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View Full Version : Is Motion graphics the next CG industry to collapse? (Twitter Chatter)



robertoortiz
03-22-2013, 10:41 PM
Hi guys,
I have been hearing a long of online chatter that one of the biggest Motion graphics houses in the US is going down,
and that a lot of people were laid off today (Friday) in multiple MoGraph studios.

Have you guys heard anything about this?

-R

djwaterman
03-23-2013, 01:37 AM
The market place is undergoing adjustment, it can't expand forever and with the economy like it is, reality has set in. Jobs will be lost because the demand for the service is less, plus competition is global now, not just local. Be good at what you do and hopefully you find work. What is the Motion graphics place that closed down, I haven't heard about it?

50one
03-23-2013, 02:09 AM
Most of the Motion Graphics houses in US are hiring freelancers on per-projects anyway.
Global competition, market saturation, lower costs, easier to acquire assets and customers looking to cut the costs drastically due to current state of economy - all this is making the CG market not a best place to link your career with.

If someone would ask me now for a career advice, I would tell him/her "DO NOT get into the CG field!" - honest advice, if you want to make money, have time for your family and friends,you should look elsewhere. I worked for many companies in the past, and some junior artists or folks desperate enough to get any job CG related, worked their *** off for £14k or minimum wage(Scotland, we have the lower costs of living here than in South), most of companies knows that there are people now desperately looking for work and willing to work basically for food. Now if you're not happy, there are couple of folks mostly students that will be happy to do the same work you're doing for less. So, there's absolutely no chance for any decent career path or pay rise for you. Plus most of the biggest companies are shifting most of the work to china, or their new (gaining momentum now as it is cheaper than China) Vietnam.

I know quite a few artists, but also people working as a welders, plumbers and even as catering personnel, guess who's making more money, got paid triple the hour rate during the weekends plus some other benefits??

P.S

Kinda related to my post. I've received an email like few days ago from a recruiter in London looking for a SEO Executive for 16k per year:) Saddest part is, that there will be people willing to do this kind of job for that kind of pay....

(For people not working in the Uk, or London specifically - this amount of money after tax, food costs and accommodation costs and other life necessities will leave you in debt.

geo_n
03-23-2013, 04:43 AM
Outsourcing is what's causing it. Can't see what can be done about it though. But its not just this industry. Any computer related work is getting outsourced now. Medical transcription, architectural drafting, IT support, etc.
Desperate people working extremely cheap for film and tv credits, etc aren't making it easy. Pathetic people.
Its better to get a degree in other fields than any art related course definitely.

VonBon
03-23-2013, 09:45 AM
There is nothing wrong with the economy other than the fact that the rich are manipulating the masses into thinking that there is. These people are nothing without us, we do have the power to control our economies, but we let them use fear of not having to keep us inline. They figured out long ago that they could not hold us to their will by force, so they now give us “Comfort” ***** we believe we can’t live without. We have allowed these monstrosities to take control of our lives. The longer it takes us to fight back the stronger they get. Their weakness is their Greed and also it’s the only talent they have. We have to “Boycott” their goods and products, and I’m not just talking about the visual effects community.

We can either sacrifice now or die a slow dishonorable death. :devil:

VonBon
03-23-2013, 09:48 AM
I know i sound crazy, but i speak the Truth.

Ryan Roye
03-23-2013, 09:59 AM
What I'd like to see happen with the digital media industry as a whole is for more entrepreneurs to start emerging. A big problem is that there are so many talented artists out there, but there aren't enough leaders and businesses to sustain them. There is a significant shortage of leaders in the industry... and I'm not talking about the people who develop new technologies or create work worthy for winning awards or even people who can create work that rivals Pixar/Dreamworks, but rather people who are willing to buckle down and handle the burden of managing things other than just their craft. Things like managing a team, figuring out how to get over obstacles (be it financial, technical, or otherwise), learning how to promote oneself or one's company (a skill that most successful artists require anyways).

I believe the industry will evolve in that direction at some point... the transition I will agree sucks for everyone though.

RebelHill
03-23-2013, 11:08 AM
Outsourcing is what's causing it. Can't see what can be done about it though.

Sort of, and nothing.

