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View Full Version : DreamWorks Animation Layoffs Could Reach 500 Amid Slate Pullback



robertoortiz
02-06-2013, 02:50 PM
Quote:

"“Sizable” layoffs are coming. It’s just a matter of how many, and when. DreamWorks Animation may cut up to 500 employees in the next few months, sources tell Deadline. That’s potentially 23% of its 2200-strong animators, tech, and support staff, axed in the wake of a flop and key release date changes for Mr. Peabody and Sherman (moved off the 2013 calendar and into 2014) and Me & My Shadow (sent back into development). Those calendar shifts created a workload deficit for the studio, which will have to trim production staff as a result. Just last month, DreamWorks Animation made Forbes’ Best Companies To Work For list."



http://www.deadline.com/2013/02/dreamworks-animation-layoffs/

stiff paper
02-06-2013, 03:35 PM
Also, and I can't find my source for this now, but I read it earlier today, Imageworks in Culver City is rumored to be about to let go of everybody but the bare minimum skeleton crew.

The LA VFX biz is not in a happy place. So very sad.

Good luck to everybody in LA. It looks like it might be rough.

Kaptive
02-06-2013, 03:35 PM
Beyond the fact that the US is in pretty big trouble regarding the financial state of the country (not that we're in much better shape here in Europe!) I have to write the following...

This is just my opinion, but I am not surprised that they are having flops. This does not reflect on the animators and crew who produce the actual work so much, more (as always) the formula of "safe" scripts/ideas/design.

So often when I watch any big production animated film from Pixar/Dreamworks (with the exception of the stand out concepts, e.g. Up, maybe Shrek), I feel like I know exactly what is going to happen and how the characters are going to be throughout (with the obvious character growth and conflicts). So much so, that they have become boring. Formulaic and dull.

A little bit of the blame probably should fall on the character designers and animators too, because these days, there seems to be a standard way to animate (with formula expressions for each emotion). The same looks plastered on a little boy character that is in shock, as a fat panda, or a fish, or a car... etc etc. Straight out the book. Obvious, and without individuality. Beautifully done, very consistent, but there in lies part of the bigger problem to me. Obvious scripts, a few multi level jokes, the usual similar looking characters in different forms... dull dull dull after 10 years of it.

111220

If you look at that picture above, all those characters look like they came from the same film (Wallace from Aardman the main exception, and probably Shrek). I feel there is this concept that a studio needs "a look" so that you know where it came from. But to me personally, that works against them now. If a film comes out with that same look, I just glaze over, and actually feel like I don't want to watch it because I just know that there isn't going to be anything new there (even if I might be completely wrong about the story! The design makes me feel this way and turns me off).

They need to embrace variety with each production, with totally different takes on character/set design, not to mention story direction and character depth and interactions. Each film should be its own world, not just another similar story in seemingly the same one. If they took this approach, then the design we see above could be used sparingly, and it would seem far more enjoyable.

Anyway, this is just my humble opinion. I'd be interested to hear anyone elses thoughts on it. I might be totally alone with this, and if so, I can live with that :)

I have to say my heart goes out to those that are losing their jobs though. I hope they find something better in the future. Tough times for everyone it would seem.

stiff paper
02-06-2013, 03:40 PM
And yet more rumors are flying about Scanline being in trouble.

What is going on? Was today scheduled as the VFX Studio apocalypse and I missed the memo?

Surrealist.
02-06-2013, 03:53 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WApcUBcVMos

TheDynamo
02-06-2013, 04:35 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WApcUBcVMos

You just made my month :). Now where did I go put my fancy pants?

bobakabob
02-06-2013, 04:49 PM
Beyond the fact that the US is in pretty big trouble regarding the financial state of the country (not that we're in much better shape here in Europe!) I have to write the following...

This is just my opinion, but I am not surprised that they are having flops. This does not reflect on the animators and crew who produce the actual work so much, more (as always) the formula of "safe" scripts/ideas/design.

So often when I watch any big production animated film from Pixar/Dreamworks (with the exception of the stand out concepts, e.g. Up, maybe Shrek), I feel like I know exactly what is going to happen and how the characters are going to be throughout (with the obvious character growth and conflicts). So much so, that they have become boring. Formulaic and dull.

A little bit of the blame probably should fall on the character designers and animators too, because these days, there seems to be a standard way to animate (with formula expressions for each emotion). The same looks plastered on a little boy character that is in shock, as a fat panda, or a fish, or a car... etc etc. Straight out the book. Obvious, and without individuality. Beautifully done, very consistent, but there in lies part of the bigger problem to me. Obvious scripts, a few multi level jokes, the usual similar looking characters in different forms... dull dull dull after 10 years of it.

111220

If you look at that picture above, all those characters look like they came from the same film (Wallace from Aardman the main exception, and probably Shrek). I feel there is this concept that a studio needs "a look" so that you know where it came from. But to me personally, that works against them now. If a film comes out with that same look, I just glaze over, and actually feel like I don't want to watch it because I just know that there isn't going to be anything new there (even if I might be completely wrong about the story! The design makes me feel this way and turns me off).

They need to embrace variety with each production, with totally different takes on character/set design, not to mention story direction and character depth and interactions. Each film should be its own world, not just another similar story in seemingly the same one.

Kaptive, totally agree, there's something a bit scary about that pic with all the same homogenous designs and smiley faces. Not surprising though as these are mass audience productions funded by investors who play safe with their dollars and stick to predictable formulae. The artists are incredible technicians but tied to a rigid production line so there's little room for spontaneity. It's the same inspiration sapping model that killed the creativity of Laurel and Hardy when they left Hal Roach for the big Hollywood studios. IMHO, in recent years only Pixar's Up is the exception, tapping into the wit and warmth of Toy Story, a truly original, subversive mass audience production. I would have loved to see the pitch for that film, very brave of Disney to fund it. Otherwise so much animation no matter how technically accomplished is just mass produced rubbish. Japanese animation, the work of Oshii and Studio Ghibli, is the cure :)

TheDynamo
02-06-2013, 04:52 PM
I would have to say out of the most recent animations that haven't been funded by huge studios that I've seen to date I am STILL mesmerized by the artistry of The Secret of Kells.

Celshader
02-06-2013, 05:05 PM
Aaaand I totally forgot about ...

Really? Do you have a link to this information?

djwaterman
02-07-2013, 06:48 AM
However these mass closures are a symptom of something bigger than the sameness of product, because those movies still make money, but effects houses are now out bid by companies from developing economies that are quite capable of doing the same level quality work for a whole lot less. This globalized economy is not gonna roll back and places like China and India will have the big production houses for the next decade or more. In the end Mr Bakshi's advice is probably the only option for people wanting to make a career in this business today. Anyway, I thought it's been standard practice to shrink an outfit to it's core members and lose their army between jobs. I don't think there's a single western country left that isn't up to it's eye balls in debt and spending more than it earns, it's going to be tough times ahead for sure.

Ryan Roye
02-07-2013, 07:27 AM
I have no sympathy for people who get laid off from big studios.

Sorry.

djwaterman
02-07-2013, 07:37 AM
This probably says it better than my attempt. from a LinkedIn post...

http://i1210.photobucket.com/albums/cc401/djwaterman/KellyMyers_zps19b6af69.jpg

stiff paper
02-07-2013, 09:25 AM
I have no sympathy for people who get laid off from big studios.
They're human beings doing their best to get by, just like everybody else.

Celshader
02-07-2013, 09:30 AM
...effects houses are now out bid by companies from developing economies that are quite capable of doing the same level quality work for a whole lot less...

The "same level quality work"..? Not yet. Maybe companies from developing economies can collaborate with an animation studio in a developed economy, and the latter studio can fix any mistakes in their work (Tinkerbell, Planes, Puss in Boots (http://animationguildblog.blogspot.com/2011/10/to-india.html)). However, the companies in developing economies are not able to compete with DreamWorks Animation just yet.

This came out last November (http://animationguildblog.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-global-competition.html) in India:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nHU_qWh5-I

...and here's a look at an upcoming animated feature (http://animationguildblog.blogspot.com/2013/01/new-chinese-feature.html) from China: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liYe6DgwEhs

Neither of them look like competition for DreamWorks' Kung-Fu Panda 2 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZoQHAuvi7c).

It's possible that you were talking about global competition for VFX shops and not global competition for DreamWorks Animation. Well, VFX shops in developing countries have the same problem. Hollywood is happy to send roto work and wire removal over to India, but Gollum and Richard Parker still go to studios in developed countries.

To quote:


From http://animationguildblog.blogspot.com/2012/11/hell-be-frank.html

"Out of the 400-odd VFX and animation companies in our country, only a dozen of them are really doing creative work. The others are merely doing labour-intensive tasks like wire removal, rotoscope, keying and match moving. These tasks can be done by training anyone for that specific purpose." -- V Srinivas Mohan, Indian visual effects designer

Titus
02-07-2013, 09:37 AM
I simply can't remember The Guardians advertising. I know my kids watched it, and liked. But that movie simply wasn't advertised correctly.

I'm not saying I'm an expert, I've my own limitations but a big company like DW plays with several flying balls at the same time.

-EsHrA-
02-07-2013, 09:40 AM
happy happy!

Surrealist.
02-07-2013, 07:48 PM
happy happy!

LOL! SOMB! (spit out my beverage)

Dexter2999
02-07-2013, 09:19 PM
I simply can't remember The Guardians advertising. I know my kids watched it, and liked. But that movie simply wasn't advertised correctly.

I'm not saying I'm an expert, I've my own limitations but a big company like DW plays with several flying balls at the same time.

I believe the marketing was perhaps different in our areas, but here there was a small blitz in the marketing efforts.

