Sony Pictures Imageworks relocating headquarters from U.S. to Vancouver

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      Another major visual effects house is adding to the growth of Vancouver's visual effects industry.

      Sony Pictures Imageworks issued a news release on Friday (May 30) that it is relocating its headquarters from Culver City, California, to Vancouver.

      The Academy Award–winning visual effects and animation company will move into a new 74,000 square foot production facility that will house up to 700 employees.

      The new location will be at the renovated former Sears building at Pacific Centre, which will also house Nordstrom's Canadian flagship store. Imageworks will be located on the fifth floor while Microsoft has leased the sixth and seventh floors.

      Sony is expected to take advantage of film tax credits available in B.C. that aren't available in California.

      British Columbian Jason Dowdeswell will continue to lead the Vancouver operations as vice-president of production operations. He will be joined by visual effects supervisor Mark Breakspear and vice-president, new business and production executive, Shauna Bryan, both from Method Studios in Vancouver.

      Imageworks opened a production office in Vancouver in 2010 with a staff of 80 artists, which grew to a staff of 350 people.

      The company recently completed work on the Tom Cruise sci-fi thriller Edge of Tomorrow and the recently released The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and is working or will work on Guardians of the Galaxy, Pixels, Angry Birds movie, Hotel Transylvania 2, and the untitled Smurfs movie.

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