DNEG, a leading international visual effects (VFX) and animation studio, in coordination with New South Wales (NSW) Government, has outlined plans for a new VFX and animation studio in Sydney, Australia. The new studio, which will be located in Pyrmont, within Sydney’s Tech Central district, is slated to open in early 2023 and will have a total capacity of up to 500 seats.
As part of the announcement, DNEG also confirmed that its new Sydney studio will lead the visual effects work for George Miller’s highly anticipated Mad Max prequel Furiosa.
“The opportunity to collaborate and partner with filmmakers of the calibre of George Miller, whose work I love and respect, is the driving force behind everything that we do,” said DNEG CEO and Chairman Namit Malhotra. “Extending our filmmaker-focused approach to a fourth continent and building a substantial and sustainable presence in Sydney that allows us to engage with Australia’s talented and experienced creative leaders, artists, technologists and production crews, marks another milestone in our mission to bring the very best VFX and animation services to filmmakers all over the world. My thanks to the producers for choosing DNEG as their partner on Furiosa, and to the NSW Government for their support and for extending such a warm welcome to our team.”
George Miller’s Furiosa is the much-anticipated return to the groundbreaking dystopian world he created more than 30 years ago with the iconic ‘Mad Max’ films, this time with an original, standalone action adventure that will reveal the origins of the powerhouse characters from the multiple Oscar-winning global smash Mad Max: Fury Road. Furiosa is being produced in Australia by Miller and Oscar-nominated producer Doug Mitchell and stars Anya Taylor-Joy in the titular role alongside Chris Hemsworth and Tom Burke. The film is a Warner Bros. Pictures production in association with Village Roadshow Pictures (US) and is expected to premiere in 2024.
“From my very first call with Namit, I have been amazed at how proactive, engaged and focused DNEG has been in ensuring that George and I have the visual effects team we need for this movie,” said producer Doug Mitchell. “I am especially excited to collaborate with DNEG to create the visual effects for Furiosa in our home state of NSW, as we wrap what we believe is the biggest production ever filmed in the State. I’m looking forward to this and many future collaborations with Namit and his team.”
DNEG Sydney will be a full service VFX studio, leading on complex VFX projects for film and episodic projects, and will also be home to a new studio for DNEG Animation, the animation studio behind Kid Cudi’s beautifully stylized, animated love story Entergalactic for Netflix.
Academy Award and BAFTA-winning VFX Supervisor, and Australian national, Andrew Jackson, has relocated from DNEG London to head up the studio’s work as Creative Director for Sydney. With a career spanning more than 30 years, Jackson was Production VFX Supervisor for Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, which earned him an Academy Award and BAFTA for Best Special Visual Effects. Prior to that, Jackson received an Academy Award nomination for his work on Mad Max: Fury Road. He has most recently completed work as Production VFX Supervisor for Nolan’s forthcoming biopic Oppenheimer.
“DNEG is leading the charge when it comes to supporting some of the most creative and visionary directors in the industry, and together we are creating groundbreaking, innovative and inspiring VFX and animation work,” said Jackson. “I am thrilled to take up this position at the new DNEG Sydney studio, and to be back on home turf, working once again with George Miller following our work together on Fury Road. DNEG’s entrance into the Australian market will provide us with access to a new pool of talented individuals, including some of the most imaginative minds in the industry, and I am delighted to be working with the new crew that we are building to deliver some truly inspirational effects.”
One of DNEG’s first hires for the new studio is VFX Supervisor Dan Bethell, who joins from Rising Sun Pictures. Bethell is serving as DNEG VFX Supervisor on Furiosa, having previously received a Visual Effects Society (VES) Award for his work on Mad Max: Fury Road. Bethell’s previous credits as VFX Supervisor include Thor: Love and Thunder, Mortal Kombat, Extraction, and Spider-Man: Homecoming.
DNEG’s expansion to Sydney is supported by the Australian State Government of New South Wales (NSW) and its $250 million Jobs Plus Program. Delivered through Investment NSW, the program provides eligible companies with support to establish and expand their footprint in NSW, including payroll tax relief, support for infrastructure, and subsidised training programs, along with the provision of free or subsidised government spaces and accommodation.