Industrial Light and Magic: Soho Create

Industrial Light and Magic: World class creative company chooses new West End base.

Founded by George Lucas in 1975 for Star Wars, Industrial Light and Magic is a subsidiary of Lucasfilm (now owned by Disney) and is the world’s largest visual effects company. In October 2014, ILM opened its first London base at Hend House Shaftesbury Avenue for a local workforce of 180 creatives.

ILM was featured in the first edition of the Soho Create Magazine, a new publication profiling and celebrating the West End’s world class creative cluster which directly employs 46,000 people.

Speaking to Soho Create Magazine on why ILM set up a West End operation, Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilms said, “The government tax benefits are definitely helping. But tax breaks alone are not enough to make us expand to London.” Kennedy and her team explain that at the moment, more films are being made in London and Vancouver than in Hollywood. In the last 5 years a significant number of VFX Oscars have been coming from Soho. Harry Potter and the world renowned VFX houses of Soho (including Framestore, The Mill, GCRS) make the West End a European hub.  There are plenty of artists and film makers who are UK or Europe based and who don’t want to work on the west coast of America, so ILM had been missing out on those people. Equally, ILM with its commitment to disruptive innovation believe that London, with its younger, fresh, start-up style ideas focussed people wouldn’t be afraid to change everything at ILM to propel it forward into its fifth decade of film making.

West End Partnership

From California to the West End: ILM’s prolific output includes ET, Star Trek and its Into Darkness sequel and, of course, the Star Wars series. Read more about Soho Create.