Its not so much "out" sourcing... its just plain sourcing. Everyone will always buy things, be it goods, services or labour from wherever they can get the best deal (more or less - quality/price ratio)..., especially businesses. Those that dont are unable to compete with those that do, so either tick along making very little and never growing, or shrink to nothing.

This is just the effect of cash sloshing around to "newly" opened areas in a (reasonably) recently globalised economy, and is a process that'll run over many, many decades, until the whole thing eventually settles into a more equilibrious state. For the present trend though, things are only going to continue to get worse before they get any better again, and they wont be as good as they were for a very long time.

shrox
03-23-2013, 11:27 AM
What I'd like to see happen with the digital media industry as a whole is for more entrepreneurs to start emerging. A big problem is that there are so many talented artists out there, but there aren't enough leaders and businesses to sustain them. There is a significant shortage of leaders in the industry... and I'm not talking about the people who develop new technologies or create work worthy for winning awards or even people who can create work that rivals Pixar/Dreamworks, but rather people who are willing to buckle down and handle the burden of managing things other than just their craft. Things like managing a team, figuring out how to get over obstacles (be it financial, technical, or otherwise), learning how to promote oneself or one's company (a skill that most successful artists require anyways).

I believe the industry will evolve in that direction at some point... the transition I will agree sucks for everyone though.

Time to make our own shows...

robertoortiz
03-23-2013, 11:46 AM
Time to make our own shows...

Amen brother!

BigHache
03-23-2013, 02:09 PM
Roberto, in answer to your original question, I'm not sure. I work in the Southeast and not in the best city for motion graphics. It's almost like I'm in this industry by myself. Even in my department (which is new and small) I'm the only graphics guy. The good part is I'm "the" guy and they're buying me my choice of 3D software, LightWave, because that's what I'm most familiar with.

Megalodon2.0
03-23-2013, 03:18 PM
Time to make our own shows...

Yup.

It's really the ONLY way to make the real money and compete directly with those who already HAVE the money.

Most people don't care where a show originated from - they only care if it entertains them.

Artists of all kinds can do that - business people cannot.

geo_n
03-23-2013, 08:24 PM
Making own movies...
While living in parents house or letting the wife work for the primary income? No indie work, own IP, 2 year in the making short movie, is worth that shame. :D

Megalodon2.0
03-23-2013, 08:33 PM
Making own movies...
While living in parents house or letting the wife work for the primary income? No indie work, own IP, 2 year in the making short movie, is worth that shame. :D

Or... you work full time AND make that IP in your spare time. :)

geo_n
03-23-2013, 09:19 PM
Or... you work full time AND make that IP in your spare time. :)

Most of the shorts I've seen involved taking a break a year or two doing nothing but the short. The guy looks like a hobo after it all. :D

Ryan Roye
03-23-2013, 09:52 PM
The guy looks like a hobo after it all. :D

They forget that animated shorts, while highly ambitious, aren't usually marketable, practical or sustainable. There is literally nothing left after the short gets released and the audience moves on to the next video out there.

Titus
03-23-2013, 10:09 PM
Most of the shorts I've seen involved taking a break a year or two doing nothing but the short. The guy looks like a hobo after it all. :D

Ha ha ha.

shrox
03-23-2013, 11:15 PM
Just two minutes a week on air for my show is going to be a challenge in two ways, get the CG done and keeping up the witty banter for the spots in between,

dwburman
03-24-2013, 06:31 PM
Developing your own IP (which I am also thinking about) isn't for everyone. Not all artists can write or come up with great ideas or afford to pay someone else to do those things. Of course, the internet allows anyone to reach a global audience (if you can get their attention) and if your content is targeted enough, your intended audience might be more forgiving of production values if you are speaking to their specific interest/hobby.

robertoortiz
03-24-2013, 08:07 PM
Developing your own IP (which I am also thinking about) isn't for everyone. Not all artists can write or come up with great ideas or afford to pay someone else to do those things. Of course, the internet allows anyone to reach a global audience (if you can get their attention) and if your content is targeted enough, your intended audience might be more forgiving of production values if you are speaking to their specific interest/hobby.
Agreed, also there has to be a way that we could get Writers and animators collaborating in to the creation of IP.
Something similar to waht is going on with Image comics in the Comic Books field.

ivanze
03-24-2013, 08:42 PM
Templates!! That is the problem. A lot of people that I know used to give me work
For their motion graphics but know with digital juice and videohive templates they just
Replace things and there you go. Well I think this is hapenning
Everywhere too.

