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Consider that Game of Thrones was a brash young upstart when it launched in 2011 by HBO. HBO helped set the tone for a U.S.- based company producing epic shows worldwide using a global pipeline of VFX vendors. Game of Thrones became one of the most successful VFX-driven streaming shows of all time and dominated the airwaves for close to 10 years. That model has been copied by others. At the same time, original productions have been emanating from any number of foreign companies and are crossing back all over the world. Think of Casa de Papel (Money Heist), Squid Game, Borgen, Call My Agent, Killing Eve, The Crown and many others. (See Global VFX article on page 8). At a minimum, these original productions are huge hits in their local markets if they don’t cross over globally. They become must-see viewing and they create work for VFX studios and artists.
One reason VFX has reached, and continues to reach, new levels is the astonishing number of U.S. and international original productions on streaming services. In a short span of time, approximately 50 services have sprouted in North America alone from such brands as Netflix, Amazon, Apple, HBO, Disney, Paramount, Hulu, NBCUniversal and others. A number of services also have originating outside the U.S. such as BritBox, Acorn, MHz and others. Newer streaming services are waiting in the wings worldwide.
Original scripted shows are numbering in the hundreds yearly and should grow even more internationally in 2022. That’s great news for the VFX industry – as the majority of these shows crave VFX of one kind or another. The “Roaring ‘20s” for the worldwide VFX industry is here.