Technicolor’s new VFX studio in Adelaide will boost employment

The Shape of Water.

Entertainment giant Technicolor has unveiled plans for a $26 million visual effects (VFX) studio in Adelaide, attracted by the State’s 10 per cent post production, digital and VFX (PDV) rebate on spending in the region.

Dubbed Mill Film, the centre initially will focus on delivering VFX for the major Hollywood companies and streaming services and will later expand to virtual and augmented reality.

Covering more than 3,000 square metres, the Adelaide Centre of Excellence and VFX Academy will employ 500 people – ranging from technologists to artists – when it reaches full strength within five years.

However a spokesperson told IF that when Technicolor opened a studio in Montreal four years ago it aimed to hire 400 people and now employs more than 1,000.

“If this success is duplicated in Adelaide, a similar growth trajectory is possible,” the spokesperson said.

A CEO is yet to be named but the company said the role is likely to be filled by someone from its VFX brands initially as it builds staff from local talent, later replaced by an Australian executive.

The French-owned firm has yet to identify the site but indicated the facility will open in October.

The government announced the 10 per cent rebate last December, enhancing the federal government’s 30 per cent PDV offset.

The Mill is a Technicolor VFX brand focusing on advertising but was previously involved in films such as Gladiator, for which it won an Oscar. Mill Film brings the Mill back into Film VFX with Adelaide as the first announced Mill Film Studio in the world.

Technicolor employs more than 15,000 globally with facilities in Paris, London, Los Angeles, Montreal, New York, Vancouver, Bangalore and Shanghai.

Its recent credits include The Shape of Water, nominated for 13 Oscars, Jungle Book, The Martian, Blade Runner 2049, Wonder Woman and Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.

Technicolor CEO Frederic Rose said: “We picked Australia as an opportunity for expansion because it provides an ability to engage with a pool of proven creative talent; work with leading universities; and build on a modern and mature infrastructure that is critical for working on high-end VFX projects

“The state government’s 10 per cent PDV rebate, stackable with the federal government’s 30 per cent incentive, was an opportunity too good to ignore.”