Sydney, Australia, is to be home to Industrial Light & Magic’s fifth production hub. The Disney-owned special effects company currently has facilities in San Francisco, Vancouver, London and Singapore.
The decision to open the Sydney outpost was announced Monday local time by executive creative director and head of ILM Rob Bredow, ILM executive Luke Hetherington, and New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian.
ILM will make its home in Entertainment Quarter in Moore Park, adjacent to Fox Studios Australia, which was recently acquired by Disney.
The government said that ILM Sydney would create 500 jobs, though it was unclear how many would be directly employed by the new facility. It is expected to contribute services to the new “Star Wars” film due out at the end of the year, “The Rise of Skywalker.” Job advertisements have already been posted.
The green light for the Sydney facility follows less than a week after New South Wales announced that it would create a PDV incentive that rebates 10% of in-state spending on post-production, digital and visual effects, above a threshold of A$500,000 ($351,000). Bredow confirmed that the state’s new subsidy had been a deciding factor in locating the unit in Sydney. The rebate is additional to and cumulative with Australia’s federal PDV incentives.
ILM will also provide a digital-effects learning program, and the state government will invest A$6 million ($4.22 million) in skills training.
ILM in Sydney is expected to deliver A$333 million ($234 million) in post-production business in the first five years and an annual A$100 million ($70.3 million) thereafter.
“This isn’t just about the 500 jobs, but it [also] means Sydney cements itself as really the movies capital of Australia,” Berejiklian said. “The jobs here in digital and visual effects post-production will make us a leading light around the world.”