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DonJMyers
02-01-2011, 10:50 AM
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-ct-visual-effects-20110201,0,3461953.story

I guess this explain why I haven't worked since 2008 even though I won an Emmy.

zapper1998
02-01-2011, 11:23 AM
...

By taking advantage of tax credits in Vancouver, Canada, and London — where visual effects work for "Iron Man 2" and "Inception" was done —


or employing low-cost labor in China, Singapore and India, filmmakers are able to shave tens of millions of dollars off a movie's production budget.

..




o.m.g.

this sucks a big donut big time..

cresshead
02-01-2011, 12:04 PM
adapt and survive...this'll mean moving from USA to india most probably!

OnlineRender
02-01-2011, 01:29 PM
I guess this explain why I haven't worked since 2008 even though I won an Emmy


That sucks big hairy dog nuts , wish you all the best ! I agree with most of the article , times have changed and there is a big a swing on overseas work but it's always been the trend in most industries not just 3D ,cheap labour /low overheads =large profits .

A said state of affairs but "WE" need to adapt and move with the times or be stuck in limbo or as I call it Lightwave7, if this calls for a change of scenery so be ,even if it means leaving a loving family behind .

Count yourself lucky to have an Emmy , I / most people would kill to have that on our CV's , in a way as a 3D artist its a huge goal and going for an interview you will always have that extra edge .

LA in my oppinion is dying a slow and painful death in the VFX industry , it has moved and at the moment London seems to be the place to be , but this will change again , it goes in 20 year cycles , next it might even be Brazil , who knows ? , just got to go with the flow .


GL finding work , we are all the same boat .,in fact I ain't even the freakin boat , I drowned !

Greenlaw
02-01-2011, 02:10 PM
The article mentions that Rhythm & Hues (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhythm_and_Hues) (where I work) has sister companies all over the world, but to be fair our 'mothership' is based here in the U.S. and we employ many hundreds of artists in Los Angeles alone. (Depending on how busy it gets, I think the company has had as many as a thousand employees here in L.A.) Having branches scattered around the world means we can work on more productions around the clock. R&H's branching out been good for the company's survival (24 years now!) and it hasn't hurt us stateside.

But, yeah, over the years I've seen the Los Angeles fx/animation industry grow much smaller than it was in the '90's. As a result, it's becoming harder to find experienced artists here because many artists are moving away to where the work is.

G.

cresshead
02-01-2011, 04:29 PM
indeed, 3dbob moved to india as an example

JonW
02-01-2011, 04:30 PM
Become a plumber in Australia. The industry calls them heart surgeons due to their pay!

I know... our block of units spent well over 15k & I also had some plumbing done for 7k, there was next to nothing to show for it & they did the work very quickly. Good luck to them!

I think we will need to start looking at jobs that can’t be done offshore.

I had this discussion with my sister about her daughter, gently suggesting a career that can’t be taken from her!

GregMalick
02-01-2011, 04:31 PM
This is seems a pertinent quote:

Not long ago the visual effects industry was dominated by a few California companies with their own proprietary techniques and tools, along with the artists trained to use them. Now, thanks to advances in technology, the adoption of standardized techniques and readily available digital workforces, the industry has fanned out around the globe.

What may begin to happen is that proprietary technology and the designs and techniques behind them will be shared less and less. No sense in sharing yourself out of business. Besides, audiences are getting pretty used to CG and it's going to take something special to wowz 'em.

Lightwolf
02-01-2011, 05:06 PM
What may begin to happen is that proprietary technology and the designs and techniques behind them will be shared less and less. No sense in sharing yourself out of business.
Interestingly enough just the opposite is happening. Maybe because the big studios actually find that there's nothing to lose by doing so but a lot to gain.

Certainly in terms of sharing technology...

Cheers,
Mike

Dexter2999
02-01-2011, 05:24 PM
"or employing low-cost labor in China, Singapore and India, filmmakers are able to shave tens of millions of dollars off a movie's production budget."

That's a lie.
They aren't making movies for less. They are just robbing the below the line to pay the above the line.

No one will convince me otherwise.

Andrewstopheles
02-01-2011, 06:12 PM
Well they are MAKING movies for less, but those "above the line" are making more - yup, it's a wash. :) You're right. :agree:

Agreed.
What can we do about it? Is there a future for 3D artists that don't move to India?

evolross
02-01-2011, 06:19 PM
I replied to a similar thread on CGTalk about all this, here's my opinion again.

As CG-based VFX Artists, we've chosen a profession that directly relates to Moore's Law. The technology grows exponentially so the job therefore is always changing because of that. We should be knowledgeable of changing VFX processes and how they're evolving. Even if you claim to specialize and be a low-level modeler, to keep up in the last five years you surely have learned not only Maya, but probably ZBrush, if you're smart probably MudBox, and more importantly the process in which they are used. For us, working in technology, in a capitalist marketplace, means staying abreast of new technologies as old ones fall by the wayside and/or get outsourced.

And forget about outsourcing to other countries... think about how many job functions have been replaced by software capabilities alone. Think about how many jobs have been lost as 2D design programs (e.g. Photoshop) matured in the nineties. I can click a button and do in a second what entire companies used to specialize in. Photographers, printers, lithographers, all gone... unless they were smart and evolved and used all their experience to benefit them using these new tools.

