Imageworks India Goes Down

One of the most controversial arguments made by this blog has been my routine skepticism of the commonly accepted narrative that VFX was “all going to India”. In fact when I started this blog, I was the only one in the VFX world that made the bold prediction over 3 years ago that VFX in India wouldn’t succeed. I fought like hell against people who said I was wrong and at times I wondered when I could officially say I was correct.

Today is that day as Variety’s David S. Cohen broke news that it was over:

Sony Pictures Imageworks will not renew its lease in Chennai, India when it expires in March. This facility made significant contributions to such productions as ‘MIB3′ and the upcoming ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2.’ Imageworks is committed to its headquarters in Culver City and facility in Vancouver, BC.

Sad news for those affected but for those who used Indian VFX work to ruthlessly impose fear against artists who were trying to improve VFX labor conditions over the years: You failed miserably and the fact that many of you are publicly quiet about this news shows how foolish you people were. The VFX Boogeyman is dead.

I’ve always said if India could produce top quality VFX for better prices then more power to them. That’s why Imageworks India was important to me: Imageworks had one of the best pipelines out of all the places I worked and the company was run by some of the smartest people in the business.

If anyone could send work to India it was them and the fact they were owned by one of the major studios hungry for cheaper VFX put further pressure on the need to make India work. Lastly, the recent needs by Sony to make drastic financial cuts meant more, not less work would have to be done in India. Instead of doing any of that, it all shut down after six short years. So why is VFX in India failing?

Mistaking VFX for Manufacturing

VFX is nothing like manufacturing. There’s a huge difference. It is a highly collaborative, technical, creative, and labor intensive process. Take two iPhone 5s and place them next to each other. What’s the difference? Nothing. While their design is complex, they have one design spec and production process that allows for millions of reproductions. VFX isn’t like that.

Take two shots from the same film, even the same sequence. What’s the difference? Lots of things! Each shot is it’s own unique process and set of problems. In order to send that to a low labor cost area like India, there would need to be significant simplifications and even with today’s off-the-shelf programs, that process is still very complicated. At the same time, costs were rising, and the quality was stagnant.

Saving Face Culture

While I was born in the US, I think I have a pretty good understanding of the culture: My parents came from this region of the world and I have traveled there 3 times: 1989, 2003, and 2012. I love the region but there is a strong culture of saving face that is woefully bad for VFX. There were times growing up with my parents where simple problems turned into near-disasters because opportunities for communication and prevention were avoided to save face.

The same can occur in VFX. There were cases where workers in India were reluctant to give answers like “I don’t know.” or “who can help me?” Instead it’s “Yes.” even though the work is not done. Constructive criticism is an important part of VFX. Everyday my supervisor and I would bash our heads against each other on VFX solutions. We would challenge each other’s decisions all the time but at the same time we were able to put our difference in opinions aside and joke around at lunch.

Fraudulent Education & Inability to Keep Rising Stars

India’s VFX schools are certificate mills meant to take students savings and give little to no useful education. So many end up with skills that lack the basic competency to allow for an actual industry of talented VFX pros to scale and do big VFX work. That’s not to say there isn’t talented Indian VFX pros. There are many and I know them personally and have had the pleasure to work with them side-by-side here in the US. People like my colleagues from India and my parents from Burma are hard working and talented people that want to race to the top. Maybe if more US business people stopped looking at the region as a cheap place to do work maybe then you’ll actually see a thriving and sustainable VFX industry there.

Soldier On.

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113 Responses to Imageworks India Goes Down

  1. Alumnus says:

    I don’t disagree with your view that VFX work in India and China may not work out. It is highly creative individualistic work that may be better suited to a Western culture.

    I also agree that all the foreign tax incentives – primarily in Canada and Britain – are a terrible thing for the VFX industry and frankly also for the taxpayers in those countries. It’s mainly the vanity of the politicians and perhaps the star lobbying power of Hollywood that has created these subsidies. But there’s simply no way that rebating 40% or more of the payroll costs is cost-effective for these regions. There isn’t enough net economic activity generated for them to break even, and if the subsidies end, the work will flow elsewhere again. It would be better if governments would agree to either no subsidies whatsoever, or at least to cap them at a moderate rate, say 10%. Then let the free market decide where to produce VFX. This would probably also allow the VFX companies to shore up their finances.

    I have a final thought for you, which doesn’t bode well for Imageworks: there’s really no reason that Sony needs to own their own VFX facility. Even for their tentpoles like Spiderman they could just as easily contract with VFX companies, and then Sony wouldn’t have to worry about managing capacity or driving down VFX pricing during periods of overcapacity. With Sony in financial turmoil, Imageworks is a business they should sell or close. India is just the first step. And after George Lucas passes, Disney may make a similar decision. It will be interesting to see whether the ILM Singapore facility survives that, though it may take a decade for us to find out.

    • Dave Rand says:

      Based on my experience over the past 19 yrs, I believe we’ll actually see a trend to move towards more in-house VFX depts.

      Although I can only offer anecdotal evidence now I’ll still hypothesize that VFX work done under one roof and under one decision maker (the director) is not only the most cost effective work flow it injects a quality..even a magic…that would otherwise be lost over distance, culture, and video conference. I’m convinced there is stuff we just can’t measure yet that is sacrificed for surface reasons..

      If we were to study the return of projects done this way compared to outsourcing My money would be on director driven real time vfx sets with the meter running…the new “set”.

      To quote The Open Letter to the DGA

      “You could raise your children by video conference but you’d pay a price. To say that doing a picture is not as important as raising a family…well, I would not tell that to the folks putting you at the helm of a 150 million dollar VFX budget ..and I would not tell them that over the phone.”

      • vfxguy says:

        Did you ever publish James Cameron’s reply? What about Spielberg’s or Bay’s?

      • Dave Rand says:

        ….no but I’d be interested in your reply.

      • tazzman says:

        Ah, so a return of the early 90’s cycle with Warner Digital, BVVFX, and VIFX? It could happen. But then they shed those facilities.
        Was it Disney/Ellenshaw and Universal/Whitlock that remained in the 70’s? This cycle repeats itself every few decades or so.

      • Dave Rand says:

        I believe you’ll see Gravity take the Oscar for best VFX. Done in London and mostly all at Framestore except for the re-entry sequence. They did an outstanding job and deserve to win. In all the how to’s I’ve seen, the director was very hands on and on site.

        Animated features work this way. I believe there’s another Oscar contender that is about to pass the billion dollar mark…and that’s just since it’s release in late November.

        Avitar, Titanic…the top two real earners in history …same deal. It’s certainly worth taking a look at.

