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Korea’s Trade Minister Ahn Duk-geun, center, holds an agreement with KOTRA President Yu Jeoung-yeol, left, and Scanline VFX chief Stephen Trojansky in an event to announce Scanline VFX’s $100 investment in Korea at Four Seasons Hotel Seoul on April 20. Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy

Asia’s first facility for special virtual effects to be built

The South Korean government held an event on May 20 to announce a $100 million investment of a Netflix subsidiary, dubbed Scanline VFX, in the Asian country over the next six years.

Scanline VFX is scheduled to build Asia’s first facilities for special virtual effects in Korea, taking advantage of the country’s cutting-edge IT infrastructure, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

Toward that end, the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) vowed to support the investment, which was disclosed in time with U.S. President Joe Biden’s visit to Seoul.

In the ceremony, which took place at Four Seasons Hotel Seoul, Trade Minister Ahn Duk-geun took part along with Scanline VFX head Stephen Trojansky and KOTRA President Yu Jeoung-yeol.

“It is the first time for an Asian nation to house facilities for special effects of movies, which are related to virtual reality rendition technology,” the ministry said.

Scanline VFX is a global visual effect company founded in 1989 in Munich. Late last year, Netflix announced the acquisition of the firm, which worked on such famous shows as Game of Thrones and Black Widow.

In fact, Netflix has increased its investment in South Korea after Squid Game racked up a huge success _ it has become the most-watched Netflix original series since its first premiere late last year.

In the eight-episode dystopian show, Squid Game depicts hundreds of desperate contestants who play six rounds of deadly childhood games. The stake is $39 million, but losers have to risk their lives.

Thereafter, such dramas as Hellbound and All of Us Are Dead also attracted huge attention by hitting the No. 1 on the global Netflix charts.

Early this year, Netflix promised to publish 25 original series made in South Korea this year, compared to 15 for 2021.

This means that the global streaming giant would spend more than $500 million this year in South Korea _ they spent the amount last year here with just 15 shows.

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Hillary Lee studied literature in Seoul. Lee has big interests on various topics including IT, BT, business and finance. Lee can be reached at homin30@hanmail.net or 82-2-6956-6698.