I think the same thing is very close to happening in the 3D CG world. Programs like C4D, Modo, and to some extent Photoshop (with its 3D capabilities coming along) are introducing these really snappy "Make It Shiny and Glow" easy-buttons that instantly setup advanced HDR lighting rigs and renderings. More and more 2D artists start to use this and guess who starts getting less calls... the expensive 3D design company. I think film and TV studios will start adopting companies who take advantage of these cheaper, quicker solutions but the sacrifice in all this (and in the above 2D example) is quality. Sadly when it comes to quality versus the bottom line, capitalism decided that winner along time ago.

Fear not though, the silver lining is to evolve. Stay on top of new technologies. So everyone started using the "Make It Shiny" easy-button... learn the newest and greatest technology then. There's always going to be a few customers willing to pay the price for the newest and greatest thing... (*Ahem* Stereoscopy *Ahem*) the American consumer demands it. This is where we have to live as technology professionals. It's hard. Change is daunting, but necessary to survive. If you're not accepting of that, then maybe you should rethink your career. That or accept less pay and less desirable conditions. Any industry-veteran that I've ever met that was jaded and disgruntled was also a technology dinosaur and likely still using the latest and greatest techniques from 1997.

So go out and learn stereoscopy or Nuke, or Maya, MAX and FumeFX, RealFlow, Python... even if something is a trend and won't last or you don't like or agree with it, at least you can still demand a premium paycheck. Check the job boards and see what skillset is in demand.

This is why there's conferences like SIGGRAPH. The community as a whole realizes there's more overall benefit in sharing. Sharing the latest discoveries. That... and ACM SIGGRAPH makes a lot of money from it every year.

It doesn't help that our industry is so volatile. I have a theory that a lot of what we're seeing in VFX houses closing is sort of a ripple effect from really successful mid-nineties studios failing to adjust their business model to new trends. I think many of them got fat and happy in the glory days of big profits, lavish parties, free catering, and very well-paid senior management and owners. Then in the late nineties and early 2000s production budgets dropped, software got cheap, hardware got really cheap, and the studios didn't adjust and thought they could continue to charge mid-nineties rates for the same product. Meanwhile lots of competition sprang up. In addition to this, I think a lot of owners and senior management were trying to continue to rake the profits off the top like they were used to getting. Los Angeles in particular has a way of romanticizing you into a certain lifestyle if you're paid well enough... cars, country clubs, a house in the hills.

The nineties are long gone. The companies making premium revenue now are on the cutting edge, which right now is stereoscopy technology. It's all evolutionary. It's unfortunate that it's so blindingly fast... Moore's Law at work. What other industry goes from being born to being outsourced to other overseas countries in less than 15 years? (I'm talking about modern photorealistic VFX/CG here... not the 2D stuff from the 70's).

calilifestyle
02-01-2011, 07:40 PM
This is seems a pertinent quote:


What may begin to happen is that proprietary technology and the designs and techniques behind them will be shared less and less. No sense in sharing yourself out of business. Besides, audiences are getting pretty used to CG and it's going to take something special to wowz 'em.

Yup this might be one step people might take. less free training maybe even raising the cost of the training . less people will share what makes their shot work.

JonW
02-01-2011, 07:52 PM
Not in 15 years, but offshore anyway. Accounting, legal, teaching, admin, engineering- many different fields. Mining - a lot of mines in Australia are remotely operated. Medicine & heath in some areas especially new drug trials in India (with a narrow gene pool it's going to create problems).

If the job can be done via a computer. Someone will be doing it offshore quicker & cheaper before you have developed the skill set. & with a complete set of software for nothing.

Most of these countries just don’t have the high cost of living, just look at your mortgage or rent, council rates, water rates, insurance, healthcare......

If an offshore worker dies on the job or jumps out the window, they are replaced with another slave.

Greenlaw
02-01-2011, 08:25 PM
Agreed.
What can we do about it? Is there a future for 3D artists that don't move to India?
Here's an idea: make you're own movies. The same internet and affordable technology that has made it possible for fx and animation to be done inexpensively abroad has also liberated independent artists here in the states. (Or wherever you live.)

The landscape of the entertainment industry (movies, music, television, books, art, etc.,) has been rapidly changing, and filmaking in this modern age is no longer the domain of big studios and corporations. (Don't they know it!)

One of my favorite examples of an artist achieving success by going totally 'indie' is an animated feature film called Sita Sings the Blues (http://www.sitasingstheblues.com/). Check it out; Nina Paley has taken a radical approach with her distribution philosophy (compared to the traditional studio system that is,) and apparently doing quite well with it.

In my own small way, I've been aiming to do the same with my own comics and film projects. :)

G.

geo_n
02-01-2011, 08:37 PM
Agreed.
What can we do about it? Is there a future for 3D artists that don't move to India?

Not in 5 to 10 years.
Already alot of work are outsourced to singapore, india, china, philippines, malaysia.

Greenlaw
02-01-2011, 09:19 PM
BTW, I thought this was a pretty good book on the topic of new business models for independent artists: Fans, Friends, and Followers (http://www.amazon.com/Fans-Friends-Followers-Building-Audience/dp/1442100745/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1296619768&sr=8-1) by Scott Kirsner. The book showcases dozens of indie success stories (like the totally awesome Chapman brothers of Strongbad (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strongbad) fame.)

You won't find 'instant recipes' for success here but if offers a lot of good advice and interesting self-marketing ideas to think about.