      • SeanCC says:

        Dave, Cameron is an interesting choice here. Like Emmerich and even Lucas, he wasn’t a fan of the overhead costs at DD when the studio wasn’t devoted to his films. He resented any additional clientele in house when he did have a film needing VFX and he didn’t understand why the studio couldn’t work in-the-red on one of his films.

        Carrying the overhead of a VFX company isn’t really in the best interest of a filmmaker. It’s not even in the best interests of a studio. I’m really surprised that SPI has lived as long as it has and it’s not because Sony hasn’t tried to get rid of it or is particularly fond of the group.

        I was told by a reliable source SPI was offered for sale to Emmerich, during or around Godzilla production, urging him to just roll the company into Centropolis Effects or vice-versa. He didn’t bite, obviously. Turns out he didn’t really want to keep CFX around beyond his own need.

        I couldn’t help but think, when Lucas moved ILM: start the clock. He packaged it up and put a bow on top, just like Sony did when they moved SPI off-the-lot.

      • NS says:

        @Dave Rand

        Jim Cameron wasn’t onsite with Weta for Avatar. Most of his reviews were done remotely, so I’m not sure why it’s being used as an example of why things are successful when the director is on site. In fact most of Weta’s work is done with offsite directors (unsurprisingly)

      • Dave Rand says:

        Cameron has always been hands on ..he owns a farm in NZ.

        http://www.ctvnews.ca/entertainment/james-cameron-to-shoot-3-avatar-sequels-in-new-zealand-1.1593715

        According to my sources he was very hands on for Avatar 1 and apparently plans on being that way on the sequels. The reason he entertained keeping those projects local for some time.

        Feature animation, also very profitable, and generally in house.

        In live action the problems when outside projects are bid on …bidding is flawed, always has been.

      • vfxmafia says:

        Dave…
        you need to give up the arguement about remote work already…..VFX is not like being a doctor…..you can do it remotely with minimal mark up ….its the turn of the century for christsakes…..VFX is not like a heart surgery….

      • Andreas Jablonka says:

        I disagree. Dave has appoint that on the set the decision maker is rushed. he is burning money. in vfx he never gets to see the clock. he can make notes and then we huddle and he comes back or calls back next day.
        If the post was more treated like a set he would have to make more decisions faster and stick with them. it would stop the 100 versions of something and thereby drive down the time, frustration and cost of the effects.

      • vfxmafia says:

        Andreas,

        It really depends on what company you work at. The last 3 companies i worked for did really well with cinesync. And the sups really got what they needed on set…..and their was very little waste. It depends on your crew, management, and the company you work for.

        You might want to check example of companies that are NOT in Los Angeles…..who are doing quit well with remote work.

        In this new “out of the box” pipeline…cineasync has done really well…..Even places like ILM, Weta, etc…

      • Andreas Jablonka says:

        cinesync is a great tool. I think “doing well” is a very very vague way of describing or judging success. I have not worked on a single movie where the communication could not have been improved by having the director present every day. there is a wide range between “failed and bankrupt” and “doing well”. if the director never sees the chaos he creates with notes after he logs out its no use. as Dave said, the meter has to keep running.

      • vfxmafia says:

        To Andreas…

        All the old misconceptions are changing and so are the methods in this new global VFX age. Directors want the budgets down more than ever…and are upping their VFX knowledge…..GDT and Neil Blomkamp to name a few.

        On Pacific Rim. Guillermo del toro was in Burbank for alot of the post….doing cinesync..with San Fran and other vendors different cities.

        With a $200 million budget and a Academy Award nomination….a film like Pacific Rim did more than OK while doing Cinesync. You could say the same for all shows nominated this year.

        “So what Guillermo did, which is relatively unique in this business, is make a commitment to the (VFX) work and treat it more like it’s live action,” Knoll says.

        http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/vfx-guru-john-knoll-limiting-677538

        WIth Great sups….good cordinators…proper concept design….and talent in the lead positions….shows come together quit nicely. I think you will see in the near future a difference in companies that invest in talent which breeds better communication…..and compaines that invest in cheap labor.

        Like it or not Cineasync is here to stay……(and will only get better with time)

      • vfxmafia says:

        Andreas,

        Also saying that a director “needs to be inside the VFX house” to properly communicate and prevent waste…… is just another way saying (to be properly done and in a non wasteful way….) VFX must be done in Hollywood. (seeing that most directors are in Hollywood)

      • Andreas jablonka says:

        That is incorrect. Wherever the Vfx are mainly done. That’s where he/she needs to be. London, Wellington, Sidney or LA or Vancouver for that matter.

    • rt says:

      “I don’t disagree with your view that VFX work in India and China may not work out. It is highly creative individualistic work that may be better suited to a Western culture.” lol
      you seems to forget where those mech and creature designs came from, or where those disney movies idea came from.
      btw, talented people only in la/us? its skill, where its about learning and hard work and praciticing your stuff.
      you guys are just insecure pathetic mid level cg artist, bashing and blaming other race as if those race/countries have no mind/heart/and just bunch of poor drones.

    • LAskyline says:

      Surely, every job that ILM has ever worked on – with the exception of the Star Wars movies – has had the director off-site at the other end of California at the very least?

      • tazzman says:

        On at least two movies the director moved right into the ILM facilities: Silberling on Casper and Ang Lee for The Hulk.
        That’s two off the top of my head.

      • LAskyline says:

        Caspar? That was nearly 20 years ago. Hulk was more than ten. How about today?

  2. hilscreate says:

    Spot on about comparing vfx to manufacturing. This is why it is so important that the aesthetic sense of the artists is developed. And with the level of education they are getting, its not entirely unexpected. Also do not forget that for a overseas facility, there is a constant pressure to prove that you can get better and take on more complex jobs. Else the cost of having a overseas studio just for grunt work does not justify on the long run as costs keep raising.

  3. Remi says:

    It may just be the fact that subsidies are more interesting than India…
    Meaning that subsidies are helping work not going to India ?

    Or, just as Alumnus said, that Sony wishes to close down their VFX department.

    Finally, it’s just Sony closing down, it’s a bit far stretched to say that India is failing.

    Anyway, it’s an interesting article, but I find it a bit rushed in conclusions.

  4. vfxguy says:

    Sony Pictures downsizes as part of a global strategy move away from film and you use that news to claim VFX in India is dead. That’s a bit of a leap even for you Soldier.

    • Dave Rand says:

      Sony is not the only studio downsizing in Asia. R&H was recently in the news as well.

      During the bankruptcy of R&H one of their execs was quoted as saying

      “The American studios are currently favoring subsidies over cheap labor”

      I’ve contacted my personal friends there and they are also seeing a decline. Perhaps some of them can post here.

      If you have further evidence that supports or disputes this I’d honestly like to see it.

