Nostalgic showreel showcases some of the company’s most memorable work

Leading VFX and animation studio Cinesite is marking its 30th anniversary, a key milestone for the independent studio which has produced ground-breaking work for more than 200 motion picture and series productions, including some of the most popular and critically-acclaimed films of the past three decades.

“Marking this milestone is cause for great pride and much celebration” said Cinesite Group CEO Antony Hunt. “We’ve seen progressive growth, both in the size and location of our studios and in the scale and complexity of our vfx & animation projects through the years. All the people involved in our success to date have had a hand in establishing the groundwork for our future artists and collaborators to build upon. We’re excited for what the next chapter holds.”

Anniversary showreel

To celebrate the studio’s legacy Cinesite has released a showreel featuring some of its most beloved and memorable work from Space Jam, Band of Brothers, World War Z, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Pirates of The Caribbean, the Harry Potter, X-Men and James Bond franchise’s as well as the Oscar and BAFTA-winning films The Revenant & The Golden Compass and animated films like Riverdance: The Animated Adventure and The Addams Family 1 & 2. All were created by amazing supervisors, artists, technicians and R&D teams earning Cinesite numerous Visual Effect Society (VES), Emmy, AEAF & RTS awards.

“We want to inspire the next generation of storytellers to push the boundaries of VFX and animation and to do that we all need to honour the movies and artists who came before us,” said Dave Rosenbaum, Cinesite’s Chief Creative Officer. “In all aspects of life, we often forget to turn back and look at the landmark moments and inspirational people who got us to where we are. This celebration is our way of doing that and it give us a great perspective as we charge forward.”

In 2014 Cinesite began working on animated films and in the last five years it completed an impressive eleven animated features for a range of clients including Sony Pictures Animation, MGM, 3QU Media & Aniventure. The studio just wrapped production on Blazing Samurai directed by Rob Minkoff (Lion King) starring Mel Brooks, Ricky Gervais and Samuel L Jackson. Currently in production is Pulitzer Prize winner Berkeley Breathed’s Hitpig starring Peter Dinklage as the title character. The studio recently announced it was in production on the 6-part animated series Iwájú for Disney Animation & Kugali.

Established in 1991, Cinesite now extends its reach and capacity across multiple studios in North America and Europe. From today artists and fans can browse an interactive timeline which reveals defining moments for every year Cinesite’s teams have been furthering the art of visual storytelling and pushing artistic and technical boundaries such as:

  • In the early 1990’s Cinesite makes history with the first digital processing of a feature film, the restoration of Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
  • Cinesite worked with over 18,000 special effects elements for Space Jam, employing never-before-used techniques to make basketball superstar Michael Jordan interact seamlessly in an animated world, with a cavalcade of cartoon characters.
  • Cinesite is the only company to have constructed both the physical 1:24 scale model of Hogwarts (which is displayed at the Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour) as well create digital CGI shots of the wizarding school. Cinesite delivered 2,000 vfx shots over the 8-film franchise creating the moving portrait effects, the time travel sequence in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, various external sweeping panoramas of Hogwarts environments, the Patronus doe, ghosts and Lord Voldemort’s snake-like snout.
  • Building the first full CG creature in a James Bond film, the deadly Komodo dragon in Skyfall

In more recent years:

  • Creating the eagerly awaited and explosive meeting of the Guardians of the Galaxy and The Avengers in Avengers: Endgame.
  • Being listed in the Sunday Times International Track 200 which lists the UK’s fastest growing companies.
  • Recreating the notable 1975 Dodgers Stadium concert, complete with a crowd of 50,000 for the award-winning film Rocketman.
  • Teaming up with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) to create The Addams Family, an animated motion picture which reintroduced the Family to a whole new generation.

Cinesite’s longevity can only be credited to its people, through years of working with talented artists, engineers, and support staff who continuously showed their dedication to furthering the art of visual storytelling and push artistic and technical boundaries. Many hands contributed to bringing Cinesite to this milestone year. In recognition of this Cinesite will host an online commentative event for all its international staff to celebrate their collective achievements and share a vision for the future.

The company enjoys long-standing relationships with top studios and producers worldwide and has launched the careers of numerous successful visual effects supervisors, producers and artists. This is something it’s committed to continue by launching an international internship programme which will see Cinesite mentor and support 30 talented up-and-coming artists & technicians across all its studio facilities.

Tanya Combrinck
Author: Tanya Combrinck

Tanya is a writer covering art, design, and visual effects. She has 15 years of experience as a magazine journalist and has written for publications including 3D World, 3D Artist, Computer Arts, net magazine, and Creative Bloq.