PIDS Enghien – A comprehensive overview of French VFX industry

  • 2024-02-28
The PIDS Enghien event took place last month. Through its extensive program, it offered once again a comprehensive overview of France’s VFX industry and its development. 

The 10th edition of PIDS Enghien took place from January 31st to February 2nd, 2024. Once again, the event brought together the professionals from France’s VFX industry, including representatives of The Yard VFX, who shared insights on the state of the industry and its development. In its recent issue, the French trade magazine Le Film Français reported the key take-aways from the conferences. Below is an excerpt.

At 2024 PIDS Enghien, three projects on which The Yard have provided VFX will be presented : the Netflix's limited series "All The Light We Cannot See", and feature films "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny" as well as "John Wick : Chapter 4"

PIDS – A dynamic program, mirroring the evolution of France’s VFX industry

To capture the evolution of France’s VFX industry, one needs only to reflect on the inaugural PIDS event in 2015. The first edition aimed to establish a vital nexus for industry professionals, spotlighting top-tier digital creation and showcasing French talent. Historically, case studies revolved around films such as « Interstellar » by Christopher Nolan, « Guardians of the Galaxy » by James Gunn, and « Exodus: Gods and Kings » by Ridley Scott, predominantly featuring presentations by Anglo-Saxon studios like Double Negative (now DNEG), Framestore, or Method Studios.

However, at the latest edition held from January 31 to February 3, 2024, Hollywood productions once again took center stage but were predominantly presented by French studios. One of the great examples was « Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, » for which The Yard, a France-based VFX studio, provided work on more than 100 shots.

There has been a turning point since 2021. Increasingly ambitious projects are now entrusted to French VFX organizations. This year, the trend is particularly pronounced, and we can only rejoice in it.

Yann MarchetGeneral Delegate of PIDS Enghien

Another indicator of the industry’s maturation is the growing collaboration among French studios on joint productions. This was evident in the first two installments of « The Three Musketeers, » with 800 VFX shots divided among four French studios. Additionally, beyond French productions, a similar collaborative approach was seen in the series « The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon, » where VFX production was led by the company Excuse My French, involving five studios based in France, including subsidiaries of international groups.

The positive impact of the International Tax Rebate

France’s attractiveness and its national talents are evident, as shown by the recent establishment of Rodeo FX. The strengthening of the tax credit (C2I) has had undeniable effects, with the enhanced 40% rate applicable to high-visual effects fiction works, effective January 1, 2020, playing a significant role.

According to estimates provided by The French National Centre of Cinema  (CNC), promised expenditures in France multiplied by 2.5 between 2021 and 2023, totaling 116 million euros over the last four years. Another sign of confidence in French expertise is the increasing number of productions utilizing French VFX studios without filming any scenes in France, rising to 40% in 2023. (editor’s note : Daphné Lora from CNC mentioned during the conference examples such as « The Rings of Power – Season 2 » and « Halo – Season 2, » currently in production at The Yard. Read more here

Regarding the localization rate, the professional syndicate FICAM observed a figure of around 16% last year, slightly higher than in 2021-2022, mainly due to more Belgian co-productions. This increase remains contained compared to 2017-2019, where the rate was 17%. French companies demonstrate their capacity to retain VFX projects within the country.

Industry Perspectives for 2024

Laurens Ehrmann, CEO of The Yard, participated in a roundtable discussion on France’s prospects in the global VFX market.
From left to right : Isabelle Langlois (Senior VP – Executive Producer, Rodeo FX), Daphné Lora (CNC – Film France – Head of Attractiveness Department), Daphné Lora (CNC – Film France – Head of Attractiveness Department), Antoine Moulineau (CEO – VFX Supervisor, LIGHT), Laurens Ehrmann (CEO, The Yard), Laurens Ehrmann (CEO, The Yard) Photo Credits : © Virginie Ribaut

Syndicate France VFX noted that although the Hollywood strike impacted the last quarter of 2023 and will continue to affect the first quarter of 2024, international activity for companies working abroad has significantly developed.

However, the international market is entering a phase of noticeable deceleration after the post-COVID production surge as commented Laurens Ehrmann, CEO of The Yard :

Based on my recent discussions with studios and platforms in Los Angeles, it appears that content creators are striving to improve the financial planning and calibration of their projects. Some have even declared intentions to decrease production volume in favor of enhancing overall quality. While this shift undoubtedly presents opportunities for many VFX studios, particularly established ones, it could pose significant challenges for new entrants who may not have the opportunity to rapidly expand as was the case a couple of years ago.

Laurens EhrmannFounder and CEO of The Yard VFX

Press Enter / Return to begin your search or hit ESC to close.

New membership are not allowed.