Lucasfilm is shutting down its visual effects and animation studio, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) in Singapore due to economic reasons, says parent company Disney.
According to CNA who reported the news, a Disney representative said “Over the next several months, ILM will be consolidating its global footprint and winding down its Singapore studio due to economic factors affecting the industry,”
“ILM is giving employees as much notice as possible and offering opportunities to relocate to one of the company’s growing studios.”
“ILM will be working with the local business community in Singapore to offer a job fair with companies identified as having a need for talent with similar skill sets,” the Disney representative added.
Disney also stated that the ongoing Screen Actors Guild strike in the United States that calls for higher pay and limits on artificial intelligence usage had affected work at Lucasfilm.
Singapore Government Statements
Lucasfilm and relevant government agencies are working to help affected employees to find new jobs in other companies, said Singapore’s Economic Development Board (EDB) and Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) in a joint statement.
“The technical and creative skillsets of these employees – who are trained across roles such as designers, tech engineers, and tech support staff – continue to be in high demand, both within the broader media industry and also in other industries that are going digital,”
“Our Singaporean talent has worked alongside and learned from experienced producers, enabling them to develop their skills and play on the world stage.”
“We are proud that Singaporeans have worked on Hollywood blockbusters such as Jurassic World: Dominion and Marvel’s The Eternals,”
The agencies noted that Lucasfilm has assisted Singapore in developing world-class digital animation talent through skills, experiences, and knowledge guidance.
They also stated that the global media industry is currently facing disruption from swift technological advancements, as companies are dealing with challenges relating to talent and profitability.
“While the global media industry undergoes transformation, Singapore remains a valuable and attractive hub for global media companies that are committed to growing a competitive and innovative ecosystem,” EDB and IMDA added.
Additionally, they mentioned that media companies in Singapore have adopted new work tools such as virtual production technology.
Furthermore, institutes of higher learning and polytechnics in Singapore have been emphasizing digital and technological training for students in recent years, opening new job opportunities in fields such as game development fields.
ILM Studio in Singapore
Lucasfilm’s ILM has been operating since 2006, nearly 20 years in Singapore, and has more than 300 employees working there.
Lucasfilm originally founded ILM as Lucasfilm Animation Singapore back in 2004 to work on the animated TV series Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
Then in 2013, Lucasfilm moved into a building called Sandcrawler, located in Fusionopolis, named after a classic transport in Star Wars that inspired the structure’s design.
The Sandcrawler houses Disney’s Southeast Asia offices and Lucasfilm sold the building to the Blackstone Group back on January 2021.
Apart from Singapore, ILM has a headquarters in San Francisco, as well as other studios in Vancouver, London, Sydney, and Mumbai.