Cinesite Wins the VFX Contract for Dawn Treader

Cinesite – a special effects company based in London – has just announced that they have won the primary special effects contract for The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

Here is the press release:

October 02 2009 – Cinesite today confirmed that we have won a large contract for visual effects on the latest installment in the highly successful Chronicles of Narnia series, The Voyage of The Dawn Treader.

This news follows other recent major announcements, including a large award of work for Fox’s Marmaduke, and winning an Emmy award for Outstanding Special Visual Effects for HBO’s highly acclaimed mini-series Generation Kill two weeks ago.

More announcements about new production awards are likely to be made over the coming two weeks. Cinesite is currently undertaking a major international recruitment drive, and is refurbishing key areas of our Soho-based Sheraton Street facility to accommodate the influx of new, exciting projects.

Dawn Treader, Directed by Michael Apted, follows the continuing adventures of Lucy and Edmund Pevensie, as they return to Narnia with their cousin Eustace. They meet up with Prince Caspian for a trip across the sea aboard the royal ship The Dawn Treader. Along the way they encounter dragons, dwarves, merfolk, and a band of lost warriors before reaching the edge of the world.

The production is currently filming on the Gold Coast of Australia. Angus Bickerton is Visual Effects Supervisor (Angels & Demons, Inkheart, The Da Vinci Code, Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy) and Barrie Hemsley is Visual Effects Producer (Angels & Demons, 10,000 BC, 1408). Cinesite’s Matt Kasmir and Jensen Toms are supervising the 2D and 3D aspects of our work (both have recently worked on Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time).

The Voyage of The Dawn Treader is scheduled for release in late 2010.

Up until now, we haven’t heard anything official about which special effects companies were working on Dawn Treader. While we believe Framestore and Moving Picture Company (both worked on Prince Caspian) did some work on VDT at some point, it’s nice to have some official news on a special effects company.

Cinesite is also currently working on Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and Part 2, Naked Beauty, Clash Of The Titans, Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time, Marmaduke, Leap Year and The Prisoner.

Cinesite’s website can be found here.

171 Responses

  1. Somebody says:


  2. Lucille Brown says:

    This is really cool! This is encouraging.

  3. GlimGlum says:

    Well, somebody has go to do those special effects thingamajigs. Looking forward to a job well done. 🙂

  4. Fire Fairy says:

    It's funny when you can tell someone doesn't pay much attention to the books…the Pevensies meet up with KING Caspian, not Prince Caspian. 😉 Oh, well, not everybody's a Narnia nut like we all are.

    But, yeah, I've never heard of Cinesite, so let's keep our fingers cross and hope they make this movie's special effects into masterpieces (especially Dragon Eustace. I can't WAIT to see what they do with that. And the sea serpent).

    • At first I thought you were talking about the comments cause I was scanning through them, but I pay attention to the books I just hadn't read them in a while.^^

    • Hannah the Manticore says:

      Does that annoy you, too? It does me. 😉 Can't wait to see what kind of amazing stuff they come up with for this one!

    • Caspian says:

      "It's KING, actually. Just king, though. Peter's the High King. I know…it's confusing…"

      LOL, wish these companies would get their titles right. ;D

    • Yeah it kind of ticked me off when they said PRINCE Caspian. But not everyone's obsessed with Narnia…
      I've never heard of them either, so hope they do a good job

  5. Shy Galadriel says:

    "a band of lost warriors"???? What?

    • Christian says:

      Probably the Narnian Lords, Shy Galadriel. <_<

      • Crimson Dragon says:

        Yeah, they just say "warriors" cause it sounds cooler. No one really would want to see a movie about finding lost politicians, would they? 😀
        I'm just glad the synopsis here makes no mention of the Unfathomable Fate.

      • narniafan4ever says:

        haha! Your comment made me laugh, Crimson Dragon. Are you hinting the fact that some people are getting sick of politicians? lol 😀

      • Aslan=Jesus says:

        Does anyone know anything about this "Unfathonable Fate" thing?

      • Roguewolf says:

        I wouldn't call the Narnian Lords "warriors", but that might be just me. And I have no idea what this "unfathomable fate" thing is? Odd.

      • Princess Arya says:

        The only thing I can think of might be perhaps some sort of prophecy? Like the way Reep gets his prophecy about where the waves grow sweet at the Worlds End?

  6. 7chronicles says:

    Hope they do a good job!

  7. Narnia Lover says:

    Cool! 😀 SAIL ON VDT!!!

