Fri, Mar 01, 2013 - Page 14 News List

R&H studio to open later this month

Staff writer, with CNA

Rhythm & Hues Studios Inc (R&H) will open a new facility in Taiwan by the end of this month, even though its US headquarters filed for court protection two weeks ago, a local executive said on Wednesday.

Plans to open a new studio in Kaohsiung remain unaffected, despite reports that the award-winning visual effects company is facing financial difficulties, said Mike Yang (楊修宇), manager of Rhythm & Hues Studios Taiwan Co.

The two-story, 2,640m2 facility in Greater Kaohsiung will offer space for more than 200 artists and instructors over the next five years, Yang said.

“Actually, all the studios, including in Los Angeles and at four other locations, are operating,” Yang said, adding that the studios are currently working on post-production for three Hollywood movies.

Yang expressed confidence in the capability of the California-based company, saying that more than 10 parties have expressed interest in merging with or acquiring it.

At present, R&H has a globally distributed production infrastructure with studios in Mumbai and Hyderabad in India, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Vancouver, Canada.

R&H, Yang added, is turning its focus to developing or expanding studios in Canada and Southeast Asian countries, which provide tax incentives and cheaper labor.

“I’m sure we can get through the difficulties, as we are still one of the tops in this industry,” the executive said. “Winning an Oscar just proved that.”

R&H won this year’s Best Visual Effects Oscar for the 3D movie Life of Pi. However, more than 400 visual effects artists protested against cost-cutting trends in the industry outside the awards ceremony.

Yang said visual effects companies worldwide face problems, as some countries provide huge tax credits. Post-production companies that do not have studios in those nations face higher costs.

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