      • PJ says:

        R&H was a unique situation. First off there was no difference in quality of work done in India vs Van / LA. There were entire sequences that were entirely done in India that looks exactly like or better than work done in LA. R&H hand picked their people and invested in them and it showed in the talent and the work that was done there. So to say ( @vfxsoilder ) that indians cannot do the work is a low blow. There are problems but lets not lump it all together under one pile.

        R&Hs problems stemmed from the fact that LA was ‘unwilling’ to send the work any where else for the sake of their job security. They had artists sitting relatively idle in Van and Asia but management in LA did not want to send any more work to any other facilities even when half the Van office was full of people who transferred up from LA. ie bad business decisions by mid level management.

        So subsidies over cheap labour is only half the picture, especially in the case of R&H

      • Dave Rand says:

        I was there. I spoke to JH at length about many topics…and no one in Vancouver was “idle you are correct the work from India was outstanding. R&H attracted and seasoned the best talent because according to my friends in India they were treated and paid very well. I don’t believe Daniel is bashing the potential in India …just commenting on the current state of the art there that’s all.

        What you have to look at is what R&H was doing right…they survived where everyone else failed until finally the studios sent them into unscheduled or bid upon delays and finally just did not an still do not give them any work.

      • PJ says:

        Dave, I stand by the ‘idle’ comment. I was up north and can attest to the relatively idle situation. Production was unwilling to send work up northing while all the while JH was asking for work to be spread out. It was a classic case of head no knowing what the tail was doing. Lets just leave it at that.

    • VFX Soldier says:

      Actually you are wrong. Michael Lynton would like to focus on more animated films. They want to focus on less live action films because of the cost of actors and actresses.

      And you’ve often come on this blog talking about how cheap VFX is in India. If your going to cut costs you send more work to india, not shut it down. You lost. Live with it.

      Sent from my iPhone

      >

      • vfxguy says:

        michael lynton said their doing “a significant shift in emphasis from motion pictures to higher margin television” according to Deadline but I’m sure you know better.

        “You lost. Live with it.” – First of all I didnt realize this discussion was about childish point scoring. Second dont you think your being a little premature in declaring victory? You yourself point out that vfx in india is suffering because the work is going to subsidized locations. Getting rid of subsidies would be just the shot in the arm the indian vfx industry needs. Of course I forgot your deep experience of Indian culture thanks to your three visits to Burma leads you to believe they are incapable of doing vfx so your campaign could never possibly backfire.

      • VFX Soldier says:

        Never said VFX in India is suffering because of subsidies. Did I mention subsidies once in this post? Learn to read.

        Sent from my iPhone

        >

      • vfxmafia says:

        Hey the truth will be with how bad Prime Focus will fuck up Sin City 2………if you ask me the Indian arguement will be settled then……

      • Long Time Post & VFX Producer says:

        “You lost, live with it” describes the objectives of this site and the child like mentality of the creator succinctly. “A Global even playing without subsidies is all I want”, my ass….

        Don’t be fooled.

      • Studio_Spotter says:

        What are you talking about vfxguy? Imageworks closed the shop in India. Imageworks is going full steam ahead on films.

  5. weedimageoftheday says:

    I value the truth and discussion. Good will come of communication.

  6. subsidise this! says:

    @vfxguy

    But it’s not just SPI. Look over the past few years at the number of Indian VFX firms shuttering. Look at Prana last year laying off nearly all the workforce to shift focus to the RH Vancouver location. There is no way PF or Reliance can continue in the long term making loss after loss every year as they have been doing so far. This IS far bigger than SPI. That’s nothing to do with Indian people for whom some are very highly talented and educated and have been successful in Los Angeles, London, Wellington. It’s systematic business leadership and business model failure so far of India as a base for VFX industries.

  7. tazzman says:

    You cannot take a art form like vfx and take away the fact each and every shot is a original, custom work.

    Sometimes people make too much of terms like pipelines and efficiencies and mistake that for an assembly line akin to mass production.

    You can plug some repeatability in but it is nothing like manufacturing a product.

    It’s not. That’s why these business models are failing.

    • vfxmafia says:

      it does come down to talent…..and thats why half of LA is up in Vancouver now…..one thing that may freak you out is Vancouver and London got game now….and as far as i see ….I don’t see any business models failing up here. And if the subsidies left…..there are so many guys up here….that alot of the work could be done without subsidies. (just saying)

      • Alumnus says:

        If the subsidies leave VAN it will have a tough time just as LA is having a tough time. The studios are following the subsidies. It would be great for the VFX industry if all areas would end the subsidies. Of course the studios and directors won’t want that.

      • vfxmafia says:

        Alumnus…

        my point was if the CVD went through and ALL subsidies ended. There is a pretty significant infrastructure up here……in Van. Alot of the work could potentially stay in Van…..because alot of pepole are up here now. If the CVD does go through it does NOT garuntee work returning to Los Angeles

      • Andreas jablonka says:

        Sorry your view is limited mafia.
        No failing business model?
        It’s the same broken model up there that’s down here!
        Vfx shops ate the cost of opening a van office. They eat the cost of delay from the studio as they are afraid to bill them if a sequence is turned over 2 weeks late. Or 2 months.
        They don’t do cost plus yet!

        It’s the same 3% profit margin “win” they have had for 10 years.
        Just somewhere else…

      • tazzman says:

        And that is 3% gross margin. I once worked in an industry with a 35% margin. LOLOLOL. And that was tough!

      • vfxmafia says:

        Andreas,

        Hey Brother no need to attack me. Im just trying to have a discussion about the ever changing VFX business.

        If we are talking about wasteful broken business models….I think you might have to break the discussion up by size of company and style of company.

        It is important that alot of the big (slow moving) companies are wasteful. But there is also smaller boutique houses up here (under 500 people) who seem to be doing quit well.

        What I am starting to see is Massive bureaucracy out of the super big corporate companies like Sony or lets say a Method…….or an MPC.

        You have to admit that when DD was more of personally run boutique house (The hey day of the Pirate ship)…..it did well. As soon as it went big and corporate something happened.

        Maybe the VFX industry is too small for big companies to succeed? Once the infrastructure for company hits +500 people thats when all the problems start…..

        Seems to me a smart company will pick up work just to keep people staffed and working…where big companies just assume layoffs are part of the business model. I also think certain companies tend embrace talent and innovation more…….and other companies don’t. (especially if that company is a fast rising star rather than bloated whale of a company)

        Just out of curiosity everyone throws the %3 markup number around. (But has anyone checked this against a companies books?) Be kind of hard to prove so many companies profit margins to be an average of %3 margin.