Ryan Roye
03-24-2013, 08:48 PM
Not all artists can write or come up with great ideas or afford to pay someone else to do those things.

The problem isn't with the things related to the actual production itself in my opinion... anyone can make a fantastic production; that's the EASY part. It is rather the things not directly related to it. A lot of people hit a brick wall when it comes to actually promoting, marketing, and making their production more than just a money/time sink. Artists don't want to get their hands into places other than their craft, but the reality is that it is absolutely required. I've seen several dozen promising productions come and go... and every single one of them failed to do one or more of the following:

-No website, or a poorly organized website.

-Failure to update viewers on a regular basis, causing people to think "Is this thing dead? Is the person still working on it?"

-Non-utilization of free social networking tools to expand audience (...and if utilized, another hurdle is using them *effectively*... this is something I'm still struggling with admittedly). You can't just put stuff on YouTube and expect to get views.

-Regular content. This one is tough to get over and requires balance between production values and speed. Spending 4-6 months on a single episode is unacceptable without supplementary content or content buffering (even if it is just doing new renders to pair with your blog posts!).

-Setting the initial production standards at an unrealistic and unsustainable level. I've seen countless people call "episode 1" of their production a "series", make a website for it and everything, and then quit immediately afterward.

-Monetization to cover costs at bare minimum (not time, but just things like webhosting, advertising, etc). Many don't realize that it is actually fairly easy to earn revenue through banner ads. Most people stop at YouTube... but that's just the tip of the iceberg. Google ads are nice, but another option is ProjectWonderful (https://www.projectwonderful.com/) which allows you to withdraw in $10 increments instead of google's $100 minimum. Ad revenue is what I consider supplementary income... it won't change your life, but it'll keep you from paying for certain things out of pocket.

-Poor project management. I am so guilty of this... but am working to improve it. Figuring out how best to take human resources and get everyone on the same page is challenging, but vital.

-Ability to accept criticism strictly as "data". When someone says "Your show sucks and you should die in a fire", think "1 person must not like my show, others may feel similarly." instead of "This person hates me and it hurts my feelings". If a person lets negative commentary be anything other than an opportunity to improve, they have failed. Miserably.

And this is all just from my observations of other people who have taken the same or similar steps that I have before I even stepped into the realm of independent production. As i've said before, part of being an independent producer is having to do the things you suck at. Someone has to do those tasks, it may as well be you until someone who can help sees potential... and even then there is no guarantee that they will replace your efforts. The exception unfortunately is people who are marketing professionals, who are usually investors who want direct ownership and control of a given project. That is the single hardest area to get assistance in.

Titus
03-24-2013, 10:40 PM
Templates!! That is the problem. A lot of people that I know used to give me work
For their motion graphics but know with digital juice and videohive templates they just
Replace things and there you go. Well I think this is hapenning
Everywhere too.

I disagree. Using templeates is OK, because someone already did the work for us and there's no logic to do the work twice.

Animation is hard to do, and I believe it needs to be easier than it is now. Not because it has to be cheaper for the client, but because we need to have the advantage. Doing graphics faster and cheaper, with less effort means a bigger markup for us. IMO, motion graphics is graphic design in movement, and we must remember what happened to graphic design.

A couple of years ago I bought a model of the Office Max rubberband from someone in this forum. It was for an O.M. local ad, and it was an excellent opportunity to save some precious time. It was a little advantage for me, over the client.

Faster and smarter tools is what we need. Good service, creativity and talent is what our clients need.

Greenlaw
03-25-2013, 12:47 AM
The problem isn't with the things related to the actual production itself in my opinion... anyone can make a fantastic production; that's the EASY part. It is rather the things not directly related to it...

:agree:

Creating content is just the half of it--this part is not always 'easy' but it can be accomplished by an individual with a crazy vision. I do this all the time 'just for fun'--even when it's killing me. ;)

Marketing and promotion is the other half and that's practically a full-time job in itself. Where marketing is concerned, I'm just a dabbler, and even then it's been a lot of hard work. One of these days, I intend to take my marketing efforts more seriously and will most likely need to hire somebody to help me out with it. Until then, it's DIY.

G.

