Cinesite Studios has acquired full-service animation facility Nitrogen Studios Canada, Inc., based in Vancouver. The studio employs 70 creative and production staff, and is best known for its work on iconic kids’ series Thomas & Friends, Seth Rogen’s R-rated comedy feature Sausage Party and currently season two of Guillermo del Toro’s hit Netflix show Trollhunters. The deal closed March 1, terms were not disclosed.
This is Cinesite’s second acquisition in Vancouver, following its merger with visual effects studio Image Engine in July of 2015.
“As one of the largest independent studio brands producing visual effects and animation, this acquisition delivers to our group the same capacity in Vancouver that we already have in Montreal, both for VFX and feature animation. This allows our customers to invest their production dollars in the two best locations for film making in North America. The opportunity to work with the creative team and crew at Nitrogen allows us to expand our storytelling capabilities, with established creative talent who are ready for new challenges,” said Antony Hunt, Group CEO of Cinesite Studios Group.
The Cinesite board will now work with Nitrogen’s senior team to develop a clear strategy to integrate the facility into the Cinesite Studios brand. In addition to Trollhunters season 2, Nitrogen is currently co-producing CG animated feature Arkie, based on Nathan Jurevicius’ cult character brand Scarygirl, with Passion Pictures Australia. The project is being directed by Luke Jurevicius (Figaro Pho), and will introduce theatrical audiences to an adopted 12-year-old girl who is blind and one eye and has a tentacle-arm, living on an isolated peninsula with her overprotective, giant octopus father, Blister.
Nicole Stinn, Principal at Nitrogen said, “We have known the folks at Cinesite for a long time and have admired what they have achieved over the past few years. When the opportunity presented for us to make our home with them, we knew it was right for all our stakeholders, staff, customers, suppliers and collaborators. We are delighted to be joining the Cinesite family.”
Cinesite Studios recently announced it is developing an animated feature slate inspired by the films of Harold Lloyd (with the Harold Lloyd Estate). The company is also working on the Riverdance feature, produced by Comic Animations, River Productions (Ireland) and Imaginary Friend, as well as Jeremy Renner and Don Handfield’s The Combine, with Straight Up Films.