‘VFX’ Tag
Crystal CG in reorganization rumors
Beijing, March 31st (China.org)

Bankruptcy rumors surrounding Crystal CG, an industrial leader in computer graphics in China, rose to a climax last week when an anonymous banner that read “Crystal CG, pay off my hard-earned money!” was seen at the company’s headquarters in Beijing.

One staff member of the company verified the incident, but explained that the whole thing was merely “due to a misunderstanding,” and the company was not available for interview.

Before the incident, a WeChat post entitled “Don’t Cry, Crystal CG” had gone viral, in which the anonymous writer pointed out suspicions on Crystal CG’s attempt to seek malicious bankruptcy.

Crystal CG shot to fame during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, in which the company produced a bird’s view of the fireworks set off for the event for TV broadcasters, using computer graphics. At that time, the Beijing airspace was a no-fly zone.

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Source: China.org

Sun Rises on Digital Domain Name
Hong Kong, November 18th (Variety)

Sun Innovation, the Hong Kong-listed shell company that earlier this year acquired visual effects firm Digital Domain, is to be renamed Digital Domain Holdings Limited.

This weekend’s release of “Ender’s Game” on 3,407 screens through Lionsgate represents a major showcase for Digital Domain’s effects work. Digital Domain also part-financed the $110 million picture.

A proposal to change the Sun Innovation name will be put to shareholders at a special general meeting in Hong Kong on Nov. 28. The same meeting will also change the company’s Chinese name to 數字王國集團有限公司.

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Source: Variety

Let’s meet at the SIGGRAPH Asia 2013 in Hong Kong
Hong Kong, October 5th 2013

Let’s meet at the SIGGRAPH Asia 2013 in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Wanchai, Hong Kong

Conference: 19 – 22 November (Tuesday through Friday)

SIGGRAPH Asia 2013, Hong Kong
Hong Kong, October 5th (siggraph.org)

The 6th ACM SIGGRAPH Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques in Asia will take place from 19 – 22 November in Hong Kong at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

SIGGRAPH Asia 2013 is expected to draw more than 7,000 professionals from 52 countries to Hong Kong.

The SIGGRAPH Asia conference attracts the most respected technical and creative people from all over the world. The SIGGRAPH Asia community includes people everywhere who are excited by research, science, art, animation, gaming, interactivity, education, and the web.

SIGGRAPH Asia 2013 is sponsored by The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), an educational and scientific society uniting the world’s computing educators, researchers, and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges.

Both, a conference and a trade exhibition, SIGGRAPH Asia 2013 will allow you to see, meet, and interact with the international computer graphics and interactive techniques community. Witness the astounding advancements of computer graphics technologies, where stellar ideas blend with boundless artistry. If you’ve been longing to be enthralled in tangible illusion and immersed in an affluence of innovation and ground-breaking technologies, this is the place to be.

This year, the conference program line-up includes the Art Gallery, Computer Animation Festival, Courses, Emerging Technologies, Posters, Symposium on Mobile Graphics and Interactive Applications, Technical Briefs, and Technical Papers.

The trade exhibition, held from 20 – 22 November 2013, will offer participants from hardware and software vendors to studios and educational institutions a platform to market their innovative products and services to computer graphics and interactive techniques professionals and enthusiasts from Asia and beyond.

Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Wanchai, Hong Kong

Conference: 19 – 22 November (Tuesday through Friday)
Exhibition: 20 – 22 November (Wednesday through Friday)

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Source: siggraph.org

Digital Domain’s new Hong Kong owner, Wanda’s Imax affair
Beijing, July 30th (SCMP)

Digital Domain is headed for turbulence with its takeover by a new Chinese parent, while Wanda may be moving too fast with a major expansion of its Imax tie-up.

A couple of news bits are highlighting China’s rapidly blossoming love affair with Hollywood, and also hinting at the turbulence we’re likely to see in the next couple of years as Chinese firms invest too much as they become smitten with show business. One of those deals has US digital effects house Digital Domain being taken over by a new Chinese owner less than a year after it was purchased out of bankruptcy by a Beijing-based film producer. The other has leading theatre chain owner Wanda Group significantly boosting its ties with Canada’s Imax (Toronto: IMX), as it invests heavily in Imax’s big-screen technology.

