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TMCNet:  Chunghwa Telecom and R&H Signs Joint Venture Memorandum

[November 22, 2012]

Chunghwa Telecom and R&H Signs Joint Venture Memorandum

(ENP Newswire Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) ENP Newswire - 22 November 2012 Release date- 21112012 - Chunghwa Telecom and Rhythm & Hues Studios, who has won two Oscars for Academy Award for Best Special Effects and four Oscars for Scientific & Technical Awards, would like to announce their signing of a joint venture memorandum at the 'CAVE: Cloud for Animation and Visual Effects Presentation' held at the Ambassador Theatre, Taipei City, today, November 21, 2012.

Today also marks the international premier of the Hollywood movie, Life of Pi. With this achievement, it is expected that Taiwan will be able to rapidly introduce R&H's Hollywood-grade, key visual effects technologies to the country and mutually benefit our information and communication and other related industries. In addition to increasing the progress of the country's visual effects technology and establishing a framework for global cloud computing, this event will lead Taiwan's digital cultural and creative industries into a new golden era. During the event, founder of R&H, Mr. John Hughes, spoke on 'CAVE: Creating Visual Effects in the Cloud from the Perspective of Life of Pi's Stunning Visuals' alongside the Chairman of Chunghwa Telecom, Mr. Shyue-Ching Lu, who spoke on 'CAVE: Future Promotion and Operations'. Participants of the event include: Executive Yuan's Minister without Portfolio San-Cheng Chang, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Culture, Jin-Tian Lin, Taipei City Mayor Lung-Bin Hau, Deputy Director General, Industrial Development Bureau, Ministry of Economic Affairs Richard, Jang-Hwa Leu, Chairman of Institute for Information Industry Dr. Jin-Fu Chang, and several persons-in-charge or key personnel of companies in digital content, cloud, creative and cultural, and movie industries as well as more than 20 relevant industry associations, totaling to over 400 people, making it a grand and unprecedented occasion.

According to statistics from MIC about the Institute for Information Industry, the scale of the global visual effects industry was approximately USD 46~81 billion in 2011 (not including scientific simulation), from which USD 18~40 billion was spent on visual effects in the animation industry, USD 5~11 billion on special effects in the movie industry, USD 7~10 billion on scene rendering and character modeling in the gaming industry, and USD 16~20 billion on 3D effects and visual effects in the advertising industry worldwide. Further analysis shows that out of the top 50 popular movies worldwide, 49 use extensive visual effects and animations. Based on the past, the average amount spent on Hollywood movies' visual effects is 50%~75% of the movie's total production budget. In terms of box office, movies with special effects generate an additional USD 500 million and are in office for 14 more days when compared to those without. The development of visual effects has allowed movies, animation, games, advertisement and bioinformatics to simultaneously develop. With the popularity of 3D movies, the proportion of visual effects spending out of the total production budget will increase dramatically. Visual effects have become an essential element contributing to a movie's success. The joint venture between Chunghwa Telecom and R&H will bring about infinite development potential and vast business opportunities to Taiwan's animation, movie, game and advertising industries and help Taiwan jump into the global market.