  8. JadistarkilleR says:

    cool! they worked on The Dark Knight, plus the HP films. i'm confident 🙂

  9. NarniaRox says:

    I hope they dont ruin the movie with tooo many special FX

  10. NarniaRox says:

    wait a minute…i thought they were doing all seven movies at WETA…?

    • Fire Fairy says:

      WETA doesn't do the special effects. They're in charge of the armor and props and sets and stuff.

    • Matthias of Redwall says:

      yeah…I was hoping that Weta would do the special effects,since they did so well with the lord of the rings movies and various other projects they have worked on, but o well.

  11. mm1991 says:

    I'm glad, they have a good rep!

  12. On-Fire4God says:


  13. Narniamiss says:

    Good deal. Glad to hear someone with that much stuff under their belts are doing this.

  14. Mirima Rosetrader says:

    What happened with WETA? Not that I doubt Cinesite's abilities, but what happened with WETA? I hope Cinesite does a good job with Narnia. I don't think I have seen any of the movies they've done. I hope they do their job well. Sail on VDT!

    • Crimson Dragon says:

      I don't think WETA did the VFX for the others… they just did the armor and weapons and some set designs, unless I'm mistaken. However, they aren't even doing that this time around, because of scheduling conflicts, so yes, no WETA in VDT. Still, I love all the armor we've seen so far, so I'm not worried (even though I love WETA).

      • Fire Fairy says:

        What??? No WETA??? That's sad! So who's doing the props and armor and stuff this time?

    • coracle says:

      If Weta (NOT capital letters – it doesn't stand for anything, it's a real word) were doing some of the effects, would have heard about it by now – I'm sure.
      I nearly got to the Weta premises last weekend – it's called The Weta Cave! (by the way, a Weta is a large insect found only in New Zealand)

  15. NarnianHarpist says:

    I know. While I am relieved that Cinesite is a quality, big-league special effects company, I still prefer WETA.

  16. narnia365 says:

    Wow, the irony. They also did The Golden Compass…

    • JadistarkilleR says:

      yes they did. and regardless of how Golden Compass fared in the box office, that film had some kickass VFX. 🙂

      • Fire Fairy says:

        Language, please! Some of us like narniaweb because it's clean…please keep it that way!

      • Warrior 4 Jesus says:

        Calm down mate. I don't understand how anyone would consider that as swearing (unless it's different in American to Australia).

      • JadistarkilleR says:

        @FireFairy, *you* need to chill. ass isnt a bad word. its a body part. "kickass" when used in a highly competitive industry isnt swearing, its a compliment.

        its that way in the US, in Asia, in Europe, heck i have yet to find a nation where kickass is a bad word.

      • narniafan4ever says:

        Now, "ass" may not be a "swear word" but it is really crude. So, I'm with you Fire Fairy. 😀

      • narnian resident says:

        ok wow, that was an interesting conversation right there. you know "ass" was originally a word for "donkey". c.s. lewis even used it in the narnia books for a donkey! but now people have corrupted the word to mean, ya know, the bottom, and made it into a swear word. really, for me, i dont like the term that jadistarkiller used, and i find it offensive. i dont see how it could compliment something. if someone said that about me, i would be offended and REALLY will kick they're bottom! but thats just me, and we all have our beliefs and opinions.

      • Fire Fairy says:

        Sorry, but where I come from (Western US), even though it's used a lot, it's still considered swearing.

        I'm okay with it used in the bible and in CoN, but that's because of how it's used in context.

      • NarniaNut says:

        In my opinion it's swearing,but I'm not offended 🙂
        Yeah,at my place everyone gawks if I say 'ass' and not mean the donkey.WEIRD!!!!

      • narnia365 says:

        Oops… I didn't mean to cause this… sorry!

  17. Sammie says:

    I thought the article said that Cinesite won A contract, not THE contract. From descriptions in the commentaries, it seemed tptb had multiple groups all around the world working on the effects for both "LWW" and "PC" – often two or three in one scene.

    • Sammie says:

      Oops, my bad. They got the major contract. Still, they seem pretty experienced; I don't see why it would be a problem unless they put a digital scar on Caspian's forehead.

  18. narnian resident says:

    wow! cool! i bet they deserve it! with all three movies together, the special effects are AMAZING!!

  19. Peepiceeka says:

    Ooooh…an Emmy award winner! This great news!

  20. LucyReepicheep♥(used to be celtic13 and Narnian Jesus Freak) says:

    'They meet up with Prince Caspian for a trip across the sea aboard the royal ship The Dawn Treader.'
    Not to sound overly critical, but it's KING Caspian now. 🙂
    Anyway, sounds great! I can't wait for VDT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    (and I better not leave the theatre dissapointed like PC)

    • Fire Fairy says:

      You're not the only one…that was my first thought as well!

