Digital Domain announces new executives for Vancouver studio

Kelly L'Estrange has been promoted to head Digital Domain's Vancouver studio.
Kelly L’Estrange has been promoted to head Digital Domain’s Vancouver studio.
(Digital Domain)

Digital Domain, the Los Angeles-based visual effects studio, is bulking up -- north of the border.

The company, recently acquired by a Chinese investor and now operating under the name Digital Domain 3.0, said it is expanding its Vancouver studio with new leadership.

Veteran visual effects producer Kelly L’Estrange will head the Vancouver studio, overseeing all feature film production at that location, the company said in a statement.

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L’Estrange has been with Digital Domain for 19 years, working on such films as “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” “Apollo 13" and “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.”

Joining L’Estrange in Vancouver will be 14-year Digital Domain veteran Swen Gillberg, who will be co-VFX supervisor for an undisclosed project. A source who was not authorized to comment publicly said the film was “Fast & Furious 7,” which is filming in Georgia.

The management changes come as Digital Domain plans to shift a growing amount of work from its Los Angeles operation to Vancouver to take advantage of film subsidies offered in British Columbia. About 420 people work at the two studios, 270 of them in California. To cut costs, Digital Domain also will move from its Venice headquarters to a Playa Vista facility by year’s end.

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“Kelly and Swen both have stellar reputations for delivering the highest quality work,’' said Terry Clotiaux, president of feature production for Digital Domain. “They really embody what’s best about Digital Domain and bring a great deal of experience to our talented team in Vancouver.”

Clotiaux was promoted last month to president of film production following the resignation of the respected Ed Ulbrich as chief executive.

Clotiaux now reports to Daniel Seah, who heads a Hong Kong company called Sun Innovation, which in July acquired a 70% stake in Digital Domain from China’s Galloping Horse for $50 million. Indian-owned Reliance MediaWorks continues to own a 30% stake in the company. Reliance and Galloping Horse acquired Digital Domain, co-founded in 1993 by director James Cameron, in a bankruptcy auction last year.

Digital Domain is a co-producer on Summit Entertainment’s “Ender’s Game” opening Nov. 1. The company also is doing visual effects work for Disney’s “Maleficent” and 20th Century Fox’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” The studio has completed work on upcoming features for Universal Pictures’ “47 Ronin” and Warner Bros.’ “Black Sky.”



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