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Hollywood company to establish visual effects studio in Kaohsiung

Hollywood company to establish visual effects studio in Kaohsiung

Taipei, Dec. 30 (CNA) Rhythm & Hues Studios Inc. (R&H), one of the world's top five visual effects companies, will set up a visual effects center in Kaohsiung and launch two other ventures in Taiwan next year, the company's head said Friday in Taipei. The R&H VFX Center in Taiwan's southern harbor city will be the Oscar-winning company's sixth facility in the world and will allow the studio to run a 24-hour production cycle. Established in Los Angeles in 1987, the company has two facilities in India and one in both Malaysia and Canada. "We're very happy to come to Taiwan," John Hughes, the president and founder of R&H, said in Chinese to express his gratitude to those who had helped make the move possible. The Kaohsiung studio will hire 200 artists and train 40 instructors and 600 students before it creates animations and visual effects, according to Hughes. The studio will allow people in Taiwan to contribute to the animation market, as they will be able to make world-class visual effects themselves, he added. In addition, R&H will also make Taiwan the leading provider of computer services for Hollywood and the digital content industry by setting up a cloud computing database in Taipei with Chunghwa Telecom Co., the nation's top telecom carrier, and Quanta Computer Inc., the world's largest notebook computer ODM service supplier. Furthermore, the company will also initiate a film fund to help co-finance and co-produce Hollywood films, it said. "I'm very, very excited to begin these ventures in Taiwan," Hughes said, adding that he hopes to stimulate the digital content industry in Taiwan and thus attract other similar companies to follow suit, ultimately forming a community. The investment will be a boost to Taiwan's digital content industry, said Economics Minister Shih Yen-shiang, who attended the ceremony. The actual total investment from R&H could be as high as NT$6 billion (US$198 million), Shih said, adding that the investment will cement Taiwan's leading position in the IT industry and could make Taiwan a cloud computing hub for the world. Taiwan's digital content industry has been thriving over the years. Its output rose from NT$153.7 billion in 2002 to NT$522.5 billion in 2010, and is expected to exceed NT$600 billion this year despite the global economy downturn. R&H has been involved in more than 130 Hollywood films, such as "The Incredible Hulk," "Night at the Museum" and "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe." It received an Academy Award in 1995 for "Babe" and in 2008 for "The Golden Compass." (By James Lee)