      • NarniaNut says:

        I was blown that I couldn't see *ahem* KING Caspian in the theaters but now I don't really mind because it fell short of my expectations.They probably would've been thrown me out of the theaters for yelling:'HUH?Excuse me,WHEN exactly did this happen in the books?' so many times. 🙂

    • tenthofthatname says:

      Hah I say the same thing anytime someone talks about VDT and calls him Prince Caspian!

  21. aravistarkheena says:

    Congrats! Just do a good-wait, scratch that-great…no, that won't work either… TOTALLY AMAZING AND FANTASTIC job. Good luck!:)

  22. pselpevensie says:

    this is pretty cool.

  23. Princess Arya says:

    Is Vodt going to be in 3D?

    • Mark Friedrich says:

      I was wondering about that to?

    • Fire Fairy says:

      There's been rumors, but I haven't seen anything official on that. I'll be fine with it if they don't throw in any cheap 3D tricks (like they did in Journey to the Center of the Earth, although that was a great movie). That would completely ruin VDT altogether.

      • Mark Friedrich says:

        I would disagree, I think having VOD in 3D is a great idea.

      • Lucy&Reepicheep says:

        Your right having VDT in 3D is just wrong it goes against Narnia

      • Mark Friedrich says:

        I here is why I would disagree with you, I think having having VOD in 3D is a great I diea because It would make you feel like your right in the adventure. And besides I think 3D movies are cool.

      • Mark Friedrich says:

        And besides I don't think It would discourage and dishoner the movie at all.

      • Princess Arya says:

        Yeah, why would it go against Narnia?

      • Mark Friedrich says:

        We will see how things go though.

      • Herohtar says:

        3D can be cool for certain things and it doesn't go against Narnia, but it makes a movie look pretty lame when they throw in obvious meant-for-3D scenes, which is why I would be against them doing it in 3D.

      • narniafan4ever says:

        I agree with you, Herohtar.

      • Narniamiss says:

        Hmm, I have mixed feelings about this. In one way, it would be even more like an adventure if it was 3D, but then again, a lot of people hate 3D because it messes with their eyes, and I don't think as many people would see it in theatres if it was in 3D. I myself would prefer non 3D.

      • Fire Fairy says:

        Herohtar, that's what I meant by cheap 3D tricks, like when something comes out of the screen out you or you feel like something's about to fall on you or something. VDT in 3D won't bother me at as long as they don't do stupid tricks like that. Cheap 3D tricks, while they may be cool in the theater, look absolutely awful on regular television.

      • narnian resident says:

        ya know i told my older brother (who knows these things) about they're 3D idea, and he said, "they only do that for movies that will need the extra stuff just to get the audiance, because it wont be good enough normal". now that scared me! personally, i dont like it, and i agree with fire fairy.

    • Mark Friedrich says:

      I didn't mean to start this. besides what is a cheap 3D trick?

      • Fire Fairy says:

        Have you seen Journey to the Center of the Earth? They throw in a lot of stuff like a measuring tape pointed at the camera so it comes out at you, or the shot angled so it looks like you're about to get spit all over your face, or a yo-yo shooting straight for your face. Pretty much, cheap 3D tricks are all the shots made especially for 3D, to "remind" you that you're in a 3D movie. They're great in the theater, but once you watch the DVD in 2D on your home television, the "obviously-meant-for-3D" shots look fuzzy and badly done.

      • Mark Friedrich says:

        I don't watch movies that much.

      • NarniaNut says:

        Ha HA,thanks Fire Fairy,you made me laugh!! 🙂

      • Fire Fairy says:

        Glad to be of service!

  24. Not that I'm not exited about this, but I have no Idea what you are talking about (mainly because I didn't want to read it) and who is VFX?

  25. Hannah the Manticore says:

    Just Googled Weta Workshop! They do physical production and conceptual design, not special effects. And they have the masks from Prince Caspian right on their home page!!!! (/gushing)

    • Herohtar says:

      Yes, but Weta Digital does special effects; it's a separate division of the same company.

  26. kate Achey says:

    lucy pevensie is cool

  27. que padre esta esto pero que lastima que yo tengo que aguantar hasta el 2010 mmmmm que lastima jajajaja

    • Mark Friedrich says:

      Could you try yo translate that?

      • Princess Arya says:

        Something about having to endure until 2010, maybe.

