A bit of slightly good news and very bad news this week for the Australia VFX market.
Reporter Brendan Swift has been doing some excellent coverage of the Australian VFX industry. This week he ran an article on Dr. D Studios that created Happy Feet 2 and was slated to do the new Mad Max film. The good news is the company actually made a profit however it’s future is doubtful:
Dr D Studios posted a net profit of $8.79 million last financial year, according to financial documents filed with the corporate regulator. However, the future of the company remains unclear following a production lull in the wake of Happy Feet Two.
This week also saw the cancellation of Alex Proyas’ Paradise Lost which looked like it was going to be a very big film with lots of VFX. The huge film subsidies the Austrailian government offered Legendary Pictures was enough to get Digital Domain to open a facility in Sydney but it still wasn’t enough to get the film green lit:
A government spokesperson said a planned Sydney office for VFX house Digital Domain will no longer be opened. Digital Domain was set to create the bulk of Paradise Lost‘s effects and was also an investor in the film.
The slightly good news is that Digital Domain will send some work on other to Australia.
Part of the problem is that the Australian Dollar is at an all time high against the US Dollar (or the US Dollar is at an all time low depending on how you want to look at it). This makes it more expensive for US Studios to do work there, even with the huge subsidies.