Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in the Taiwanese Clouds

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in the Taiwanese Clouds

First, some clarification on the cryptic title: the animals, both the real and the imaginary one, refer to Taiwan native and acclaimed Hollywood director Ang Lee’s martial arts epic of the same name that took the world by storm in 2000 and become the highest-grossing foreign-language film in American history, winning four Academy Awards in the process. The “Taiwanese clouds,” of course, refer to the bustling cloud computing industry in the tiny island state, something covered earlier.

This industry got a shot in the arm with the announcement that Hollywood’s Rhythm & Hues Studios, one of the world’s top five visual effects companies, is set to invest $6 billion New Taiwanese Dollars ($198 million) in Taiwan in 2012. In addition to a cloud computing data center, a visual effects studio and a film fund are also part of the plan. Rhythm & Hues said it will design and develop the facility in partnership with local companies Chunghwa Telecom and Quanta Computers with guidance from the Taiwan government. And Ang Lee, who had recently used Rhythm & Hues’ services in his soon-to-be-released “Life of Pi,” based on Yann Martel’s Booker-winning book, played a major role in this development.

At the formal announcement of this plan on 30th December, Lee said this was a dream come true for him. “It has been a desire of mine to serve as matchmaker here for more than a year, and now seeing it come true, it makes me feel very happy,” he said via a pre-recorded message. “As a Taiwanese, I feel really proud that Taiwan has got everything and is capable of doing anything.” Commenting on this development, Rhythm & Hues Film Division President Lee Berger said, “We are sharing our vision for the future with Ang (Lee) and he suggested Taiwan, which is known for its cutting edge technology.”

With “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” Ang Lee reintroduced to the world the wonders of Oriental martial arts and sweeping storylines. Now, by encouraging cloud computing in his homeland, he is backing another innovation that should prove to be extremely popular. This is not the first time Hollywood has showed its interest in cloud computing. Back in October last year, CloudTweaks had carried an article on one such association (See: Hollywood Banks on Cloud-Based Movie Storage).

Rhythm & Hues is an established name in Hollywood, having been involved in the making of more than 100 films, including such blockbusters as “The Incredible Hulk,” “Night at the Museum” and “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” Now, supported by the power of cloud computing, one can expect several future blockbusters to have a bit of Taiwan in them.

By Sourya Biswas

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