However, I wasn't motivated to see it. The trailers I saw portrayed an ensemble of characters rather than a clear cut protagonist. Some tried to communicate that the most child like character, Jack Frost, was the protagonist, but how can that possibly outshine Santa?

I also thought the characterization of Santa as a tatt'ed up Russian Cossack isn't who children will readily warm up to. I personally found it repulsive.

But hey, that's just my opinion and my opinion isn't worth more than anyone elses'. Matter of fact, my income has proven it to be worth MUCH MUCH less.

Titus
02-09-2013, 09:25 AM
I believe the marketing was perhaps different in our areas, but here there was a small blitz in the marketing efforts.

However, I wasn't motivated to see it. The trailers I saw portrayed an ensemble of characters rather than a clear cut protagonist. Some tried to communicate that the most child like character, Jack Frost, was the protagonist, but how can that possibly outshine Santa?

I also thought the characterization of Santa as a tatt'ed up Russian Cossack isn't who children will readily warm up to. I personally found it repulsive.

But hey, that's just my opinion and my opinion isn't worth more than anyone elses'. Matter of fact, my income has proven it to be worth MUCH MUCH less.

I think you are right. I'm affraid outside the US and a couple of other countries, Jack Frost is a very unknown character. So the cossack was supposed to be Santa?

KurtF
02-09-2013, 08:49 PM
Actually I liked the Santa character, with "Naughty" tattooed on the knuckles of one hand and "Nice" on the other.

Funny and stylized.

jeric_synergy
02-09-2013, 08:58 PM
This probably says it better than my attempt. from a LinkedIn post...
It's never quite clear to me how the unions are to blame, nor how not having a union is going to protect the individual worker from the producers, who will happily work you to death. And beyond, if they could.

Dexter2999
02-09-2013, 09:30 PM
Unions are to blame because the people at the top will never take anything less than "more". The people at the top have this idea that they are entitled to exorbitant pay scales while those at the bottom deserve less. I mean, if they deserved more, they'd be at the top right?

When you start to cut up the "pie" that is a movie budget, the people "below the line" are not mounting up to the lion's share of the budget. How dare they ask for the same treatment as people who actually work on a film set??!! Splutter, harumph, harumph!! Who do they think they are?!! OVERTIME? Why I NEVER!!!

And to honest that isn't the real attitude. The real problem is actually less blatantly evil and much more sneaky and easy to fall into. It's more along the lines of "We need this added/changed and we aren't going to/can't pay more. Oh, and we need it by tomorrow."

Personally I think the budgets are getting outrageous for animated movies. RISE OF THE GUARDIANS was $145 Million. My personal opinion is that is about $65 Million more than they should have spent. But productions now are footing the bill for R&D to bring something new to the screen visually. This isn't going to salvage a bad concept or a bad story. I was watching the bonus features of KUNG FU PANDA and they paid for 10 people (or so) to fly to China for research on the movies' budget? REALLY??? Did anyone of the general audience see anything on screen that they couldn't have found in a Nat. Geo. pictorial? The production budget isn't a personal piggy bank to pay for perks for some people, while others are getting screwed over.

If the industry finds Unions bothersome because it threatens their little perks, they will certainly farm out the work to overseas "CG sweatshops".

Also keep in mind that many of these "above the line" people have personal agents and managers working for them to negotiate the highest payout possible on every project they work on. The hourly workers only have Unions to look out move their pay scales to stay in step with economy.

Call me a socialist if you want. Greedy people suck. I'm not saying everyone deserves equal pay. But I think everyone deserves a fair shake, and I don't think the Hollywood production system is working in that direction. It is a self perpetuating elitist system that is killing the CG industry here in the US.

Surrealist.
02-09-2013, 09:32 PM
To answer your second, part. That is very clear. Unions have very strict rules in regards to that and they are written into contracts and employees are obligated to pay wages based on hourly guidelines. They can't just ignore that and they don't. Can they work crews to death? Sure they can, but anyone with mouths to feed and a mortgage happily will take the double and triple overtime when they can get it. Things in this regard are very strict on Hollywood sets in particular with union crews. Meal breaks and all of that. There are also lots of non union shoots and productions. I am not a union advocate at all. But if you work on a non union set, pretty much up to the producer to do what they want with a crew. My sister is a nurse. She'll happily be overworked at a union job. It pays.

Are unions to blame? I don't know. But they do have a strong hold on employers.

jeric_synergy
02-09-2013, 09:48 PM
Yeah, nothing there showed me that UNIONS are to blame in any way shape or fashion: just that management is incompetent.

Celshader
02-09-2013, 09:58 PM
Are unions to blame? I don't know. But they do have a strong hold on employers.

Two thoughts:


Unions are only as strong as the collective will of their members.
DreamWorks' Rise of the Guardians cost less than the most recent non-union films made by Pixar. "The average budget for the last five Pixar films was $181 million, based on Box Office Mojo estimates." -- Bloomberg (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-22/pixar-unveils-first-princess-in-brave-to-test-girl-hero-appeal.html)

Dexter2999
02-09-2013, 11:09 PM
I will cut the budgets some slack on one MAJOR point for animated features.

Wages for on set workers comprise anywhere from 3 to 6 months of shooting/spending, a comparative "drop in the bucket" of a production budget. Whereas Animators are paid for years of work.
So to pay a small army of animators, texture artists, lighting artists, etc.. for years, it's going to add up. Especially if you want top people who demand a salary somewhere I would guess double the median income in the US, but is still only half of what is considered "middle class",or less. This is just a guess I have zero experience to base this off of, strictly a wild guess.

But I think CG/FX work is a different category.

As stated before, my opinion is worthless. Take it at face value.

Surrealist.
02-09-2013, 11:47 PM
Two thoughts:


Unions are only as strong as the collective will of their members.
DreamWorks' Rise of the Guardians cost less than the most recent non-union films made by Pixar. "The average budget for the last five Pixar films was $181 million, based on Box Office Mojo estimates." -- Bloomberg (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-22/pixar-unveils-first-princess-in-brave-to-test-girl-hero-appeal.html)


Just making a comment in general about unions and pay agreements. It is not a free for all really as jeric had eluded to. It is fairly structured and adhered to. Unions do hold quite a bit of sway in reality today.

Beyond that I don't have any opinions on the matter.

But interesting info just the same.

Thanks for sharing :)

jeric_synergy
02-10-2013, 10:51 AM
... but is still only half of what is considered "middle class",or less.
If you're Mitt Romney, the middle class starts at $200K/year.

Waves of light
02-10-2013, 11:54 AM
At the end of the day it's all about business. If a company isn't making money, or have potential projected losses, they will start to make cuts. It's not just the CG sector, it's everywhere.

The working world has changed dramatically over the past 10 years and there are developing countries who have the technology and resource to match or mimic so called 'safe' companies, or who can outsource their skills at a much more competitive price. With the economy as it is, studios will look towards such countries to save money wherever they can. And it's going to get worse.

I really like the films produced by the likes of Pixar and Dreamworks (probably because I have kids and I can use them as an excuse to watch them!) but I see the demise of studios who concentrate on these cartoon-like CG films, as eventually they will run out of ideas and story-lines (Fishes = done, under the sea = done, Robots = done, Talking cars = done, Dragons = done, Superheros = done, Mystical characers = done) ultimately resulting in less and less attraction and reduced ticket sales. However, you will always need CG and VFX in TV and non-cartoon type films, but as the studios who produce such films will want to save as much money as possible, they will look more and more towards the 'cheaper' option.

I feel really sorry for those looking at potential unemployment, I have been there recently and it's not nice.

Celshader
02-10-2013, 12:17 PM
Just making a comment in general about unions and pay agreements. It is not a free for all really as jeric had eluded to. It is fairly structured and adhered to. Unions do hold quite a bit of sway in reality today.

Beyond that I don't have any opinions on the matter.

But interesting info just the same.

Thanks for sharing :)

No prob. I hope you are right, and that unions will continue to "hold sway" in Hollywood. Right now these factors could make the Local 839 fade away:


Member apathy. Few members attend the monthly union meetings unless the studios do something outrageous (http://animationguildblog.blogspot.com/2012/12/year-in-review.html). I myself barely paid attention to my 839 membership when I worked at Warner Bros Feature Animation in 2004.
Member ignorance. I've met union members who honestly thought their health and retirement benefits were funded by the $30/month they paid in dues. They did not know that union studios paid an additional $7/hour (http://animationguildblog.blogspot.com/2011/10/union-benefits-benefitting-employers.html) on top of their hourly wages to fund their health/retirement benefits.
Non-union labor. Hollywood has no problem using non-union labor for big-budget animated features. Exhibits A, B, C and D: Pixar, DreamWorks/PDI, Blue Sky and ILM (Rango). Sony also minimizes its use of union labor by employing 42 union artists (http://animationguildblog.blogspot.com/2013/01/where-members-are-working.html) for "certain areas like story," then using the non-unionized artists at Sony Pictures Imageworks to handle animation production.

Celshader
02-10-2013, 12:22 PM
...eventually they will run out of ideas and story-lines...

Hasn't happened in any other medium. Won't happen in animation. :D

Dexter2999
02-10-2013, 01:12 PM
If you're Mitt Romney, the middle class starts at $200K/year.

To be fair, I am a Democrat, and Obama also agrees that $200K is middle class.

But my estmation is that the salaries being paid to the majority of those working on these animated films are in the $55,000 to $100,000 range, ballpark.
I'd love to hear the actual figures from someone with first hand knowledge.

Waves of light
02-10-2013, 01:32 PM
Hasn't happened in any other medium. Won't happen in animation. :D

I hope you are right.

Celshader
02-10-2013, 01:47 PM
But my estmation is that the salaries being paid to the majority of those working on these animated films are in the $55,000 to $100,000 range, ballpark.
I'd love to hear the actual figures from someone with first hand knowledge.

