The Yard VFX studio invests to establish itself in Montpellier

  • 2024-07-01
The Yard inaugurates its new 650 sqm premises in the heart of Montpellier. Discover more about this event as covered by the local press.

The Yard VFX has inaugurated its new 650 sqm premises in the heart of Montpellier, in the south of France. A year after opening its local branch, the studio continues its regional growth by investing in a new site that is more than twice the size of the previous one, with the capacity to accommodate around 70 artists.

On this occasion, the local independent media outlet, Le Journal des Entreprises, published a thorough article, the translation of which can be found below.

From the quirky adventures of Albert Dupontel’s film ‘Second Tour‘ to the fantastical creatures of Amazon’s series ‘The Rings of Power,’ the expertise of The Yard VFX (with 80 employees) shines both in cinema and on streaming platforms. The digital special effects production studio, founded in 2014 in Paris region, opened a branch in Montpellier in 2023 to enhance its operational capabilities. One year later, it inaugurates its new premises, investing 1.4 million euros in the project to ‘establish a lasting presence,’ according to founder Laurens Ehrmann.

Getting closer to talent pools

The investment, focused on acquiring and renovating a former coworking space located in the heart of Montpellier, allows The Yard VFX to triple its space, expanding from 200 to over 600 sqm. Similarly, the workforce employed by the Montpellier branch will increase from 10 to 20 employees by the end of the year (with a final capacity estimated at 70 people). This initiative enables the studio to have a greater impact on the strong growth of the creative industries within the Hérault Métropole (850 establishments, 2,500 jobs).

Since the health crisis, companies in the sector have maintained a hybrid approach between remote work and in-person presence. However, few have done so from Paris region. We have decided to get closer to artists. As soon as we identify a talent pool, we open a branch.

Laurens EhrmannFounder and CEO, The Yard VFX

The Yard has also opened an office in Lille, following the same logic.

© naïri

Great flexibility for employees 

Indeed, The Yard VFX has designed this operation to enhance its attractiveness. On one hand, the new premises are located near Saint-Roch station. On the other hand, the studio has also invested in infrastructure to ensure secure communication between the offices in Montpellier and Paris.

There is no specific department in Montpellier or Paris. Our employees have complete flexibility to move between sites while working on the same project, which is unique to our approach.

Laurens EhrmannFounder and CEO, The Yard VFX
The new premises of France-based VFX studio The Yard, located at the heart of Montpellier, offer greater flexibility to its crew, facilitating exchanges between its Paris and local studios.
© naïri

After spending 12 years in Canada and UK, Tom Fonvillars, Head of CG, relocated to Hérault for family reasons.

I didn't want to return to Paris. The Yard VFX gave me an opportunity in Montpellier without giving up my expertise in visual effects. It's the only studio offering a return for French talents who have worked abroad.

Tom FonvillarsHead of 3D, The Yard VFX

Rising to global standards

The Yard VFX is positioned 90% internationally, although it has achieved notable successes in France such as the 2023 César for Best Visual Effects for Jean-Jacques Annaud’s ‘Notre Dame on Fire.’

Its reputation and attractiveness have enabled it to recruit global-level managers over the past three years, aiming to distinguish itself to major clients. For instance, it is one of the 12 studios worldwide working on ‘The Rings of Power,’ the largest budget ever for a TV series at 600 million euros for Season 1.

Streaming platforms have grown significantly in recent years. They now aim for higher production quality, targeting their providers more specifically. Therefore, we have established a standardized structure to meet their expectations in terms of processes and production oversight, unlike other French studios.

Laurens EhrmannFounder and CEO, The Yard VFX

The new aura of Montpellier

Furthermore, The Yard VFX also benefits from local partnerships that contribute to its rise in prominence. The studio has partnered with the mega filming complex Pics Studio (43,000 sqm), currently under development near Montpellier. It also participates in the year-end jury at ArtFX, an internationally acclaimed school of visual effects, and hosts one of its master’s programs.

The France VFX studio The Yard participated in the 2024 graduation jury and job dating day of the famous VFX school ArtFX.
The Yard team at ArtFX's 2024 graduation events in Montpellier. From left to right : Denis Scolan - Head of 2D, Tom Fonvillars - Head of CG, Laurens Ehrmann - Founder and CEO, Celine Pischetola - Talent Acquisition Manager and Marja Maccotta - Line Producer.

It's a three-way alliance that allows us to provide a comprehensive solution from training to filming, including supervision consulting and post-production. It's also a human adventure that will take on another dimension within Montpellier's dynamic. With 8 out of 11 regional winners of the 'La Grande Fabrique de l'Image' project call, the Montpellier Métropole has revealed its new dimension and things are accelerating.

Laurens EhrmannFounder and CEO, The Yard VFX

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

New membership are not allowed.