In the downtown Gastown district, the Walt Disney Company
established the 30,000 square foot studio is anticipated to service production on "Star Wars Episode VII." Industrial Light & Magic (ILM)
took the wraps off of its new and elaborated Vancouver studio as it continues work a new Star Wars franchise. Roughly 200 artists are expected to be at work in the new Vancouver operation by summer 2014, with films such as Transformers 4, War craft and around a third of the production on Star Wars Episode VII to be done in the West Coast city ahead of a scheduled Dec. 18, 2015, release. Randall Shore will handle the relocated Vancouver facility as supervising producer.
First, ILM opened an impermanent facility in the Canadian city before relocating to a permanent location on Water Street and its present global expansion plans include a new VFX facility in London. The opening of the new Vancouver facility by ILM is welcome after Disney closed its Vancouver based Pixar Canada studio late last year. Vancouver remains a destination for foreign VFX players because of a shared time zone with Los Angeles and digital animation tax credits offered to international fabricators.