Framestore

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Framestore
Industry
Founded1986
Founders
  • William Sargent
  • Sharon Reed
  • Mike McGee
  • Alison Turner
  • Jonathan Hills
HeadquartersChancery Lane, London, England
Number of locations
London, Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, Montreal, Mumbai, Melbourne
Key people
William Sargent (Chairman)

Mel Sullivan (CEO) Fiona Walkinshaw (CEO, Film & Episodic)

Charles Howell (President, Global Advertising & Content)
ProductsVisual effects
Post-production
Websiteframestore.com

Framestore is a British animation and visual effects studio based on Chancery Lane in London, England.[1][2] Formed in 1985, Framestore specialises in effects for film and prestige TV, advertising, rides and immersive experiences. It is the largest production house in Europe, employing roughly 3,000 staff, including 1,000 in London, and 1,500 across studios in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Montreal, Melbourne and Mumbai. [3][4][5][6]

History[edit]

Foundation[edit]

Framestore was founded in 1986 by William Sargent and Sharon Reed, together with three friends.[7] Tim Webber joined Framestore in 1988 and led the company's push into digital film and television, developing Framestore's virtual camera and motion rig systems. In 1992, Mike Milne started the CGI department, adding computer-generated animation to the company's range of facilities.[8]

Merger with CFC[edit]

In 1997, Framestore acquired the Computer Film Company, which was one of the UK's first digital film special effects companies, developing technology for digital film scanning, compositing, and output. CFC was founded in London in 1984 by Mike Boudry, Wolfgang Lempp (now CTO at Filmlight) and Neil Harris (Lightworks). CFC's first film was The Fruit Machine, in 1988, which utilised early morphing techniques.[9]

In 2004, Framestore opened their first satellite office in New York City, to focus on advertising.[10] This was followed by another office in Iceland in 2008, which has since been closed and has reopened as a local VFX company, RVX.[11] In 2013 Framestore opened an office in Montreal, followed by another in Los Angeles the same year.[12][13][14] In 2014, it launched a production arm.[15]

Early projects for the company include the delivery of its first feature animation project The Tale of Despereaux with Universal;[16] the completion of Europe's first digital intermediate for the film Chicken Run in 2000;[17] contribution of scenes for the 2009 film Avatar,[18] and the completion as a production project of four British feature films which opened in theatres between during 2009 and 2010.[19]

Acquisition by CIH[edit]

In November 2016, Framestore agreed to let the Shanghai-based Cultural Investment Holdings Co acquire 75% of it for £112.50 million.[20] The company worked on projects such as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Beauty and the Beast, and Paddington 2.[21] In April 2017, Framestore opened a third US location, in Chicago, Illinois.[22]

The company also worked on the 2017 film Darkest Hour directed by Joe Wright, working out of the Montreal facility of Framestore to create historically accurate backdrops for 85 shots in the film, including battle scenes.[23]

The team created around 300 shots for the 2017 film Blade Runner 2049, with Framestore winning a special visual effects award at the 2018 British Academy Film Awards.[24] They have also worked on Black Mirror, creating props such as the 60s-style spaceship in the premiere of the fourth season.[25]

Reception[edit]

Framestore has been awarded two Scientific and Technical Academy Awards, and 14 Primetime Emmys. In 2008, Framestore won their first Oscar for Best Visual Effects for the film The Golden Compass; they also won the BAFTA Award for that film the same year. Framestore was also nominated for Oscars in 2009 (The Dark Knight)[26] and again in 2010 (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1).[27]

Tim Webber was the VFX supervisor on Gravity (2013), and the techniques involved in the film realised by Webber and the Framestore team took three years to complete.[28] The team won the best visual effects awards BAFTA Award for Best Special Visual Effects at the 67th British Academy Film Awards, and the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects award at the 86th Academy Awards.[29]

The company then won both the Academy Award [30] and BAFTA [31] for Best Visual Effects in 2018 for its work on Blade Runner 2049.

In advertising the team has also won major awards including Cannes Lions, British Television Advertising Awards, Clios, D&AD and others.[32]

The company's R&D team spun off to create the technology company Filmlight, which in 2010 received four Scientific Academy Awards.[33]

Framestore won the 2020 BAFTA TV Craft Awards for Special, Visual & Graphic Effects for its extensive work on the HBO / BBC series His Dark Materials (TV series).[34]

Advertising and trade characters[edit]

