Visual effects (VFX) house Double Negative is a stand-out example of all that is great about the UK film industry. Established in 1998 with a team of 30 staff, the Soho-based company is now a major international player. It is in constant demand for a dazzling assortment of visual effects for major motion pictures, from the latest blockbusters to smaller, independent productions, with recent projects including The Dark Knight Rises, Total Recall, The Bourne Legacy, Skyfall, Les Misérables, Rush and Snow White and the Huntsman. Double Negative’s work on Inception won Best Visual Effects at the 2011 Oscars, while the company was also nominated in 2012 for its work on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (for which it won its second BAFTA).
Managing director and founder Alex Hope says: “We have grown to be the biggest VFX company in Europe, and now also have an operation in Singapore. The UK has gone from being a peripheral supplier of visual effects to the film industry in the mid to late 1990s to being one of the global centres of VFX today. The British VFX industry is now up there with the very best in the world – and Double Negative is in the vanguard of that success.
“The depth of talent and the complexity of the work that is able to be done by UK VFX companies such as ourselves is a major draw in international studios bringing work to the UK. When the Harry Potter franchise started, a good deal of the VFX work on the first film was done in the US, but by the time the last film was completed pretty much all of the work was being done in the UK. This country’s film production industry, backed by an excellent tax credit system, a fantastically skilled workforce and high-quality and plentiful studio space, has so much to offer.
“Over the last five years, there has been a focus by the US studios on making fewer, but more high-end films – those that require never-been-seen-before visual effects as part of what they are trying to deliver to their audiences. It’s that extremely cutting-edge VFX work that companies like Double Negative are able to provide – and there are very few firms globally that can do that.”