G.

Titus
02-01-2011, 09:20 PM
Not in 5 to 10 years.
Already alot of work are outsourced to singapore, india, china, philippines, malaysia.

Mexico. Local studios are starting to do stuff for Hollywook, Ollin (Mexico City) did like 300 shots for Tron, a few for Benjamin Button, and other movies this caliber.

My studio has been aproached by advertising agencies to do some CG for them.

shrox
02-01-2011, 09:38 PM
Mexico. Local studios are starting to do stuff for Hollywook, Ollin (Mexico City) did like 300 shots for Tron, a few for Benjamin Button, and other movies this caliber.

My studio has been aproached by advertising agencies to do some CG for them.

Well, if you need spaceships, you know who to call...

geo_n
02-01-2011, 09:41 PM
Mexico. Local studios are starting to do stuff for Hollywook, Ollin (Mexico City) did like 300 shots for Tron, a few for Benjamin Button, and other movies this caliber.

My studio has been aproached by advertising agencies to do some CG for them.

Ah, the countries I mention specifically have outsourced work from japan because they have people who can speak very good japanese.
I haven't heard of outsourced work from japan to mexico yet.
There's a lot of work in the pachinco animation business in japan so if people want to adapt, they could add japanese language proficiency and japanese business ethics to their arsenal.
Again there's tons and tons of work for pachinco animation.
We are outsourcing work to a company in the philippines with modellers getting paid for 400US a month. Animators a bit higher.They have 60 employees and I'm corresponding with them.
A collegue is corresponding with a singaporean company. Slightly higher cost but still way cheaper than the average in japan.

Lamont
02-01-2011, 10:50 PM
Again there's tons and tons of work for pachinco animation.I met an artist in Sendai who has been doing the layout for the graphics on the sides/tops/faces of those machines. I can imagine Pachinko work going through the roof. He's always busy, has three artist working for/with him.

There is a lot of work here if you can deal with the Japanese work ethic.

shrox
02-01-2011, 10:54 PM
I met an artist in Sendai who has been doing the layout for the graphics on the sides/tops/faces of those machines. I can imagine Pachinko work going through the roof. He's always busy, has three artist working for/with him.

There is a lot of work here if you can deal with the Japanese work ethic.

I used to do graphics for video game cabinets, I had forgotten all about that aspect of it. There is work in other field like print graphics...but it don't move!

geo_n
02-02-2011, 04:05 AM
I met an artist in Sendai who has been doing the layout for the graphics on the sides/tops/faces of those machines. I can imagine Pachinko work going through the roof. He's always busy, has three artist working for/with him.

There is a lot of work here if you can deal with the Japanese work ethic.

There's the cabinets but there's also the animation in the lcd screens.
We make a lot of pachinco stuff and there's no sign of it slowing down in the world crisis.

done in max vray. bad lipsyncing as usual with japanese animation nobody cares here. All mocap.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFIZokibEjM

This is done in lightwave since way back.
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x8bluc_10yyyyyyyyy-cryyymt_music

This segment in 3D is very low profile due to its gambling nature but very profitable. A good businessman or outsourcing business can make a lot of money making them if they can speak japanese and knows japanese way of doing business.

Lamont
02-02-2011, 06:05 AM
There's the cabinets but there's also the animation in the lcd screens.
We make a lot of pachinco stuff and there's no sign of it slowing down in the world crisis.
I know. Usually I play a little just to kill time after a round of bowling. I always thought the animations were handled in-house by the companies who designed the software/cabinets.

Pachinko is never going away. Kids are trained to love that stuff at the Aeon's and Game Centers with the Medal Games.

DonJMyers
02-02-2011, 12:25 PM
During the time it took to post this and have others respond my team also won a VES award for "The Pacific." My only question is ... is the VES award edible? Cuz I'm hungry. Perhaps, if it is a paper certificate, I can burn it for heat!

Svenart
02-02-2011, 12:40 PM
there is more than enough work to do at the moment, I have offers for work for more than a year. The problem is only that the clients expect that I can work for less money than I would get If I work at Burger King (you want fries with that?)... So yeah.. It sucks...

Intuition
02-02-2011, 07:38 PM
I don't want to get into a political argument here but.... CA, has been raising its taxes every chance it gets and has been chasing businesses out.

Everytime I work tons of overtime and think I am going to get a nice check ... I get the check and realize I only get a few hundred extra dollars but... I did notice that I gave about another $1500 to federal and another $400 to the state.

I literally could start buying a house if I could keep half of those taxes. If they took like....750 for federal and 200 for state the difference would put me within house buying capability. But... someone some where needs that money more then me I guess. Meanwhile my kid doesn't have a yard of his own and I am not building equity.... which... if I were would give me more purchasing power in the future....

but...

CA doesn't give a crap about people like me. I am the middle class. I am pulling my weight but this repressive tax orgy in CA just kills.

I literally WANT to contribute to CA's industry brekadown. I think I will move to pretty much anywhere the tax rates allow me to buy a home within a sane level of taxation. I don't want to come back here until the tax the evil business parasites are bled dry.

Meawhile every artists in venice wants to blame mr suit and tie guy. Well, mr suit and tie guy has the money I want and everytime you TAX the hell out of that guy, say for a couple million, then think about the 20 artists that may have been rewarded a job with that money. Now, they can go get their unemployment checks.....I suppose with some of the money that was taxed from mr evil suit and tie guy.....but hey.... the little guy is happy eh?

