16 May 2022 The Irish Film & Television Network
VFX Companies Unite to form the VFXAI
15 Jan 2014 : Deirdre Molumby
The VFX Association of Ireland has been formed with the objective of promoting Ireland nationally and internationally as a centre for excellence, talent and scale in the area of VFX.

The association was founded by Ireland’s four biggest VFX suppliers, namely Windmill Lane, Screen Scene, Egg Post Production and Piranha Bar.

VFXAI will play a key role in the exhibition and representation of the infrastructure and talent available in the Irish VFX industry. It will interface with training agencies and 3rd level institutions to maintain a consistent flow of industry ready talent.

The managing director of Screen Scene, Jim Duggan, discussed how the founding of the association was of particular importance in these times: “VFX is a growing market right now and is playing an increasing role in features and TV. We believe VFXAI can help Ireland win its fair share of that work and become a VFX destination of choice while creating a vibrant and sustainable industry… VFXAI is about showing that as well as the talent [and that] Ireland also has the scale required for bigger shows.”

Dave Burke, Managing Director of Piranha Bar, outlined some of VFXAI’s main goals: “The hopes for the VFXAI are to build an international reputation and create sustainable jobs in Ireland. Through engagement with educational bodies, it hopes to create a unified strategy of training and education of students so the graduates are better qualified to work in the industry.”

Burke also emphasised the communal effort that VFXAI entailed: "each of the founding companies have been working away as individuals and will continue to do so. But the setting up of this association brings together the collective minds and gives them the opportunity to lobby as a group at various levels."

Chairman of the company Windmill Lanes, James Morris, discussed how "the world of visual effects is a very dynamic and growing industry internationally" and "that there’s an opportunity if we join forces to create awareness that Ireland is a place to come for great visual effects work." He indicated how the companies were inspired by the success of Animation Ireland, which was founded in 2012, and how the desire was to establish a place in the international market where the majority of VFX players compete.

James Morris discussed how the four companies met through participation in seminars for Screen Training Ireland. The association was then formed: "it just became clear that we were now at a point where it made sense to do this. We had each made enough progress to make it a credible message out there."

Gareth Young, one of the founders of Egg, stated "the aim of VFXAI is to help make Ireland and it’s VFX talent and resources recognised as world class" and that the association "will benefit the entire VFX industry in this country". He also said "All our founding companies have made great progress with this individually, and all have the same ultimate aim of promoting and growing the Irish VFX industry, so the collaboration in the form of VFXAI makes this a much more powerful force in attracting high end film and TV VFX work to Ireland".

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