The Chairman of Chunghwa Telecom, Mr. Lu, said that R&H has broken its past investment practice of setting up an individual R&H VFX Studio, and for the first time, the studio has adopted an eco-system investment approach by investing in Taiwan. The eco-system investment includes: setting up three main investment areas which are R&H VFX Studio, the Cloud for Animation and Visual Effects (CAVE), and EGF Films. Ecosystem industry development is very similar to that of Taiwan's wafer plants, whereby the wafer industry is the leader in Taiwan's high-technology industry. Taiwan's semiconductor industry arose in the 1970s, and has made Taiwan become one of the main IC supplying countries in the world and play an important role in the international division of labor. The effect from industry cluster and professional division of labor is a model for semiconductor industries all over the world. In addition to contributing greatly to Taiwan's economy, it has also increased investment in upstream and downstream equipment and channel and chip design, thus boosting construction engineering, manufacturing, and service industries. This is a representation of successful ecosystem industry development model. R&H's EGF Films, comparable to the wafer industry's Branded Company, OEM or ODM, passed the review by the Investment Commission for the National Development Fund in May this year and has started fund raising for R&H's Hollywood movie investment. R&H VFX Studio, comparable to the wafer industry's design house, was officially established on November 9 this year at Warehouse 7 of the Pier-2 Art Center in Kaohsiung. The presentation held today is organized by CAVE, which is comparable to the wafer industry's Foundry, and it is a joint venture between Chunghwa Telecom and R&H. This achievement connects Taiwan's visual effects industry chain and is expected to play a role similar to the wafer plants, which holds a great responsibility in the development of Taiwan's leading high tech industry. This is expected to dramatically increase Taiwan's international competitiveness in terms of 'soft' power, from which it contains varied and wide strategic implications for Taiwan. In terms of culture, the project will exhibit the beauty of oriental arts and aesthetics through technology and soft power, building a global, Taiwanese flavor (Taiway). In terms of economics, the project will discover new horizons for the ICT industry (integration of technology and arts) by helping industries to discover new engines for upgrading and transforming the cultural and creative industries, accelerating creativity and extending the limits of the imagination. It will encourage young people to set up businesses with new business models brought by cloud computing and social networking. From a social perspective, simulation and visual effects applications can be applied to disaster prevention drills, astronomy and meteorology, as well as bioinformatics and much more.

The Chairman of Chunghwa Telecom, Mr. Lu, said that the future development of CAVE will be split into three stages. The current first stage is led by the visual effects production of various Hollywood films, such as Snow White and the Huntsman and Life of Pi. Visual effects companies were able to directly witness the high-performance and cost efficiency brought by cloud technology. The second stage will help visual effects companies make use of the cloud computing platform to expand R&H's software system on a global level. Finally, the third stage will integrate the visual effects software of various companies into the cloud platform, allowing innovative filmmakers to invest with minimal equipment, yet producing the grandest movie effects. An achievement worth mentioning is that CAVE's IaaS virtualization will use Chunghwa Telecom's self-developed 'Cloud Virtualization Operation Control Plan - Virtuoso' as its fundamental platform. Virtuoso is a cloud computing system developed from Open Source, similar to virtualization software such as VMWare, Microsoft and Citrix. It will give Taiwan's ICT industry a competitive edge over major overseas cloud players because of its quality and price.

During this event, an excerpt from the of international award winning director, Ang Lee's Hopes and Blessing will be played. Let's move forward together with his blessings:'...In Taiwan, I really look forward to working with creative companies like Rhythm & Hues, a company with great experience in Hollywood working with visual effects. I hope that we can work from the bottom up, starting from technology, allowing many young people build their foundation, and slowly into creativity, and further into digital content and then expand into the entire movie industry. As it is the leader in the entertainment, film and television, many industries have value-adding and driving effects. I hope that Taiwan will have better development prospects in this area. I am happy that the making of Life of Pi is completed and brought to Taiwan. I am even happier that a company like Rhythm & Hues is setting foot in Taiwan. I am glad that the Ministry of Economic Affairs' Digital Content Project Office has given us great support and I appreciate the help given by the Institute for Information Industry and Chunghwa Telecom. In fact, Pi's post production has required a lot of computing power, and Chunghwa Telecom has made it all possible with the development of CAVE. In fact, many Hollywood movies made by Rhythm & Hues are developed in Taiwan. I have a feeling this is a good start. I hope the post production industry in Taiwan will have a bright future and will advance alongside the world's most advanced film development. I hope you will like this movie. The movie is a beginning and not an end. I wish that Life of Pi is a good start for Taiwan's new movies. Thank you all!' [Editorial queries for this story should be sent to newswire@enpublishing.co.uk] ((Comments on this story may be sent to info@enpublishing.co.uk)) (c) 2012 Electronic News Publishing -

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