25 Jan – Movie fans have another reason to drop in or move to Singapore as Lucasfilm, the American film and television production company behind "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones", has opened a new branch in Singapore.
Named the Sandcrawler, the new visual effects and animation hub also looks like that giant Sandcrawler vehicle from the first "Star Wars" film that it is named after. The building measures 22,000sq m and is also utilised by The Walt Disney Company Southeast Asia operations and ESPN Asia Pacific.
Founder George Lucas and President Kathleen Kennedy were in Singapore last week for the inauguration of the Sandcrawler.
"When we first opened our Singapore studio in 2005, the Singapore digital production landscape looked very different. It was relatively small, with a limited talent pool and virtually no visual effects work being done," said Kennedy.
"By investing in local talent we've been able to significantly grow our Singapore studio into a world-class digital production facility."
In Lucasfilm's visual effects unit Industrial Light & Magic Singapore, about 350 artists from some 40 countries are now working on a full-length animated feature and films that include "Hitman", "The Avengers: Age Of Ultron", and "Transformers 4".
"Everybody thought I was a little crazy," Lucas said in regards to his idea of expanding into Asia a decade ago. He recalled how the early days of training local artists and giving the Singapore team small, basic tasks had evolved into a sophisticated operation and the Sandcrawler itself.
"This is a symbol of the people of Singapore and computer animation combining with Lucasfilm to create something that is world quality."