Framestore has collaborated with companies and advertising agencies to create trade characters, and also created an attempted photorealistic computer-generated Audrey Hepburn for a Galaxy chocolate advert.[35] A combination of elements including body doubles, motion capture, FACS and rendering software called Arnold were used to mimic the appearance of the actress 20 years after her death. The advert drew press attention both for the cutting-edge technology utilized and the ethical implications of using a person's likeness posthumously for commercial purposes.[36][37][38]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "FRAMESTORE LIMITED(THE) overview - Find and update company information - GOV.UK". Companies House. 17 December 1985. Retrieved 3 August 2023.
  2. ^ Hinnant, Brynn (9 January 2024). "VFX IN THE U.K.: MORE DEMAND THAN EVER". VFX Voice Magazine. Retrieved 19 April 2024.
  3. ^ "StartUp Grind". Barclays. 27 August 2014. Archived from the original on 3 August 2020. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  4. ^ "Design Directory". Dexigner. Archived from the original on 15 November 2020. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  5. ^ Thomas, Daniel (5 March 2018). "Hollywood's go-to visual effects company". BBC News. Archived from the original on 10 November 2019. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  6. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (12 May 2022). "'Doctor Strange' VFX Company Framestore Names Mel Sullivan CEO". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 19 April 2024.
  7. ^ Kelly, Liam. "Downton Abbey's special effect on Framestore". The Times. Archived from the original on 20 October 2020. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  8. ^ "Lifetime Achievement Award". Royal Television Society. 24 January 2011. Archived from the original on 11 November 2019. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  9. ^ Rickitt, Richard (2000). Special Effects: The History and Technique. London: Virgin Publishing. ISBN 0-8230-7733-0
  10. ^ Filer, Joey (28 November 2018). "Interview with Framestore President James Razzall". Reel Chicago. Archived from the original on 11 November 2019. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  11. ^ "Biography of Dadi Einarsson". Barcelona International Arts & VFX Fair 2019. Archived from the original on 11 November 2019. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  12. ^ Kelly, Brendan. "Framestore's visual effects won an Oscar, built a Montreal home base". Montreal Gazette. Archived from the original on 10 November 2019. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  13. ^ Canadienne, Presse. "Visual-effects studio Framestore to add 150 jobs in Montreal". Montreal Gazette. Archived from the original on 10 November 2019. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  14. ^ Christiansen, Mark (30 August 2016). "Framestore Los Angeles". Frame.io Insider. Archived from the original on 10 November 2019. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  15. ^ Dawtrey, Adam (13 March 2006). "Framestore launches prod'n arm". Variety. Archived from the original on 1 March 2018. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  16. ^ Desowitz, Bill. "Building a Better Mousetrap for 'Despereaux'". Animation World Network. Archived from the original on 16 August 2019. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  17. ^ Bosley, Rachael K. "A Model Thriller". American Cinematographer. Archived from the original on 11 November 2019. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  18. ^ Frei, Vincent (4 February 2010). "AVATAR: Jonathan Fawkner,VFX Supervisor, Framestore". Art of VFX. Archived from the original on 11 November 2019. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  19. ^ McCarthy, Todd (8 September 2008). "Me and Orson Welles". Variety Magazine. Archived from the original on 11 November 2019. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  20. ^ Kollewe, Julia (3 November 2016). "Harry Potter special effects firm looks east with sale to China group". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 4 November 2016. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  21. ^ Failes, Ian (3 November 2016). "'Gravity,' 'Dr. Strange' VFX Studio Framestore Bought by Chinese Firm". CartoonBrew. Archived from the original on 5 November 2016. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  22. ^ O'Brien, Kyle (27 April 2017). "Framestore opening third US location in Chicago". TheDrum. Archived from the original on 28 February 2018. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  23. ^ Williams, Eliza (2 February 2018). "Film Week: How Framestore Recreated History in Darkest Hour". Creative Review. Archived from the original on 28 February 2018. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  24. ^ McLean, Tom (20 February 2018). "Framestore Celebrates BAFTA VFX win for 'Blade Runner 2049'". AWN. Archived from the original on 24 January 2019. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  25. ^ Harris, Miriam (4 January 2018). "How Framestore created the 60s-style spaceship in Black Mirror Season 4, Episode 1". Digital Arts Online. Archived from the original on 28 February 2018. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  26. ^ "Dark Knight Visuals In Oscar Spotlight - UK Broadcast News | 26/01/2009". www.4rfv.co.uk. Archived from the original on 10 November 2020. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  27. ^ "Harry Potter: A History of Magic". Framestore. 16 August 2017. Archived from the original on 23 April 2021. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  28. ^ "Tim Webber: the man who put Sandra Bullock in space" Archived 22 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Evening Standard. Retrieved 17 January 2014
  29. ^ Jackson, Alex. "Gravity's Oscar-Winning Visual Effects Mastermind Talks about Computer Graphics and "Weightlessness"". Nature SoapBox Science. Archived from the original on 9 March 2014. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
  30. ^ "Framestore Wins Oscar in Best VFX for Blade Runner 2049 | LBBOnline". Archived from the original on 20 July 2020. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  31. ^ "Framestore Celebrates BAFTA VFX win for 'Blade Runner 2049' | Animation World Network". Archived from the original on 24 January 2019. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  32. ^ Milligan, Mercedes (28 April 2017). "Framestore Opens 3rd US Shop in Chicago". Animation Magazine. Archived from the original on 10 November 2019. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  33. ^ "FilmLight Wins Four AMPAS Scientific and Technical Awards". www.businesswire.com. 27 January 2010. Archived from the original on 23 April 2021. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  34. ^ Kanter, Jake (17 July 2020). "BAFTA TV Craft Awards: 'Chernobyl' The Big Winner After Scooping Seven Prizes". Deadline. Archived from the original on 7 August 2020. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
  35. ^ "Audrey Hepburn Resurrected in New TV Commercial - Creepy or Cool?". YouTube. Archived from the original on 19 November 2020. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  36. ^ Walton, Mark (28 April 2016). "From Paintbox to PC: How London became the home of Hollywood VFX". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 6 January 2019. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  37. ^ "Performance anxiety". The Economist. 5 July 2018. ISSN 0013-0613. Archived from the original on 18 March 2019. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  38. ^ Ellis-Petersen, Hannah (10 April 2015). "Bruce Lee, Audrey Hepburn and the ethics of digital necromancy". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 11 December 2018. Retrieved 18 March 2019.

External links[edit]

51°30′54.2″N 0°8′11.7″W / 51.515056°N 0.136583°W / 51.515056; -0.136583