        I also worked in the 90’s when companies were running a %33 markup (which was standard for commercial production company)….the curious thing was that companies would often break even (for tax reasons) and the higher ups in the company would get bonuses…..and large payouts. The company would always break even…but the Executive Producers did quite well…….Places like production companies would offer profit sharing for directors who would come in under budget…….and a % of the money they saved would be kicked back to them. But the books would always break even……

      • Andreas Jablonka says:

        We have to agree to disagree here. I do think we need to see the books and maybe even the before and after cooing so to speak, but we all know thats not going to happen.

        if we did more than 3% why is everybody so in turmoil? R&H was a great shop. they kept their schedules long. did not give in much to the demand of faster. some even say they OVERbudgeteted time and people say around alot waiting. I sure did when I was there. But they were always open about how much money they had in the bank and if R&H cannot make a profit who can? Im aware they had massive debt to pay back but if they had made massive profits, this would not have been an issue.

        2 months of delay made it bancrupt. ok they bought a big building but do you see dell, apple, google or ms go bancrupt if they moneys stops coming for 2 months? no. they have reserves. the O, asylum, cafefx, r&H, DD, they ALL were top players and ALL went bancrupt for various reasons.

        I dont think ANY of their business models work.

  8. NZTD says:

    Sony shut down it’s Indian division, because of SONY. It was a corporate decision based on their own internal dynamics and corporate decisions. At the EXACT same time they’ve lost an anim project scheduled for Sony Vancouver and have let HUNDREDS of animators, lighters, and compers go IN Vancouver. So what conclusion are you going to draw? That India failed? That subsidies don’t work in Vancouver? You’re just grasping at straws now, leaping to whatever conclusion suits your argument. You’re post-fitting the data to match your agenda. Because you are convinced that subsidies are the be all and end all of the root of problems in VFX you use every news story to make that case. Even, when in the case of Sony, there are equally conflicting storylines. Like if subsidies are so good why is Sony Vancouver laying off people right and left?

    If subsidies in Vancouver are SO good why did Pixar close it’s doors and lay off 100 people?

    If subsidies in Vancouver are SO good why did R&H shrink to almost no one in Vancouver and has less than 20 people at it’s facility, who have been working on shorts and personal projects for 6 months?

    If subsidies in Vancouver are SO good why did DD go bankrupt and almost everyone responsible for putting DD IN Vancouver left the company during that time?

    The answer in almost all of these cases is that subsidies don’t override bad business practices, bad bidding models, poor management, or corporate restructuring efforts. Those things explain ALL of the above scenarios. So a logical person might say if all of these companies are having problems EVEN WITH subsidies in Vancouver, maybe, just maybe there is a bigger root problem in the vfx industry than just that.

    But lines have been drawn, trenches have been dug, and this site will continue to post article after article that forces everyone to try to buy the bs that it’s all about subsidies and that once we get rid of them the world goes back to normal and we can all compete on an “even playing field”. Sure thing guys.

    • VFX Soldier says:

      How many times did I mention subsidies in this post? Probsbly the number of times you read it: Zero.

      Yes, Sony is going through money issues but that would mean you should send more work to India and less work to LA and BC.

      Why would you shut down the place with the cheapest labor? Because it didn’t perform.

      Sent from my iPhone

      >

      • SeanCC says:

        Performance would be an issue for sure but you cannot ignore the fact that all of these are “colonial” outposts that require supervisors and leads from the western talent pool. These companies weren’t formed organically with local talent bootstrapping their way to world class parity.

        None of the relevant facilities in Asia would exist without imported, “ringer” talent.

        Speaking from experience, it’s a hard sell getting someone from LA, particularly if they have a family, to move across the world, much less to a developing nation where no matter how many servants they might be able to afford or how First World their microcosm might be they will be surrounded by 3rd World conditions and likely have to see such every day.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if some of Sony’s reasoning had to do with inability to convince Culver City artists to move there or those that had to stay there. Word on the street they haven’t had the best luck convincing their Culver City artists to move to Canada. Prior to that there was convincing SPI Culver City artists to just move to New Mexico and how did that work out for them?

      • Long Time Post & VFX Producer says:

        It’s not that simple.

    • Studio_Spotter says:

      “Sony Vancouver and have let HUNDREDS of animators, lighters, and compers go IN Vancouver.”

      “So what conclusion are you going to draw?”

      Ummm they arent closing the Vancouver shop? And … they were “IN Vancouver” at all to begin with? They arent IN Culver anymore thats for sure. The conclusion is the cheap labor moving to India argument has been debunked.

  9. jonavark says:

    Well.. I can understand your need to pat yourself on the back. While you may understand VFX you certainly don’t understand product development. Merging creative and technical forces is what it is all about, on a constant basis. Your analogy is more easily compared to prints of the same film. All the software and apps that go into devices like an iPhone are constantly undergoing creative and technical change. I have worked extensively in both fields and, despite your claims to the contrary, I can see a clear parallel. You shouldn’t take offense at that since you’ve only spent a few years in one of these jobs.

    • VFX Soldier says:

      You said so many times on my blog that it was all going to India and here you are talking about product development.

      You lost. Move on.

      >

      • jonavark says:

        Actually I never said it was “all” going anywhere. But, no. It isn’t coming back here and yes.. it will slowly go everywhere else. It takes a while and I’m patient. You’ll eventually get it. The cat is way out of the bag.

      • hector says:

        “But, no. It isn’t coming back here and yes.. ” look like you enjoy this situation. If you know how the things will evolve, why you spend you time around? What’s the point?

    • Dave Rand says:

      I’ve spent 19 yrs in visual effects. Comparing Apps for the iPhone and VFX for blockbuster films is like comparing Checkers to Chess…..they both involve little squares ….and that’s about where it ends. Also curious is how politicians aren’t chasing after that sexy app market. Writers of those little codes eat an awful lot of hot pockets…. a real economy booster.

      Is it so hard to admit Soldier nails it repeatedly? Every entertainment reporter follows this site.

      Change brings fear. That’s the real comparison to what is happening on these pages.

      • jonavark says:

        meh. “Politicians” spend more on tech companies like Apple, Google and other firms than they ever will on movies and vfx. That’s where the money comes from. No one is comparing apps to anything. It’s the entire industry that is in a predictable trend. Comparing the two is easy if you have been paying any attention for the last 30 years. It’s growing beyond your borders. Like everything else has. Treating it as if it will ever be an ‘American’ industry again is ludicrous and naïve. That time is over.

        Change? What change? While you’re wearing green shirts and listening to Obama speak the trend continues unabated. If you really want to change the industry you have no choice but to work on making it cheaper, faster and better to compete. Even then you only have a short time before your competition jumps in. It’s a repetitive cycle. VFX is no different.

      • Alumnus says:

        No politician has ever effectively helped a successful tech company. Mostly has-been tech companies try to use politicians to get regulations or laws to hinder their competitors, and never-successful companies try to get subsidies. But effective successful tech companies steer clear of politicians.