The Local 839 sends out an annual wage survey. The accuracy of the survey hinges on member participation. The results of the 2012 Annual Wage Survey were posted here:

http://animationguild.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/2012-TAG-Wage-Survey.pdf

Keep in mind that not all animation artists may land a full year's worth of work, so an artist who earns $2000/week may earn $50,000/year if he only works 25 weeks each year.

Spinland
02-10-2013, 01:48 PM
Hasn't happened in any other medium. Won't happen in animation. :D

It's not ideas that concern me, it's the supply of predictable, "safe" storylines that risk-averse backers are willing to underwrite. :p

Kaptive
02-10-2013, 01:58 PM
Personally, I hope more animators (and the rest of the crew, obviously) get together and get funding through kickstarter for more original ideas. Crowd funding would seem to be the best way to get concepts with more risk off the ground. That said, it means working on a much tighter budget! You never know though.

Waves of light
02-10-2013, 02:14 PM
Personally, I hope more animators (and the rest of the crew, obviously) get together and get funding through kickstarter for more original ideas. Crowd funding would seem to be the best way to get concepts with more risk off the ground. That said, it means working on a much tighter budget! You never know though.

It is certainly doable, you only have to look at Iron Sky to see how (even that had troubles though). Indie animation and Indie VFX will grow, there is no doubt because it is visually pleasing and can be produced a much smaller cost.

Dexter2999
02-10-2013, 02:20 PM
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/624061548/the-goon-movie-lets-kickstart-this-sucker?ref=live

One success story...at least in the fund raising part. Let's see what the end result and profitability is.

jeric_synergy
02-10-2013, 02:24 PM
So, is it some kind of given that you can't have regular hours and weekends if you're going to work in the VFX industry?

Cuz working like a bunch of caffeinated 20yo's lacks appeal. 40hrs/week + weekends is nice. Do we just kiss that off?

Celshader
02-10-2013, 02:36 PM
So, is it some kind of given that you can't have regular hours and weekends if you're going to work in the VFX industry?

Cuz working like a bunch of caffeinated 20yo's lacks appeal. 40hrs/week + weekends is nice. Do we just kiss that off?

I know one VFX shop that offers 8-hour days (Inhance Digital) and another shop with 9-hour days (Motion Theory). 10-hour days are more commonplace in VFX. I suspect most VFX supervisors work even longer hours than that.

During crunch time, the artists at Stereo D work 12 hours a day, seven days a week. I think the South Park artists have a similar workload.

stiff paper
02-10-2013, 02:49 PM
So, is it some kind of given that you can't have...
I'd say it's a given that sometimes your hours will not be regular and weekends will not exist. Possibly quite often. It isn't always like that. Of course, if you're lucky enough to be a union member then that will almost certainly change how this works, but vfx tends to not be unionized (whereas "animation" more often is).


...working like a bunch of caffeinated 20yo's lacks appeal. 40hrs/week + weekends is nice. Do we just kiss that off?
People can come in here and disagree vehemently with me about this (and they probably will), but as things currently stand and as the future currently looks, I would not recommend VFX as a career to my worst enemy. I know that's bleak, but cgi vfx has grown up as a business in the era of "Free Market Capitalism" and as such, even though people have come to view this as "normal", as a business it has become actively and aggressively hostile to its employees.


I suspect most VFX supervisors work even longer hours than that.
Yes, in the past I've worked 14 hour days as a CG Sup.

jeric_synergy
02-10-2013, 03:40 PM
......, I would not recommend VFX as a career to my worst enemy. I know that's bleak, but cgi vfx has grown up as a business in the era of "Free Market Capitalism" and as such, even though people have come to view this as "normal", as a business it has become actively and aggressively hostile to its employees.
Message received.


I'm blaming the Chicago School of Economics. [email protected]

Surrealist.
02-10-2013, 05:28 PM
No prob. I hope you are right, and that unions will continue to "hold sway" in Hollywood. Right now these factors could make the Local 839 fade away:


Member apathy. Few members attend the monthly union meetings unless the studios do something outrageous (http://animationguildblog.blogspot.com/2012/12/year-in-review.html). I myself barely paid attention to my 839 membership when I worked at Warner Bros Feature Animation in 2004.
Member ignorance. I've met union members who honestly thought their health and retirement benefits were funded by the $30/month they paid in dues. They did not know that union studios paid an additional $7/hour (http://animationguildblog.blogspot.com/2011/10/union-benefits-benefitting-employers.html) on top of their hourly wages to fund their health/retirement benefits.
Non-union labor. Hollywood has no problem using non-union labor for big-budget animated features. Exhibits A, B, C and D: Pixar, DreamWorks/PDI, Blue Sky and ILM (Rango). Sony also minimizes its use of union labor by employing 42 union artists (http://animationguildblog.blogspot.com/2013/01/where-members-are-working.html) for "certain areas like story," then using the non-unionized artists at Sony Pictures Imageworks to handle animation production.


It is always interesting to hear stories about working in the VFX industry. I don't really have any experience in that area at all. I have a few friends, but that is about it. My experience is more on the indie film making side. And my years in Hollwood producing an indie or two has always been on the fringes. And to an indi filmmaker the unions seem and are "all powerful" and extremely restrictive to getting a start-up enterprise going. After so many years of it I had become extremely jaded and to the point I would almost laugh out loud in an actor's face when they would "recommend" I contact, SAG about doing an "indie agreement", as if I have never heard of that before. And certainly I had investigated it on numerous occasions. One time when I started going down the list of requirements - with a representative - on the phone I stopped her in her tracks and I said, "Wait a minute? did you just say I have to copyright my screenplay at the LOC and then sign all the rights to it over to you? Is that what you just said? Well I am no dummy. I know exactly what that means. This conversation is over." And that was the last time I spoke with them about that at all.

I understood what that meant and the explanation given, of course. That was the only thing they could hold over the producer as leverage, to "force" him to comply with anything they wanted, or in particular the agreement that I would engage in. Because what it meant was I would have actors on loan. And unless I could first raise enough money to pay back the actors wages as well as any other financial arrangements therein, I would never see the title to my work of art. And not owning the title to my work was something that I would never do unless someone was offering to distribute my film or pay me up front for the rights with some kind of guarantee of distribution. And their view, was yeah, well, we are loaning you actors, but in reality that does not guarantee distribution. Stale mate. Sorry. Moving on.

The problem does not lie in the fact that I wanted to get over on actors. Nor did it reside in the fact that I considered them scum or worthy of being taken advantage of or anything of that nature at all. The reality was I was spending all of my own money for everything. My camera, my mic, my Vegas pro, all that needed to be rented or procured. Food for the cast and small crew. Everything. Not to mention all of my sacrifice of time and energy to produce it, direct it, cut it, finish the sound, everything.

And one of the realities for actors in Hollywood is the big Catch 22. How do they get ahead without any experience? It is a seemingly daunting problem. And of course there are many answers to that. Many of them turn to acting classes who will gladly take money from mommy and daddy in Ohio to offer them "high profile" acting classes, which in many cases are a bit of a scam. And many of them do plays, and also quite a few of them work on indie films like mine. It is a sort of sub industry where people are sharing services for mutual benefit. Because directors are faced with the same problem. Shell out for film school, or pick up a camera and start shooting.

Now it gets complicated when union actors get their foot in the door and realize they are not working enough and are then restricted from working on non-union films. Particularly new actors who worked hard doing extra work or commercials and finally got that coveted SAG card and a SAG agent.

The hope of finding that challenging role in a TV show or film is not very high for them, so they do theater and/or work on these "back yard" video shoots with indie filmmakers. Some of these indie productions are really bad. Others are quite good. And a very very small percentage of them. Like .001 perhaps, make it to prominent film festivals or festivals at all and an even lesser percent probably .0001 (really truly I am not exaggerating) actually find distribution. And of those that actually find distribution somewhere between .0 and .0000001 of them actually see any money at all coming back to the producer. And some kind of random number in there actually find major distribution with studios or subsidiaries in which case usually money is made and these are the stories we read about. And the films that (usually carry a name actor or two) are worthy of being a SAG indie. (there is more information on the different types like Experimental but I am leaving all of that out here, This is not a tutorial on SAG agreements)

But at the end of the day, these new actors get something to put on the reel impress the agent, casting director etc, help move forward land more work. And the same can be said for the aspiring director. Eventually something clicks if you keep at it.

Had I signed that agreement with SAG back in Hollywood, my last film would have been stopped in its tracks. It would have never had the opportunity to have been picked up for distribution - which it did - and it would have never had any of the things that happened that were "good". And it was not much at all frankly and I am still in the hole on that one. In fact all distribution on that got me was to spend more money on deliverables to them in all of the formats they needed. That was several grand right there and a few weeks of sound edits to produce an M&E. All on my dime and time. It was something that made me even more bitter about the process.

But at least I could say I raised above the masses and my film was "appreciated". It was an accomplishment. It did get some praise at the two film festivals it went to. The actors all got to have something for their reel (Another two weeks of preparation and several hundred dollars to deliver out of pocket mind you). Does the movie "Money Pit" ring a bell?

So as I said, all is well until these SAG actors get the idea that I should - for their own benefit - sign an agreement with SAG. What they don't realize is that would cut them out of any benefits they could get from doing it. And none of those have to do with making money.

After a while I just stopped even auditioning the scores of SAG actors that would come along looking for work. My ads where posted in the Non-Union section of the trades. Yet, I'd always get scores and scores of these SAG actors looking to get rolls. Anything to keep moving forward.

I don't have a bad view of unions. They have a place. It is just that this is my only experience.

