As the new Star Wars movie gets ready for production, visual effects giant Industrial Light & Magic is looking at opening a facility in the United Kingdom to take advantage of foreign tax subsidies, according to a report by The Wrap.
Miles Perkins, head of corporate communications for ILM's parent company Lucasfilm, reportedly said that the company had not yet decided whether to do the visual effects work in London but was considering it. "We're evaluating a number of different scenarios and doing our due diligence," he said.
ILM, based in northern California area and considered the grandfather of modern visual effects artistry, will be leading the work on the new Star Wars trilogy announced by Disney last year when it acquired Lucasfilm.
The facility would be used for visual-effects work on the films, which may be partly shot in England. ILM has reportedly been scouting locations in East London, known as the Docklands. The company has also explored installing fiber optic cable so its team based at headquarters in San Francisco’s Presidio district can oversee work coming from the U.K.
Perkins said that there were no plans to leave the Bay Area. "The core of our business is here, and there isn’t the intention of diminishing that core," he said. "That would be suicide. The people who make up our brain trust are here, and we have no intention of doing anything to change that."
Perkins likened any expansion in London to ILM's announcement in 2012 that it was establishing a hub in Vancouver to work on specific projects. Like the U.K., certain Canadian cities such as Vancouver offer more generous post-production tax credits and subsidies than California.
Perkins did not say when a decision on putting a possible London office would be made, but said the bulk of the effects work on the first of the new Star Wars films will be done between 2014 to 2015.