      • Herohtar says:

        "It hurts that I have to endure until 2010" is the gist of it.

      • aslan'schild says:

        it says something like: "that dad is hurting this but I have to endure until 2010 that hurts jajajaja mmmmm" it doesnt really make any sence but.. whoever "dad" is anyway…

    • Ya Spanish!!!^^. (calm now),B=but I think hes just doing it for fun like one of us going to mundonarnia( the spanish narnia website) and writing something for fun,but dosn't know what they say and can't translate.

      Ya Sanish^^!!!

  28. yeswelovenarnia says:

    Well all i can say is I hope they do a good job!!!

  29. Matthias of Redwall says:

    I was just on Weta digitals website, and I found out that they are making a Tintin movie directed be Steven Speilberg….I think that will be cool.

  30. King Skandar the Just says:

    Cool! I hope they do a good job! Sail on Dawn Treader!

  31. NarniaWarrior says:

    Excellent !!! and great song , by the way, when you open their website…Long Live Aslan !!!

  32. Hermitess of Narnia says:

    Let's pray they choose someone who really is a Narnia fan this time so Aslan's expressions are correct. In PC he looked like he was just a nice magic uncle figure, instead of the Creator of Narnia. If Aslan is left the way Lewis describes him in the book and the rest of the movie doesn't go too much astray pastors WILL recommend the movie to their churches. That's is what they did for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, which made it so much money. There is no point trying to appeal to the atheists anyway since they will never recommend the movie, lest people read the book.

    • Matthias of Redwall says:

      I definitly agree with you about Aslan in Prince Caspain,
      I mean, he was great with the expressions and such in the LWW, but in PC he was a bit like you said.
      At least Liam Neeson does a good job with his voice.

      • Fire Fairy says:

        No kidding…Liam Neeson is perfect for Aslan!

        And I can see what both of you are saying about how Aslan didn't come across as a Godly figure in PC at all. He felt more like a fairytale come to life or something like that. He kind of lost his God-like awe-inspiring presence that he had in LWW.

      • narniafan4ever says:

        Yeah, I also agree. I just hope that they fix the line about "knowing what would have happened" and making sure that Aslan is God who knows what would have happened only doesn't want to tell Lucy. I think that line comes up again in the chapter when Lucy is looking through the book of spells and then makes Aslan visible…. You know the one. I think it is chapter 10 [the Magician's Book].

    • JadistarkilleR says:

      gotta double check with the sources, but i believe Framestore is still gonna do the Aslan animation, which is what they've been doing since LWW. i'm hoping they've realized the slip-up with their work in PC and double their efforts in VDT.

      • Mark Friedrich says:

        I didn't notice

      • narniaismylife says:

        i think they did a dood job with Aslan in pc. He was like God , always testing peoples faith and protecting them. He suppose to act a little different in every movie, cause in every movie we get to see alittle more of his character

      • Mark Friedrich says:

        no, I agree, liam does a great job with Aslan's voice, I just ment that I don't notice the special effects job that often

    • edmund rox says:

      here here! 🙂 Keep fighting for the Truth . Narnia has a highly Christian message, and lets keep it that way!

  33. Frodo Fan says:

    Awesome! I hope they do a good job! I am looking forward to seeing this movie when is comes out in theaters.

  34. Mark Friedrich says:

    I was wondering. If it comes out in 3D in theaters does that mean that I won't come out on DVD? if that is true that is the one draw back that I have with 3D movies.

    • Fire Fairy says:

      It does come out on DVD (e.g. Spy Kids,Journey to the Center of the Earth, Bolt…). The only problem is, to get it as 3D, you have to buy a special DVD with special 3D glasses, and it doesn't usually work very well. And if you get it on regular DVD, some of the shots look screwed up.

  35. edmund rox says:

    Well, hope they do a good job… I didn't really care for the speacial effects in PC but whatever, I can't do it . 🙂 Fellow Narnia webbers… I am bored 😛 hehe!

  36. Princess Arya says:

    I kinda worry to hear about all the changes. Cinesite instead of (did Weta do it before? Sorry I didn't pay attention), a new director, a new composer. . . . it gives me the feeling this movie is going to have an entirely different feel from the preceding ones, you know, and lose a sense of continuity or whatever. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad because VODT is the first one not set in Narnia, so it could have a different flavor. I don't know…

    • Fire Fairy says:

      I feel the same way. At least Walden Media is still doing it, and they're very good about keeping the spirit of the book alive. Let's hope that Fox does better than Disney! And I hope the new composer does as well as or better than Harry Gregson-Williams did. He was an amazing composer!

