Singapore Animation Studio Opens - First 3-D Animated Project Already Underway
October 27, 2005 -- Lucasfilm Ltd. today officially opened the doors of Lucasfilm Animation Singapore, a digital animation studio designed to produce movies and television for global audiences.
The Singapore studio, which is approximately 40,000 square feet (3,715 square meters) is in the Changi area of Singapore. More than 35 employees from 19 countries around the world have already been hired and hiring will continue into 2006.
“When we announced the formation of Lucasfilm Animation Singapore last August, we said we’d open our doors this fall, and we’re right on schedule,” said George Lucas. “Our first series -- a TV adventure titled Clone Wars, based on the time between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith -- is already in active development and we hope to see it on the air in 2007.”
An opening ceremony for the studio included a traditional Lion Dance, a blessing by a feng shui master and the unveiling of a statue of Yoda that will greet visitors to the studio. Official remarks to celebrate the opening of the studio were made by Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, Second Minister for Trade and Industry and Mr. Teo Ming Kian, Chairman of the Economic Development Board (EDB) of Singapore. They were joined by Micheline Chau, President and Chief Operating Officer of Lucasfilm Ltd. and Gail Currey, Vice President and General Manager of Lucasfilm Animation.
Lucasfilm Animation Singapore will work hand-in-hand with the team at Lucasfilm Animation, based at Skywalker Ranch in Marin County, California. Gail Currey, Vice President and General Manager of Lucasfilm Animation also announced the hiring of key creative executives in the U.S.
Catherine Winder, Executive Producer, has worked as both an executive and producer in feature film, home video and television animation in both the US and Asia. Winder will head up development and production on the upcoming 3-D animated television series as well as on feature film projects. Prior to joining the company, Winder worked as a consultant with independent producers to develop and market their properties. She has also guided clients in the areas of production planning and business strategy. As Senior Vice President of Fox Feature Animation, she supervised the expansion of Blue Sky studios and the production of the Oscar nominated film Ice Age. Her producing career started at Colossal Pictures, where she quickly moved to HBO to set up a studio to develop and produce the Emmy Award-winning animated series Todd MacFarlane’s Spawn along with additional projects for their original programming division. She began her animation career in Asia at Walt Disney Television Animation, Japan and then moved to Turner Films/Hanna Barbera in Taiwan. Winder co-authored the industry handbook “Producing Animation.”
Dave Filoni, Supervising Director, most recently directed the Nickelodeon animation series Avatar: The Last Airbender. He began his career at Film Roman in animation as an assistant director for King of the Hill. He also served as an assistant director on the WB television series Mission Hill and The Oblongs. Filoni worked for Walt Disney Television Animation on Kim Possible, Teamo Supremo and Lilo and Stitch.
Henry Gilroy, Head Writer/Story Editor, first contributed to the Star Wars universe with his comic book stories for Dark Horse. He then authored the graphic novel adaptations of Episode I The Phantom Menace and Episode II Attack of the Clones. A veteran television animation story editor and producer with two Emmy nominations, a few of Gilroy’s credits include The Tick, Jackie Chan Adventures, Lilo & Stitch and Justice League Unlimited. His feature-length writing included crafting stories and screenplays for the award-winning Bionicle trilogy for Miramax.
Rob Coleman, Animation and Development Director, who joins the animation division after twelve years at Lucasfilm’s visual effects house, Industrial Light & Magic. Coleman served as animation director on Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith, a role he also fulfilled on the two previous Star Wars movies. In 2002, Entertainment Weekly named Rob to the “It List” as one of the most creative people in entertainment, for his work on the digital Yoda. He has been nominated for two Oscars for his work on Attack of the Clones and The Phantom Menace and two British Academy Awards (BAFTAs) for his work on Men in Black and The Phantom Menace. He has received two MTV Movie Awards and two Saturn Awards for best visual effects on the Star Wars movies.
“These four amazing talents, combined with the leadership of our Singapore studio GM Christian Kubsch, who joined our team in July, mean that our first series and our future projects will be both innovative and entertaining,” said Gail Currey, Vice President and General Manager of Lucasfilm Animation. “They’ll bring us great stories, fantastic visuals and a strong future.”
The company also announced several key hires that will be based at the Singapore studio. They include Phillip Stamp, Director of Animation, Teo Chor Guan, Software Engineer Manager, and Rossina Lim Yennyenn.
The technology at the studio will also lead the industry. “We’re leveraging not only the technology, but the expertise and the techniques developed over the years at Industrial Light & Magic and LucasArts to train a new generation of digital artists at our Singapore studio” said Cliff Plumer, Chief Technology Officer of Lucasfilm Ltd. “Our infrastructure in Singapore mirrors our campuses at Skywalker Ranch and the Letterman Digital Arts Center in San Francisco, making the integration and communication seamless and efficient.”
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