Alaric McAusland, a veteran of the visual effects sector, has been appointed as MD of DNEG’s new VFX and animation studio in Sydney, Australia. He takes up the position from January 2023.
A past MD of tech firm Deluxe Entertainment Service Group Australia (which included Iloura in Melbourne and Method Studios in Sydney), McAusland was also previously COO of Los Angeles-based production firm Grace: A Storytelling Company.
Earlier in his career, McAusland was a foundation team member, VFX producer and GM of Australian VFX company, DFILM, which was awarded an Oscar for its work on “The Matrix.”
Additionally, McAusland is a past chair of Australian film promotion body Ausfilm and was executive director of the Australian Directors’ Guild.
“Alaric has an impressive history of significant contributions to the film industry. His wide industry experience and extensive list of contacts will be a much-valued asset to DNEG as we continue to establish our local presence in Sydney and integrate our new studio into our global network,” said Merzin Tavaria, president global production and operations, DNEG.
The global effects and post-production giant confirmed last month that it is opening a new full-service VFX studio in Pyrmont, Sydney. Located within Sydney’s Tech Central district, the unit is slated to open in early 2023 and will have a total capacity of up to 500 seats.
It is scheduled take the lead on complex VFX projects for film and episodic TV projects, with VFX work on “Furiosa,” George Miller’s highly anticipated “Mad Max” prequel, among its first tasks. The facility will also be home to a new studio for DNEG Animation, the animation studio behind Kid Cudi’s stylized, animated love story “Entergalactic” for Netflix.
Academy Award and BAFTA-winning VFX supervisor, and Australian national, Andrew Jackson (“Tenet,” Christopher Nolan’s forthcoming “Oppenheimer,” “Mad Max: Fury Road.”) has relocated from DNEG London to head up the studio’s work as creative director for DNEG Sydney, it was announced last month.
“Off the back of a record year for the Australian Visual Effects Industry and with the filmmaking industry in Australia going from strength-to-strength, attracting more international tentpole movies and series, in addition to fostering a slate of amazing homegrown projects such as ‘Furiosa’, I can’t think of a better time for DNEG to be opening its latest global studio in Sydney,” said McAusland.
A Screen Australia report recently showed that post- digital- and visual effects expenditure on Australian and foreign drama titles totaled a record A$553 million ($378 million) in the July 2021 to June 2022 period. That was up 71% on 2020-21 and 56% above the 5-year average. “Driving the result was PDV spend of A$289 million ($197 million) on foreign PDV-only titles, more than double the previous year, and 93% above the 5-year average,” said the report. PDV expenditure by Australian titles was A$196 million ($134 million) — the highest since 2009-10 — up 51% on 2020-21 and 17% above the 5-year average. PDV expenditure on foreign shoot titles for 2021/22 totaled a record A$69 million ($47 million), up 21% on 2020-21 and 86% above the 5-year-average. Variety