Mr suit and tie guy IS the owner of Asylum.... Cafe FX..... Digital Domain.

So evil.....bleh...have your left wing cake and eat it too CA. Its all cheap frosting with a cardboard center because New Zealand has lower taxes and is actually happy to make real cake.

Within budget even.

geo_n
02-02-2011, 07:55 PM
I know. Usually I play a little just to kill time after a round of bowling. I always thought the animations were handled in-house by the companies who designed the software/cabinets.

Pachinko is never going away. Kids are trained to love that stuff at the Aeon's and Game Centers with the Medal Games.


Nope the animations are done by many subcontracts. The inhouse studio does all the edits and tweak if they want we send them the source files.
The scary part of it is as someone mentioned, the salary is getting to the point of the same salary per hour as working in the food service industry except there's no overtime pay. Its flextime.
Every year there's hundreds of cg artists graduating from 2 year courses. Add to that the outsourcing. Tokyo will be the same as LA and cg will not be a good work to be in.

Intuition
02-02-2011, 08:15 PM
While we don't have work lined up and we're just finishing up a small project, clients DO expect us to work for peanuts. "You can give us a 50% discount... right?" Yeah, right.



Just a factual note here - Federal taxes have gone down in the last few years, while State taxes seem to be going up. But then considering that people pay in other countries around the world, our taxes aren't that bad at all. Still... it would be nice to pay zero. :)

Well, even as a right winger I am not asking for a no tax world like some in our far right party would have. I do like police and fire dept and a host of other public services. My issue is with the irony I see in the workforce running to the unemplyment line while they raise taxes to pay for the unemployment line getting larger which in turn makes either less money go around OR businesses move elsewhere which... in turn.... grows the unemplyment line.

Its a sad day when money that was taxed that would have been a paycheck to one person, ends up being the same money they recieve, though much much much less, when they get it back in an unemployment check. All due the idea that "we ganna git that rich sucka and give it to da poor!"

Suddenly those moderate income guys do get thier money from the rich when they turn poor due to a lack of jobs..... due to ridiculously high taxes... that may have been a paycheck through a landed job but... HEY.... Disney spent 180 million on Tron.... So like... how much is that in actual money after taxes?

Don't let them buys houses... with successful jobs .....no.... let them get unemployment checks. Become the poor. Benefit from the evil rich guy and don't even have to go to work.

Woohoo... Blue state... go go go.

Intuition
02-02-2011, 09:09 PM
Its not an oversimplification.

I've been in LA... for ... 16 years this March.

I have seen many businesses close or leave LA.

Every single time it happens..... be it choice or by financial devastation.... the owners cite LA's and California's anti-business, high taxation environment.

Have you ever seen a list of the taxes collected in California?

Let alone Los Angeles?

California taxation of corporations, including state income and franchise tax nexus and doing business, allocation and apportionment, business and nonbusiness income, consolidated and combined returns, and more.

California property taxes, including personal property, intangible property, real property, exemptions and abatements, free-port, inventory, valuation methods and more.

California taxation of individuals, including alternative minimum tax, capital gains and losses, credits, deductions, exemptions, state resident versus nonresident, death, estate, gift, inheritance and more.

California sales and use taxes, including drop shipments, exemptions, returns, mergers and acquisitions, nexus and doing business, audits and protests, planning and more.

California city taxation of corporations, individuals, pass-through entities, payroll, property, sales and use, along with credits and incentives, miscellaneous California city taxes, unclaimed property and California city taxes by industry.

Miscellaneous California taxes, including capital stock, chain stores, energy, gross receipts, information reporting, initial organization, qualification, licenses, gross premiums, minerals, motor vehicles, stock transfer and more.

California taxation or other treatment of pass-through entities and their owners, including estates, limited liability companies (LLCs), partnerships, S corporations, trusts and more.

California taxes by industry, according to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), which replaced the U.S. Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system.

California unclaimed property, including definitions, administration, due diligence, reporting unclaimed property, reclaiming property and more.

I could do about 4 full pages of this stuff.

Its ridiculous. I wonder if my $4 a gallon milk's price is somehow inflated due to the fact that the milk company has to pass on those extra fees and taxes to the consumer else they go into red and have to fire people?

You bet it is.

Its not a simplification at all. If anything, it IS simple because I have been here for too long and know what a business owner goes through.

I have sympathy for anyone opening a business in Canada or Florida or Singapore. I hate it but.... what can one do?

Where do you pull the rug from when there is no room left to pull?

Do you....

Lower wages so you can at least hire more people?

Do you over work your current employees hoping that the overtime wont cost as much as another worker?

Is the world really just filled with all these fat cats that eat 99% of the cost of a business while only spending 1% on the actual business part?

In my experience, 16 years of it almost, I have never seen some fat cat A-hole eating up tons of money while his workers sat and suffered.

Usually he/she has had to let go of some workers every time or cut corners here and there just to keep up with new "fees, and regulations, and operation taxes, etc ect".

Back in 2003 the property manager said to us (people I worked with) that the state raised the property tax so he had to raise the rent, a $12,000 a month building goes up to $15,000. So we asked Murad.... a skin care company... for more money on the next bid. They came back and said anothr company could do it for 1/3 less. About what we would have started at before the extra cost.

