Marking its first visual effects (VFX) studio investment outside its native New Zealand, VFX company Wētā FX earlier this month opened a new office in Vancouver, calling it a first step in global expansion. “The global growth in entertainment content has allowed us the flexibility to really pursue the projects we want and to expand our business model to tap into talent in more locations around the world,” said Prem Akkaraju, CEO of Wētā FX. “Vancouver is an established market for VFX, animation and games talent and we look forward to welcoming them into the Wētā FX family.” The Vancouver location will initially house 75 artists “with a vision to expand beyond that before the end of the year,” the company said. Its list of projects includes WB’s The Batman and Marvel’s Moon Knight and Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, as well as the Avatar Sequels, the first of which will hit theatres in December 2022.
Based in Wellington, New Zealand, Wētā FX has the largest single-site VFX studio in the world, drawing artists from over 40 countries.
As reported by the Billings Gazette and other sources, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. High Country this spring broke ground for a new facility at the Harnish Trade Center, a business park near I-90. “High Country's new $50 million complex will be built on 10.5 acres with a 60,000-square-foot warehouse, a 80,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, a 76,000-square-foot fleet shop and 20,000-square-foot truck bay,” the Gazette reported, noting that Big Sky Economic Development and the city combined to invest $500,000 (High Country invested $1 million) to extend water and sewer infrastructure to the site, opening up other sites at the trade center for development.