Cinesite in Vancouver has announced the completion of its first full-length animated feature, The Addams Family for MGM. As sole vendor on the production, the 240-strong Vancouver crew created the entire film, right the way through from storyboarding and design through to final delivery, comprising 1173 shots across 86 minutes.
Based on the famous New Yorker creations of Charles Addams, the kookiest family on the block is directed by Conrad Vernon (Shrek 2, Monsters vs. Aliens) and Greg Tiernan (Thomas & Friends, Day of the Diesels).
Cinesite Production Designer Patricia Atchison worked closely with directors Vernon and Tiernan to establish a new look for the animated adaptation. “The most enjoyable aspect of this production for me,” says Atchison, “was in re-imagining the Addams Family world, taking close visual reference from Charles Addams’ unique original cartoon drawings, while giving them a modern twist.”
Lighting was also key in establishing the fundamental contrast between the Addams’ gothic mansion home and contemporary New Jersey life; one is dark, candlelit and with diffused exterior lights, the other bright and colourful. “We were also dealing with characters which had very different sizes, shapes and needs,” explains Head of Lighting Laura Brousseau. “From the round Uncle Fester to the glamorous but almost skeletal Morticia, we needed to take into account each individual’s skin tone, shape and personality, making sure that the lighting was always sensitive to each character’s individuality and look, whether they were in the darker or brighter environments.“
The Addams Family was in production at Cinesite for two years, during which the team crafted complex scenes with high character counts and many complex shots requiring hair and cloth. Cinesite looked to its own family during the latter stages of production, with its Montreal studio supporting Vancouver with additional minutes.
The Addams Family is the latest animated feature to be completed by Cinesite’s animation division, which has grown since launching in 2014. The independent studios in Vancouver and Montreal boast a strong and diverse collective of talented technicians, artists, and management professionals, with several years of cumulative experience in creating world-class animation productions in collaboration with leading studios and distributors globally.
The production is the first completed by Cinesite’s Vancouver division since its acquisition by the group in 2015. The company recently announced that during production, it moved into a new building in the heart of the city’s creative hub, with 25,000sq feet at Great Northern Way.
Cinesite Group CEO Antony Hunt added, “We’re very excited to announce the completion of The Addams Family. It is a moment of great pride to be able to deliver the film out of our facility in Vancouver, which only opened its doors in 2017. Establishing ourselves as a feature film ready production house and being associated with a timeless classic such as The Addams Family at the same time is truly rewarding. We continue our efforts to work on high-quality projects with leading studios globally and aspire to build a strong production portfolio.”
In addition to Cinesite Vancouver’s work on The Addams Family for MGM, its Vancouver-based partner studio Image Engine has completed Carnival Row for Amazon, Pokémon Detective Pikachu (Warner Bros) and Spider-Man: Far from Home (Marvel) all in 2019. This is a major milestone year for Vancouver’s animation and visual effects industry, as the sector is on track to crack the $1 billion mark for the first time. This represents the tripling of the value of the industry to the local economy since 2012 from $324 million, according to the Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC). The Addams Family featuring Cinesite animation arrives on October 11, 2019.