MONTREAL – Quebec Premier Pauline Marois was in London on Monday to announce that one of the largest visual effects companies in Europe will be opening an office in Montreal.
Cinesite, a London-based company that specializes in the production of visual effects and animation for film and television, is behind the digital special effects in blockbuster films such as Harry Potter and X-Men.
The move is expected to create around 200 jobs in the city, with the possibility of 50 more by 2018.
“I am glad to see that another London studio has chosen Quebec as its key partner in North America,” said Premier Marois, adding that the initiative was a part of the Parti Quebecois’ commitment to bring 43,000 new jobs to the province by 2017.
“With Cinesite, Montreal is now home to three of the world’s premier visual effects studios. This will further consolidate the cluster and broaden the synergy between industry stakeholders.”
The first project to be completed at the company’s new 26,000 sq ft location in Old Montreal will be a Warner Bros. film by director Guy Ritchie, The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
“Montreal has a thriving gaming, software and technology community, which has been making a natural extension into visual effects,” said Cinesite managing director Antony Hunt on Monday.
“Montreal and London are the best city’s in the world to make a movie and visual effects.
“This burgeoning creative hub, combined with the investment support offered by the government of Quebec, makes it the ideal location for us. Cinesite’s growth within the region will also attract local and global creative and technical talent.”
Government officials confirmed Monday that the project would involve a capital investment of $6.7 million, with $42.4 million invested in payroll. To help execute the move, Cinesite received an interest-free loan of $ 1.2 million from Investissement Québec.
In January last year, Marois was in London making a similar announcement when British special-effects firm Framestore said it would be creating 200 jobs in Montreal.
The company said it was attracted to the city because of its experienced talent pool and the fact that Quebec gave it an interest-free loan of $900,000 over five years.
Although Marois said Framestore would get no tax credits, company CEO William Sargent said at the time that tax credits were one of the reasons Framestone decided to set up in Montreal.
Marois also spoke at a luncheon for the Canada-UK Chamber of Commerce at the Waldorf Hilton on Monday afternoon on the topic of “Quebec: your partner in North America.”
– With a file from The Canadian Press