Animation for Lucas film to be done here

Animation for Lucas film to be done here
Ms Yuni Hadi (left) and Robert Gilby.

Strange Magic, an upcoming animated feature developed from a story by Star Wars creator George Lucas, will have a large made-in-Singapore component.

Mr Robert Gilby, 44, managing director of The Walt Disney Company, Southeast Asia, said that the animation in the film is "entirely produced in Singapore".

Lucasfilm Animation Singapore is credited as co-producer on the project, which is billed by the company as a "madcap fairy tale musical inspired by A Midsummer Night's Dream".

Directed by Gary Rydstrom, making his feature debut, it is slated for release next month. It will be voiced by actors Alan Cumming, Evan Rachel Wood and Maya Rudolph.

The decade-old company, part of the Lucasfilm family now owned by Disney, also produced animation for Rango (2011), winner of an Oscar for Best Animated Feature, as well as televison programmes based on the Star Wars universe.

Gilby mentioned the project as an example of successful skills development during a panel discussion held yesterday as part of the Singapore Media Festival at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre.

He and fellow panelist Yuni Hadi, 38, executive director of the Singapore International Film Festival, spoke about the issues faced by professionals in the film industry around the region.

Ms Hadi and Mr Gilby discussed the effectiveness of screen quotas in helping domestic film- makers, such as the ones in China and South Korea, where a percentage of screens have to be reserved for local works.

She said that quota systems work only if the domestic industry churns out enough product to fill exhibition slots. In Singapore, production volume is still low. Instead, the Government can give financial perks to exhibitors that screen local films.

"If you are lucky enough to get your film in the cinema, the next thing is to negotiate the number of screens, and usually, that is the hardest part of the process," she said.

If exhibitors are compensated with grants, they might give over more screens and extend the runs of local films, she said.

Mr Gilby was also in favour of a more measured response. Quota systems can be unsustainable over the long term, he said.

"If you overly restrict what an exhibitor can do, it can be bad for the economy and bad for the film industry," he said.

johnlui@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Dec 10, 2014.
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