Digital Domain Kindergarten
Former Digital Domain CEO and ILM Founder Scott Ross tweeted about HUGE news that Digital Domain is opening a 16,000 square foot training facility in Albuquerque, New Mexico as reported in a new vfx blog called VFX Final.
So what’s so different about this? Well instead of an actual university like the one in Florida, this new VFX training facility is a kindergarten:
DIGITAL DOMAIN, Venice, LA, CA, has announced today plans to build an upscale kindergarten together with a nursery in Alberqueque, New Mexico. This is the next step in closing the loop withDigital Domain University (DDU) where talent will be trained to handle all aspects of the multiple-pipeline approach the Digital Domain has been perfecting for past several years.
I was actually tipped off about this development over the summer by a few parents who have already enrolled their children in summer school at the new kindergarten.
Parents will pay Digital Domain to enroll their children in the Kindergarten to learn and work on actual feature films that they can build towards a demo reel.
The facility and salaries of VFX artists that will be partially subsidized by the New Mexico government’s film tax rebates.
Upon graduation, the students will be able to use their demo reel to get recruited to work on other feature films. Digital Domain hopes to leverage a combination of subsidies and student tuition to build substantial profits.
It also will be able to lower costs by contracting Employee Of Record company Yurcor to pay the young VFX artists through their parents’ allowance money and avoid any payroll taxes. They also intend to avoid healthcare costs as most children are covered by their parents healthcare plan.
For the most part the children seem pretty excited to finally be able to live their dream of doing big movie VFX. One child had one gripe:
Dey change da pipeline mo den mah parents change mah doytee diepaz!
Some associated with the venture said the new business model would help compete against low labor areas like India and China because the labor costs in New Mexico would essentially be cost-free:
Free labor is better than cheap labor!