Premier Jay Weatherill said today that French company Technicolor, which employs more than 15,000 people across the world, would build a $26 million, 3000 square metre visual effects studio in Adelaide – to be known as “Mill Film”.
The studio, which the premier said would be a “game-changer” for the Australian film industry, would be running “at full strength” within five years.
It will include a centre of excellence and academy, and is expected to employ 500 people, from technologists to artists.
The Government landed the deal with a $6 million grant from its Economic Investment Fund. It says the project will have an economic benefit of more than $252 million over 10 years.
Technicolor has worked on many films and television productions including recent Oscar nominee The Shape of Water, as well as Blade Runner 2049, Wonder Woman and Jungle Book.
As well as the funding from the investment fund, Technicolor appears to have been drawn by a 10 per cent State Government rebate for post-production, digital and visual effects work, designed to attract international film business. The 10 per cent state-based rebate is on top of a similar federal measure, set at 30 per cent of gross expenditure.
“The Government of South Australia has recognised the potential of the State becoming a destination for global VFX work, and importantly, has created an environment where the industry can be successful,” said Technicolor CEO Frederic Rose.
“Investment Attraction South Australia worked with us to provide a complete investment package. The State Government’s 10 per cent PDV rebate, stackable with the Federal Government’s 30 per cent incentive was an opportunity too good to ignore.”
He said the company wanted to expand its studio network to Australia because “it provides an ability to engage with a pool of proven creative talent; work with leading universities; and build on a modern and mature infrastructure that is critical for working on high-end VFX projects”.
Rose said he believed Adelaide would “become a global VFX destination once the secret gets out”.
South Australia is already home to visual effects studio Rising Sun Pictures, which employs more than 200 staff.
At the time of the rebate announcement last December, Rising Sun said it expected to create more than 100 new jobs over the coming year.
Weatherill said today the Technicolor investment “cements South Australia as a global centre for visual effects”.
“Financial incentives like our new rebate scheme are combining with factors such as our talent pool, creative vibrancy, lifestyle and competitive business conditions, to foster SA as the Australian home of this fast-growing global industry,” he said.
Technicolor works in VFX, post-production and animation, but also distributes technology.