×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Digital Domain files for IPO

Parent firm seeks to raise $115 million

The parent company of visual effects studio Digital Domain is aiming to raise $115 million in a stock offering.

Digital Domain Media Group, which comprises several ventures including the Digital Domain vfx studio, filed for an IPO on Monday.

Company’s Monday S-1 filing with the Security & Exchange Commission lays out an ambitious plan for DDMG that includes reducing the importance of the service vfx biz in favor of co-productions where DD would own some profit participation in movies, especially ones on which it does vfx work; the creation of an animation studio, Tradition Studios, in Florida, to make family-friendly comedies; building the 3D content business, which DD entered when it acquired In-Three in 2010; and building up affiliated digital production house Mothership in commercials.

Plans also call for the establishment of a for-profit education business, Digital Domain Institute, which will be affiliated with Florida State U. FSU would award four-year degrees to students who complete the DDI curriculum.

Filing said DDMG has contracted for $135 million in government stimulus financing, including land grants and $20 million in tax incentives, much of it from the state of Florida and local governments in Florida.

Digital Domain, the visual effects studio headquartered in Venice, Calif., recently took over Imagemovers Digital’s Playa del Rey motion-capture facility. DD also acquired much of the computers and other hardware from Imagemovers Digital’s now-shuttered HQ in Novato, Calif., and will use the hardware for its Florida animation facility, skedded to open later this year.

Filing says DD paid $8.5 million for “property and equipment,” suggesting it acquired the gear at a bargain price.

Digital Domain was formed in 1993 by James Cameron, Stan Winston and Scott Ross. Private investment firm Wyndcrest Holdings acquired the vfx studio in 2006, and Michael Bay took a stake in the company as well. DDMG is the new moniker for the former Wyndcrest DD Florida.

Wyndcrest tried to take DD public in late 2007. The IPO was withdrawn but the SEC filings revealed that DD had not made money in over a decade. This week’s filing also concedes the company has a history of losses but attributes the 2010 loss to startup costs associated with the Florida expansion. It shows $43 million in cash holdings and operating income of $17.1 million from the vfx business.

Besides its Venice HQ and Playa del Rey facility, DD has branches in San Francisco, Vancouver and Port St. Lucie, Fla. Company’s recent credits include “Tron: Legacy,” “X-Men: First Class” and “Real Steel.”

More Film

  • Vice Christian Bale Sam Rockwell Playback

    Berlin Adds 'Vice,' New Films by Zhang Yimou and Andre Techine to Official Lineup

    Five new titles, including the latest films from Zhang Yimou and Andre Techine, have joined the competition program at this year’s Berlin Film Festival. Adam McKay’s “Vice” will screen out of competition. “Vice” has already won a Golden Globe for star Christian Bale’s portrayal of former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and picked up six BAFTA [...]

  • Picture Tree Adds ‘Cold Feet’ to

    Picture Tree Adds ‘Cold Feet’ to Berlin Market Lineup (EXCLUSIVE)

    Picture Tree Intl. has added German romantic comedy “Cold Feet” (Kalte Füsse) to its market lineup at the Berlin Film Festival, where the sales agent will screen the film as a market premiere. Sony Pictures released the pic, directed Wolfgang Groos, in Germany on Thursday, and it garnered 100,000 admissions over its opening weekend. “Cold [...]

  • Neil Burger

    'Upside' Director Neil Burger Sets Sci-Fi 'Voyagers' as Next Project

    “The Upside” director Neil Burger is set to direct sci-fi thriller “Voyagers” as his next project. The film will be fully financed and co-produced by Stuart Ford’s AGC Studios, and produced by Burger’s Nota Bene Productions and Basil Iwanyk’s Thunder Road Films. AGC also handles international sales on the new film. Written and directed by [...]

  • Berlin: M-Appeal Acquires Panorama Title ‘Greta’

    M-Appeal Acquires Berlin Panorama Title ‘Greta’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    M-Appeal has acquired world sales rights to “Greta,” the feature debut of Brazil’s Armando Praça which will world premiere in this year’s Berlinale Panorama section. The Berlin-based film industry has also dropped an international trailer, to which Variety has had exclusive access. Produced by Carnaval Filmes, whose credit include major titles by Marcelo Gomes, one [...]

  • Kew Media Boards Michael Jackson Documentary

    Kew Media Boards Michael Jackson Documentary 'Leaving Neverland' for International

    Kew Media Distribution has boarded controversial Michael Jackson sex-abuse documentary “Leaving Neverland” ahead of its world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Kew Media has taken international distribution rights (excluding U.K. and U.S.) to the two-part documentary, which is a co-production of HBO and British broadcaster Channel 4. Directed by BAFTA-winner Dan Reed, “Leaving [...]

  • Nordic Film Market: New Pálmason, Hákonarson,

    Nordic Film Market Selects Latest Palmason, Hakonarson, Hafstrom, Ganslandt

    The 20th Nordic Film Market in Göteborg, unspooling Jan. 31-Feb 3, will showcase 16 works in progress including Hlynur Pálmason’s “A White, White Day”, Grímur Hákonarson’s “The County”, Mikael Håfström’s “The Perfect Patient” and Jesper Ganslandt’s “438 Days.” Iceland is well represented this year with top directors and festival darlings Pálmason (“Winter Brothers”), Hákonarson (“Rams”) [...]

  • 'All These Small Moments' Review

    Film Review: 'All These Small Moments'

    The magic of writer-director Melissa B. Miller Costanzo’s “All These Small Moments” can be found within the intimacy of the scenarios, the authenticity of her earnest characterizations, and the accessibility of the actors’ honest performances. In her deftly polished directorial debut, Costanzo dovetails the primary story about a teen’s coming of age with a secondary [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content