But one thing is for sure. There is a natural human tendency for people to work together for mutual benefit on a grass roots level. And that is a place where unions do not belong. Even though they see it happening and try to embrace it, they fall short in understanding the dynamic of it, and why it is to vital to an artistic community. Add to that the fact that success in this arena has nothing to do with money. And it is something that by the very foundation of a union would never be able to embrace on any level. Because even an experimental SAG agreement (As of my last contact with the particulars) restricts any kind of distribution until the producer can satisfy the SAG union wages in which case the producer can own it again and it can be distributed. And again there it is. One could not even distribute a film on a grass roots level under those legal hand cuffs. I don't know how much of that has changed over the years especially with the internet explosion but that is just my experience.

By the way in case you are wondering, any of you VFX guys. Even in the indie filmmaking arena I was in it is very well understood, you don't get VFX shots for free - which is why you don't write them. And cycles back to why I learned how to use LightWave. But for other stuff like set props that had to be made and so on. That has always been an out of pocket expense. Never free. And when I see guys advertise like on the Blender site, I always admonish them. It is the one thing you don't get for free in this industry. :hey:

Unless people want to make mutual films together - that's another story.

ranhell
02-10-2013, 06:44 PM
Ill read your "Unless people want to make mutual films together - that's another story."

Celshader
02-10-2013, 07:37 PM
There is a natural human tendency for people to work together for mutual benefit on a grass roots level. And that is a place where unions do not belong.

Perhaps SAG got more open-minded about grassroots projects since then. Dave Jerrard worked on an indie film called Fortress (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRjhgTqOuU4) that cost $200,000 (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1558575/) to make, and that film used SAG actors. That film was so grassroots the director did some of the VFX.

jeric_synergy
02-10-2013, 07:54 PM
Companies will go to great lengths to break unions: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/02/10/1185588/-In-a-system-rigged-for-bosses-workers-often-lose-even-when-they-win?showAll=yes

Celshader
02-10-2013, 08:34 PM
Companies will go to great lengths to break unions...

Hollywood doesn't have a union to break in the non-unionized VFX industry. We've already given up health benefits, retirement benefits, and (at some shops) paid overtime. Eventually most of the VFX workforce will have anime working conditions (http://factsanddetails.com/japan.php?itemid=1775&catid=20&subcatid=135).

Surrealist.
02-10-2013, 09:24 PM
Perhaps SAG got more open-minded about grassroots projects since then. Dave Jerrard worked on an indie film called Fortress (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRjhgTqOuU4) that cost $200,000 (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1558575/) to make, and that film used SAG actors. That film was so grassroots the director did some of the VFX.

Actually what that sounds like from the budget, and that it is a Genre film is a typical SAG indie feature. They have been doing those for years. More than likely they had a distribution deal in place. Not always, but usually. And in a deal like that they actually pay the cast SAG wages. If anything has changed it may have been the actual budget requirements to quality for a SAG indie. Because of the use of digital these days. But as long as they qualify they are free to pay the minimum wages be audited and all of that, and then do the distribution. (and that is all a part of the 200 gs)

That is not by my definition grass roots. But it is a good thing for actors, because it gives them a small role to play and be a big fish in a little pond and get some experience as well as pay. Great for the resume and the cinematography is decent.

The majority of independent films produced across America not not qualify to be indie features. Many would do well as experimental. But there is still a very large number of films that fall in between those two extremes.

robertoortiz
02-10-2013, 09:54 PM
Hollywood doesn't have a union to break in the non-unionized VFX industry. We've already given up health benefits, retirement benefits, and (at some shops) paid overtime. Eventually most of the VFX workforce will have anime working conditions (http://factsanddetails.com/japan.php?itemid=1775&catid=20&subcatid=135).

Thanks for posting that. I just reposted it on the CGSociety..

Thanks!
-R

Celshader
02-10-2013, 10:24 PM
Actually what that sounds like from the budget, and that it is a Genre film is a typical SAG indie feature. They have been doing those for years. More than likely they had a distribution deal in place. Not always, but usually.

No distribution deal was in place for Fortress during the making of the film. The filmmakers made their film, then they looked for a distributor.


Thanks for posting that. I just reposted it on the CGSociety..

Thanks!
-R

Brutal, isn't it? I don't see anything stopping the VFX industry from treating its artists the way the anime industry treats theirs.

Dexter2999
02-10-2013, 10:47 PM
But what we see as awful working conditions, is like a dream to some people in places like India or China. In India you have families who make their living picking through trash for anything they can reclaim. People in China working 14 hour days on assembly lines in places like Foxxcon. The chance to do something creative rather than repetitive? That might actually pay better? And not be fined a days pay because a supervisor saw them yawn?

The only thing I can see saving the situation is for post houses to start taking Gross Point deals like the name talent does. This supplements the rock-bottom pricing they are being forced to give to stay competitive, but in reality has been driving them out of business.

Celshader
02-10-2013, 11:22 PM
But what we see as awful working conditions, is like a dream to some people in places like India or China. In India you have families who make their living picking through trash for anything they can reclaim. People in China working 14 hour days on assembly lines in places like Foxxcon. The chance to do something creative rather than repetitive?

Hollywood refuses to give that kind of work to India right now:


From http://animationguildblog.blogspot.com/2012/11/hell-be-frank.html

"Out of the 400-odd VFX and animation companies in our country, only a dozen of them are really doing creative work. The others are merely doing labour-intensive tasks like wire removal, rotoscope, keying and match moving. These tasks can be done by training anyone for that specific purpose." -- V Srinivas Mohan, Indian visual effects designer


Hollywood won't use India or China to lower the cost of creative VFX. It will use bright young geeks who want to work on the next Lord of the Rings, Star Wars or Avatar films no matter what. Teenagers and twenty-somethings will gladly pull 80+ hour weeks in exchange for the least compensation allowed by law, because they're making something cool.

After these artists burn out in two years, they'll get replaced by the next batch of enthusiastic fans.

Surrealist.
02-10-2013, 11:58 PM
No distribution deal was in place for Fortress during the making of the film. The filmmakers made their film, then they looked for a distributor.


It happens a lot. But a distribution deal is not a requirement for a SAG indie feature obviously. Under the agreement you pay the wages upfront. If a producer wants to take that chance that is up to them. And because you paid the money up front, you will loose money if your film does not see some serious distribution. Which is usually the case.

For an experimental agreement no distribution deal is possible until you pay the wages. Basically you do not do a distribution of any kind of a SAG film until you pay the SAG wages, period. That is fine. No complaints. But that squeezes true grass roots films out of the picture. And that is fine too. The way it is.

I would say a grass roots film today would fall under a budget of 20 grand and could range as high as 30-40. Once you go above that level you are getting into another stage. I'd say at about 100 grand you want to be thinking you have a number of things in place before spending the money. Because to do that you have to start dragging a lighting truck around and actually have some crew. And you are working at another level. Which is cool. But it is not grass roots level.

With digital cameras today you can do more than what I did with Natural Light 10 years ago. So that even makes it possible for film budgets to drop even lower but still be high quality. So I'd say for about 10-20 grand you could feed a small cast and crew (Camera and sound) and put together a natural light feature with good actors and a good story. Post production would depend on your resources.

The only SAG agreement that a film of this nature would qualify for would be experimental. And that is fine. If you want to do that. But it comes with some heavy restrictions and forces a higher budget on your creative endeavor that you might not want. Each person can make that choice.

CourtJester
02-11-2013, 01:20 AM
I've got a lot of thoughts about this "anime-ization" of VFX; there is a confluence of factors driving it, and while the lack of a union is definitely a factor there, there's something that I've been wondering about for a while now:

Is VFX moving from a skilled to an unskilled type of work?

What seems apparent to me from conversations I've had with former colleagues in VFX is this: the supply of VFX labor has increased faster than the supply of work. This is usually "blamed" on the rise of schools such as DAVE School and others, and also on the "working on something cool" factor Celshader notes above which makes it easier to get newbies cheap.

But there's another factor which I've noticed: the constant advancement of software.

In my career, I have been known for developing some bizarre hacks to push LightWave past its limitations. My favorite example was The Great Textured Area Light Hack. It was based on the "spinning lights" principle. What was new about it was that I found a way to read the RGB data out of an image and "map" it to a moving light rig.

Well, sometime in 2007 or so, Denis Pontonnier worked up some neat lighting plugins that duplicated the functionality of my hack. What took me weeks of R&D and about a year of cussing out Newtek for the Image Editor bugs that broke it before such rigs would save properly, is now available to anyone who can select "DP_Dome" in the pull-down. There were about four or five hacks that I built which I saw become buttons in the software; that day in 2007 when DP_Dome (and DP_Face) lights came out, they were all officially obsolete.

This isn't to knock dpont at all (far from it, his plugins fill a LOT of holes and add amazing functionality); the point I'm making is that the technological development of software, by making our jobs easier, also makes them less demanding. The first time I saw this pattern was with the inclusion of lens flares in LW going into version 3; the painstaking work done by Todd Rundgren's CGI crew on his "Change Myself" video in LW 2.x was now a button in the software.

Except for the very high end, outfits like ILM where they seem to rewrite all the software for every feature film (and the technical skills in demand there are increasingly *programming* skills), it seems like more and more FX demands can be met with off-the-shelf software and tweaked presets. So it's no wonder that the supply of newbies is so high; the technical barriers to entry are far lower now.

It's not unlike the history of photography, where technical knowledge of emulsions, film grain and chemical baths and techniques were once the in-demand skills to have. The era of Polaroids, Kodachrome and now digital means that anybody can create a technically proficient image; the only way to get paid well as a photographer is to be able to produce visually compelling content, not just "well-shot" images. Succeeding in photography is now about artistic skill -- and relationships.

