HKVFX, a Malaysian visual effects training centre, is tying up with Europe’s Escape Studios to help grow the country’s animation and visual effects talent pool.
The partnership will see Escape Studios experts visiting HKVFX regularly to train educators and students, while qualified students from HKVFX may be sent overseas to Escape Studios for further training and to get exposure to the international scene.
The two companies are in the process of finalising the syllabus for the local market.
“Currently, the syllabus is being looked at by industry players, so we are interested to find out if we can work together to come up with a syllabus for the Malaysian training,” said HKVFX founder Hussin Khan.
“Our plan is to have trainers coming down from Escape Studios quite often, perhaps every quarter at least.
“We want to have a catalyst kind of concept, where they train the trainers first, then the trainers can train the students,” he said after the two companies had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Cyberjaya on Aug 23.
HKVFX and Escape Studios have yet to decide how much they will charge students.
“We are still in the midst of discussing this with Escape Studios,” said Hussin. “Escape Studios’ fees are quite high, so we need to discuss with them on making it more affordable for Malaysian students.”
According to Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) director of creative content and technologies Hasnul Hadi Samsudin, the move by HKVFX will help Malaysia grow its talent base and thus capture a larger piece of the global animation pie which is estimated to be worth over US$1 trillion.
“Malaysia continues to show massive potential in the creative content industry, year after year. Based on MDEC’s internal analysis, by 2020, the creative content industry will provide 11,000 jobs requiring this skillset.
“Currently, we are seeing a healthy pipeline in terms of international studios setting up their presence in the country,” he added.
But more can be done, by other parties too.
For example, Hussin said that the National Firm Development Corporation Malaysia (or Finas) should consider bringing back the Creative Lifelong Learning Programme (CILL) to help spur the growth of creative talent in the country.
The programme offered grants to creative multimedia industry practitioners and students.
“I was told that Finas is putting the programme on hold for now … but this thing needs to go on,” said Hussin.
“The programme allowed you to go to overseas for fully-funded training. People have gone to the New York Film Academy, to Europe and other places. The only thing they need to do when they get the funding is to work for the industry in Malaysia for three years.
“I hope this will go on for another four to five because five years is too short to grow the industry,” he added.