Both of these deals shine a spotlight on the building bubble in China’s film and related theatre businesses, which are seeing massive new investment as China and Hollywood rapidly expand their ties. Much of that new love affair is understandable, since China’s box office is growing rapidly and is now the world’s second largest behind only the US. But as with many things in China, this sudden rush of companies into a hot new industry is likely to result in a bubble due to excessive new investment.

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Source: SCMP

VFX Company Digital Domain Acquired by Sun Innovation
Hong Kong, July 27th (Hollywood Reporter)

Digital Domain 3.0 has once again been sold, this time to Sun innovation, a Hong Kong-listed company.

Sun Innovation has acquired Galloping Horse U.S., which owned a 70 percent share of Digital Domain’s business, for approximately $50.5 million. Reliance MediaWorks continues to own a 30 percent minority stake.

Digital Domain was acquired roughly 11 months ago by China’s Galloping Horse and India’s Reliance MediaWorks, after DD filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Last year, Galloping Horse and Reliance acquired the Digital Domain production business for $30.2 million.

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Source: Hollywood Reporter

Indian VFX Giant Prime Focus to Open China Office
New Delhi, June 19th (Hollywood Reporter)

The expansion follows a recent joint venture between the VFX major, Hong Kong-based AID Partners Capital and Chinese partner Zhejiang Jingqi Wenhua Chuanbo Company.

Leading Indian VFX player Prime Focus announced Wednesday that the company will establish an office in Beijing. The announcement was made at the ongoing Shanghai International Film Festival. Mumbai-based Prime Focus currently maintains offices in Los Angeles, Vancouver, New York and London.

The Beijing office is expected to open later this year. The move into China comes on the heels of the recent joint venture between Prime Focus, AID Partners Capital and Chinese partner Zhejiang Jingqi Wenhua Chuanbo Company. AID Partners Capital is a Hong Kong-based private equity firm focused on expansion capital and buyout opportunities primarily in the media and entertainment sector. In March of this year AID Partners made an equity investment of $10 million (Rupees 550 million) in Prime Focus’ creative services business subsidiary, Prime Focus World NV (PFW).

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Source: Hollywood Reporter

China: A Clear Vision for the Visual Effects Industry
Beijing, April 15th (China Daily)
With most visual effects companies in Hollywood suffering financially, doing business in China would seem to be a natural route to expansion, driven by the rapid growth of the world’s second-largest film market.

“We will increase the number of our artists by 20 percent because we expect there will be more projects to work on this year,” said Wu Yan, general manager of Technicolor (Beijing) Visual Technology Co, a joint venture established by the France-based provider of solutions to media and entertainment industries Technicolor SA and a local digital company.

The joint venture’s staffing level has increased to more than 80 artists from a dozen when it launched seven years ago. More than 90 percent of them are Chinese.

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Source: China Daily

China Lion investor emerges as a leading contender to buy Rhythm & Hues
Shanghai, March 28th (LA Times)
A principal investor in China Lion, a Chinese film distribution company with offices in Los Angeles, is among the bidders involved in talks to acquire the Oscar-winning Hollywood visual-effects house that filed for bankruptcy protection last month.

Jiang Yanming, the Beijing-based president of China Lion and one its three principal investors, is tied to a bid to acquire Rhythm & Hues through another company in which he has an interest, Brave Vision, sources close to the auction said.

Although a deal has not yet been finalized, Jiang’s group surfaced last night as a lead contender to buy the El Segundo-based company in a bankruptcy auction overseen by the court, said the sources, who asked not be identified because the proceedings were confidential.

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Source: LA Times

Effects Community Mobilizes at Hollywood Protest
Los Angeles Kong, February 26th (Hollywood Reporter)

When more than 480 people gathered Sunday on Hollywood Boulevard to bring the film industry’s attention to the economic problems threatening the visual effects community, they cited a need for a new business model, lamented the personal toll on individuals and families and discussed the potential of a trade association and/or union to address the situation.

And the group intends to continue efforts to discuss and raise awareness of these issues.

Prompting the VFX community to organize was Rhythm & Hues Studios — the company behind many of the effects in Life of Pi — and the fact that it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Feb. 13 while letting go an estimated 250 employees. Just hours after the demonstration, Life of Pi won the Oscar for visual effects.

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Source: Hollywood Reporter

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