Visual effects hub in the works


By SUBASHINI SELVARATNAM intech@thestar.com.my

CYBERJAYA: A special and visual effects hub will be set up in Malaysia by next year. The main objective of the hub will be to produce experts in such effects for broadcast and creative industries.

These effects in movies often involve the integration of live-action footage and computer generated imagery (CGI) to create scenes that look realistic.

“There is a huge demand for special effects in the broadcast, digital content and creative industries,” said Datuk Badlisham Ghazali, chief executive of the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) which is guardian of the MSC Malaysia initiative.

“Driven by that tremendous potential, we believe our visual effects hub can serve the South-East Asia region,” he added.

To realise this goal, MDeC and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s (FICCI) South Entertainment Committee will work together on setting up the hub in Malaysia. No details were provided on the cost of the project.

“MDeC is trying to expand in the area of visual effects and believes the partnership with FICCI is important because both countries can exchange ideas and best practices, as well as learn from each other,” Badlisham said.

He was speaking at an MSC Malaysia Meet-and-Greet session last week with Dr Kamal Hassan, who is chairman of the FICCI South Entertainment Committee, and one of India’s most talented actors.

Kamal said the committee is pleased to collaborate with MDeC on a mutually beneficial project which is of special interest to FICCI’s entertainment division.

“We hope this collaboration will enhance and boost the development of the creative and entertainment industry in our two countries,” said Kamal.

Other plans

Both parties are also discussing collaborating on six to eight feature films to be co-produced by Malaysia and India. The topics are still being explored.

Other discussions include the identifying of MSC Malaysia companies for visual effects opportunities, transfer of knowledge, and visual effects skills.

Malaysia is also being promoted as a destination for location shooting to Indian movie production companies.

A memorandum of understanding between both parties for the collaborations was signed when Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak made an official visit to Chennai in January.

The move is aimed at strengthening efforts to develop a strategic alliance of activities related to movie and creative industries.

Furthermore, the collaboration is part of MSC Malaysia’s efforts to develop world-class co-production initiatives in broadcasting and digital content.

FICCI is a non-governmental and not-for-profit organisation, which works closely with the Indian Government on policy issues, as well as to enhance efficiency, competitiveness and the expansion of business opportunities for Indian industries.

It is the first port of call for those industries and the international business community.

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