FXGuide reports on the closure of Fuel VFX in Australia and Matte World Digital in California. Sad news. While the exact reasons for the closures are unknown, an article alludes to something I’ve written before about the Aussie VFX industry:
The post-production, digital and visual effects (PDV) rebate was doubled to 30 per cent just over a year ago however the high value of the Australian dollar has continued to make business difficult.
I’ve pointed this out before:
Do a search on Australia on my blog for other similar posts. I think there needs to be a bit a perspective here. While we’ve seen our share of closures in the VFX industry, it pales in comparison to what has been happening in the games industry. Look at the closures that have taken place since 2006, and in 2011 (h/t theReal_Rebel). 2012 has been very brutal.
While there are regrettable closures in a very volatile industry, there are also greenshoots. Here is a list of expansions and openings at facilities that employ VFX professionals in California:
DreamWorks Animation expands in Redwood City:
The approximately 200 artists, animators and software mavens to be hired on top of the 600 already working in Redwood City should feel right at home.
MPC expands in Santa Monica:
MPC Film has opened of a pre-production studio in Santa Monica. Previs supervisor Duane Floch and executive producer Julian Levi head the office, which houses previs artists and a screening room.
From the ashes of Kerner Optical comes 32Ten Studios.
Encore expands in Santa Clara:
Encore, a subsidiary of Deluxe Entertainment Services Group, announced the company’s new presence Thursday at Santa Clarita Studios in Valencia. Encore will provide front-end dailies and VFX work for shows shot at the stages or anywhere in the vicinity. The setup will house dailies colorists, data experts, a VFX producer and a team of VFX artists.
ArsenalFX expands in Santa Monica:
The sleek 9000 sq. ft facility is an artist-driven, providing creative color, finishing, titling and visual effects using the Autodesk platform of Flame, Lustre, Smoke and Maya, with Avid, Final Cut and After Effects platforms available as well.
Creature Art and Mechanics Digital launches in San Rafael.
and since many question the future of the VFX industry in the US, there are also expansions in subsidized states in the US:
Indian company Prime Focus announced earlier this year they will expand a 13,000 sq ft facility
London based MPC announced a 13,000 sq ft facility last year.
Digital Domain opens an animation facility in Florida.
German company Pixomondo opens in Louisiana. As well as others.