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New Imageworks facility will mark largest footprint for a Vancouver visual effects company

CULVER CITY, Calif., May 30, 2014 - Sony Pictures Imageworks, the Academy Award® winning visual effects and digital character animation company, is relocating its headquarters to Vancouver, B.C. The company is moving into a new, state-of-the-art facility, capable of accommodating up to 700 employees, which will be the largest footprint for a visual effects company in Vancouver.

The Vancouver team, which recently completed work on Edge of Tomorrow (Warner Bros.) and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Columbia Pictures), will lead Sony Pictures Imageworks' current and future projects, including Guardians of the Galaxy (Disney/Marvel), Pixels (Columbia Pictures), Angry Birds movie (Rovio), Hotel Transylvania 2 (Sony Pictures Animation) and the untitled Smurfs movie (Sony Pictures Animation).

The move builds on Sony Pictures Imageworks' growing presence in Vancouver. In 2010, the company opened a production office in Vancouver with a staff of 80 artists. Last year, during the production of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Sony Pictures Imageworks staff in Vancouver topped 350 people.

"Vancouver has developed into a world-class center for visual effects and animation production," stated Randy Lake, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Digital Production Services at Sony Pictures Digital Productions. "It offers an attractive lifestyle for artists in a robust business climate. Expanding our headquarters in Vancouver will allow us to deliver visual effects of the highest caliber and value to our clients."

Jason Dowdeswell will continue to lead Sony Pictures Imageworks' operations in Vancouver as Vice President of Production Operations. A native of British Columbia, Dowdeswell joined Sony Pictures Imageworks in 2013 after a lengthy career as a visual effects artist, supervisor and manager.

The company is deepening its Vancouver leadership with the addition of Mark Breakspear as Visual Effects Supervisor and Shauna Bryan as Vice President, New Business and Production Executive. Both arrive from similar roles at Method Studios in Vancouver. Breakspear brings more than 60 feature film credits as visual effects supervisor or artist, including Seventh Son, Thor: The Dark World, Elysium and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2. Bryan's background includes 10 years with Rainmaker in Vancouver, including three years as Executive Producer/Head of Business Development.

"Shauna and Mark are both well-respected in this market, and throughout the industry," said Dowdeswell. "They will help us continue to attract top talent, broaden our client outreach and compete at the highest level."

Sony Pictures Imageworks' new 74,000 square foot production headquarters will be located at the Pacific Centre, a Cadillac Fairview property, in downtown Vancouver, near many of the city's most popular restaurants, hotels and cultural attractions, and close access to main railway and rapid transit lines.

Sony Pictures Imageworks is the Academy Award®-winning visual effects and animation unit of Sony Pictures Digital Productions known for live-action visual effects, dynamic creature and character animation and all-CG animation. The company, headquartered in Vancouver, B.C., recently completed work on the THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 and 22 JUMP STREET for Columbia Pictures, the Warner Bros. feature EDGE OF TOMORROW and Disney/Marvel's CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER. Sony Pictures Imageworks is currently in production on Disney/Marvel's GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, Columbia Pictures' PIXELS and the ANGRY BIRDS movie for Rovio. The studio is also working on the animated features HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2 and the untitled SMURFS movie (working title) for Sony Pictures Animation. Other recent credits include Disney's OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, MEN IN BLACK 3, Sony Pictures Animation's CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2, and HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA as well as Disney's ALICE IN WONDERLAND.

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