        Politicians love to associate with high profile for the publicity – like Obama calls the Seahwaks and invites stars to the White House – all politicians want to associate with major sports and Hollywood. Hollywood is happy to take their money.

      • Dave Rand says:

        The six film divisions of the studios that control 92% of the screens in the world are incorporated in California and are all in the same 20 mile radius.

        We have lots of choices. Better is a choice…cheaper faster is for toasters.

        Everything we’ve done has been additive. 7 yrs ago hardly anyone wrote about any of this in the press.

        What does meh really mean?

      • Dave Rand says:

        Could you post something that gives numbers on political donations to Apple and Google. I’d honestly like to read more about that.

      • jonavark says:

        Dave. Not donations. Massive tax breaks.
        Politicians don’t make ‘political donations’ to corporations. It works the other way around. THEN, the politicians make sure they can skip the taxes.

        That’s what I was pointing out.

      • Dave Rand says:

        They do in our business, as proven in soldier’s previous post 60% of BC VFX artists salaries are paid for by the government (politicians) …this goes way beyond a tax break. I don’t of anything that compares to that

      • Jackadullboy says:

        @jonofark the previous thread discussing the much-debated 60% figure, it seemed pretty apparent that the term “tax break” is pretty misleading as it’s actually not a rebate or really anything to do with tax except in name. Would you dispute that, looking at the breakdown provided by Daniel Lay in that last post?

  10. Fat bob says:

    Came here to say your knowledge of what happens in the world, business, and finance is as much as your understanding that myanmar (Burma) and India are not the same country…Shit I think China would technically be considered closer to India than Myanmar. Also you should read what NZTD and Jonavark, said above point very valid.

    • VFX Soldier says:

      Funny how you think you know more about Burma. Depends on which Burmese people you are talking about. Burma has many ethnicities: Chinese, indian, Persian. One thing that Burmese people share along with Indians and other Asians is the idea of saving face.

      Your citation that jonavark is right is incorrect: he routinely has come on this blog and said all VFX work would go to india: he was wrong. Instead of it all going there it’s all shutting down there!

      Sent from my iPhone

      >

      • jonavark says:

        If you are going to attribute statements to me.. at least make them accurate. I hope you’re not that simple. It would be a mistake to let you spearhead any movement with a childish attitude like that. Calm down and listen to people who know more than you do. They actually do exist.

  11. dante says:

    This is the Sony facility they won’t renew the lease for.

  12. M Kurt says:

    Well all this is on your part is idle speculation on why they closed the India office. And no disrespect but you are a mid level vfx artists and not a business professional like the folks that have managed to make Sony image works a profitable company over the last few years.

    We can speculate based off of knowns.

    1. SPI India ability to complete work.
    I am sure some work was touched up in-house as it was more efficient but whole work being redone did not happen. I can say this because how many Matchvove , Roto, Prep artists were in house in culver to van? If it was more than a handful then we would know as this is a small industry so there is no way those few lead crew could redo the work of say 1000 vfx shots on Spiderman.

    2. Sony upcoming slate.
    We all know that Imageworks has zero VFX shows in production when they wrap Spiderman as they are laying off everyone in most locations. And if they have no VFX shows they have no need for MM, root or prep so why carry the overhead if there is no work.

    My speculation
    You assume the work will leave India, china. If that is the case we will soon see Imageworks hiring a lot of MM, Roto, Prep for its Vancouver office. If that happens then I tip my hat to you.. BUT I SPECULATE the work will continue to be done in India,China, Asia, Eastern Europe by the several very talent facilities like Yannix, FX3X and Sony will just have these vendors subcontract the work rather than carry the overhead of running there own in-house teams as this type of work is very sharable, if not the most sharable types of work in VFX.

    If I am right then VFX will continue to succeed in places like india but just in a new business model where facilities like Sony assume less risk by subcontracting out that work.

    • Long Time Post & VFX Producer says:

      I agree with your speculation, they will subcontract it out rather than creating massive overhead.

  13. vfxmafia says:

    I would think the 60% country wide blackouts that india has or the gang rape problem it has…….and mind bending poverty (which reduces people to human slaves) would be enough to discourage US companies not to start up companies there……..(but that would be too noble of US companies)

    India and China have pollution problems, extreme poverty, and human rights violations there. (or at least more than the US). Why would i want to bring my wife to a gang rape country? (if anyone has been following the news stories about India)

    If I wanted to start a Union in China I could get arrested by the secret police….and I don’t consider India a safe place if i was a woman.

    Most of the talented and bad ass indian artists that i know would love to get out and get paid what the rest of us get…..Its not like Indian artist don’t know they are being used. I have to say I feel bad for the Indian artists that got laid off….Being from LA I can relate to an industry that turns its back on you……

    • hector says:

      “Most of the talented and bad ass indian artists that i know would love to get out and get paid what the rest of us get…” right, but they ask for less money and rights, and they say thanks to whatever they receive.
      However, there are very hard working guys and very talented (some of them)

      • vfxmafia says:

        Hector if Im not mistaken Work permits and Visas are different for every country. US, UK and Canadian citezens enjoy and have different access to western countries than Indian and Asian countries.

        My point was the Indian workers really don’t have a choice…and do what they do to survive. I also assume India is in bad need of a labor movement as well….

        Living and working in poverty stricken country is complicated. Often to travel to foreign countries a certain amount of money in the bank is required…..so just get a passport and leave …you have to be a certain wealth class…..

      • rt says:

        hector, obviously you know nothing about this world beyond your own country, some people have no choice other than to take/receive whatever is available to them, you talk as if that’s their choice.
        And yes, there are very hard working and talented people there, just like there are many hard working/talented and also lazy people in every countries.
        All you guys need to get out more, geezus, what a crazy level of self entitlement.

  14. Alex says:

    Fuck india and those curry-loving motherfuckers (no racist)

  15. Long Time Post & VFX Producer says:

    Soldier, for you to make a blanket statement that attempts to set up the premise that VFX shops in India have all failed for ever and ever and your prediction “won” is just naive, presumptuous and misleading. If people chose to follow you guys in a boat down the river of denial so be it, but Sony closing India has way more to do with Sony itself and it’s approach than India’s long term ability. And I stress long term. You and the racists you unintentionally incited who posted on this thread just don’t get it. They make America out to be a giant version of Pleasantville.

    The idea that India and China are out, Vancouver, Montreal and London are next after we CVD them, and then the work comes back to Hollywood is a flawed plan to succeed. Your “lets all drink a Coke in peace and harmony and even the playing field” is pure ruse. We know what the jingoists really want.

