Hollywood wants Danish visual effects

15 Feb 2018, Posted by Liv Saalbach Holse in Uncategorized @en

The Danish visual effects skills have caught the international film and tv industry's attention. Productions like “Star Wars”, “Mission Impossible” and recently released “Thelma” have all made use of Danish assistance and technical effects in particular. But it may be a rare sight in the future

A man catches on fire, a flock of birds committing collective suicide by smashing against a window and skin turns transparent reveiling veins and a beating heart. The recently released Norwegian thriller “Thelma” uses strong supernatural elements to tell the coming of age story of Thelma.

All the visual elements are made in a both poetic and realistic way by the Danish visual effects companies Ghost VFX and The Gentlemen Broncos. And the quality of the refined Danish skills is crossing boarders and experiencing increasing demand all over the world.

In just two years Ghost VFX has grown by more than 100 percent from 30 to 65 employees, and has productions like “Star Wars: Rouge One”, “Mission Impossible” and “Jurassic World” in its portfolio. But the current Danish support scheme for international productions make the future for Danish visual effects uncertain.

"It's great that big international productions have noticed us and we are very proud to have contributed to such great productions. Our industry is experiencing strong demand from abroad these years with good opportunities for growth. But we miss these opportunities due to the lack of national production incentives, whereas our neighbouring countries offer international productions big discounts. It’s impossible for us to measure up to these countries, and there is no doubt that productions are looking for production incentives. So we miss a lot of opportunities and Danish jobs", says Jeppe Nygaard Christensen, CEO of Ghost VFX.

Jeppe Nygaard Christensen estimates that if Denmark introduced national production incentives for international film and television productions, his company would be able to double its turnover. Most recently Ghost VFX has lost a job for 5,5 million EUR for an American producer due to the lack of production incentives.

Among the numerous countries that have introduced national production incentives is England, which is giving foreign productions discounts up to 30 percent. Jeppe Nygaard Christensen hope that Denmark will look for similar opportunities.

Film Fund is fighting for the industry
One of the companies who is fighting for better circumstances for the Danish special effects industry is Copenhagen Film Fund. By investing in international film and television productions, they make it easier for people like Jeppe Nygaard Christensen to bring productions such as “Thelma” and the big American TV show “Krypton” to Denmark. The two productions spend respectively 670.000 and 1.2 million EUR on Visual Effects work in Copenhagen alone.

"The Danish special effects industry obtain some of the most sought after companies in the world, and it is the Fund's responsibility that Danish companies have the opportunity to bid on international productions. But we cannot compete against national production incentives. Denmark is missing out on jobs and a huge industry competence boost, which is only becoming more demanded in the future as visual effects build a bridge for both the gaming and virtual reality industry as well as a host of other industries", says Thomas Gammeltoft, CEO of Copenhagen Film Fund.

Since its establishment in 1999, Copenhagen-based Ghost VFX has grown into one of the largest VFX companies in Scandinavia. Jeppe Nygaard Christensen has no doubt that Copenhagen Film Fund's investments have helped international film and television producers realize what Danish visual effects companies are capable of.

“Thelma” is one of the current major productions with Danish implication, and was celebrated with a presentation by the Norwegian director at a gala premiere in Copenhagen on November 27th.

Get a glimps of the Danish visual effects companies work on 'Thelma' below.