Sony Pictures Entertaiment Wiki
Advertisement

Sony Pictures Imageworks Inc. is a Canadian visual effects and computer animation company headquartered in VancouverBritish Columbia, with an additional office in Culver City, California.[2] SPI is a unit of Sony Pictures Entertainment's Motion Picture Group.[3][4]

The company has been recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with Oscars for their work on Spider-Man 2 and the computer-animated short filmThe ChubbChubbs!, and received many other nominations for their work.

SPI has provided visual effects for many films; most recent include Spider-Man: HomecomingKingsman: The Golden Circle, and The Meg. They also provided services for several of director Robert Zemeckis' films, including ContactCast AwayThe Polar Express, and Beowulf.

Since the foundation of its sister company Sony Pictures Animation in 2002, SPI would go on to animate nearly all of SPA's films, including Open SeasonSurf's UpThe Emoji MovieSpider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and films in the Cloudy with a Chance of MeatballsSmurfs and Hotel Transylvania franchises, in addition to animating films for other studios such as Arthur Christmas for Aardman Animations (co-produced by SPA), Storks and Smallfoot for the Warner Animation Group, and The Angry Birds Movieand its sequel for Rovio Animation.

History

Sony Pictures Imageworks was formed in 1992 with five employees to use computers to help plan complicated scenes for live-action films.[5] Located in the former TriStar building, their first work was a previsualization for the 1993 film Striking Distance.[6]

To fill the gaps between VFX jobs, SPI decided to partake in a more profitable animation business.[7] Its first independent animated effort was the 5-minute short The ChubbChubbs! directed by Eric Armstrong. In 2002, it won the Oscar for Best Animated ShortEarly Bloomer, released in 2003, was the division's second short film and originally made as a storyboarding exercise.[8] SPI completed its first feature animation project in 2006 with the release of Open Season.

In 2007, SPI acquired Indian visual effects studio FrameFlow to take advantage of lower labor costs.[7][9] Renamed to Imageworks India, a modern facility was opened in Chennai a year later.[10] To leverage New Mexico's tax rebates and talent base,[11] a satellite production facility was opened in 2007 in Albuquerque,[12] becoming the largest post-production operation in the state.[13] In 2010, SPI opened a production studio in VancouverBritish Columbia, in order to take advantage of the local talent pool and government film production incentives.[14] Two years later, the studio doubled its Vancouver facilities.[15] At the same time, the Albuquerque studio was closed down due to declining New Mexico's subsidies and difficulty with attracting artist to move there.[11]

In the beginning of 2014, as part of Sony's cost-cutting move, SPI transferred a portion of its technology team from its headquarters in Culver City to Vancouver.[7] By May 2014, entire headquarters and production had been moved to Vancouver, with only a small office remaining in Los Angeles.[16] At the same time, SPI closed down its Indian studio, laying off around 100 employees.[17] A year later, over 700 artists moved into a new 74,000-square feet headquarters in Vancouver.[18][19]

Technology

During 2009-2010, SPI made transition from traditional biased, multi-pass rendering system to a largely singlepass, global illumination system incorporating modern ray-tracing and physically based shading techniques. They have achieved that with Arnold Renderer, an unbiased stochastic ray tracer. Arnold, started in 1997 by Marcos Fajardo, was co-developed between 2004 and 2009 with SPI, where Marcos was employed, and a commercial branch is being developed by Marcos' Madrid based company Solid Angle SL. Arnold was used on projects such as Monster HouseCloudy with a Chance of Meatballs2012Alice in WonderlandThe SmurfsArthur Christmas and is being used on all upcoming SPI's films.[20]

Filmography

Sony Pictures Imageworks has provided visual effects and digital animation for the following films:[21]

2006

Year Films
1993 Last Action Hero

In the Line of Fire So I Married an Axe Murderer Striking Distance (previsualization, uncredited) Mr. Jones (titles only) [[Rudy (film)|Rudy] (titles only) Look Who's Talking Now (titles and visual effects) My Life The Pelican Brief (falcon jet air to air shot)

1994 Guarding Tess (titles only)

Speed Wolf Blankman (blankwheel screen graphics and plate supervision)

1995 Hideaway

Tall Tale Die Hard with a Vengeance Johnny Mnemonic (cyberspace sequence) Judge Dredd (additional digital compositing) The Net (plane crash sequence) Virtuosity (computer-generated tendril animation) Money Train (money train wreck sequence/digital composites)

1996 James and the Giant Peach (computer-animated water/sharks/seagulls)

The Craft The Cable Guy Phenomenon The Ghost and the Darkness Michael

1997 Anaconda

Contact Starship Troopers The Postman As Good as It Gets

1998 The Replacement Killers

Sphere (end sequence) City of Angels Paulie The Big Hit Godzilla You've Got Mail (titles only) Patch Adams

1999 Big Daddy

The Astronaut's Wife (alien effects) The Ninth Gate Jakob the Liar Stuart Little Snow Falling on Cedars

2000 What Planet Are You From?

What Lies Beneath Hollow Man Charlie's Angels Cast Away

2001 Evolution (flatworm animation sequence)

America's Sweethearts Riding in Cars with Boys Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

2002 Spider-Man

Men in Black II The ChubbChubbs! Stuart Little 2 The Tuxedo I Spy The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

2003 Darkness Falls

Anger Management Identity (digital color timing) Early Bloomer Matrix Reloaded Hollywood Homicide Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle Bad Boys II Seabiscuit Matchstick Men Matrix Revolutions The Haunted Mansion Big Fish Peter Pan

2004 50 First Dates

Spider-Man 2 Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy Little Black Book The Forgotten The Polar Express Christmas with the Kranks The Aviator Spanglish

2005 Cursed

Bewitched Zathura The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

2006 Click Superman Returns Monster House Open Season The Holiday 2007 Ghost Rider

Spider-Man 3 Surf's Up The ChubbChubbs Save Xmas Blade Runner: The Final Cut (visual effects enhancement)[22] The Jane Austen Book Club Beowulf I Am Legend

2008 Speed Racer

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian You Don't Mess with the Zohan Hancock Eagle Eye Body of Lies Valkyrie

2009 Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience

Watchmen G-Force Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Michael Jackson's This Is It 2012

2010 Alice in Wonderland

Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore

2011 The Green Hornet

Just Go with It Green Lantern Zookeeper [[w:c:disney:Captain America: The First Avenger|Captain America: The First Avenger] The Smurfs Arthur Christmas

2012 Men in Black 3

The Amazing Spider-Man Hotel Transylvania Here Comes the Boom

2013 [[w:c:disney:Oz: The Great and Powerful|Oz: The Great and Powerful]

The Smurfs 2 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

2014 Captain America: The Winter Soldier

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Blended Edge of Tomorrow 22 Jump Street Deliver Us from Evil Guardians of the Galaxy Fury American Sniper The Interview

2015 Pixels

Hotel Transylvania 2 Concussion

2016 The Angry Birds Movie

Alice Through the Looking Glass [[Ghostbusters (2016 film)|Ghostbusters] Suicide Squad Storks

2017 Smurfs: The Lost Village

Spider-Man: Homecoming [[The Emoji Movie] Kingsman: The Golden Circle Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

2018 Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation

The Meg Smallfoot[23] Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse[23]

Upcoming

Year Films
2019 The Angry Birds Movie 2
Men in Black: International[24]
Spider-Man: Far From Home
2020 The Mitchells vs. the Machines
Over the Moon[25]

Vivo

Television

Love, Death & Robots (Lucky 13)'

Advertisement