So, we let go of one of our avid editors. We train our linear editor to use the other Avid so we can get the work done. The new Avid guy gets a small raise. He gains... but some one else loses a job. That extra $40,000 would have been enough to keep the Avid guy hired. He found work else where at the same wage (sigh of relief).

Still. How did this property tax raise benefit us exactly?

Over simplified?

Andrewstopheles
02-02-2011, 09:50 PM
Mexico. Local studios are starting to do stuff for Hollywook, Ollin (Mexico City) did like 300 shots for Tron, a few for Benjamin Button, and other movies this caliber.

My studio has been aproached by advertising agencies to do some CG for them.

Finally, an excuse to move to Mexico!

Intuition
02-02-2011, 09:54 PM
I just want to apologize here and now.

This stuff gets me going.

You are right Mega. I am getting political when I said I wouldn't.

It just gets to me at times. Like I have to endlessly ask for raises so I can jsut end up paying more for milk and rent eventually anyways.

But.... whatever.

I am sad these companies have to close down. I'll leave it at that. If you want to respond, please do. I am open to being enlightened. I just have personally seen this stuff hurt companies and people I know.

I realize we need taxes unlike many right wing friends of mine. Problem is that I still think we are taxed too high in CA. Thats all.

Dexter2999
02-02-2011, 10:17 PM
Intuition-

I see your point. But I think the real answer lies in another thread where we discussed the concept of more facilities creating their own IP, rather than solely relying outside clientele.

The industry is changing as everyone agrees. I think the days of purely being a service provider are gone. Originating IP or negotiating points like the name talent does is the only way I can see of staying afloat in the future. Even then, who wants to just "stay afloat"? Original IP is the only way to truly prosper.

Captain Obvious
02-03-2011, 03:55 AM
During the time it took to post this and have others respond my team also won a VES award for "The Pacific." My only question is ... is the VES award edible? Cuz I'm hungry. Perhaps, if it is a paper certificate, I can burn it for heat!
Why would you need to burn the certificate for heat if you stay in LA? It's not exactly arctic climate over there. Now, if you moved to London you might need more heating, but you'd also be able to, you know, find work here. :)

Red_Oddity
02-03-2011, 04:13 AM
Well, since we're being political, with an expenditure for some something as useless as this : http://costofwar.com/en/ , it's no wonder you are being robbed blind Intuition, someone has pay that bill (and you can bet your arse it won't be the folks who are making money over the situation over there)

And on another note, the reason vfx in India are so cheap is because labor is really really cheap over there (in many cases as cheap as in completely free because of vague promises)
See http://vfxsoldier.wordpress.com/2011/01/11/vfx-soldiers-in-india/

tischbein3
02-03-2011, 08:49 AM
My issue is with the irony I see in the workforce running to the unemplyment line while they raise taxes to pay for the unemployment line getting larger which in turn makes either less money go around OR businesses move elsewhere which... in turn.... grows the unemplyment line.

Well I'm feel a bit unconfortable replying to you again, but you put up a very controversial topic...and I'm pretty much oposed to this, (but this would lead again to a much excessive thread so I keep it short:)

My point is you can bash high taxes, but if the alternative is actually based on lower taxes because of subvention /or industry specific cuts (And therefore someone else is working for to compensate it), or actually based on a general lower social standard / daily costs, this whole thing gets very bitter taste.

And btw, although very rare, those evil biz-suits do exist. and if you want to meet some and make some experience in another completely broken industry I can make up an job arangement for you :devil:
(As long as you don't blame me for the consequences )

chris

tischbein3
02-03-2011, 09:14 AM
The landscape of the entertainment industry (movies, music, television, books, art, etc.,) has been rapidly changing, and filmaking in this modern age is no longer the domain of big studios and corporations. (Don't they know it!)

I think they know, and I think they actually appreciate it.
Since if there is an actual underground / independent hit,
they can still buy into the franchise and redo / expand the (prooven succesfull) franchise. So its actually win win.

What I don't understand is, why those not so well doing vfx companies, are rather try to subbid below profit on some high names to keep their name in biz, than actually try the todays alternatives. (Or even doing this in paralell)

At least with this concept the artists do know for what they are burned.



BTW, I thought this was a pretty good book on the topic of new business models for independent artists: Fans, Friends, and Followers (http://www.amazon.com/Fans-Friends-Followers-Building-Audience/dp/1442100745/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1296619768&sr=8-1) by Scott Kirsner.

Thanks for the tip.

chris

Ivan D. Young
02-03-2011, 09:46 AM
Here is some links to one of the largest CG companies in China. They have 2200 employees and train about 5000 students on a yearly basis.
They are one of the top ten facilities in China teaching and also functioning as a studio.

So do the math, if the top ten schools are producing around 5000 students a year that is at least 50,000 cg artists a year. Now that is flooding the market.

http://www.crystalcg.com/en/ABOUT_US.HTML

http://www.crystalcg.com/en/DIGITAL_EDUCATION.html
click on the read details.

http://www.crystalcg.com/en/index.aspx

not sure what this means for the larger Global CG market. I will leave that to everyone else.

robertoortiz
02-03-2011, 09:55 AM
Well this might of interest:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Quotes:
"
Also the perception that VFX shops in India are more “sweatshops” than actual production houses. While I cannot object to that conception (Its entirely true…..although that is changing), I feel no-one ever clarified the situation from a local point of view. As a VFX Artist working in the Indian industry, I can tell you that not everything is fine here. The work comes here because of the grossly undervalued bids placed upon them or the cheap labor available, the obvious result is that VFX artists in India are suffering the same fate as their western counterparts. This is mainly true in case of salary/compensation for services rendered. Don’t even get me started on the work environments.

