Double Negative opens in Singapore

By CHAITRA SHETTY | 15 October, 2010 - 16:47

SINGAPORE: Singapore is surely emerging as a hotspot for Animation, VFX and CG! After LucasFilm, Siggraph Asia and many other International developments, the latest news this week is the opening up of the Singapore facility of one of the world's leading visual effects studios 'Double Negative'.

The Double Negative Singapore Team

With its 500+ team strength in its London set up, DNeg is abuzz with 15 exciting and high profile projects currently in full swing, and a lot more work pouring in, expansion was therefore a natural progression observes Hannah Acock, Recruitment Manager, DNeg.

The studio which just opened at Fusionopolis, a state of the art building at the heart of the one-north project, (a media, science and research development park) will work on a range of films.

Speaking to AnimationXpress Asia Pacific, Victoria Rodgers, Head of HR, DNeg shared, “For the past two years we have been researching different countries for our expansion and we identified Singapore as an ideal base for a number of reasons. The existing business here is good; the education being given for digital media is also very strong with more than a thousand students studying presently and the government has a clear sense of direction and purpose in making Singapore a digital media hub. Economic Development Board (EDB) of Singapore enabled us to get a clear understanding of Singapore’s potential and ambition."

EDB and DNeg together organized a strategic training program (STRAT) which involved taking 10 Singaporean CG artists and professionals to DNeg London and give them 'on the job' training. The entire programme was funded by the EDB. The first team who have now completed their training, worked on projects like Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Quantum of Solace, Hell Boy II amongst others, they have since returned to Singapore and are the first employees of DNeg Singapore along with two supervisors from London.

“The idea was to expose them to our established pipeline for world class VFX and also give them an understanding of the kind of work that is involved when it comes to delivering the quality and detail required for Hollywood projects. This was essential as we want our London and Singapore set up to work together seamlessly,” adds Victoria.

The company is currently hiring local talent to work in the Singapore studio. “We are not looking at any specified manpower number to be achieved for this office in the near future, because we want the growth to be organic just as it was for the London set up. In the initial months we will be seeing how the work turns out so we can better understand the capability here. Once we are comfortable with that then we will look to bring new people in,” shared Hannah.

DNeg has been participating in different local events like CG Overdrive, SIGGRAPHASIA just to raise the profile of the Singapore set up and also to find the right candidates for the STRAT programs. There is already a second group of STRAT trainees in London and they return to work in Singapore in Jan 2010.
How has the STRAT training program faired? we asked, to which Victoria replied “The transformation has been amazing. They have got an opportunity to be a part of and witness world class work and also to travel to different places around the globe. This has not only helped to make them a part of the DNeg culture but has also facilitated professional as well as personal development in the individuals. The program has served as a great cultural exchange platform.”

Double Negative is currently working on Iron Man 2, The Sorceror’s Apprentice, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, The Green Zone, Paul, The Wolf Man, 2012, Kick-Ass, Sherlock Holmes, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Hippie Hippie Shake. They recently completed work on The Boat that Rocked, Fast and Furious 4, and Angels and Demons.