Nobody needs unusual skills anymore to do something like add CGI breath to live actor footage to simulate cold conditions. There are already entire sub-classifications of the profession that have now become "grunt work": roto, wire removal etc. being two examples I can name. And unlike photography, I don't really see where there is an opportunity for "artistic" skill to set one apart from the competition in those professions; the only way I can see doing that is by being faster -- more efficient.

And that's if the software doesn't eventually automate these things too. I remember when motion tracking was an arduous task done by hand; as recently as 2004 I remember seeing Robert Nederhorst bent over a workstation for hours, tweaking a track, howling "Humans were not meant for subpixel accuracy motion matching!" Last I checked, motion tracking looked like it was just about a solved problem, even without any markers -- press a button and 90% of the time you get a usable track right away.

Ironic isn't it -- that the same force that makes our jobs easier for us now, makes it harder for us to stand out in the market later.

wrightyp100
02-11-2013, 02:26 AM
I have no sympathy for people who get laid off from big studios.

Sorry.

Wow. Possibly the most unfeeling forum post I've ever read in a civilized forum. Remind me to point and laugh when you lose your job.

:/

I happen to know the feeling of being on the chopping block, from a small company, admittedly, but its not nice not knowing what the future holds.

I'd be keen to know exactly why you have no sympathy for these people? Could you enlighten me please?

geo_n
02-11-2013, 03:03 AM
Hollywood doesn't have a union to break in the non-unionized VFX industry. We've already given up health benefits, retirement benefits, and (at some shops) paid overtime. Eventually most of the VFX workforce will have anime working conditions (http://factsanddetails.com/japan.php?itemid=1775&catid=20&subcatid=135).

Hehe I used to live in Ogikubo, Suginami Ku. The working conditions for anime production is not the worst. Try manga. :D
Manga artists live in internet shops. But yeah doing flim vfx, anime, manga is not something I would advise people. My co-worker was from Studio Ghibili now he's an aftereffects guy after several years doing anime. When I asked him why he left the "dream job", he said no money, no time, no life. Lol
The better pay is in tvc and pv. Better than the film industry even if its not AAA work. Plus working on films would mean you're in constant search to find the next film work. There's nothing good about doing film vfx even my bosses avoid such projects unless the money was good. Too long to do with budget not really profitable. Guess that's why many film studios are going bankcrupt around the globe.
Games are more stable suprisingly and they keep full time employees not contractual basis unlike western game companies.

Steve Kaplan
02-11-2013, 10:40 AM
Richard,

I've been reading your posts regarding SAG restrictions with some acute interest. I know the IATSE has a variety of contracts that are based on the production budget and scope (Commercial Agreement, Music Video Agreement, Sideletters to the Basic: low-budget, MOW, independent feature (with three or more sub-divisions based on total production budget), etc.). I'd be interested in finding out more on SAGs restrictions and contract flexibility.

Also, I can say with certainty that in the lower tiers of the budget scale, the IATSE requires a bond of producer money held by payroll equal to two weeks (or sometimes more) of pay. This money is set aside to be used by payroll if production ends up not making paycheck deposits in a timely manner. This bond is only released back to production once a specific time milestone is met, the production requests the release to payroll and the IA, and the IA gives its 'thumbs up' after checking with members/locals for any issues.

This type of "cushion" has been brought up a few times as necessary in the VFX world, if and when a contract with a VFX studio is ever written.

Surrealist.
02-11-2013, 05:18 PM
Hi Steve, well first of all the only reason why I was sharing those thoughts is because I have no other real experience with unions. And it was brought up that unions might be not really have much control. Well from my experience with that union they do have quite a bit.

It might not sound like it, but I am in favor of the SAG indie agreement. Because it is a great thing for these smaller indie films. They get to work with these actors legally, they get what are generally a large pool of very talented yet not known actors or even simi-known character actors.

I have never worked on a film with that much of a budget so it never made since to me. Though I'd love to be in that position some day. Experimental is not really a solution in my case. But for another film, yeah, perhaps its perfect.

Steve Kaplan
02-11-2013, 09:51 PM
I've always theorized that when the first contracts are written between a unionized vfx artist group and a vfx shop, that there will be a lot of concessions given to the shop. I believe this for many reasons, but foremost of those is the sentiment of artists to their studios. We've seen countless reasons for artists to stand and demand change, yet the emotional bond vfx artists have to their work and studios always prevails. In the end, its those artists that will have to band together and force the studio to negotiate. But, its my feeling that those same artists who've endured these abuses for so long will not ratify a contract that has draconian changes to their environment.

Thus, these first contracts may likely see studio-favorable wage minimums or other such concessions. In time, those will be raised either by the slow and steady inflation increases bargained into the contracts (for wages) and the natural give-and-take that comes with bargaining.

Having been in the last round of negotiations, I can say with certainty that Dreamworks was adamant about the relief they sought for wage increases, and they got a lot of them without having to give up much or at all. We'll see what the next round holds in 2015.

Serling
02-11-2013, 11:43 PM
When the cost of doing business gets raised, the first people to feel the effects of increased costs are employees. Has anyone considered what the cost of Obamacare and the exorbitant tax rates in California are doing to industry's bottom line?

I recently received a severance check from the company I retired from after 29 years. That check was taxed at 37%. I have never paid 37% in my life (lifelong 15%er here.) And where will the money that government took from me go? To pay for cow fart studies, among other examples of government waste. Every dollar the government (any government) takes out of the private sector and the pockets of people - like me - is a dollar that's not available to invest in movie companies, car companies, etc. Want to know who the vast majority of investors in media companies are? If you have a pension or 401k, it's you.

How is it that many of these same companies - union or no - on the verge bankruptcy now were so profitable in the past? Fewer taxes, fewer regulations, more economic freedom. Government is killing jobs in this country and the people being hurt are the very people morons like Obama, Reid, and Pelosi swear they are trying to help. With help from "friends" like these, who needs enemies???

There is no end in sight of the fiscal madness in Washington D.C., so I fully expect things to get much worse.

jeric_synergy
02-12-2013, 12:22 AM
There is no end in sight of the fiscal madness in Washington D.C.,
Yeah, for one thing they could defund the bloated war machine, that's the place to start.

Megalodon2.0
02-12-2013, 01:11 AM
How is it that many of these same companies - union or no - on the verge bankruptcy now were so profitable in the past? Fewer taxes, fewer regulations, more economic freedom. Government is killing jobs in this country and the people being hurt are the very people morons like Obama, Reid, and Pelosi swear they are trying to help. With help from "friends" like these, who needs enemies???

There is no end in sight of the fiscal madness in Washington D.C., so I fully expect things to get much worse.

Yeah. MUCH more freedom in years past. The freedom to pollute and get away with it and not have to clean it up. Of course NOW we have the freedom to wage war against anyone that looks at us the wrong way. Oh yeah, AND we can now torture people. Oh wait, Obama said no to torture. So we don't do that any more. Yeah, when the SUPER bloated military industrial complex is reduced to what it should be, we will have LOTS of cash to fund Obamacare and LOTS of other things. Ike warned us of this before he left office - what he warned us about has come to pass.

Oh... and you have LOWER taxes now than in the 50's. That's a fact. Check it out.

And one more thing too - Obama has been lowering the deficit - not raising it - just in case you were going to go there too. ;)

Danner
02-12-2013, 02:05 AM
....
How is it that many of these same companies - union or no - on the verge bankruptcy now were so profitable in the past? ....

It's not just the US it's a global thing, the explanation is simple. Asia has woken up. They are full of capable people now that will do your job for much less.

djwaterman
02-12-2013, 02:40 AM
It's not just the US it's a global thing, the explanation is simple. Asia has woken up. They are full of capable people now that will do your job for much less.

You got it, it's happening in all western countries, Asia woke up and we went asleep, and it's not an FX house thing it's all industries and business's, even service industries are outsourcing their workforces. These last years since the start of the GFC is only the beginning, much much worse to come I'm sorry to say. Someone else here wrote a big chunk about the over supply of people capable of doing this work now because of the technology, and that's the other part of this. It's really got nothing to do with the product, that's always been a mix of good, bad and so so.

On the good side, in times of crisis there are also opportunities.

jburford
02-12-2013, 06:00 AM
What is so very interesting to me these "later" years is always the finger pointing and name calling on blaming others for ones problems or general problems to society. And as to it getting worse for companies making money and surviving, how is it that the majority of the major corporations are doing great, and the investors and rich are racking in the doah?

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2011/performers/companies/profits/

I often think back to a tragedy a few years back in the aftermath of the BP Oil Disaster.

Specifically the Fisher who owned his own fishing rig/trolley, and who in despair, killed himself. For him, he saw no future, nor assistance from BP or the Government to survive.

I did not understand him, no other possibilities to survive?

What could he possibly have done?

1. He was mobile, was not anchored forever at one location on the nations coast. Relocate anywhere along the nations coast and keep on doing what he was doing. Fishing.

2. New business in the meantime. At the time of the BP disaster, the entire world’s TV Newscasters and teams were descending upon the area to film the news. Simply charter your boat to the teams for big time money to take them out to the spill areas to film……….

3. Travel to another area, and offer people or families the chance to travel and work or sleep on such a boat, gain experience, be part of a dying industry close up and upfront.

4. Charter people from Miami to the various islands and keep the money flowing in.

Simply did not see the totality of it being a problem that was not solvable at all.


Do not remember who said it, but there is a saying that sometimes the greatest disaster are our greatest chance for change and advancement. (or something along those lines)

jburford
02-12-2013, 06:30 AM
Also, some Very good reading for those that believe the government has no role in matters so crucial to the economy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keynesian_economics

It is worth the time to read through, very, very informative. (imo)

Serling
02-12-2013, 08:29 AM
Yeah. MUCH more freedom in years past. The freedom to pollute and get away with it and not have to clean it up. Of course NOW we have the freedom to wage war against anyone that looks at us the wrong way. Oh yeah, AND we can now torture people. Oh wait, Obama said no to torture. So we don't do that any more. Yeah, when the SUPER bloated military industrial complex is reduced to what it should be, we will have LOTS of cash to fund Obamacare and LOTS of other things. Ike warned us of this before he left office - what he warned us about has come to pass.

