Andy Serkis is, without a doubt, “precious” to Hollywood’s blockbuster movies. Best known for his motion capture performances as Gollum (“The Lord of the Rings” trilogy), Caesar (“Planet of the Apes” franchise), and Snoke (“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”), many think that he deserves an Academy Award.
5 years ago, he co-founded a London-based Mecca, called The Imaginarium Studios, for all things performance capture with producer Jonathan Cavendish. According to Malay Mail Online, The Imaginarium Studios is expanding into the Asia-Pacific region and will be opening a hub at the Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios, in Johor.
Upon the announcement, Imaginarium CEO Tony Orsten commented, “This is a huge step for the studio and we are really excited to see what opportunities this move to the Asia-Pacific region will bring.” Malaysian-based company, Rhizophora Ventures, which invests in our local creative and media sectors, will be supporting this project.
“This opportunity to partner with The Imaginarium Studios fits with our mandate to build the infrastructure for the creative industries in Johor. It will bring to the region, high-level job opportunities for Malaysians technical artists and fits with the other creative industries infrastructure already based and operating in Johor,” said Michael Lake, Group Managing Director of Rhizophora Ventures Sdn Bhd.
In addition to creating more job opportunities and backing the local media industry, the performance-capture and content creative hub is also aiming to “create brilliant forward-thinking projects in gaming, film, television, music and live events” as well as introduce viewers “to a brand new way of experiencing art”.
With a number of projects in the works, The Imaginarium Studios Asia-Pacific is expected to open for business in May 2016. Initially, the team from the London HQ will be on hand to provide training for the Malaysian technical artists, who according to On Screen Asia, will offer their services in post-production from a temporary base at Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios, Johor.
For those interest, check out Serkis’ tour of The Imaginarium Studios in London:
Construction of the new studio is due for completion in late 2017.