    And Dave perpetuating the “Soldier is always right and every entertainment reporter believes his every thought” through line is equally crazy. If they are reading his comments religiously they are reading everyone else’s. Reporters have agendas too.

    Dave, young Directors are growing up with digital collaboration in their cribs and will have no problem leading armies via teleconferencing in the future if required. ILM has been successfully doing review and approval via teleconferencing at least since the standard definition days of 1995 back when they did Twister. That’s twenty years ago.

    I do agree though that more work will go in house to eliminate layers of bureaucracy and overhead, but I don’t agree the house will be in California unless they subsidize it.

  16. steven says:

    Soldier, your post confirms your immaturity and childish mind you bear. Shutting SPI India down has nothing to do with Indian artists, its moreover a corporate decision to downsize film division of sony. Your argument that Imageworks India did not perform is laughable since sony was ‘dependent’ on India for roto,prep and MM work for past several years. We have seen best quality of prep, roto and MM work coming out of India which was at par if not superior to their LA counterparts. R&H had whole sequences been done entirely in Indian offices which were at par with sequences done in LA or Van.
    No matter how much u bash on India(or on places other than LA), fact remains that there are very talented people around the world who can do good quality vfx; its just matter of time!!
    Also, I agree with the points made above by NZTD and Jonavark.

    • VFX Soldier says:

      My contacts at Imageworks disagree: roto was constantly redone in LA and BC by compositors.

      Secondly, after 6 years all they were doing was roto, and match moving. They were supposed to do more: animation, fx, rigging and other important VFX tasks.

      They simply didn’t perform. Again, you all said it would all go to india and you were wrong. You lost, live with it.

      Sent from my iPhone

      >

      • somevfx says:

        Who are your contacts? Because I am working at Sony, and have to say that the paint work I’ve received from India was some of the best work I’ve seen them do. Extremely hard background paint outs and fixes were done near pixel perfect. It was refreshing to see such good work, and less I had to worry about doing myself. So it sucks Sony had to shut it down, but that was their business decision, and given Imageworks current big-picture, probably the right one.

      • Miodrag says:

        I agree with “somevfx”. I’m working at Sony and the work from SPII was one of the best I’v seen. excellent prep and roto work. If someone had to redo the roto work from SPII it is because the comper needed some extra details, let’s say hair. Also, as we know, every shot has is own story. Some people like to get everything ready for their shot, so it’s a matter of putting all those elements together… if they don’t have ROTO or prep all they can say is….SPII work is on the way.

      • Fat bob says:

        “important VFX tasks”
        So, let me get this straight. You believe that Roto, MM, and bg prep are not important part of VFX?

        go build a house without a foundation and let me know how it goes for you.

        I’m not sure who your “contacts at Imageworks” are who disagree and says the work was redone in LA and Vancouver, but if that was the case SPII would have closed a lot sooner.

        Sigh….your problem is, even when people like “Long Time Post & VFX Producer” and “NZTD” and “Jonavark” try to make valid points all I see in your reply is “They simply didn’t perform. Again, you all said it would all go to india and you were wrong. You lost, live with it.” This is childish and not a mindset of a leader.

        My statement above about Burma was more of the fact that you have been there ( Burma NOT India) 3 times in your lifetime. The Sad part is that you truly believe you understand the Indian culture and mindset not only that but how international business is operated. Excuse me but where did you say you got your degree in business and finance? your statement is as if I went to England and came back saying I understand the Indian and Muslim mindset. Not just that but how they think and work on an international and regional level.

        “That’s not to say there isn’t talented Indian VFX pros. There are many and I know them personally and have had the pleasure to work with them side-by-side here in the US.” Damn Soldier, you must have been busy to have worked with EVERY Indian VFX pro in the world and I mean it’s a good thing ALL the Indian VFX pro’s just ran over to US and didn’t go to UK or Canada or Australia or China or singapore………

        I suggest you also read over what “M Kurt” clearly pointed out above.

        These are just a few of the reason why people are getting on your case and it may be worth stepping back and listening to what people are saying for once. Instead of taking an offence of it right away.

      • tazzman says:

        If everyone here was saying the roto and match move from India was so great, you may be correct. However, it wasn’t so great that when it came time ti shut one of their locales they didn’t close LA. They didn’t close Van. They closed SPIndia.

      • Andreas jablonka says:

        I can confirm the high redo rate of spi India around Gforce/Alice days it might have gotten better after that. I don’t know.

        Methods Pune facility is doing outstanding work I can verify during 2012.

        R&H India (yes all
        Of them ) did great work and most importantly more than just Roto/paint/mm.

    • VFXToddler says:

      NO NO NO You lost, live with it!!!

      • vfxmafia says:

        I agree you can’t conclude all India VFX is a fail because one company closed their satelite. Does it mean when Pixar closed their one Vancouver office …..all of Vancouver will fail? Cause there are alot of big shows up here……and its like 5 times busier than LA. And Sony seems to be a clusterfuck of giant company….that you need a divining rod to figure out.

        I think this whole arguement will be settled by a bigger Fish than Sony India…..Prime Focus….and their company betting IP owned and self produced project…Sin City 2….all backed by shadey investors. Sin 2 is basically a giant matte painting…be interesting if an Indian company can pull off a good stylized look….then you guys can stop frigging arguing about Roto…..and have the question answered about Indian VFX failing

  17. Etteriel says:

    OK, as another Sony worker, I’ll aslo tell you what happens (and has happened in nearly every other studio I know according to colleagues).

    Producer and Supervisor hubris takes over. People have often got into a position where they start a production saying to finance “Hey, I can slash costs by push-button software or outsourcing”. So they get the gig/bonus/promotion.

    Sometimes it works but most times it has not worked. So layers and layers of people have to put in additional unpaid time in Van/L.A. to fix or redo stuff. That is compers roto’ing, TD’s reprogramming tools, animators touching up sets, all edge of the seat last minute stuff. hugely inefficient and stressful.

    Lots of people higher up the chain have written alot of checks that their butts can’t cash but they are totally backed into a corner. The solution? Play on artist/engineer sensibilities and pride.

    Supervisor says “Yes, all the work back from India was fine, the artist is lazy/ineffecient/whatever”. “The push button software tool works 100% for every situation we envisaged. It’s the T.D. programmer not listening properly”. Artist is screwed and professional pride causes them to just suck it up and work huge amounts of unpaid time fixing others mess.

    Fuck anyone with the avatar “Producer” or “Supervisor” here who claims different. There are only a small number who genuinely pull it off regularly but 90% are just buck passing and playing on artists to keep plates spinning at the eleventh hour of production in a huge, ineffecient, underbid cluster fuck.

  18. Jackadullboy says:

    Okay, it seems that everyone has forgotten how to argue productively here.. Most of the content on this thread amounts to noise. That’ll result in the vast majority tuning out.