There is a disturbing trend in India for the past couple years in India (Especially since around November 2008, around when the recession hit) where VFX artists are forced to work for “experience” or “goodwill i.e we’ll keep you in mind” in “apprentice” or “training” positions. These apprenticeships usually last for a period ranging between 3-9 months and are generally unpaid. Some companies at the end of the term of these apprenticeships cut loose the interns stating reasons of “insufficient quality” or the more popular “We just don’t have any projects going on right now….We’ll call you”."

http://vfxsoldier.wordpress.com/2011/01/11/vfx-soldiers-in-india/

geo_n
02-03-2011, 10:32 AM
Looking at LA graphic design companies setting up shop outside I found this.
http://www.mynimo.com/jobs/view/26796
Same salary as 3d modellers.

robertoortiz
02-03-2011, 10:52 AM
Looking at LA graphic design companies setting up shop outside I found this.
http://www.mynimo.com/jobs/view/26796
Same salary as 3d modellers.Great find.

I work in a shop like that, and taking this job has been the best move i have done in my life.

It is low key work, but a 3D artist can be the king of the hill in a small design shop.

geo_n
02-03-2011, 11:01 AM
Great find.

I work in a shop like that, and taking this job has been the best move i have done in my life.

It is low key work, but a 3D artist can be the king of the hill in a small design shop.

What kind of work is it and how will 3d fit into it? Looks interesting though since you probably can work virtually anywhere.
Doing the number its around 400US a month. A job like that in LA pays in what range?

warmiak
02-03-2011, 11:06 AM
My point is you can bash high taxes, but if the alternative is actually based on lower taxes because of subvention /or industry specific cuts (And therefore someone else is working for to compensate it), or actually based on a general lower social standard / daily costs, this whole thing gets very bitter taste.

chris

That's only if you assume that government spending is the measuring yardstick for "social standards" etc ...

Remember, we are waaaaay past basic social necessities like police/fire departments ... for instance California boasts 500 state agencies (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_California_state_agencies) - I would venture to say that obliterating 90% of them would save enough money to guarantee basic medical care for people who cannot afford it.

Cutting taxes should not be viewed as just a way to save money but also as a way to force bloated bureaucracies into spending money on providing truly important services ( the assumption here being that given a choice between funding California Museum for History, Women, and the Arts or California Natural Community Conservation Planning Program … and providing medical care for people who need it, they would chose the latter)

robertoortiz
02-03-2011, 11:29 AM
What kind of work is it and how will 3d fit into it? Looks interesting though since you probably can work virtually anywhere.
Doing the number its around 400US a month. A job like that in LA pays in what range?

Design shops that are looking into doing Computer Based training or video.

3D artists right off the bat havea ton of skills that can translate with ease to design shops.

And we tend to be generalists, something that is seen as a plus in small shops.
It is not Avatar, but it pays the bill. And I havea ton of creative control over the projects.

Chris S. (Fez)
02-03-2011, 12:57 PM
Here is some links to one of the largest CG companies in China. They have 2200 employees and train about 5000 students on a yearly basis.
They are one of the top ten facilities in China teaching and also functioning as a studio.

not sure what this means for the larger Global CG market. I will leave that to everyone else.

I work with universities and companies all over the country and have seen the following countless times:

If you partner or outsource to a Chinese "company" to bring a viable product to market, the Chinese will almost certainly steal your tech/idea and start competing with you within a few years.


“An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.”

— Sir Winston Churchill

Quit feeding China! If you have an idea for a company or product please partner with European or American corporations. You may not make as much in the short term but in the long term at least you and your company...not to mention your country...will still be around.

Also, the idea of Europe and America being countries of entrepreneurs and idea men is short sighted. China and India are not only reverse engineering the same American and European-derived tech they are manufacturing but they are also setting up research labs dedicated to innovating next generation products...some under their own brands.

No matter what, the age of hyper-consumption in America and Europe is over. The skilled middle classes in China and India are rising and clearly content to work much harder for much less then their Western peers.

So what can we do?

1) The unions and governments need to get out of our way so we can compete. Do away with as many ridiculous taxes, rules, regulations, research restrictions etc. as possible.

2) We must not only revitalize American and European manufacturing...we must offset the Indian/Chinese sweatshop advantage with research and development at our universities. The sad thing is we are outsourcing R&D too by importing grad students who too often take the tech and their expertise back to their countries when they graduate.

Vincenzo
02-03-2011, 03:22 PM
If you understood the federal reserve system, then you would understand Americas problems. Nobody is burning money; they are printing mass quantities of it all the time, but who gets it? When the US government goes into debt it has the federal reserve print more money and loan this new money to the goverment. The US government is then committed to pay back this new money to the federal reserve, which is owned by private banks, with interest. Thus bankers profit greatly when the US goverment runs up debt. The bankers are also behind the council on foreign relations cfr, which is attempting to establish a global government, but has no plan for global elections. Note these globalist needed to reduce Americas power, before its global plan could be implemented.

