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(LEAD) Netflix subsidiary invests $100 million in South Korea

(ATTENTION: ADDS the comments of the Scanline VFX boss, byline)
From Koh Byung-joon and Kang Jae-eun

SEOUL, May 20 (Yonhap) — Scanline VFX, a subsidiary of Netflix, will invest US$100 million in South Korea over the next six years to build special visual effects facilities, which will help make the country one Asian hub for high-tech content creation, Seoul’s Industry Ministry said on Friday.

Stephan Trojansky, head of the global visual effects company, expressed hope that the planned investment in South Korea will create jobs and encourage cooperation with local companies.

“We aim to create 200 jobs and bring new technologies of real-time filmmaking and virtual production to market over the next six years and develop this local ecosystem together with local universities, bring in training programs and create opportunities to strengthen the overall local ecosystem of visual effects company in Korea,” Trojansky said at a press conference at a Seoul hotel.

Scanline VFX, founded in Munich in 1989 and recently acquired by Netflix, works on various projects not only for the US streaming giant but also for many global brands such as Warner Bros. and Marvel Studios. It is known for creating special effects for the popular US series Game of Thrones.

The investment comes amid intensifying competition in the South Korean streaming market as Netflix and its rivals seek to create Korean originals following Netflix’s global hit Squid Game.

Last year, Disney+, US media giant Walt Disney Co.’s flagship streaming service, and Apple TV+ landed in South Korea. US media giant Paramount Global said Paramount+, its subscription-based video streaming service, will land in South Korea next month in partnership with Tving, a local online video-on-demand platform operated by CJ ENM.

South Korea’s Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy pledged to provide all possible support under relevant laws to facilitate Netflix’s planned investment in the high-tech film production sector.

The ministry also expressed hope that the investment could help South Korea develop into an Asian hub for producing films and content based on cutting-edge technology.

“The investment is the first of its kind in Asia to build special effects facilities for films using virtual reality playback technology,” the industry ministry said in a press release.

“It will lay the groundwork for South Korea to become an Asian hub for content production based on information and communication technology,” the ministry added.

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