Lucasfilm’s Singapore VFX & Animation Studio is closing after being open for nearly twenty years. The closure could lead to approximately 300 layoffs. The studio opened originaly in 2004 to work on Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
In 2013, the studio moved to the George Lucas-owned Eclipse Building at Fusionopolis, also known as the Sandcrawler Building. This is where other Disney offices were housed as well for Southeast Asia. 8 years later, the building was purchased by the Blackstone Group.
A Disney spokesperson told CNA that ILM will be “consolidating its global footprint and winding down its Singapore studio due to economic factors affecting the industry.” This move could impact approximately 300 jobs. Disney says that ILM will “give employees as much notice as possible and offer opportunities to relocate to one of the company’s growing studios,” along with hosting a local job fair “with companies identified as having a need for talent with similar skill sets.”
Singapore’s Economic Development Board (EDB) and Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) together said Lucasfilm and the relevant government agencies are helping affected employees to find roles in other companies. This was shared 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,” they said.
Lucasfilm is based in San Francisco in the Presidio. It was originally founded by George Lucas in 1971 to “shake up the status quo…of how movies were made and what they were about.” Through the coming decades, it has become the leader in visual effects an dmovie-making. Lucasfilm also has studios in Vancouver, London, Sydney and Mumbai.
The closure comes as the entertainment industry finds itself at a turning point. As linear television declines, streaming is on the rise, and AI is becoming a thing, Hollywood Studios are trying to figure out the business model moving forward. This also goes for the people who make the movies. Currently both actors and writers are on strike as they also seek to find a path forward in the swiftly changing entertainment environment. All of this leads to an economically challenging environment for everyone involved in the entertainment industry.