July 30, 2009 Announcement by Hobe Sound-based Wyndcrest Holdings, a private investment firm focused on entertainment and Internet technology, that it hoped to build a PSL digital production studio that it hoped would create up to 500 jobs. Wyndcrest had been working on the project with St. Lucie County for nine months, said Larry Pelton, the president of the Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County.
September 29, 2009 Florida State University pledged to partner with digital production studio, to be located in Tradition. John Textor, at that time, was a principal with Wyndcrest Holdings and liked the link with FSU
October 13, 2009 Digital Domain announces it would become deeply involved with Wyndcrest Holdings to create a Treasure Coast digital design facility. No land yet acquired.
October 22, 2009 Florida Governor's office says the proposed studio had been thoroughly reviewed, before $20 million pledge of state funds was granted
November 3, 2009 Digital design studio looking to build in Tradition has started to hire and intends to set up a temporary facility within months of the city approving its portion of a $30 million state and local incentive agreement, the president of the company told business leaders
November 12, 2009 State Rep Carl Domino (R-Jupiter) tries to block incentive payment. State Senator Mike Bennett (R-Bradenton) asks state attorney general to investigate "misrepresentation of facts" from Wyndcrest Holdings.
November 22, 2009 PSL City Council members unanimously give go ahead for $51.8 million deal for contract that would lease 15 acres and a 150,000-square-foot production studio Port St. Lucie will build within the Tradition development to Wyndcrest DD Florida Inc., a spin-off of the awarding winning Calif.-based Digital Domain. 20 year contract with promise to create 500 full-time jobs with an average annual salary of $64.233 by 2014
December 20, 2009 PSL City Council gives final approval to above terms
February 22, 2010 PSL City Council approves $39.9 million in bonds to build Tradition facility
March 23, 2010 Tradition Field became Digital Domain Park on Tuesday after Digital Domain Holdings, the New York Mets and St. Lucie County finalized an agreement to grant the animation and visual effects company naming rights to the Mets' 7,000-seat spring training home.
May 6, 2010 Digital Domain Holdings has hired Disney film director Aaron Blaise to direct the company's upcoming animated feature film projects at its studio within Tradition. The 21-year Disney veteran, a graduate of the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, co-directed the Oscar-nominated Disney film "Brother Bear." He also was a supervising animator for films such as "Aladdin," "Mulan," "Pocahontas," "The Lion King," and "Beauty and the Beast."
August 13, 2010 Filmmaker Chuck Williams became the latest big hire to join Digital Domain Holdings at its Port St. Lucie-based facility, the company announced late Thursday. Williams produced the Oscar-nominated film "Brother Bear". He has also worked on Disney hits such as "The Little Mermaid," "Aladdin," "The Lion King" and "Beauty and the Beast."
August 26, 2010 As Digital Domain Holdings Corp. moves into a temporary workspace at Indian River State College, the animation company is in the midst of a hiring spree. Digital Domain has hired about 46 people and the company expects to easily exceed 65 by the end of the year. The company plans to do digital animation for feature films and military applications.
September 1, 2010 Not everyone is pleased Digital Domain is proposing to build a film school in downtown West Palm Beach. Port St. Lucie City Councilwoman Michelle Berger told City Manager Jerry Bentrott she was "extremely" disappointed that a new Florida State University film school would be built in West Palm Beach rather than Port St. Lucie.
September 20, 2010 John Textor, the chief executive officer of digital movie effects company Digital Domain Holdings, announced Monday the company intends to hire 200 people over the next six months, a move that represents a significant acceleration of its hiring plans.
October 9, 2010 Thousands of job seekers from across the state descended upon Port St. Lucie on Saturday for the chance at breaking into the digital media industry with a major player, Digital Domain Holdings Corp.
November 2, 2010 movie animation college is headed downtown, after the city commission signed a contract with Digital Domain on Monday. The computer animation company negotiated with the city behind closed doors for nearly a year to turn West Palm into an education hub that will complement a digital animation studio being constructed in Port St. Lucie. With the lure of a downtown full of students
and a high-tech industry, the city's Community Redevelopment Agency agreed to donate the city's Tent Site — prime realty at Okeechobee Boulevard and Dixie Highway — to Digital Domain, along with a $15 million loan to fund Digital Domain's collaboration with the Florida State University film school.