  37. Matthias of Redwall says:

    well, the way I see it, is that I have been secretly hoping that they don't change the narnia I have grown used to too much, if at all, but I think that I've come to realize that things have to be changed, at least a little bit, to give the movie it's own expression and flavor, or otherwise it would eventually become uninteresting and expressionless.
    So, I am looking forward to this new movie, and I am exited about the upcoming installments- after all, it's all one big adventure!

  38. always narnian says:


  39. you got to be kidding me?!

  40. Peters Unicorn says:

    Harry Gregson-Williams isn't composing the music any more? That is really sad! I'm sorry, I haven't been on for a long time, and am a little confused with some stuff. I think they should NOT do it in 3D, by the way. Can't wait until VDT is in theatres!!!!!!!

  41. Mark Friedrich says:

    What, Did I miss something? I didn't know that Harry Gregson-williams is not composing the music.

  42. Princess Arya says:

    I liked Gregson-Williams' music. And everywhere I looked on the Internet, it doesn't really say why he left. As I said, I would like him for the sake of continuity. But you know, Wikipedia does say that while the music is going to be composed by David Arnolds, the main themes are still supposed to be by Gregson-Williams, so that sounds nicer for continuity's sake, basically about solving the problem. (I assume he won't change the entire Narnia theme and such.)

    I did read this afternoon (when I looked all of it up) that the 'Prince Caspian' score was aimed more towards the style of that of Howard Shore in Lord of the Rings. And I know that's because PC was more of a LOTR copy, but what I'm thinking is that maybe I will like Arnolds' take on the music after all because it should be different. (I guess I'll have to hear it when it comes out before I can make any final choices though!)

    • Frodo Fan says:

      Harry Gregson-Williams did copy Lord of the Rings music in Prince Caspian. I am a fan of Lord of the Rings so i could tell. I am eager to see what the music will sound like in Voyage of the Dawn Treador. I hope it is better than Prince Caspian. That movie wasn't that great.

    • Mark Friedrich says:

      I can't believe that. He was amaizing doing the music for the Narnia movies. Who will take his place for VOD

    • Fire Fairy says:

      Huh, I didn't know that. Then again, I haven't seen LotR, so of course I wouldn't know whether Gregson-Williams copied the music or not. But that's okay, he still did a great job. I hope David Arnolds does just as well as or better than Gregson-Williams. We'll just have to wait and see.

    • Mark Friedrich says:

      Well, if Mr. Gregson-williams is copying the music, That to me is diffenitly not right, I think he should of made the music origional. Nothing personal to the compuser.

      • Princess Arya says:

        I don't know if he really COPIED it. But if you listen to the soundtracks they sound the same style.

    • Matthias of Redwall says:

      well, ya know, my opinion is that if you actually
      think about it, the music in alot of
      action/adventure movies really and truly does sound surprisingly similiar.
      So anyways, I don't think he coppied
      the Lord of the Rings music.

    • Bookwyrm says:

      Meh, if PC's score was meant to emulate Howard Shore's work on LotR, HGW definitely missed the mark. The music for LotR was absolutely gorgeous, HGW's scoring for the Narnia movies was adequate at best.

  43. Lucille Brown says:

    I thought it was cool that:
    Lucy and Edmund had to wait one year,
    Narnia had to wait three years,
    but Narnia fans (us) have to wait two years for Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

  44. Long Live King Skandar says:

    Aren't they still filming at MovieWorld or something? After all, they still need to shoot all the inside shots and scenes of the ship as well as use other sets for the Dufflepuds, for example. Just maybe. It helps to know that they were halfway done the whole thing a couple weeks ago, something like that. Soon, all that will be left is post-production, and then a TRAILER!!!!!!! *screams* chanting, "we want trailer! we want trailer! we want trailer!" probably sometime next year. Spring, maybe.

    • Fire Fairy says:

      Yeah, they probably are still shooting. Maybe once they're done in MovieWorld there'll be more news…*crosses fingers*…

  45. Lucy says:

    I really like Caspian looks like.
    And Lucy in her red shirt I just love how they look 🙂

  46. Lucy says:

    Oh and the BBC VDT is like the best, I also really like Eustuse! 🙂

  47. Peepicheep says:


  48. JimS says:

    British Academy Award-winning VFX company The Mill (Ridley Scott's Gladiator, Doctor Who revived TV series, The Adventures of Merlin TV Series) has just signed a deal to work on VotDT next year. Check their official announcement right here below "TV & Film":

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