Oh... and you have LOWER taxes now than in the 50's. That's a fact. Check it out.

And one more thing too - Obama has been lowering the deficit - not raising it - just in case you were going to go there too. ;)

The 60s called. They want their "hippy talk" (military industrial complex??? LOL!) back!

You also have way more inflation than in the 50s, which is why - even with lower marginal tax rates (taxes and fees of every kind are actually MUCH higher) - your dollar is worth less! And who's responsible for inflation???

The federal government: the people with the power to print money until the market is flooded with dollars and each dollar becomes worth less!

But hey, I only live in the Detroit-area where we know nothing about recessions and piss-poor government. :twak:

raymondtrace
02-12-2013, 11:32 AM
...Government is killing jobs in this country...

While I have appreciated all your other posts in other discussions, you lost me (and apparently a few others) with this comment. The dogma you appear to hold is not based in reality. With the exception of Obamacare (which could have been crafted as a single-payer option without any requirements from business), today's tax rates and regulations are not extraordinary. They are similar to when the US economy was booming. We have to look at other factors and to recognize that stalemates to economic progress involve more than one political party.

This is a natural progression of the medium. It is not new. It is identical to traditional drawn animation... all the way back to laying off theater pianists with Steamboat Willie. The films Dream on Silly Dreamer and Waking Sleeping Beauty should be required viewing for anyone daring to play this game.

For those of us concerned about the bloat of our largest government work program (the DoD), take heart. Those laid off from entertainment can probably find work with a defense contractor that needs visualization. One of my first job interviews was with a company that wanted me to animate planes and tanks.

Spinland
02-12-2013, 11:48 AM
Those laid off from entertainment can probably find work with a defense contractor that needs visualization. One of my first job interviews was with a company that wanted me to animate planes and tanks.

I can confirm there is a market for this (provided sequestration doesn't kill it). I recently left my job as a defense contractor doing much the same thing, including creating real-time interactive 3D data displays--using Unity. If you don't have moral qualms about doing work that ends up being used by the DoD there is indeed opportunity.

raymondtrace
02-12-2013, 12:21 PM
My moral qualm was that the employer I interviewed with used Truespace. :D

Celshader
02-12-2013, 12:25 PM
With the exception of Obamacare (which could have been crafted as a single-payer option without any requirements from business)

Obamacare exists for all states only until 2017. Then each state is free to convert Obamacare into its own custom health system ("Waiver for State Innovation (http://www.healthcare.gov/news/factsheets/2012/02/state-innovation02222012a.html)"). The only restriction is that a state's custom health system must cover at least as many people for no more than what Obamacare costs.

Vermont has already chosen to go single-payer in 2017 (http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2012/0719/Obamacare-is-radical-Vermont-thinks-even-bigger-with-single-payer-plan). There's nothing stopping Ohio from following the same path, unless the majority of Ohio's citizens prefer a different system (ex: French-style multipayer; British-style NHS).

Spinland
02-12-2013, 12:34 PM
My moral qualm was that the employer I interviewed with used Truespace. :D

Bwah! Hey, I still have a copy of v5 gathering dust somewhere. It was practically being given away at the time and futzing with it was kind of a guilty pleasure.

jeric_synergy
02-12-2013, 12:55 PM
The 60s called. They want their "hippy talk" (military industrial complex??? LOL!) back!
Yeahhhh, and which Commie was it that warned us about the "military industrial complex"? What hippy longhair COINED the term?

Ohhhhh, yeahh: Dwight Eisenhower.

I trust you'll concede that Dwight Eisenhower knew a thing or two about the military and its ties to industry?

Seriously: rightists CREATE crap governance, and then they complain about it.

Serling
02-12-2013, 01:15 PM
While I have appreciated all your other posts in other discussions, you lost me (and apparently a few others) with this comment. The dogma you appear to hold is not based in reality. With the exception of Obamacare (which could have been crafted as a single-payer option without any requirements from business), today's tax rates and regulations are not extraordinary. They are similar to when the US economy was booming. We have to look at other factors and to recognize that stalemates to economic progress involve more than one political party.

This is a natural progression of the medium. It is not new. It is identical to traditional drawn animation... all the way back to laying off theater pianists with Steamboat Willie. The films Dream on Silly Dreamer and Waking Sleeping Beauty should be required viewing for anyone daring to play this game.

For those of us concerned about the bloat of our largest government work program (the DoD), take heart. Those laid off from entertainment can probably find work with a defense contractor that needs visualization. One of my first job interviews was with a company that wanted me to animate planes and tanks.

Allow me to elaborate, then: government is killing private sector jobs in this country.

Serling
02-12-2013, 01:19 PM
Yeahhhh, and which Commie was it that warned us about the "military industrial complex"? What hippy longhair COINED the term?

Ohhhhh, yeahh: Dwight Eisenhower.

Yes, he coined the phrase, but it was hippy radicals in the 60s that popularized it. It became a mantra they used to describe "the man." :D

- - - Updated - - -


Seriously: rightists CREATE crap governance, and then they complain about it.

Wow! That wasn't an overly broad generalization at all! :devil:

Serling
02-12-2013, 01:22 PM
Obamacare: government-run health care with all the efficiency of the DMV, all the cost savings of the post office, and all the compassion of the IRS. What's not to absolutely love about it???

stiff paper
02-12-2013, 01:32 PM
That wasn't an overly broad generalization at all!
Whether it's overly broad or not seems meaningless and irrelevant next to the question of whether it's the truth or not. And it is the truth. If you don't "think" it's the truth then you need to go off and look at the numbers for the past 30 years. Plainly, those numbers are going to surprise you. The people that shout and shout and shout and shout, and shout, and shout, and just generally won't shut up about "big government" are the same people who, weirdly, every time they're in power spend absurd amounts more on "government" than the other side ever does when it's holding the reins.

Really. Go and examine the numbers. Solid facts. Not opinion. Not "belief". Facts.

Facts are really great. I love them. The downside for people who don't agree with the facts is that they aren't just "disagreeing" and they aren't just "putting their point of view forward", no, what they're doing is being completely, provably wrong.

Celshader
02-12-2013, 01:37 PM
Obamacare: government-run health care with all the efficiency of the DMV, all the cost savings of the post office, and all the compassion of the IRS. What's not to absolutely love about it???

First, you're wrong. The status quo cost more and had far more inefficiency.

Second, I've been rejected three times by three separate insurers for private health insurance coverage. Next year I will be able to purchase my own private health insurance coverage with my own money on an Obamacare health insurance exchange.

I am deeply grateful for Obamacare.

Serling
02-12-2013, 01:45 PM
Whether it's overly broad or not seems meaningless and irrelevant next to the question of whether it's the truth or not.

You obviously failed to detect the sarcasm in my remark. And here's a fact for you:

Obama Has Now Increased Debt More than All Presidents from George Washington Through George H.W. Bush Combined

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/obama-has-now-increased-debt-more-all-presidents-george-washington-through-george-hw

And that was as of 2011! Deficit spending is still going up!

raymondtrace
02-12-2013, 01:46 PM
Allow me to elaborate, then: government is killing private sector jobs in this country.

Perhaps you have access to statistics that the rest of us do not but all other evidence points to a growth in private sector jobs. True "job killing" is happening in the public sector as tax revenue is down.

It is difficult to blame a democratic government. Idiots are responsible for electing idiots. And misinformation like "we're extraordinarily burdened by taxes and regulation" and "the government is killing the private sector" contributes to this idiocy.

jeric_synergy
02-12-2013, 01:46 PM
Obamacare: government-run health care with all the efficiency of the DMV, all the cost savings of the post office, and all the compassion of the IRS. What's not to absolutely love about it???
The ability to download a catchy phrase and then repeat it in the face of contrary evidence indicates a future in the Republican party or as a Fox 'news' mouthpiece, oh, but I repeat myself.

Other countries manage to offer their citizens superior healthcare. Why can't we? What definition of 'greatness' includes "Can't take care of its citizens"?


And misinformation like "we're extraordinarily burdened by taxes and regulation" and "the government is killing the private sector" contributes to this idiocy.
You misspelled "lies".

stiff paper
02-12-2013, 01:47 PM
Here's a link for all you devout, frothing Randians in the audience tonight. It's a little story about how well adjusted, lovely, and compassionate a human being she was, not at all like the swivel-eyed lunatic she seemed in all of her television interviews:

http://michaelprescott.freeservers.com/romancing-the-stone-cold.html

Isn't she just the perfect role-model on which to base an entire "philosophy"?

Megalodon2.0
02-12-2013, 01:56 PM
And that was as of 2011! Deficit spending is still going up!

Uhmmm.... no it's not. The DEBT is going up, DEFICIT SPENDING is going DOWN. Recognize the difference.

And the deficit would not be anywhere NEAR as high were it not for Bush adding TRILLIONS to the nations credit card. He didn't add the two wars he started onto the budget - that was credit. He didn't add the prescription drug plan to the budget - that was credit. (Oh yeah, and didn't allow for negotiating of drug prices which kept drug cost to consumers high.) And TWO (count'em, two) Tax cuts which helped the rich FAR more than the poor and middle class - which were not added to the budget but to the credit card. And guess what? Obama inherited it ALL. Not to mention a Great Recession that comes close to the Great Depression. And we know by history that the ONLY way to get out of a super recession like we've had is through government spending. And yup... that added to the debt and deficit. But it's FAR better than sinking into another Great Depression.