    Can’t we be civil? Fine to disagree with a point, but make to do so referring to facts rather than ad hominem, feigned indignation, taking/choosing the offensive interpretation of someone’s position in order to take the argument off on a tedious tangent etc.etc.

    If you do think offense is intended in a given case, the best course is to ignore that aspect and deal with the factual assertions made, otherwise it becomes a slanging match.

    My two cents.. I keep looking here hoping to get some enlightenment on the issues, and then wishing I hadn’t wasted my time.

  19. cylibral says:

    Reblogged this on Cylibral Blog. and commented:
    Somy imageworks India to shutdown here is the story from VFX Solider…

  20. VFX Dude says:

    Here are my thoughts. A big shop closing down will certainly give birth to many smaller ones. We tend to forget that there are some very entrepreneurial people out there. Already we are seeing on linkedin advertising for services in rotoscoping, matchmoving or tracking. It is just a matter of time when the services offered will be on par with the best in the industry. They have a very healthy local film industry there and they don’t need westerners to create a demand for them. It is just a question of profit. Hollywood films will yield a higher profit margin.

    Another part not discussed very much here is the country’s ability to maintain legal rights. The biggest overhead in a VFX facility is its workforce. But in India, local workforce are paid so little that the main overhead might very well be hardware and software. There’s no going around hardware, you have to purchase some. What about software? Tell me if I’m wrong, but I doubt a small VFX facility in India would purchase Nuke or Maya licenses officially. It is so easy today to download and install pirated copies. How is a western company to compete against such conditions? Is Autodesk, Adobe or The Foundry scanning the web to find if Indian and Chinese facilities have registered licenses?

    Which brings another point, what kind of financial responsibilities do they take if they mess up a deadline? What recourse would an outsourcer have over them all the way in India or China?

    Make no mistake though, it’s a global market now. There is a local VFX industry in India with a lot talented people. Whether they will be a viable outsourcing solution for Hollywood still remains to be seen. Like vfxmafia said, it’s make or break with Sin City 2 (6 months to go). But even if it breaks, it doesn’t mean that the industry will die there. They will learn from that experience and move forward.

  21. tazzman says:

    When we are talking 3% margins, subsidies, non union leverage, not even a friction set of standards of practices, what we are talking about is an industry that has yet to grow up and mature.

    It’s sad too because vfx films are more popular than ever but the disparity between the fx created, the success they yield on one hand, and the business side on the other shows a truly broken industry.

    Having said that, these times are important in life because they present stark choices.

    The path forward is still unionization, a trade association and some mechanism to address subsidies.

  22. hector says:

    Title should be:
    EVERYTHING GOES DOWN

  23. kittykatoon21@gmail.com says:

    Is this the argument clinic here? Cheeses mate, you lost it. Lost the argument, lost the trust of people and now it’s clear you’re just a self-appointed messiah…or a dog that found a bone to chew but a bone too big to handle?

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/business-news/sony-to-cut-5-000-jobs-as-part-of-restructuring/article1-1181037.aspx

    Let’s just take a look at our VFX facilities first, how fucked up production is organised by people with little to no understanding of the subject, seat warmers sitting in every corner collecting big bucks while a select few deliver the project, how underqualified some of the managers are to run a company, how there is no way to get this shithole of an “industry” together to represent ourselves and come up with some standards for compensation and requirements.

    I would hardly call it an industry, it’s just a bunch of geeks piled up trying to live their dreams…slowly turning into a nightmare.

    • vfxmafia says:

      your gonna love this,…this is the mass email that Prime Focus is sending out for recruiting for Sin City ……

      “We are currently working on the entire movie! All 2500 shots and it is shared between India and Vancouver. They need very senior people to lead the India team to success. Would you or anyone else you know be interested in being apart of a historical visual effects legacy. One company doing an entire movie?

      Think of it as a All expense paid trip to Asia :-)

      Sony India closing is nothing……Sin City 2 and Prime Focus is the Hindenburg with gasoline on it…….

      • SeanCC says:

        Don’t forget, that’s 2500 *stereo* shots. They’ve been recruiting for this since late summer or early fall of last year.

      • Vfx dude says:

        By the way it is compulsory 6 days work week in Mumbai. Everyone in the city adheres to that schedule. I don’t think you’ll see much of Asia… More like stuck at a workstation 12h/day 6 days a week for 6 months.

      • nycvfxgirl says:

        In London you are lucky if you get paid your overtime, in Montreal you are lucky if you get paid at all In Los Angeles you are lucky if you can even find work in VFX. The VFX industry is going the same deregulation and destabilization slash and burn of all non service industries in the west. Many good companies in Los Angeles were wrecked by the studios in order to prime VFX artists for indentured servitude. How can a VFX artist complain about working conditions when all a studio has to do is threaten him with a layoff or transplanting him and his family half way across the world. Western economies are being intentionally gutted to make way for a third world model of workers rights. Meaning the worker has none… Americans can thank Republican and their Democrat rubber stampers for the fact that the U.S. economy has been gutted and transplanted abroad. Of course half of Americans voted for a guy(Romney) all for U.S. companies not paying taxes by sheltering money from the IRS in Europe and the Cayman Islands.Welcome to the Land of the Sleeping.

      • vfxmafia says:

        to NYCvfxgirl….

        Yeah and the other half voted for Obama…who came to Los Angeles to kiss the ass of his largest doner Katzenberg…..(CEO of Dreamworks)….and Obama proceeded to give a speech oh how much jobs the film business was bringing to amercia….(while my Los Angeles ass was packing my bags for Vancouver…..

        make sure to point one big finger at US politcians……republican and democrat. Im sure Katzenburg has some Cayman island accounts as well…..

      • hector says:

        “historical visual effects legacy” LOL!

      • tazzman says:

        nycfxgirl, all the more reason to stop sleeping, wake up and organize and push for an industry-wide trade association.

        The talent eventually rises to the top and they can’t use “we will take the work to place x if you don’t comply” forever.

  24. Studio_Spotter says:

    You guys can blame this move on whatever you like and submit whatever vaguely relevant issues you want. The bottom line is they left the VC office open and are closing the Indian office. A business would not do this unless one was more profitable than the other. The threat that work could move to India is dead.

    • meinvan says:

      really?! you have no clue what you are talking about. if you would read AND PROCESS some of the comments you would be quite a bit wiser than spreading crap.

