October 1, 2014
VFX Artist Michael Scott has been very vocal about VFX issues on twitter. Michael was seriously injured after he was hit by a car:
During a break from work, Michael Scott was walking to get dinner when a car jumped the curb and pinned him to a concrete wall. He has a lot of internal damage as well as broken bones and a fractured skull. His color is good though, and his pulse ox has climbed. He will remain on paralytics until he can fully stabilize then further address the internal damage. He is currently at Cedars Sinai in critical condition, after undergoing emergency surgery last night.
He needs our help.
Anyone that can, please make a donation for his medical care and rehab.
Thank you all for your support.
There has been a donation page setup and I strongly encourage you to donate. Michael’s donation to our effort 2 years ago was the final donation needed to put us over the top and get our feasibility study going.
September 10, 2014
If you work at Stereo D, Method Studios, Encore Hollywood, or Iloura (list updated per comments below) you may have been aware about some recent news concerning parent company Deluxe Entertainment’s credit rating being downgraded by Standard & Poors:
The $605 million of loans to Deluxe Entertainment Services Group Inc., which Perelman controls through his MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc., were quoted at 88 cents on the dollar Aug. 26, according to Markit. That compared with an average of about 98.3 cents for the broader market. Last week, Standard & Poor’s took the rare step of cutting Deluxe’s credit rating three steps, to a level that implies the production company is “currently vulnerable” to default.
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September 3, 2014
This sunday I’ll be at the VFX BBQ by the VFX Progress Group. Later in the week on Tuesday I’ll be at OTIS college to attend a LA Siggraph panel on the state of the VFX Industry:
When: Tuesday September 9th 2014 7:30-10pm
Location: Otis College of Art and Design: Ahmanson Hall
Address: 9045 Lincoln Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90045
6:45-7:30 Social Hour
6:45-7:00 Members only
7:00-7:30 Members and guests
9:30-10:00 Questions and Answers
All will be admitted free of charge. Non-members of LA ACM SIGGRAPH are admitted for free. New LA ACM SIGGRAPH members who sign up on-site can pay the $40 annual membership fee. The chapter accepts checks, cash, or credit cards (Mastercard or Visa only) for all dues or fees.
September 2, 2014
If you read through the posts on this blog about film subsidies one trend should be abundantly clear:
Hollywood studios will take one government’s offer and game it against others in the hopes of increasing and maximizing the total amount of free taxpayer money available. So no sooner than a few days after film and VFX workers celebrated the passage of CA film subsidy bill AB1839, the MPAA will be looking to meet with other states to increase the stakes:
Well, that’s certainly looks like a kick in the teeth to the home of Hollywood. Just days after the state Senate voted overwhelming to increase and expand California’s $100 million Film and TV Tax Credit Program to $330 million for the next five years, the MPAA has announced it is hosting a shindig in the nation’s capitol to help other states compete.
You’d think the state of Louisiana which offers a 30% film subsidy would be on solid ground but even they lose out as studios will take their offer and game them against international governments agreeing to give even more free money. Can you see how this is a race to the bottom? In order to win you have to be willing to be the biggest loser and even then, it’s expected that you keep raising the stakes. It’s also not cheap as the LA Times questions the cost effectiveness of these programs.
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August 27, 2014
The VFX Progress Group will be having a BBQ that anyone is invited to attend. I will be there to answer any questions and help lobby for support of ADAPT’s legal effort:
Veterans Memorial Park
4117 Overland Ave
Culver City, CA 90230
Sunday, September 7, 2014
from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM (PDT)
Register here to attend
There is also a list of items that we should all chip in to bring:
To have access to the list you’ll need to email firstname.lastname@example.org
We had a BBQ before the March in March and it was quite fun just to catch up with people face to face. Hope to see you there.
August 26, 2014
Big news came last week as CA bill AB1839 was amended:
An amendment to proposed legislation to expand California’s film and TV tax credit urges trade action as a response to countries that have lured visual effects firms away with the promise of generous subsidies.
Huge thanks to everyone who helped and Assemblymember Mike Gatto for standing up to the studios and writing a provision into a bill he co-authored supporting out effort. While it’s a huge step in the right direction, I obviously have issues with the subsidies in the bill and was hoping that the trade provision had more teeth to it.
When our law firm helped the shrimping industry get trade relief from injurious subsidies, the government of Louisiana actually helped fund the legal effort. Since our legal effort costs a fraction of what the hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies needed, we felt it would’ve been a small cost that could lead to a more effective outcome.
August 25, 2014
So much news about Prime Focus, so little time! I have yet to post my thoughts on the Double Negative purchase which I hope to do at some point. Last year I posted about Digital Domain investing about $18 million for an equity stake in Enders Game which opened with $27M and ended with $61M domestically.
I also signaled a potential sequel where Prime Focus would invest about $19M for a stake in Sin City 2 and the result doesn’t look good. ‘Sin City 2’ Distributor: ‘It’s Like The Ice Bucket Challenge Without The Good Cause’:
Sin City 2 didn’t even crack the top five at the box office over the weekend. The film opened in the number eight slot with $6.4 million. Other new releases that opened with it included the football drama When the Game Stands Tall and the Chloe Grace Moretz feature If I Stay. Those films opened respectively at number five with $9 million and number three with $16.8 million.
Of course this has continued to be the story for most VFX facilities that try to take an equity stake (Rhythm: Yogi Bear, Dneg: Rush) in a film. I doubt studios would offer a VFX facility an equity stake if they were confident the film was going to do gangbusters but that’s just me