Exclusive: VFX studio in Taiwan pact

Rhythm & Hues to launch film investment fund, production facilities

Visual effects company Rhythm & Hues Studios has pacted for three new ventures in Taiwan: a film investment fund, a new visual effects facility and a cloud computing center for the vfx and animation industries.

The deals, to be formalized in signing ceremonies on Dec. 30 in Taipei and Dec. 31 in Kaohsiung, will set up three standalone enterprises.

The film investment fund, East Grand Films, is being set up with the help of Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs. It aims to co-finance and co-produce “major Hollywood motion pictures,” according to R&H. East Grand will leverage R&H’s Hollywood relationships to find investment opportunities.

R&H will set up its new vfx facility in the southern city of Kaohsiung. It aims to eventually employ 200 Taiwanese artists. The new facility will be Los Angeles-based R&H’s sixth, joining facilities in Vancouver; Hyderabad, India; and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The cloud computing center will be set up as a partnership between R&H, Chunghwa Telecom and Quanta Computers, a maker of notebook computers and electronic hardware.

R&H is crediting helmer Ang Lee, who is working with the company on Fox’s “Life of Pi,” with suggesting greater cooperation between R&H and Taiwan.

“He opened doors for us with the MOEA,” said Lee Berger, prexy of R&H’s film division, “And we’ve been extremely impressed with the support and guidance we’ve received from the Taiwanese government ever since.”

Besides “Life of Pi,” R&H’s slate includes “Big Miracle,” “R.I.P.D.” and “Snow White and the Huntsman.”

Studio is known for its fur and animal work, which was prominently featured in the Oscar-winning vfx for “The Golden Compass.” It was a producer on “Yogi Bear” and is developing its own feature properties.

Its development slate including “Super Zero,” to be helmed by John Dykstra.