About Us


Sandbox FX is an award-winning VFX Studio located in Columbia County in upstate New York.  Founded by vfx supervisor, John Nugent, our studio specializes in on-set vfx supervision and high-end 2D and 3D work-flow for feature films and episodic television. The Sandbox team consists of accomplished vfx artists and filmmakers with extensive industry experience and connections. Our U.S. locations and a unique international collaboration with BigHug FX allows us to offer interesting tax incentive opportunities for savvy clients.  Let us bid on your next project.



Remember Lincoln Logs? Remember when Legos didn't come in kits?  We still believe in the value of those fundamental toys for their creative inspiration. Oh, we have all the latest bells and whistles - who doesn't love new toys? But just like our name implies, we find some of the best creative solutions are discovered when we get back to the basics. Tried and true techniques that have become essential elements in "John's special bag of tricks" for outside the box problem solving.



Staying small seems to be the new "big idea". We've been successful with this strategy for 17+ years. With a core team of 10, numerous industry contacts and a partnership with BigHugFX (Munich) we have the foundation to build and customize our team to any project. This makes us flexible and efficient and that translates into smart economics. Just like VFX, talent isn't always where you expect to find it, and in fact, our award-winning artists blend into our idyllic environment and make it work for them. There is a quality of life here in upstate New York that not only satisfies us personally, but infuses our work process. Each of us has made a commitment to living here that we believe is central to the success of Sandbox F/X. And it turns out, it's the best effect ever - to work in VFX and have a life too.




A classically trained artist with experience in computer illustration, John began his career in visual effects in the early 1990's with an emerging east coast visual effects group. During this time, John contributed to such features as: Starship Troopers, Eraser, and Judge Dredd.


Relocating to California's Bay Area in 1997, John’s work played a key role in the creation of Vincent Ward's painted world sequence in the film What Dreams May Come and the cutting edge visual effects of the Wachowski brothers hit The Matrix. Both films earned Academy Award Oscar's for best Visual Effects.


John then traveled to Wellington, New Zealand in 1999 where he served as the compositing supervisor for the Lord of the Rings trilogy. His string of Academy award winning visual effects work continued, as did his wealth of visual effects experience. During this exciting time, John realized that recent advancements in technology would make it possible for the digital component of visual effects to be done from almost anywhere.

In early 2003, John founded Sandbox FX, and with a small team began working on the final installment of the Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King from his native Massachusetts. Since then Sandbox FX has worked on such features as The Chronicles of Narnia, Night at the Museum, Fantastic 4, Jumper, Surrogates, plus many more. In 2015 John was senior visual effects supervisor for Ryan Coogler’s critically acclaimed “CREED” in which he oversaw all visual effects from set to final delivery.


With John’s keen eye for color and composition as well as his special “bag of tricks” for outside the box problem solving, John brings to the table the perfect blend of technical experience and artistic sensibility. His extensive industry experience, reputation, and connections have all contributed to the success of his Berkshire initiative.