VFX House Double Negative Launches TV Division

Ridley Scott's 'Vatican' to be Dneg's first project

LONDON — There is finally some good news on the vfx front in Blighty as Double Negative announces the launch of a TV division.

The first project from Dneg TV will be Showtime’s “The Vatican,” helmed by Ridley Scott (pictured).

“As the leading film vfx house in Europe this is a brand new and exciting venture for us,” said Double Negative managing director Alex Hope.

“Television drama continues to break new ground and offer fantastic creative challenges. The government’s recent instigation of 25% tax breaks to encourage additional U.S. and U.K. inward investment into high-end TV drama means that it is the perfect time to launch Dneg TV.”

Dneg TV will be headed by Jonathan Privett, who was head of film and TV and vfx supervisor at Rushes, alongside vfx producer Louise Hussey and vfx supervisor Hayden Jones.

The trio have delivered vfx for broadcasters in the U.K. and U.S. including the BBC, ITV, Kudos, Discovery, Red Planet, HBO and ABC. Privett’s recent credits include hit British drama “Broadchurch” and Tom Hooper’s “Les Miserables.”

“Our focus will be solely on TV and we will be applying and leveraging the technologies and talent from Dneg in a way that makes it appropriate for TV vfx time frames and budgets,” said Privett.

The global vfx industry has suffered in recent months. Dneg comes less than a month after Blighty’s The Mill said it was shuttering its TV division, whose credits included “Doctor Who” and “Sherlock.” The bankruptcy of “Life of Pi” vfx company Rhythm & Hues in February, which recently sold to an affiliate of Prana Studios, is just one of an ongoing series of crises in the industry.

Earlier this month more than 300 vfx professionals met in London to discuss problems in the sector, including working conditions and the need for union organization.

The British government recently upped its support for the local vfx industry with new funding announced for training. It’s also launching public consultation on possible tax incentives. The  tax relief for high-end TV and animation came into effect in March.

The first TV production to qualify for the  tax break is  “By Any Means.” The six-part drama from Tony Jordan, whose previous skeins include “Life on Mars” and “Hustle,” follows an undercover police department willing to do anything to bring top criminals to justice. The skein is produced by Jordan’s Red Planet Pictures for the BBC.

Double Negative’s upcoming film work includes “Man of Steel,” “Fast & Furious 6,” “Thor: The Dark World,” “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” “Rush,”  “Captain Phillips,” “The World’s End” and “Godzilla.”

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