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Lucas to Launch Singapore Studio

August 03, 2004|Claudia Eller

Positioning itself in the highly competitive world of computer-generated cartoons, Lucasfilm Ltd. announced plans Monday to launch a digital animation studio in Singapore that would work in concert with the company's Northern California operation.

The subsidiary, Lucasfilm Animation Singapore, intends to wed Asian- and American-style animation to produce movies, television programs and games for global audiences.

"George has been a real fan of Asian art and cinema," Lucasfilm President Micheline Chau said of company founder George Lucas, the famed director behind the "Star Wars" movies. "This is an opportunity to blend East and West and create something that's really different."

Chau said the Singapore facility was expected to be operating by next spring. She said it would handle the actual production of animation, with Lucasfilm's creative team in Marin County serving as the "brain trust," largely responsible for animation design and post-production work.

Chau declined to say how much money Lucas was committing to the new venture. She said Singapore's Economic Development Board, whose goal is to help build the country into a global business hub, would be a minority shareholder with a 25% stake.

The company plans to tap the local talent base as well as export staffers from California, Chau said, adding that a search was underway for office space.

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