Culver City, Calif. - Sony Pictures Imageworks, the digital production studio recently acclaimed for its work on Spider-Man 3 and Sony Pictures Animation’s Surf’s Up, is expanding into Albuquerque, N.M.
"As Imageworks grows in the production of visual effects and all-CG animation, this additional facility enables the company to increase capacity and take advantage of economic incentives,” says Yair Landau, president of Sony Pictures Digital and vice chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment. “Establishment of this facility allows Imageworks to serve the filmmaking community as an innovative visual effects and digital character creator and as the digital production studio for Sony Pictures Animation.”
Sony Pictures Imageworks president Tim Sarnoff says the Albuquerque facility will enable the company to harness the power of scalable capacity and favorable economics. “People trust Imageworks as a valued creative collaborator and for our production expertise,” Sarnoff explains. “Bringing additional offices online is very much like parallel processing.”
Imageworks’ headquarters in Culver City, Calif., comprises space in nine digitally connected but separate buildings. Technology already in use means the satellite operations will be seamlessly integrated into the existing production pipeline.
Imageworks’ Albuquerque facility is expected to encompass about 100,000 square feet of the 550,000 square foot studio complex underway from Pacifica Ventures’ Culver Studios, from whom Imageworks is leasing both the new location and its Culver City headquarters. It is in the district of Mesa del Sol, the 12,900-acre master-planned development on the city's southeast mesa, close to Albuquerque International Sunport airport. The physical plant will be designed with an eye toward the future. Modern systems will recycle the heat radiated by the electronics, distribute cooling and heating from ground up for maximum efficiency, draw from solar panels, and implement other ecologically aware features.
Other satellite Imageworks facilities were announced earlier this year, one in Chennai, India, and a smaller one at Hamilton Landing in Novato, Calif.
"We are investing in a balanced portfolio of artists and technology,” Sarnoff says. “This is a long term vision, and the savings will be reflected in our costs across the board while maintaining direct continuity with the producers.”