Yeah, facts are great.

robertoortiz
02-12-2013, 02:01 PM
Sorry Wrong thread.....

stiff paper
02-12-2013, 02:01 PM
http://cnsnews.com/news/article/obama-has-now-increased-debt-more-all-presidents-george-washington-through-george-hw

For goodness' sake. You didn't even try to find a source that isn't an obvious basket of nutty, shouty, twitching, hyperactive lies.

Why don't you try something that might at least stand a chance of being not blatant lies:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_United_States_public_debt

Oh yeah, I remember now... you won't do that because it won't ever agree with you.

robertoortiz
02-12-2013, 02:06 PM
Edited!

jeric_synergy
02-12-2013, 02:21 PM
When the Right doesn't like the facts on something, they restrict the studies that would illuminate those facts.

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2012/12/gun_violence_research_nra_and_congress_blocked_gun _control_studies_at_cdc.html

Or that, y'know, might decrease their buddie's/sugar daddies' profits.

Dexter2999
02-12-2013, 02:43 PM
I think the problems with Dreamworks don't have as much to do with Govt. policy as the recent comments would lead one to believe.

I think larger contributors would be a story line that was good (not great) but lacked a global appeal in theme.

The scale of the investment in said concept.

The industry pinning hopes of hyper-elevated returns by making a movie 3D. 3D movies for a family of four is like $70(ish). This is where the current economy does contribute. In this economic climate, a family will think twice before laying out that kind of cash. Especially when more and more families have HDTV's and entertainment on demand in the home.

This seems to indicate a sort of global "one-two" punch. The movie wasn't good enough to make families want to shell out a lump sum domestically to see the movie in 3D...or even pique thier interest enough to go at all. Then the theme didn't seem to particularly strike a chord with global audiences. The Asian market is huge and these themes like Jack Frost and the Easter Bunny aren't readily recognized there.

And I could be misinterpreting things but global revenue isn't even particularly relevent as my understanding (again which could be wrong) is that the studios only get about 20% of the foreign receipts. The numbers are more of a negotiating tool to gain leverage when dealing with ancillary markets.

It was a bad gamble that didn't pay off. Now they have to recover.

jeric_synergy
02-12-2013, 03:04 PM
One thing I haven't seen discussed much is simply technology: the dissemination of both hardware and software to all the corners of the earth, not to mention the rising educational levels of massive labor-rich countries like India and China, has GOT to have taken some of the bread-and-butter grunt work jobs away from first world country firms. Not to mention the automation of same.

Some jobs just are gone: no dust to paint off negatives-- NO NEGATIVES!

Really, there's a stew of reasons.

stiff paper
02-12-2013, 03:06 PM
Yes, there is a slew of reasons. As terrible as it might be for the hundreds of people who've lost their jobs, one only has to think about exactly how much it costs to pay wages for those 500 (?) people every week. In order to sustain that kind of continuous outlay the company has to be swimming in an almost unlimited sea of cash. I don't think anybody out there thinks Dreamworks is being evil in any way; it's a genuinely crazy amount of money.

The economics of animated movies at the Dreamworks or Pixar scale is frightening. More than that, though... it might actually be fundamentally unstable. Pixar has had an incredible, almost otherworldly run of successful movies, but with the size of the numbers involved, even Pixar might be vulnerable to one of their movies seriously underperforming.

One solution would be to try to make animated movies at a smaller scale, with less perilous numbers, but that's more easily said than done, and then a lot fewer people would be employed in the making anyway.

I don't know that there's even a solution. And I think maybe some people out there are starting to realize that.

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02-12-2013, 03:08 PM
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Megalodon2.0
02-12-2013, 03:13 PM
Everything will eventually even itself out - it will just take time. How much time? Good question.

Right now many companies are beginning to move production from China and other countries BACK to the US. The cost of rising labor as well as transportation costs are making it more feasible to manufacture in the US. The same will happen to the VFX industry. Unfortunately... it probably won't level out anytime soon. Those (IMO) in the best position are the smaller companies with smaller payrolls who can still do great VFX work. Smaller, cheaper, faster...

jeric_synergy
02-12-2013, 03:22 PM
Everything will eventually even itself out - it will just take time. How much time? Good question.
Could someone get out their copy of "Snow Crash" and copy out that paragraph about "what a Pakistani brick-layer thinks is a good income" please?

stiff paper
02-12-2013, 03:31 PM
(IMO) in the best position are the smaller companies with smaller payrolls who can still do great VFX work. Smaller, cheaper, faster...
I do agree with this point, but the reality is that the past fifteen years have been one long tale of the smaller, cheaper, faster places being ground into the dirt by the studios (in Los Angeles, at least). Actually, that could (and probably should) read "Clients", because the same thing has happened with cg for the commercials business. It's in the short term interest of the studios/clients to propagate chaos and instability in vfx, because it keeps prices and leverage down, and so that's exactly what they do. So long as there's a handful of 24 year olds who'll do the vfx in their bedrooms for dirt cheap, the clients aren't really going to care that it's almost impossible to keep a mid-scale company going. Everything does seem to be in flux at the moment.

Who knows how it will all shake out?

Edit: "...once the Invisible Hand has taken all those historical inequities and smeared them out into a broad global layer of what a..."

jburford
02-12-2013, 04:19 PM
You obviously failed to detect the sarcasm in my remark. And here's a fact for you:

Obama Has Now Increased Debt More than All Presidents from George Washington Through George H.W. Bush Combined

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/obama-has-now-increased-debt-more-all-presidents-george-washington-through-george-hw

And that was as of 2011! Deficit spending is still going up!




For starters, one can not compare a dollar today with a dollar in the times of George Washington. . .

Two, how are you counting, or where do you start counting for George W. Bush? As he started off with a massive Surplus of Revenues from President Clinton, which was all thrown to the wind before even starting off in minus, but.... debt as a mother.. .

If the deficit was not increased in the first years of President Obama, in bailing out GWB's Mess. . . the US. as we have known it would have crashed to its knees...... So yeah. . .. he increased the deficit and saved the country. I guess if you got a problem with that then fine. But bash the man for saving the country???

jburford
02-12-2013, 04:22 PM
dupe

jburford
02-12-2013, 04:25 PM
:thumbsup::thumbsup:
The ability to download a catchy phrase and then repeat it in the face of contrary evidence indicates a future in the Republican party or as a Fox 'news' mouthpiece, oh, but I repeat myself.

Other countries manage to offer their citizens superior healthcare. Why can't we? What definition of 'greatness' includes "Can't take care of its citizens"?


You misspelled "lies".


knods. . . . .

Serling
02-12-2013, 05:01 PM
You guys chide me for citing CNS then you cite Slate and Wikipedia??? LOL!!! Slate is an arm of the Democrat propaganda machine!!! LOL!!!! And Wikipedia is only as good as the people who post to it! Wow. What's with all the venom? You guys can't tolerate dissenting voices??? Is that an example of lefty tolerance??? What a shame.

Serling
02-12-2013, 05:04 PM
What definition of 'greatness' includes "Can't take care of its citizens"?

Maybe people like you need nannies and a big government to "take care" of you. As far as I'm concerned, government can get the hell out of my way and get off my back.

And one more thing...that government you want to take care of you is made up of people - like me - who would rather see you take care of yourself and keep your hands out of my pockets, thank you very much.

jeric_synergy
02-12-2013, 05:16 PM
Tell you what: quit stealing for your rich cronies and giving them sweetheart deals and attacking any country that impedes their empires in the slightest and we'll call it even.

Why rightists sweat somebody having an extra apple or two but can't seem to see the corporations gilding their toilets is a huge mystery. BIOKIYAR.

Why do they enjoy being on the wrong side of history over and over?

Megalodon2.0
02-12-2013, 05:30 PM
You guys can't tolerate dissenting voices??? Is that an example of lefty tolerance??? What a shame.
Not at all. I think what IS intolerable is the lack of FACTS and knowledge concerning the state of the country as well as past history - what it was and what it is - as well as the knowledge between debt and deficit. So yeah, we "lefty's" are intolerant. ;)


Maybe people like you need nannies and a big government to "take care" of you. As far as I'm concerned, government can get the hell out of my way and get off my back.

And one more thing...that government you want to take care of you is made up of people - like me - who would rather see you take care of yourself and keep your hands out of my pockets, thank you very much.

Tell that to everyone who is on social security and medicare. the VAST majority support BOTH and most NEED both. It's not a "nanny state" when people want the government to administer services that they PAY for. Too many people are not good at money management and need that help - especially towards the latter half of their lives. If that's what you call a nanny state... then I guess I'm all for it. :thumbsup:

I would guess that you probably don't want to pay any taxes, yet expect things like the internet, roads, safe food, clean water, etc.

jeric_synergy
02-12-2013, 05:37 PM
I love how red states squall about government, but are net TAKERS of services. Basically, they're the crazy old bat up in the blue states' attic.

Perhaps we should quit feeding them.

Serling
02-12-2013, 05:52 PM
Why do they enjoy being on the wrong side of history over and over?

The ultimate nanny state was the Soviet union and it fell under the weight of its own crushing debt: the same path we're headed down. Blue state socialism is all fun and games until you people run out of other people's money to steal and spend.

Lefties have always been on the wrong side of history, and it will be proven again in this country. Want to see where Amerika is headed? Look at Detroit.

TheDynamo
02-12-2013, 06:07 PM
Honestly both parties are full of incompetents and/or greedy jerks and the idea of a career politician sickens me. Term limits and a line item veto would do wonders, and yes I'm one of those moderates that the media tend to ignore since we actually try to find compromises.

Back onto topic now, with all this bad news regarding the large studios and layoffs. Does anyone know a "good news" story about folks who stood back up, brushed off the dust and made a name for themselves? I think something like that would be helpful.