      Its very correct that SPI vancouver will be more profitable than SPI india, specially at the moment, because they have NO vfx work lined up at the moment. They do however have a lot of animated feature work in the works, for which they dont need their India facility. If india was doing so badly they wouldnt have used it exclusively for 6 years for prep work, 3d and 2d. And from all I have heard the work that came out of india was (of course not always, but that has nothing to do with india) top notch.

      another misconception is that “They arent IN Culver anymore thats for sure.” Currently the teams are pretty much split 50/50 between the two facilities. And the Culver facility on top of that carries alot of talented artists which are currently not geared to shows. In the vancouver studio thats a much smaller number people. Only the most valuable players are kept on as a core team.

      coming to the conclusion from this single event that work will not migrate to india is completly naive. Every single large production, 2d, 3d, stereo are utilizing india and other cheaper emerging markets extensively…..some of the work of course is better than others…but that doesnt mean its not happening.

      wake up and stop spreading junk information.

      • Studio_Spotter says:

        hahah

        “another misconception is that “They arent IN Culver anymore thats for sure.” Currently the teams are pretty much split 50/50 between the two facilities.”

        Apparently I work with a group of incredible magicians that at first appeared to be in Culver right next to me while actually they must have been working in VC all along. Im amazed at how well these guys pulled off this holographic illusion. Maybe DD was behind this… bravo DD… bravo.

        Its strange, I dont know what is what now. I mean… I think Im looking at empty seats all around me, a desolate huge office that was once full of artists. But am I? Whats real? Who knows?

        Again… referring to India, the details you listed are irrelevant, the fact remains they had every opportunity to either move artists to India or assign tasks to India, and they went with VC instead. Labor is cheaper in India even with the subsidies. Are they doing fx on these animated films? I bet they are. What bout lighting? Animation? Modeling? Oh but those tasks never went to India? Exactly. And these tasks are not going to India. So to answer your question;
        “Yes, really”.

      • meinvan says:

        look i never said that sony in culver is staffed the same way as it used to be, no shit alot of their work was pushed up here, nobody is denying that. and why should or would i, as all this has been written about again and again.

        but that doesnot change the facts that the artist are currently split aprox 50/50 between the facilities. and that culver has alot more people on staff which are not part of the artist actively working on movies (production, exec, leads, sups, hr etc…)

        so by numbers they are just as much IN culver as they are in VANculver

        also, why would the facts be irrelevant. At the beginning everything was done in the US, then some roto started to be moved to cheaper locations, after that followed matchmove, modelling and some animation.
        Now 3d convertion has taken a big share of the outsource market.

        Look at any dreamworks movies done in the last few years. They have a dedicated india unit that does a bit of everything.

        So why on earth are the facts irrelevant? Nearly none of the work that was done in India is going to move back to LA or Vancouver, because it’s not needed. So your Vancouver argument is worthless. And your whole argument is that because Sony shut shop there, “India is dead”, is moronic. Do you really think less work is being done in India now then 5 years ago.? And do you really think imageworks is going to build a roto unit, and replace SPI india with a 100+ strong unit in vancouver (spcially when they dont have any large vfx projects lined up?

        And if vancouver was such a good and cheap place to do prep work, wouldnt their be a lot more of that happening up here. I have yet to hear of any of the big shops doing all there own prep work, except image engine which has its own roto unit now, but still outsourced heavily on Elysium all over the world from cali – india. Its a global buisness, in which we will see a lot of changes over the next decades, not only are alot of our jobs going to outsourced, but certainly also automated.

        seriously, look at all the emerging technology…motion capture, lidar scanning, 3d scanning, IK, full body rigs ….etc. All of these tools are to make our lives easier as artist, and to remove any time consuming processes that we had/have to deal with in everyday work…..most studios are prettycapable to produce fantastic looking images, using off the shelve software.

        As we move further away from having highly trained left/right brain people, we are seeing a huge push to simplify all aspects of our work.
        CG schools, pushing out students which are trained to work specifically in this field, software that makes it possible for somebody who has never worked in 3d to pick up a wacom, and end up with a really cool frame in zbrush.

        Again, im not saying that what we do, can just be moved to india in one go, and the whole pipeline, concept – final delivery is going to be done there. But we are certainly moving that direction….and if I can learn to do what I do in a decade, Im sure a less fortunate person in india is just as capable with the right guidance.

        You and I arnt special, we are just trained and dedicated. Get over yourself, and stop hating.

      • Studio_Spotter says:

        1. Im talking about artist positions. Great there is more production staff and managers in Culver yippee! What good does that do us? And more programmers … err wait nope.

        2. “look i never said that sony in culver is staffed the same way as it used to be”

        That sony in culver is not staffed the same way was exactly MY point. Its not staffed the same yet did those positions get moved to India? No.

        Positions have moved to Vancouver. That you seem to think a 50/50 split (not really) from what recently was a 100/0 split negates this argument is wrong. That ANY positions have gone to Vancouver at all is the point. Those positions being let go in VC arent gone either. The shop up there is not being closed. When they ramp up again Im sure all those positions will return…. In Vancouver…. not India.

        3. Your points about India are irrelevant because, as I explained, the positions supposedly threatened by moving to India, ARENT moving to India. Thats the end of it. They moved to Vancouver instead. India involvement is limited to those departments you listed because artist positions arent threatened. Dreamworks? Are their fx, anim, modeling, lighting, or comping department participation rates biased towards India shops? Dont think so.

        4. I dont think India is dead. The THREAT of artist positions moving to India, is dead. Can some major disruption resurrect it? Perhaps if it was major enough. But then If something substantial happens artists could have to relocate to Siberia or Uzbekistan for all we know. But barring that major disruption, that threat is dead.

        5. You jump to far too many conclusions than I have time to deal with including that I have anything to get over about myself. I dont need to be an egomaniac to observe the ebbs and flows of artist positions around me.

    • VFX_Boom says:

      Interesting that the term “Profitable” is being used. Shouldn’t it be rephrased as “Losing less money than the other studio locations.”?

      I mean, isn’t honesty the best policy in visual effects these days?

    • hector says:

      seems like they hire now.

    • vfxminion says:

      Hector, if you knew anything at all about Sony other than your constant Vancouver bashing posts you would know these aren’t currently staffing any positions for the most part. Sony is currently letting almost everyone in Vancouver go after Spiderman. They are certainly NOT hiring right now. They’ve shed hundreds of animation and lighting jobs in the last few months and aren’t expected to ramp up again for some time. So please at least get your facts straight if you’re going to post. Those are recurring postings that are ALWAYS up on their web site. They’re not actually hiring now. Quite the opposite. But continue on with your regular, fact-free postings.

      • hector says:

        sorry you get upset. I don’t know the status of Sony Vancouver, if they hire or not. I saw the ad and spread the info here.
        Seems like way to many people are upset today.
        Thank you for telling me to continue with my posting.
        I am not sure I will.

  25. […] will stay there because the costs of labor are lower regardless of subsidies, talk to the people at Sony India. Kim Kardashian has had a better track record on commitment than […]

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