Sony Pictures Imageworks is relocating staff from its Los Angeles headquarters to its studio in Vancouver.
American entertainment-trade magazine Variety is reporting that approximately 36 employees, mainly in software development, will be relocated to the Vancouver studio. Employees are being offered relocation expenses while those who decide not to relocate will likely lose their jobs.
In a statement issued to Variety, “As part of this process, we are transitioning a percentage of our technology teams to our Vancouver, B.C. studio in order to provide greater support to our artist community and remain cost competitive.”
The exercise comes as an effort by Sony to cut down on $250-million in the company’s costs, specifically within its visual arts and digital animation departments. Further layoffs from the Los Angeles headquarters and the existing Vancouver workforce are expected over the coming months.
Sony Pictures Imageworks has provided visual effects and digital animation for films such as The Amazing Spiderman, The Polar Express, and The Chronicles of Narnia.
The company’s Vancouver studio first opened in 2010 as an off-shore extension of the Culver Studio studio in Los Angeles. A decision to double the studio’s size to 32,000 square feet was made almost immediately after it first opened. The Vancouver studio was responsible for visual effects and digital animation for Men in Black 3, The Amazing Spider Man and Hotel Transylvania.
Vancouver’s visual effects and digital animation industries are booming thanks to a strong talent base and significant government incentives.
Image: Sony Pictures Imageworks