Prashant Buyyala, R&H’s managing director, said that a Taiwan production center was “economically viable,” and “perfect, for now.” In the past, R&H considered opening studios in Europe and China.
The Kaohsiung Connection
“We saw Taiwan as a great destination, and we’ve become big fans of this country,” said Buyyala, “not just because of Ang but because of relationships we’ve built with people here, with students and government officials,” he said, noting Kaohsiung’s beauty, quality of life and low cost of living as particular advantages for its employees.
“Plus the Taiwan government wanted to get into co-production,” and as a global high-tech center Taiwan had both the technology and political will to support development in its creative industries, he said.
Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu was thrilled with the new cooperation.
“Kaohsiung used to be a highly polluted city, but now it deserves a chance” to be a player in Taiwan’s budding film industry, she said.
Berger said he found Lee “amazingly gracious. He had a strong vision of what he wanted to see and he stuck to it. He’s a very passionate director and really listens to the people around him for their opinions.”
Erika Burton, R&H’s co-president, added that Lee is inclusive and generous with his time and with his commitments.
“He always takes the time to thank the people who work with him,” Burton said.
Excited about the studio’s construction Lee said, “This is only the beginning. Starting from today, I hope we can see some great work done in Taiwan. I really want to see more cultural collaboration and exchanges.”
Life of Pi is currently playing at cinemas throughout the nation.