Greenlaw
02-03-2011, 04:03 PM
Well this might of interest:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------Quotes:
"Also the perception that VFX shops in India are more “sweatshops” than actual production houses..."
I don't know about other studios in India but I went to a slide show presentation about Rhythm & Hues India a year or so ago, and the facilities there looked very nice. Over the years I've met some of the artists who work there and they're enthusiastic about their work and they do it very well.

Last year, an opportunity almost came up for me to work at R+H India for a few weeks. It didn't happen, but now I'm very curious about it so hopefully the chance will come up again. (Oh, that reminds me, I need to renew my passport.)

I guess this situation is a little different from what some in this thread are objecting to because we're basically the same company and not at all competing with each other. Not really an opinion or anything, just thinking out loud.

BTW, I know that Dreamworks Animation has a facility there too. I don't know much about it but I don't think its existence has hurt Dreamworks Animation in Burbank any; seems like people there are always busy. (In fact, my wife left Dreamworks Animation to work at a smaller shop because she needed to be 'less busy' for a while.)

FWIW, many clients we've worked with in the Box at R+H Los Angeles generally want to keep things 'local' because of tight turnaround times. A tight schedule is difficult to manage if your sole source for CG is halfway around the planet and living 13.5 hours in the 'future' (http://www.worldtimeserver.com/current_time_in_IN.aspx?city=Mumbai). :)

G.

Greenlaw
02-03-2011, 04:57 PM
Maybe... maybe not. But there MAY come a point when it is just too costly to keep a shop in CA and ALL work ends up moving overseas.
Maybe. FWIW, I do feel extremely lucky to have worked at Rhythm & Hues these past 10 years.

There's one other difference with R+H I forgot to mention: unlike many other big animation and fx studios, R+H has remained a private company, so it's not focused on pleasing shareholders like many corporate owned studios. R+H is actually very 'artist friendly' and has been since its humble beginnings. I know it's one of the biggest reasons I've wanted to stay here for so long.

I think the entertainment industry would be nicer for artists if animation and fx studios were philosophically modeled a little more like R+H.

G.

tischbein3
02-03-2011, 09:05 PM
That's only if you assume that government spending is the measuring yardstick for "social standards" etc ...
The pov I wanted to push was:
You cannot compete by price with certain countries, even without any taxes, since their low cost of living, (and their willing to live with a "lower quality") will still playout in their favor.
UK CDN ? ok, you can do this, but on the other side, these countries aren't in the clear water themself on longer terms:
As soon as their is a valid cheaper alternative, these companies will be out. Even faster, since they already gather the knowhow to cope with this.
Soits basically the good old low bidding game.

And again, complex matter, simplified view and I see your points / can actually agree to a certain level. But we defintive should find another place / medium to discuss this in detail.

DonJMyers
02-04-2011, 05:14 PM
Why would you need to burn the certificate for heat if you stay in LA? It's not exactly arctic climate over there. Now, if you moved to London you might need more heating, but you'd also be able to, you know, find work here. :)

No it is not very cold here. I am spoiled! I was just making a joke for those folks who are non-angelenos. Something to relate to.

Move to London? Yes there is work, but jeez, you guys drive on the wrong side of the road! What if I forget and, on the ride to work, I get squished in an accident? Huh, ya thought about that mr. limey jokester? Huh?

DonJMyers
02-04-2011, 05:17 PM
Well, since we're being political, with an expenditure for some something as useless as this : http://costofwar.com/en/

I agree completely. Two wars (one built on lies), unnescessary miltary bases all over the world, money wasted on nukes pointed at our trading partners like China, building fancy weapons systems even the Pentagon doesn't want as our troops lack armor or reliable transport.

America spends way too much on our military with nobody to attack except Iran/N. Korea. If we weren't wasting sooo much subsidies for Hollywood would be easily affordable.

Chris S. (Fez)
02-04-2011, 05:48 PM
While I see your point, when you're dealing with the US government what you're suggesting can be/is extremely difficult. I watched a story on World News (last month I think) that concerned an entrepreneur here that had an energy product/device (dealing with solar I think) he wanted to produce here. He got the runaround here with so much red tape and BS and hemming and hauling that he ended up going to China - where the government welcomed him with open arms. If we allow our government (not a partisan thing) to do this to our own bright entrepreneurs... we deserve what we end up with. Which... will be a very narrow slice of the pie - if anything.

Agreed. The gov't needs to get out of our way and let us compete. However, a lot of the rules/regulations in Germany and the US that make manufacturing more cumbersome and expensive also ensure safer, higher quality products.

China has virtually no regulations and depends on contrived low currency and sweatshops that keep 2/3 of the populace in poverty. Having said that, the middle class is rising fast and, after recently consuming several German and Japanese companies, they are now mimicking the most efficient manufacturers in the world. They also just launched an unprecedented Green initiative.

Chris S. (Fez)
02-04-2011, 06:47 PM
:agree: Yes, there needs to be a delicate balance of regulation and common sense. The difficult part is finding common ground on which regulations are necessary and which regulations are cumbersome.

I hereby declare us duo American Dictators! First order of business: CEO salary limits until the US is solvent and insanely severe penalties for filing frivolous lawsuits.

jasonwestmas
02-04-2011, 08:42 PM
I think I will move to pretty much anywhere the tax rates allow me to buy a home within a sane level of taxation. I don't want to come back here until the tax the evil business parasites are bled dry.


