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VFX Legion Opens New British Columbia Division

Studio shares work-from-home reel while announcing new Canadian operations, production resources, and regional talent, as well as slate of new projects.

VFX Legion, a remote boutique-style global VFX services company, has announced the opening of a full-scale division in British Columbia. An early proponent of the virtualization of visual effects, industry veteran James David Hattin launched the company in 2013, introducing a groundbreaking collaborative work-from-home business model years before COVID-19 made social distancing essential. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the company’s new Kelowna-based division expands upon their innovative and robust suite of remote visual effect services. 

"We began testing the waters in British Columbia last April," says Hattin. "It didn't take long to see that the volume of cost-effective, photorealistic visual effects that its robust film and television industry required made it a great fit with VFX Legion's efficient, high-quality remote services. Workload steadily increased, and we outgrew our initial digs in less than a year. Spurred on by the influx of jobs and positive feedback from clients, we decided to launch a full-scale, end-to-end division with expanded technical and creative resources, further strengthening our capabilities."

With security a top priority, and crucial to its expansion strategy, VFX Legion set up the new location with TPN certification and remote workstations housed in a lockdown space. It also significantly increases the company's storage capacity. A built-out virtual private cloud keeps all content on-premises, providing artists with immediate access and clients with total control over their assets. The studio's size and layout allow for social distancing with multiple offices, rather than an oversized open workspace.

Proactively growing its team of talent residing throughout the province, VFX Legion is building a local workforce with the scale needed to take maximum advantage of substantial tax incentives. According to Hattin, "British Columbia's investment in infrastructure technology, including fiber-optic internet connectivity, is another reason that the province is a perfect hub for our remote business model.”

“Our sophisticated pipeline's ability to render an artist's location irrelevant provides VFX Legion with its greatest asset - an abundance of exceptional remote-savvy talent,” he continues. “A collective of over 200 artists was in place long before the pandemic, bringing a mastery of remote technology and our collaborative workflow that's optimized efficiency and creativity for dozens of films and hundreds of TV episodes over the years. While the industry scrambled to set up in-house staff to work from home in response to a crisis, we didn’t need to change a thing."

The studio already has over a dozen projects lined up and in progress, including seven films for Welcome to The Blumhouse, a program of dark genre movies produced by Blumhouse Television and Amazon Studios. The B.C. division is currently managing the production of all visual effects for Black Box, scheduled to premiere along with The Lie, on October 6th. VFX Legion/B.C. is also sole VFX vendor for Evil Eye and Nocturne, both debuting on October 12th, and the final four films in the series for release in 2021.  Slated to stream on Prime Video, the thematically connected package marks Amazon's first-ever global direct to services deal.

“We've invested in British Columbia at a very exciting time," says Hattin. "The province's work, establishing mandates and guidelines, has put it on the fast track to recovery. Shooting has resumed in B.C., making it one of North America's first regions to restart production since COVID-19 brought it to a halt. The move presented an opportunity to expand our pioneering remote service, and position VFX Legion to provide the first wave of productions with innovative digital solutions that meet unprecedented challenges."

The company’s credits include TV series such as How to Get Away with MurderMadam SecretaryScandalDC’s Legends of TomorrowSuitsEye CandyRevolutionThe Catch and Gone. Film credits include Hardcore HenryThe Gift12 StrongIthacaLowridersOuijaOuija 2Killers AnonymousThe CircleThe Keeping HourSouls of TotalityStephanieThe Veil#RealityHighAfterJem and the HologramsSinister 2Ma, and Superfly.

Source: VFX Legion