Celshader
02-12-2013, 06:28 PM
people - like me - who would rather see you take care of yourself and keep your hands out of my pockets, thank you very much.

Serling, who do you think pays for the uninsured whenever they land in an emergency room? It's you -- with higher healthcare premiums and taxpayer dollars.

Why don't you want me to buy my own health insurance with my own money?

Megalodon2.0
02-12-2013, 06:30 PM
I love how red states squall about government, but are net TAKERS of services. Basically, they're the crazy old bat up in the blue states' attic.

Perhaps we should quit feeding them.
Well... how many of them WANT to secede? It's like they have no clue to what they get. Then again... how many vote Republican when they want to get rid of Medicare and SS? I tell my parents that they're voting against everything that they need. And then they spout the same nonsense that Serling spouts about "the increasing deficit" and "Dems are for big government" and so many other Fox News propaganda. If it weren't for the Democrats being pro choice, they'd probably vote Dem. ;)

If it wouldn't screw the poor in those states, I'd say let'em secede.

geo_n
02-12-2013, 06:32 PM
Well in anycase I see a lot more western artists migrating more to dubai, singapore, china, etc. The demand is moving elsewhere.

Megalodon2.0
02-12-2013, 06:35 PM
Serling, who do you think pays for the uninsured whenever they land in an emergency room? It's you -- with higher healthcare premiums and taxpayer dollars.

Why don't you want me to buy my own health insurance with my own money?

Because these kind of people compartmentalize things like this and don't even WANT to think about it. They ONLY want to parrot the talking points the far right tells them via Limbaugh and Fox. I think Obamacare is a great START, but we need single payer - which is what they wanted to do to begin with. I've heard so many stories where Obamacare has saved the lives of people, and then you hear the stories from businesses like Papa Johns where "Papa" says it'll cost them 21 to 24 cents more per pizza to cover their employees and they're going to have to "cut back" on hours. In actuality it would cost them 3 to 4 cents more per pizza and good ole Papa backed down. It boggles my mind that business owners don't WANT to do good by their employees.

jeric_synergy
02-12-2013, 06:48 PM
They prefer serfs and forelock tuggers.

And as to "nanny states", try picking an EFFECTIVE nanny-state, like France or Sweden or Canada, not some mid-twentieth century bogeyman. Oooooo, wouldn't want a superior health system for all, would we?

Really, it's the worry that somebody ELSE might be benefitting from the state that drives a lot of this, especially if those somebodies happen to be black, or brown, or going back, Irish, or Italian.

It's some kind of weird instinct the conservatroids have where, even when it's provable that something would save money and lives, they don't want it if they see it going to "the undeserving". Blind to the fact that, on a roll of the dice, they can become "the undeserving" too.

raymondtrace
02-12-2013, 06:58 PM
...You guys can't tolerate dissenting voices???...

I welcome and applaud dissent. But that dissent is dismissed when it is powered by blatant misinformation and misdirection. I've mostly tuned out of this conversation since you suggested that government was killing jobs.

The news about Dreamworks and Rhythm & Hues is not extraordinary. We've seen this many times before. It is show business. It is transient. Few find a long term career in animation. I recently had a nice conversation with a loan officer at a car dealership. He used to work for Character Builders, an animation subcontractor that disappeared with the 2D market. There is life after animation.

stiff paper
02-13-2013, 02:23 AM
You guys can't tolerate dissenting voices??? Is that an example of lefty tolerance???
So. Here we are with another tired shouting point. We've pointed out that every single thing you've said is factually incorrect. In short, we think you're wrong and we've argued with you. And, somehow, this translates in your mind as "You're not tolerating dissent! Look! Lefties don't tolerate dissent!"

No. And here's the rub. Here's what this finally, in the end, always has to come down to.

You are still there. You are still saying the things you want to say. You have not been stifled, hidden away or oppressed in any way to even the tiniest degree.

I repeat: we have argued with you.

In a world where every single day enormous numbers of people are being murdered simply because their opinion differs from somebody else's, just exactly how screwed up into a little ball of rage, bitterness and self important self loathing do you have to be to start shouting that you're being oppressed just because somebody makes it plain they don't agree with you?

When presented with the nearest thing to factually trustworthy sources, instead of engaging with the material and attempting to find a way to argue against it you instead shout about "Lefty bias!" When confronted with the cold, hard numbers that prove you wrong you simply ignore them and carry on shouting variations on the thing that's just been shown to be wrong.

What is wrong with you?

I think this is what's wrong with you:
http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/

That link is to a book written by a professor at the University of Manitoba. It's a distillation and analysis of work he's done in his field of research over the past 30 years. It's about human behavior, personality types and related stuff. Kind of. It isn't political propaganda covertly paid for through a shady system of intermediaries by billionaires. It isn't a constructed political "message" from a corrupt supposed news outlet owned and run by billionaires. It's just some research and some conclusions. It's a small book, very readable, and he's giving it away for free. For anybody that's interested in having a bit of a think now and then, I really recommend it.

Also, I suggest that we all stop with the politics soon (if not now) in this thread. As entertaining as it is, it is the LightWave forum.

Surrealist.
02-13-2013, 03:23 AM
And this would be exactly why they have this in the forum rules:


The following items are not considered professional or civil discourse allowed on these forums:

Off-topic and controversial subjects such as Religion and Politics

I feel a thread lock on the way.... not that I care really. Up to you guys, don't let me stop you from carrying on. :D

Not like the world will end if they lock the thread, and I am not offended. Just be forewarned. Because many people do get offended, hence the rule.

Just saying....

Someone in all of this had mentioned something about positive news. Or stories about people getting up and starting over. Well I can tell a brief story about my father. He graduated from college with a degree in Journalism. Went to the war, served in India in a photo core and came home, started a family. It was a good time in America and they were rebuilding. I can remember when I was very young my father was working all of the time. And we seemed to have plenty of money, time for vacations etc. And by the time I was in Highschool, that had changed drastically. My father had lost his job as an insurance salesman with a large corporation. Had started his own business selling insurance and one thing led to another we as a family found ourselves really in a bad way. It was at this time my father who was in his 50's found himself broke and in dept. He decided to open up a new business in a new location and start over from scratch doing beekeeping and tax preparation. Both he and my mother took on paper route jobs. And so did my sister and I - early in the morning. It was no much but it helped us get through. I watched my father start out with nothing basically and build up his business from scratch. He eventually bought the land and property he was renting and expanded his business. Every year he was going to tax seminars to learn new code for that year. In general he never lost his interest in life and learning and trying to better himself. He is still alive. In fact I was just helping him learn more about the internet and so on because he wanted to figure out how to do some business idea he had. He's 94!

What I took from this is you have to be willing to constantly re-invent yourself. Nothing is guaranteed. The only one who can guarantee anything for you and your future is you. You're ability to adapt and to overcome and to move with the times is your only security. My folks have lived through hard times as poor children, have made it through the great depression of last century, have lived through the recession in the 70's, gas price increases, etc. And they are still here. They have lived through more hard times than I will ever know, I think. And it is getting worse. They have even taken a hit with this last economic downfall in the US. They lost their house, have had to reorganize their life and move on. And still I get emails from my dad. "I gotta find a way to make some money with the internet. I have this book I wrote on tax preparation...." So I find myself giving him links to this and that, small tutorials and so on. I gotta hand it to him. He really never gives up.

And that in the end is the moral to the story. You can't depend on things outside of you. You depend of course, but not to the bitter end. You have to reinvent, you have to adapt. Move on. Nothing but nothing is guaranteed, ever.

I think if people have that mindset they will do alright in any business or activity in life.

Dexter2999
02-13-2013, 08:37 AM
The ultimate nanny state was the Soviet union and it fell under the weight of its own crushing debt: the same path we're headed down.

Actually, to be fair, Ronald Reagan SPENT the USSR out of existence by escalating the arms race to a point they couldn't sustain. Which was really quite clever. They thought he was crazy enough to nuke them, but in actuality, he made them throw so many resources into their military there was just nothing left for anything else.

Megalodon2.0
02-13-2013, 01:11 PM
Actually, to be fair, Ronald Reagan SPENT the USSR out of existence by escalating the arms race to a point they couldn't sustain. Which was really quite clever. They thought he was crazy enough to nuke them, but in actuality, he made them throw so many resources into their military there was just nothing left for anything else.

Interestingly enough, this is precisely what al quaeda has said they want to do to the US - have us keep spending on our military so that we go bankrupt.

It's been working so far. :eek:

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

Anyway... BACK on topic...

Someone over at CGTalk said: "I think a lot of Big Business VFX houses need to have a serious look at how they structure their business models."

I don't think that the VFX houses have anything to do with it really - it's the big studios that want more and more for less and less and the VFX studios in the US just cost too much - when compared to the developing nations. Pretty soon Vancouver, Toronto, Britain and other first-world hubs of VFX will feel exactly like LA and the rest of the US - their business will move to the least expensive model. IMO of course. ;)

robertoortiz
02-13-2013, 03:01 PM
In
-------------------------------------------------

Anyway... BACK on topic...

Someone over at CGTalk said: "I think a lot of Big Business VFX houses need to have a serious look at how they structure their business models."

I don't think that the VFX houses have anything to do with it really - it's the big studios that want more and more for less and less and the VFX studios in the US just cost too much - when compared to the developing nations. Pretty soon Vancouver, Toronto, Britain and other first-world hubs of VFX will feel exactly like LA and the rest of the US - their business will move to the least expensive model. IMO of course. ;)

THANK YOU!
If you are looking a for a villain here, look at the studios. They are reports in Variety of producer proudly bragging about the number of FX houses their projects have brought down.

Chuck
02-13-2013, 03:07 PM
As noted, politics is not on topic for the forum, so we'll close this discussion.