Slated to open in early 2023 with award-winning VFX Supervisor and Australian national Andrew Jackson at the helm, the studio will lead the visual effects production on George Miller’s highly anticipated ‘Mad Max’ prequel ‘Furiosa’ - coming in 2024.
DNEG has announced plans for a new VFX and animation studio in Sydney, Australia, to open in early 2023. The new studio will be located in Pyrmont, within Sydney’s Tech Central district. As part of the announcement, DNEG confirmed that the new facility 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 caliber 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.”
Furiosa marks the much-anticipated return to the dystopian world Miller created more than 30 years ago with the iconic Mad Max films. The new original, standalone action adventure will reveal origins of the characters from the Oscar-winning film Mad Max: Fury Road. The movie 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,” noted 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.”
Academy Award and BAFTA-winning VFX Supervisor, and Australian national Andrew Jackson, will head up the new studio’s work as creative director. Jackson is an industry veteran whose career spans 30+ years. His credits include production VFX supervisor for Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, which earned him an Academy Award and BAFTA for Best Special Visual Effects. He also received an Academy Award nomination for his work on Mad Max: Fury Road and 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,” shared 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.”
Rising Sun Pictures’ Dan Bethell will join the studio as DNEG VFX supervisor on Furiosa. Bethell received a Visual Effects Society (VES) Award for his work on Mad Max: Fury Road. His previous credits as VFX supervisor also 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, infrastructure support, and subsidized training programs, along with the provision of free or subsidized government spaces and accommodation.
“Tech Central is Australia’s innovation hub, and DNEG will be the next heavyweight to join a growing list of companies setting up shop in Sydney,” commented NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet. “The new site will include a fully functioning content services studio focusing on visual effects, animation, virtual production, and gaming.”
NSW Minister for Enterprise, Investment and Trade Alister Henskens said the support will help create 472 direct and 554 indirect jobs by 2024.
Alister noted, “The support via infrastructure rebates and payroll tax relief will help DNEG to develop, foster, and grow our pipeline of skilled workers in the digital effects industry by creating new opportunities and training pathways.”
The Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) and Department of Home Affairs assisted DNEG with extensive advice and introductions, including to Australian industry and government, as part of Global Australia Taskforce.