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Double Negative opens in Singapore

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Britain’s largest special effects company, Double Negative, will be the latest in a string of foreign firms, including Lucasfilm Animation, to set up shop in Singapore. Their office is slated to open by the end of Q1 in 2009, and will start off with slightly over a dozen staff members. Among them are the eight Singaporeans who have interned with the company and worked on films such as The Dark Knight and Hellboy II.

doublen.jpgThe initial plan of Double Negative was to bring a handful of staff from the company’s Britain office to start the Singapore branch, said Ken McGaugh, co-head of 3D at Double Negative. He said, “By hiring locals, we bring the opportunity to work on high-profile Hollywood films. I think the spillover effects would be quite strong.”

The effects company will be sticking to their Hollywood projects at the start, but aims to eventually work on Asian films in future as well.

Patrick Woo, one of the eight interns, commented: “The new office would give those entering the industry an opportunity to work on top projects immediately instead of working their way up. Those interested in movies now have an option other than joining companies where you may end up working on other projects like commercials, games or television shows.”

Since its birth in 1998, Double Negative has worked on creating special effects for many big Hollywood films, including Batman, Harry Potter, The Golden Army, Cloverfield, and the most recent of them all, Quantum Of Solace. It has been looking to expand overseas since 2006. With efforts from the Media Development Authority, other government bodies, and the local infrastructure, Chief Executive Matt Holben was convinced that Singapore is the ideal place for a new office.

“Singapore had an impressively clear strategy and direction in terms of its focus on becoming a digital media hub. Most importantly, we spent a lot of time visiting universities and schools, as well as businesses across the island, in this line of work and were truly impressed by the energy and quality of work we found,” he said.

In other news, Lucasfilm Animation Singapore also mentioned that it would add 120 more to its current roster of 280 by the end of 2009, while recently opened Ubisoft Singapore also mentioned that it will continue to recruit through the recession and add 2,000 more to its offices worldwide.

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