BigHache
03-25-2013, 05:55 AM
Animation is hard to do, and I believe it needs to be easier than it is now. Not because it has to be cheaper for the client, but because we need to have the advantage. Doing graphics faster and cheaper, with less effort means a bigger markup for us. IMO, motion graphics is graphic design in movement, and we must remember what happened to graphic design.

I would submit that animation becoming easier will not give us an advantage to make bigger markup, rather it would become more like graphic design; 'Oh the tools are more available, it's easier to do now so it should be cheaper.' That will become the clients' perspective.

Photographers have also had an increasingly difficult time staying relevant too with all the digital cameras that have emerged. Never mind that it takes much more than holding a camera and pressing the button to make a great photo. "Good enough is good enough" has crept into too many industries. Good enough may allow a business to open but it won't allow you to stand out and grow.

ivanze
03-25-2013, 09:48 AM
Titus, I understand what you said, and I like templates too, but I'm talking more about After effects templates, than buying 3D objects for your work. I sometimes do that and buy 3D objects because my modelling skills are not the best and as you say it saves time.

The problem is that those After effects templates make things so easy as replacing a layer with your logo or changing a text layer and you have a broadcast quality motion graphics animation for around $20 dollars that some of those templates cost. And believe me, you are not going to make some of those animations for $20 dollars.

Even some of my friends that work as Video Editors and don't know nothing about 3D or motion graphics are using this templates in their projects, just change 2 or 3 things and ready.

Titus
03-25-2013, 10:15 AM
I would submit that animation becoming easier will not give us an advantage to make bigger markup, rather it would become more like graphic design; 'Oh the tools are more available, it's easier to do now so it should be cheaper.' That will become the clients' perspective.

Yes, this may happen. Prices will come down sooner or later, with newer tools or not. So we also need to add value to our work, because the price of doing nothing is all going broke.

I've being developing a tool to create product shots almost automatically. Nowadays there's no way I can make a profit using the existing tools.

My wife just closed her photograpic studio, and yes "my cousin has an iphone so I don't need you for my social event" was a very common response from prospects.

souzou
03-25-2013, 12:57 PM
What is the Motion graphics place that closed down, I haven't heard about it?

Superfad allegedly.

We're seeing budgets getting smaller, particularly in broadcast. But I feel that the increase of video usage online and in environmental spaces (retail, events, etc) is offsetting that somewhat. Lots more competition around though... freelance rates have basically stayed the same for the past 7 years which is obviously a fall in real terms.

robertoortiz
03-28-2013, 03:12 PM
One of the biggest motion graphics houses has just taken a dirt nap:


Quote:

"Rumors of the 12-year-old tri-coastal studio’s demise were confirmed this am from sources high inside the company, saying only, “The partners wanted to do different things and couldn’t work out a deal.” The Seattle, New york and Los Angeles studios will all wind down as current jobs are completed.

While it is sad to see a shop of this caliber fade away, it’s also exciting to think what may happen when so much talent, drive and experience scatters to chase new prey."

http://www.stashmedia.tv/?p=16499

BigHache
03-29-2013, 06:20 AM
OK, my understanding of that statement is the partners care more about their personal desires than that of their employees, so the company will dissolve and all these people will suddenly have to find new work. If that's accurate, these partners don't deserve to have employees. I wish them luck in their new, solo adventures at their desks at home, but not with anyone underneath them.

Titus
03-29-2013, 01:12 PM
I knew a couple of mograph companies (one in Texas, the other in the NY area) that were disolved after the partners (husband and wife) got divorced.

Megalodon2.0
03-29-2013, 02:23 PM
OK, my understanding of that statement is the partners care more about their personal desires than that of their employees, so the company will dissolve and all these people will suddenly have to find new work. If that's accurate, these partners don't deserve to have employees. I wish them luck in their new, solo adventures at their desks at home, but not with anyone underneath them.
:i_agree:

Instead of taking their talent and creating TWO new companies they've decided to dissolve what they have and screw over the employees. I can only hope that this is not the entire story and that's what they will be doing. Of course if they ARE screwing over their employees... then I hope the sh*t hits THEIR fan.

lwanmtr
04-03-2013, 03:46 PM
In response to Chazriker's post.... Its not that the artist dont *want* to get their hands into the marketing and such...its that most artists are not very good at it because they dont think in the way you need to in order to unerstand how to really push something....Artists have historically made bad business owners...lol.