Seoul investing in 3D facilities, training

Korean capital wants slice of emerging entertainment sector

SEOUL -- About 4.6 billion won ($3.9 million) will be invested into building local infrastructure for Seoul’s 3D film industry and related creative businesses this year by the city's government.

Designating the digital content business as one of the six emerging industries for Seoul’s economic revival, the local government explained Thursday that it would invest in nurturing the local 3D industry and training professionals in areas including film, gaming and animation.

“The paradigm of the world’s film market is starkly changing and a growing competition to secure its infrastructure is fierce among companies in Japan, Hollywood and Europe,” wrote a press release of the Seoul government. “In Korea, technical developments in the 3D area are becoming more active within TV sectors, but they need improvement.”

As part of the plan, the city will spend 3.1 billion won to build “a 3D head center” with advanced 3D facilities and resources to train highly-skilled industry professionals. The center will collaborate with the Korean Film Council to produce up to 6,000 technical professionals in the next five years. In return, the city expects to generate over $27.7 billion won by 2012.

Seoul is particularly targeting major Hollywood producers who are planning to re-release their existing works in 3D production.

“We’re aiming to expand the local digital content industry particularly the businesses involving games, film and animation that will help to make the city more competitive,” said Jeong Yeong-chan in Seoul government’s investment division. “We will also provide a holistic system to support and build local infrastructure of digital contents based on the media network we already have.”

Separately, Seoul government is planning to introduce a new funding system, which will award 100 million won to a foreign film or a drama series set in the city.