Disney-owned visual effects giant to begin ‘Star Wars’ post-production at new Aussie studio

SYDNEY (Xinhua) – One of the world’s most revered visual effects companies will soon begin work on the latest Star Wars film in Australia.

Launching a brand new state-of-the-art studio in Sydney yesterday, the Disney-owned giant Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) said the harbour city was an ideal location for the Hollywood powerhouse’s fifth studio.

“There is abundant artistic and technical talent in the region which are both keys to ILM’s culture of innovation,” Head of ILM Rob Bredow said.

“It’s particularly exciting that the first film our new studio will contribute to will be Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” Bredow added.

Set to begin the recruitment process immediately, the company was lured Down Under by the New South Wales (NSW) government’s recent move to offer a 10 per cent tax incentive for post, digital and visual effects firms.

On top of this, the NSW government has also promised to hand over AUDsix million Australian (USD4.2 million) to help establish a range of training programmes at the facility to build specialised post, digital and visual effects skills for local workers.

“ILM is responsible for the visual effects of more than 350 feature films, including Star Wars, Aladdin, Pirates of the Caribbean and The Avengers,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

“Having the world’s leading visual effects company now agreeing to set up here permanently and commit to teaching invaluable skills to hundreds of people in NSW is a big coup for our state. This is only the third studio ILM has opened outside of North America.

“The digital skills taught by the best in the world will also benefit many other industries in NSW, including software development, robotics, engineering and defence.”

While the investment from the NSW government may seem steep, it’s predicted that securing ILM’s setup in Sydney will deliver an estimated AUD333 million (USD234 million) in post-production business over the first five years.

ILM anticipates there will be over 500 jobs on offer for when work on the new Star Wars feature gets underway.