Industrial Light & Magic to Open Studio in Australia

ILM sydney announce

L - R Minister David Harwin, Head of ILM Rob Bredbow, NSW Oremier Gladys Berejiklian, ILM Executive Luke Hetherington and Minister Stuart Ayres.

Luke Hetherington will be speaking at AEAF in Sydney on 16 August, joined by ILM digital artist Mike Allen talking about the team’s work on ‘Avengers: Endgame’.

Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) is opening a new studio in Sydney, joining its current operations in San Francisco where the company is headquartered, Singapore, Vancouver and London.

Executive Creative Director and Head of ILM Rob Bredow remarked that the artistic and technical talent in the Sydney region make it a good location for a studio. “Talent and expertise are both keys to ILM’s culture of innovation. It’s particularly exciting that the first film the new studio will contribute to will be 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker',” he said.

ILM’s Sydney studio will be a source of the VFX and animation work, the artistry and creative problem solving that the company has become known for. The studio will work on projects including feature films, television, immersive entertainment and themed attractions.

“It’s a terrific opportunity for local Australian talent to join established ILM staff from around the world and collaborate on innovative, high quality animation and visual effects,” said Luke Hetherington whose responsibilities will expand to serve as the Executive in Charge of both the Singapore and now the Sydney studio. “They will also be working on the kind of projects at ILM that inspired so many of us to start out in this industry, like Star Wars, Avengers, Jurassic Park and many others.”

The new studio is expected to create more than 500 local jobs. The announcement follows the NSW Government’s recent move to offer a 10 per cent tax incentive for PDV firms investing over $500,000 in NSW. This is on top of Federal incentives, making NSW an even more attractive location for film production.

The studio will make available a complete list of visual effects services and is currently recruiting an array of talent for a variety of roles. As part of the announcement, the NSW Government will also make a $6 million contribution which will be matched by ILM to establish training programs to build specialised PDV skills for local workers.

Gretchen Libby, ILM VP of Production said, “We are always looking for ways to enhance our offering to clients. The Australian Federal PDV (post, digital and visual effects) Offset coupled with the new NSW PDV rebate is sure to attract significant interest from filmmakers around the world. Our studio in Sydney will allow us to offer that opportunity while producing the quality effects work that is synonymous with Industrial Light & Magic.”

 NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian met Rob Bredow and Luke Hetherington at Fox Studios Australia to make the announcement. She also said, “Having the world’s leading visual effects company now agreeing to set up here permanently and commit to teaching invaluable skills to hundreds of people in NSW is an advantage for our State. This is only the third studio ILM has opened outside of North America.

“The digital skills taught by the best in the world will also benefit many other industries in NSW, including software development, robotics, engineering and defence.”

 For details see Speaker Sessions