureâ€™s capabilities and bring some of B.C.â€™s most creative and experienced visual effects artists into our fold.â€
â€œThe impetus behind the launch of VFX Legion was the need for a new generation of visual effects companies with state-of-the-art capabilities, ensuring that establishing a presence in B.C., or any region offering tax incentives, doesnâ€™t come at the cost of limited access to top-tier talent," says Hattin.
VFX Legionâ€™s capabilities build on Hattinâ€™s 20+ years of experience as a tech-savvy lead talent helming visual effects teams for Hollywoodâ€™s episodic television shows and blockbuster films. The hands-on creative supervises and collaborates with the companyâ€™s LA and B.C.-based artists, as well as its worldwide network of talent, working in real-time as a single unit through every phase of production.
Legionâ€™s pipeline breaks with the traditional visual effects business model, untethering artists from the company's brick and mortar studios. Its reach and seamless digital connectivity enable Hattin and his LA facilityâ€™s veteran management team to guide its select pool of geographically diverse artists with the efficiency of a VFX company that houses its entire team under its roof.
Right out of the gate, the combination of top-tier talent and a forward-thinking, efficient end-to-end approach has attracted a variety of work. A mix of US and internationally-based episodic television shows rely on the companyâ€™s experienced team to deliver large numbers of complex, high-quality shots and consistently meet tight deadlines.
Shonda Rhimes' high-profile series, â€˜Scandalâ€™ (ABC) entrusted Legion to handle all its visual effects needs for three seasons, through last yearâ€™s finale. Currently, â€˜How to Get Away with Murderâ€™ (ABC), â€˜Madam Secretaryâ€™ (CBS), and â€˜DCâ€™s Legends of Tomorrowâ€™ (CW), are a few of the shows that continue to return to work with the company's team season after season. â€˜Hardcore Henry,â€™ â€˜Sinister 2,â€™ â€˜Insidious 3â€™, â€˜Asura,â€™ â€™12 Strong,â€™ and â€˜Superflyâ€™ are among Legion's feature film credits.
Legionâ€™s team provides projects with a variety of visual effects - from photorealistic environments, set extensions, compositing, look development, lighting, matte painting, and dynamics-to cleanups and any other services a project may require. The recent expansion into B.C. sweetens the pot, enabling the company to meet the budgets of a broader range of projects.
â€œOur LA company is fortunate to be called on by a steady flow of films and episodic television shows,â€ says VFX Legionâ€™s Head of Production, Nate Smalley. â€œWeâ€™ve also had great meetings with a long list of producers who were wowed by the quality of our work, but ultimately the impact of tax incentives and exchange rates on the bottom line has been a deciding factor. The addition of our B.C. studio positions Legion competitively in the visual effects arena, leveling the playing field.â€
â€œWhether our B.C. studio steps in during the production, editorial or the pre-production phase of a project, Legion provides feature films and TV show with a unique new creative resource,â€ says Hattin. â€œOur managersâ€™ shared LA aesthetic and standard and quality guide a talented team of artists committed to enhancing every visual story with VFX that consistently exceed clientsâ€™ expectations.â€
British Columbia is the first of a series of regions offering tax incentives where VFX Legion plans to put down stakes. Hattin is in the process of assembling a core team of artists in New York, and plans are in the works to launch a division in the state.
The New Division Provides Feature Films and TV Shows with Access to B.C.’s Deep Tax Incentives and the New Studio’s Skilled In-House Talent, Along With its Collective of Experienced VFX Artists Based Throughout the Province