I hope more of you guys come over to the mid-west actually. Governor Walker (Our new Governor) says "we are open for business". :)

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-02-04/wisconsin-governor-signs-bill-granting-tax-cuts.html

I'll believe it when I see it though.

Captain Obvious
02-05-2011, 05:02 PM
Move to London? Yes there is work, but jeez, you guys drive on the wrong side of the road! What if I forget and, on the ride to work, I get squished in an accident? Huh, ya thought about that mr. limey jokester? Huh?
Then at least you get free healthcare. If you survive, that is. I don't think funerals are free. I haven't really looked into it.

MaDDoX
02-09-2011, 09:25 AM
next it might even be Brazil , who knows ?
Hard to believe, considering we have the highest taxes *in the world*. Seeing you guys talking about high taxes is kinda funny to us, to be honest :)

Nevertheless, we've got really good life quality around here (good weather, no major natural disasters, great and cheap food, etc) with low life costs, which I've only actually realized - and learned to appreciate - after working in LA for a time.

Nowadays I find it very hard to convince me to move to US or Europe, especially as our economy is really flourishing - in spite of the insane taxes.

As for the VFX industry itself, competition is indeed increasing, but not as significantly. There's a mentality around here of favoring people who work here, even if costlier, to assure good communication and the final quality of the job. The idea of getting job done from some cheapo and mindless artists from the East is generally laughed at here, especially when we've got amazing talents sprouting everywhere, inspired by our beaches and laid-back lifestyle I guess heh. In any case, I guess we're just not as "culturally" concerned about profit shares as Americans :)

warmiak
02-09-2011, 10:06 AM
The idea of getting job done from some cheapo and mindless artists from the East is generally laughed at here, especially when we've got amazing talents sprouting everywhere, inspired by our beaches and laid-back lifestyle I guess heh. In any case, I guess we're just not as "culturally" concerned about profit shares as Americans :)

I doubt it has anything to do with “cultural” differences bur rather with the fact that with an average salary in Brazil being between 1/3 and 1/4 of that in the US, there isn’t much to be gained by moving operations overseas.

probiner
02-09-2011, 10:43 AM
True story here:
Company hires a studio A for a Christmas season ad video, which ended being outsourced to a studio B in another country for lack of time and people.
The year after the studio B deals with the client directly and gets the job for that season, behind the back of studio A, which is kept out of that job.

Now, many things happening here.
A- Studio A will be paid by getting the job and the responsibility but leaves the actual job production to someone else, that will receive a share.
In my country we have this type of modus operandi for a lot of stuff. Friend of mine that works in construction, works for a company, that works for a company, that works for a huge company that got a government contract to build something, i which my friend will play a small role.

B- Well, although the studio A move can be seen as wrong, in the end of the day, the client and the person that makes the actual product were happy. One got the same product cheaper and deals directly with the producer of it, the other got a bigger income for his work and deals directly with the client.
Studio A lost his share in that deal and this year the productions are not that many and it could have made the ad themselves.

I know that having experience and contacts it's a great asset and it should be valued, since it's also hard work and requires responsibility and trust.
But it makes me some confusion, companies that live of that wire, when the 2 parts, client and actual producer could connect without, lowering costs and increasing income.

MaDDoX
02-10-2011, 09:19 AM
I doubt it has anything to do with “cultural” differences bur rather with the fact that with an average salary in Brazil being between 1/3 and 1/4 of that in the US, there isn’t much to be gained by moving operations overseas.

Not so sure if it's all about the lower salaries here. I've actually heard from a major game studio owner a couple years ago that their general mindset was hiring an american 3D art studio when they didn't know how to do something, get a couple assets done, use that as a reference (in a kind of reverse-engineer fashion) and ask their own artists to replicate it. He concluded his thought with a funny "monkey sees, monkey does" line.

The point is that he told me that it could be twice as cheap to do the "replication" in China, but he preferred to keep things here simply because he had a better grasp on the team if it's local, secondarily for not having to face language or timezones barriers. From my own experience I can't imagine an american manager valuing "better grasp" for double the cost, if that happens is most probably the exception and not the rule.

Culturally-driven or not, I think there's a huge wisdom in the way the managers do it here in Brazil, even if they don't immediately think about the major "backstabbing" issue that has been pointed here.

thomascheng
02-10-2011, 10:54 AM
We had a film project where the director was located in LA, but our studio was mid west. It made the director extremely nervous that he was not able to walk into the studio and look at the progress of the shot. There is a lot to be said about facetime and direct interaction with the artist. Peace of mind and interaction is something that can't easily be replaced, especially if you care about your work. For those people, local is the way to go.

Captain Obvious
02-12-2011, 04:51 AM
Hard to believe, considering we have the highest taxes *in the world*. Seeing you guys talking about high taxes is kinda funny to us, to be honest :)
Brazil's tax rates seem fairly average to me. Low, even. Sweden and Denmark have tax rates of about 50 %.

DrStrik9
02-12-2011, 03:20 PM
Like "disruptive technologies," this is "disruptive business," something unforeseen that totally wipes out existing ways. This has happened continually throughout history. -- The big studios will also have to compete with smaller independent film and production houses. Makes me glad I'm retired. :)

I've been to India a couple of times, over the years. I think everyone in the US and Western Europe should travel to a 3rd-world country at least once, to see how life REALLY is. If you can make a go of it there in your trade/craft, even better.