LONDON — Business Growth Fund has invested an initial £2m ($2.55M) in Milk Visual Effects (www.milk-vfx.com), the Oscar-winning independent visual VFX company that contributes to both feature films and high-end television projects. Milk will use the funding to expand its studios, invest in new equipment and R&D, and hire top talent. The studio is looking to significantly increase its capacity to work on more film and television productions.
The studio was founded by five VFX supervisors and producers in 2013, including current CEO Will Cohen. It new employs 150 staff across its sites in London and Cardiff. The studio has won multiple awards for its creative work, including three consecutive BAFTA Television Craft awards for Doctor Who (2014, 2015) and critically acclaimed BBC drama Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (2016). Milk won an Emmy in 2016 for its work on the BBC drama Sherlock, and in 2016, co-founder Sara Bennett won an Oscar for her work on the film Ex-Machina in the Visual Effects category.
Other recent highlights for Milk include work on the film Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them (2016), where it created a number of visual effects sequences for Warner Bros’. Milk’s credits also include Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise and Free Fire; The Martian (20th Century Fox); The Divergent Series: Insurgent (Lionsgate/Summit); Poltergeist (Fox/MGM); Everest (Universal); Brett Ratner’s Hercules (Paramount MGM); Dracula Untold (Universal); 47 Ronin (Universal), Thunderbirds Are Go (ITV), and The Last Dragonslayer (Sky).
Milk is currently in production of Alex Garland’s forthcoming feature Annihilation (DNA/Paramount), Kingsman 2 (Lionsgate), and Electric Dreams (Channel 4/Left Bank/Sony), as well as on Doctor Who series 10 for television.
In addition to the funding, BGF introduced the Milk management team to Ivan Dunleavy, the former CEO of Pinewood Group, who will join Milk VFX as the non-executive chairman. With 17 years’ experience as Pinewood CEO, and successfully managed growth of the filmmaking company, Dunleavy’s experience is a strong match for Milk’s ambition and future growth plans.
“Our new partnership with BGF and the appointment of Ivan Dunleavy as chairman will help us to deliver the most challenging and creative visual effects work for the global feature film, high end television and emerging digital content markets,” says Cohen. “We look forward to building on our success over the last four years - which is testament to the dedication and expertise of our team at Milk. It’s a wonderful way to begin our fifth year in business.”