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The Sweet Siren Call of Free Money

Steve Kaplan / November 11, 2014

tax incentivesvfx / no comments

Vancouver snares another VFX company:

[M]ajor international visual effects firm Double Negative, with branches in London and Singapore, has chosen a key piece of recently vacated commercial office space for its new Vancouver branch operations in what amounts to one of the largest office deals in Mount Pleasant.

Vancouver marks its third office and first anchor in North America.

The Academy Award-winning VFX … only recently inked a deal with Hungerford Properties to move into Radia Block at 149 West 4th Ave. The 47,000-square-foot space housed Mountain Equipment Co-op’s headquarters since the 1990s, but MEC vacated the office Oct. 24th. …

[T]heir first project will be Disney’s Through the Looking Glass, for which they plan to employ between 100 and 150 staff. Holben said they plan to fill up their team with local talent.

“Part of the reason that we chose Vancouver is because there is a talent pool here already,” Dneg’s CEO Matt Holben said. “We’re expecting some organic growth over a period of time …

You will notice that movie companies and their affiliates go where the tax subsidies are. If somebody wants to pay them to set up shop in the somebody’s neighborhood, they are happy to oblige. And when the money spigot stops, they’re off to interact with the next cash cow.

Lots of governments are getting out their check books in pursuit of higher tech jobs. At some point, the tax-paying citizens of this or that locality will figure out that the cost-benefit ratio is not high, at which point the subsidies will stop, and some studio exec might well pull the plug.

But in the meantime, let the quarterly profits roll!

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