November 18, 2010 Digital Domain Holdings announced Thursday the company completed the acquisition of In-Three Inc. in a move that will expand the types of business the company will do in Port St. Lucie. In-Three converts traditional two dimensional films and flat images into three dimensional, or 3D, stereo imagery. In-Three did 3D stereo work on Tim Burton's 2010 film Alice in Wonderland. The first employees could begin operating in Port St. Lucie in the next three weeks, Digital Domain Holdings Chairman John Textor said.
February 5, 2011 St. Lucie County Commissioners agreed to settle with Tradition Development Company LLC after the county sued the company for failing to pay for the naming rights to the New York Mets' spring training facility. Tradition Development Company will pay the county $50,000. The county sought $95,000 plus interest after the company missed a payment in December, 2009. Commissioners approved the measure Tuesday. The money goes to pay off stadium debt.
April 11, 2011 Digital Domain Media Group, formerly Digital Domain Holdings, has added more than 243 employees to its payroll, putting it ahead of schedule to hire a mandated 500 by 2014. During Monday's City Council meeting, Digital Domain Media Group CEO John Textor gave an update on the company's progress since it launched its business here in 2009.
April 18, 2011 John Textor didn't need special effects to sell his newest project to the public, one that will provide 100 students a year with Florida State University degrees from downtown West Palm Beach. Textor, chairman of Digital Domain, joined FSU President Eric Barron on Monday to officially announce the public-private partnership between that digital animation company and the Tallahassee-based state university.
May 17, 2011 Coming soon to a brokerage house near you: the ability to buy stock in Port St. Lucie-based booming special effects giant Digital Domain Media Group. In a filing Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Digital Domain Media Group, the parent company of Academy Award-winning visual effects studio Digital Domain in Venice, Calif., said it intends to raise up to $115 million in an initial public stock offering. Barclays Capital is underwriting the stock offering, which is likely to go public sometime in late summer or early fall.
August 11, 2011 Digital Domain's Tradition Studios' first feature animation film will be about elephants, the company's head of creative development confirmed Thursday. "The Legend of Tembo," which has been in development for 16 months, is slated to be released in the fall of 2014, said Pam Coats, Tradition Studios' head of creative development. The film will be directed by former Walt Disney Animation veterans Aaron Blaise and Chuck Williams.
November 4, 2011 Digital Domain Media Group announced its price range for its initial public offering, according to a report filed Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Port St. Lucie-based company's offering price is expected to be between $10 and $12. The company does not intend to pay cash dividends on the common stock for the foreseeable future, according to the report.
May 16, 2012 Digital Domain Media Group reported $31.1 million in first quarter revenues, more than the consensus analyst estimates of $26.5 million. The company announced Wednesday that it lost $0.37 per share, which beat estimates of $0.40 lost per share. Revenues fell from $38.6 million for the same period of 2011, but increased 47 percent from the fourth quarter of 2011.
July 18, 2012 Worried that Digital Domain Media Group is mired in "microcap hell," Chairman and Chief Executive John Textor said today he aims to lure a large investor or perhaps sell part of the entertainment company that's the cornerstone of Florida's investment in the animation industry. In a call with investors this morning, Textor lamented the stock market's tepid response to the company. Digital Domain (NYSE: DDMG) went public in November at $8.50 a share, and shares mostly have languished below that level. Digital Domain stock spiked to $9.20 in May but traded below $5 this week. After shares jumped today, the company is valued at $221 million — below the informal $300 million threshold between so-called small-cap and microcap companies.
August 17, 2012 Digital Domain Media Group, the Florida State University College of Motion Picture Arts and the city of West Palm Beach announce the arrival of the inaugural classes of students
to their pioneering public/private collaboration — an accredited four-year BFA degree program in animation and digital arts. Student orientation begins Aug. 22 in West Palm Beach, with classes starting Aug. 27 in Tallahassee and West Palm Beach.
August 31, 2012 Digital Domain Media Group informed investors Friday that an erroneous trade was made Thursday amid a slide in the company's stock, according to a news release. The trade, a 400,000-share trade, occurred at 11:16 a.m. Thursday and was removed a couple hours later at 1:28 p.m. A later trade of 391,500 shares at 11:59 a.m. was accurate. Share prices tumbled this week and hit a 52-week low of $1.93 per share Friday.
September 5, 2012 Digital Domain Media Group announced it received an extension on $35 million in loans. The company has an undisclosed amount of time to finalize a deal that would satisfy its lenders, led by Tenor Capital, according to a news release. The lenders must give Digital Domain 48 hours' notice if they revoke the extension, the release says.
September 7, 2012 Digital Domain closes Port St. Lucie office; lays off more than 200. Share price at 2:15 p.m. at $0.60, down 39% in this session.
Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers contributed to this report