Los Angeles-based award winning visual effects studio, Rhythm and Hues Studio, will be setting up a high-tech studio on par with its LA studio in Malaysia.
With more than 100 feature films to its credit such as Babe, The Hulk, The Golden Compass, The Chronicles of Narnia and Night In The Museum, Rhythm is internationally recognised as one of Hollywood’s top visual effects and animation facilities.
“Rhythm is not outsourcing or doing back office work in Malaysia. The work done here will be the same sort of thing being done in LA. The Malaysian studio will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rhythm in the US,” said Rhythm senior advisor Shahril Ibrahim.
“For instance, while shooting a film, the lighting is done in Mumbai, the animation in Kuala Lumpur and the visual effects in LA. So it’s a very collaborated effort which is broken up into task groups.”
The studio in Malaysia will be Rhythm’s third outside of the US. It also has studios in Mumbai and Hyderabad. Presently, there are 300 people in the India outfit.
Shahril said Rhythm was in need of a third studio and had looked at a few countries.
Malaysia was chosen because of Multimedia Development Corp’s (MDec) support for its sort of work, he said. Cost was another huge factor, apart from the big pool of students studying multimedia in Malaysia.
“We did get some incentives from MDec, but it’s minor support things,” he said.
Rhythm’s present primary need is talent, and it is looking to hire 200 to 225 skilled workers. The studio is expected to be running by year-end, with 40 recruits for a start.
In the process of film and animation, Shahril said the Malaysian studio would initially be more involved with background works. After the necessary training (three to six months of in-house training) , it will start moving into animation works. Most of Rhythm’s technology is its own proprietary software.
“Rhythm is creating high end jobs. The next best equivalent of Rhythm is probably Lucas Films Ltd Studio in Singapore. So it’s definitely a coup for Malaysia. The Malaysian studio will be doing Hollywood work. So Malaysians get a chance to be involved in the making of an international movie. For instance, the Indian studio did parts of The Hulk, Narnia and The Golden Compass,” said Shahril.
He added that Rhythm had no plan to enter the Malaysian movie industry.
Rhythm has already identified Cyberjaya for the studio.
“Putting the technical elements into the studio is not dificult. The main priority is to recruit and train people. Rhythm is cautious because it wants to hire people which are culturally Rhythm.
“In Rhythm, we’re very open and transparent. Its not truly hierarchical, it’s more matrically in culture,” said Shahril.
Rhythm is a privately owned company which makes about US$100mil a year in revenue.
Source : The Star
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