New Zealand visual effects studio WetaFX is coming to Vancouver

Company behind Lord of the Rings VFX is hiring 75 artists to work on shows including Avatar sequels

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A famous New Zealand visual effects studio behind the Lord of the Rings saga is setting up a satellite in Hollywood North.

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The WetaFX studio in Vancouver will be the company’s first outside of its headquarters and follows a $1.6 billion technology deal with Unity, a Denmark-based video game and software company, in late 2021. WetaFX also has executive offices in Los Angeles.

The move to British Columbia is part of a planned international expansion around the world, WetaFX CEO Prem Akkaraju said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Vancouver is an established market for VFX (visual effects), animation and gaming talent and we look forward to welcoming them to the Wētā FX family.”

The company is hiring 75 effects artists to work on shows, including sequels to Avatar, which will begin hitting theaters in December. WetaFX plans to increase its workforce in Vancouver before the end of 2022.

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WetaFX says it has a dozen other unannounced projects in development for various studios. He recently completed work on WB’s The Batman and Marvel’s Moon Knight and Dr. Strange.

Wellington-based WetaFX claims to be the largest single-site VFX studio in the world, hiring artists from 40 countries. The studio has won six Oscars for visual effects, six BAFTA VFX and dozens of other industry awards.

Among its performance-oriented animated characters is Peter Jackson’s iconic Lord of the Rings Gollum.

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Briana R. Cross