More than 500 local jobs will be created when Disney-owned visual effects company Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) sets up a new studio in Sydney, establishing NSW as a global destination for post, digital and visual effects (PDV).
Premier Gladys Berejiklian joined Executive Creative Director and Head of ILM Rob Bredow and ILM Executive Luke Hetherington at Fox Studios Australia today to make the announcement.
Ms Berejiklian said ILM’s decision to choose NSW as its Australian base is a big win for the State.
“ILM is responsible for the visual effects of more than 350 feature films, including Star Wars, Aladdin, Pirates of the Caribbean and The Avengers,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“Having the world’s leading visual effects company now agreeing to set up here permanently and commit to teaching invaluable skills to hundreds of people in NSW is a big coup for our State. This is only the third studio ILM has opened outside of North America.
“The digital skills taught by the best in the world will also benefit many other industries in NSW, including software development, robotics, engineering and defence.”
Mr Bredow and Mr Hetherington confirmed that recruitment will begin immediately to complete post, digital and visual effects for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Mr Bredow said Sydney is an ideal location for ILM’s fifth studio.
“There is abundant artistic and technical talent in the region which are both keys to ILM’s culture of innovation. It’s particularly exciting that the first film our new studio will contribute to will be Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” Mr Bredow said.
The announcement follows the NSW Government’s recent move to offer a 10 per cent tax incentive for PDV firms investing over $500,000 in NSW. This is on top of Federal incentives, making NSW an even more attractive location for film production.
The new incentive brings NSW in line with global locations such as the US, UK and Canada, in addition to competing States.
As part of today’s announcement, the NSW Government will also provide a $6 million contribution which will be matched by ILM to establish training programs to build specialised PDV skills for local workers.
Minister for Jobs and Investment Stuart Ayres said PDV is a $15 billion global industry and one that offers highly skilled jobs for NSW.
“We have a shortage of skilled PDV workers in NSW and today’s announcement will help us attract crew who have relocated, as well as drive new teams that will go through ILM’s exciting JEDI Academy program amongst other learning opportunities,” Mr Ayres said.
Minister for the Arts Don Harwin welcomed ILM to Sydney and said he was excited about all of the opportunities that this will open up for NSW.
“Securing ILM’s setup in Sydney will deliver an estimated $333 million in post-production business in the first five years and an expected $100 million each year after,” Mr Harwin said. “We are thrilled to be the home of their new studio.”
Mr Hetherington will see his role expand to include the new ILM studio, which will set up initially at Fox Studios Australia as the company researches options for their permanent Sydney studio.