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View Full Version : Lucasfilm opens in Singapore...


GrahamHRoss
10-28-2005, 11:38 PM
http://news.awn.com/index.php?ltype=top&newsitem_no=15256

Any opinions on how this will affect the industry?

Heber
10-28-2005, 11:58 PM
**comment removed by me**

Stahlberg
10-29-2005, 03:44 AM
So you know what the wages are then? Cause it wasn't in the article

Terrell
10-29-2005, 04:42 AM
seems like a sweatshop to me

LOL! The internet is choking to death on hyperbole such as this.

P_T
10-29-2005, 05:25 AM
seems like a sweatshop to me, the fact that they are opening up a studio and paying their employees such low wages sounds iffy to me.
If they werent after cheap labor than why not open it somewhere that has a bigger base of artists say europe? canada? us even?

Damn... comments like this really piss me off.

Settin up in Asia makes it automatically a sweatshop that pays low wage?!:rolleyes:

You didn't even read the damn article did you?! here's a quote:

" The studio, which is approximately 3,715 square meters (40,000 square feet) employs more than 35 staff from 19 countries around the world."

bigger base of artists... 19 countries big enough for you? and i doubt they'd be willing to work there for a sweatshop wage rate. Also, what makes u think Asia doesn't have a big enough base of artists?

umfridus
10-29-2005, 11:14 AM
Actually, Lucasfilm Animation Singapore was established in August last year. Quotes from George Lucas on reasons for setting up the studio in Singapore.

"I've been a fan of Asian animation and illustration all my life. Asian cinema has had a particularly big impact on a lot of my work. When we began thinking about developing new ways to explore the craft of animation, it seemed a natural step to combine the two. By having a base in Singapore, we can create a new style of animation that will blend east and west -- and offer something not seen before."

I'm not sure of how the payroll here compares to Lucasfilm Animation in the States, but you'd be so wrong to think that Singapore is a good place for cheap labour.

Frank Lake
10-29-2005, 12:20 PM
Settin up in Asia makes it automatically a sweatshop that pays low wage?!:rolleyes:

What! When did WalMart start demanding it's suppliers pay their employees 5.75 per hour? (they don't nor ever will) The asian continent has been traditionally filled with low-waged sweatshops.

19 countries = 1 department or group heads at about 25-45k per year. It's nearly a given the rest will be lower paided positions of under 25k, because 25k there is nearly equal to 40-60k in american or europe.

But all that aside... If he's shown his real ability with previous movies I really doubt that he'll make ANY type of real splash in the asian market beyond what his name will carry. Hope that he doesn't totally embrass himself by attempting an anime of any type.

AmbiDextrose
10-29-2005, 01:13 PM
What! When did WalMart start demanding it's suppliers pay their employees 5.75 per hour? (they don't nor ever will) The asian continent has been traditionally filled with low-waged sweatshops.

19 countries = 1 department or group heads at about 25-45k per year. It's nearly a given the rest will be lower paided positions of under 25k, because 25k there is nearly equal to 40-60k in american or europe.

So is Latin America but you don't see him setting up shop there, do you? Just because they pay lower wages does not mean they're sweat shops. And Singapore isn't exactly low-wage in terms of Asian standards.

Also, get your frikkin' facts straight. My wife worked in Singapore as a programmer for Citigroup. $25,000(Sing)/year will barely afford you an appartment and living expenses. More than likely, it'll be around $60,000(Sing) to $70,000(Sing) which converts to $35,000(US) to $41,000(US). And that's just the base salary. Experienced (local) animators probably get paid upwards of $100,000(Sing). Not so "affordable" now, is it?

Oh, and even if you were earning $60,000(US), you wouldn't even be able to afford a house nor a car if you weren't a local.

Hazdaz
10-29-2005, 03:06 PM
I do not consider opening up a studio there as a problem. While the wages there might be lower than in countries like the US or Japan or Europe, they are not even remotely the chump-change that it would be if they opened up a studio in China.

I can see them opening up one in Singapore for the artistic influence of the region... but opening one up in CHina - for the most part - would be a typical corporate-greed costing-cutting effort. If ALL regions in Asia were as developed/advanced as Singapore, there would be no fear of the ultra-low wages undermining the industry - they would be competing on their talent, and not cuz they will be saving the company XX%.

P_T
10-29-2005, 06:18 PM
What! When did WalMart start demanding it's suppliers pay their employees 5.75 per hour? (they don't nor ever will) The asian continent has been traditionally filled with low-waged sweatshops.

19 countries = 1 department or group heads at about 25-45k per year. It's nearly a given the rest will be lower paided positions of under 25k, because 25k there is nearly equal to 40-60k in american or europe.

But all that aside... If he's shown his real ability with previous movies I really doubt that he'll make ANY type of real splash in the asian market beyond what his name will carry. Hope that he doesn't totally embrass himself by attempting an anime of any type.

Have you ever been in Asia at all? while it's true they get lower income in a lot of the countries in Asia, things are also cheaper to buy there so it doesn't mean that every companies are sweatshops. And there are exceptions like Japan and Singapore.

I saw a couple of western names in the article and i think there bound to be more, so even if your estimation of the wage is true, why would they want to work there if they're already earning more in their countries? think about it.

I agree with ur last point though, i doubt he'll make any real splash in Asian market when Japanese anime almost totally dominate the market, at least not if he's just tryin to push his Star Wars saga or other western stories in anime style.

i think his intention is to bring anime style for the western market since it's becoming quite popular. But im not sure if just the anime drawing style is enough, i think the type of stories he's gonna tell are gonna be important too and Japanese anime's storyline usually ends after a season or two unless it's based on an ongoing popular manga so it'll be interesting as to what sort of animation he's gonna be producing in this new facility.

Heber
10-29-2005, 06:52 PM
ok i was stating my opinion i dont see the reason why you guys take offense to it , and yes i am speaking from knowledge and not out my ass!
they were in vancouver and at my school recently trying to recruit alot of students that did not get visas here and what they were offering them was insulting in my opinion , especially artists who were so talented but did not meet the requirements to work in canada/us so they had no other choice in terms of options for work.
I apologize for using the term sweatshop but their visit here left a bitter taste in my mouth.
good day, :)

Hazdaz
10-29-2005, 07:18 PM
ok i was stating my opinion i dont see the reason why you guys take offense to it , and yes i am speaking from knowledge and not out my ass!
they were in vancouver and at my school recently trying to recruit alot of students that did not get visas here and what they were offering them was insulting in my opinion , especially artists who were so talented but did not meet the requirements to work in canada/us so they had no other choice in terms of options for work.
I apologize for using the term sweatshop but their visit here left a bitter taste in my mouth.
good day, :)

Not knowing how much you can/are willing to divulge of this visit, but roughly what % of the average salary were they offering? Like 60%? 80%? 40%?

I llook at it this way - countries that are as developed as Singapore you can compete with - on average, the cost of living on those countries is not THAT much lower than in US/Canada/Japan. It is places like India and China that pay their people literally 10-20% of what they would have to pay someone here that you can't compete with. That is unfair trade. And that is what unsettles entire economies and entire industries. That is what makes the fat cats richer, at the expense of the people trying to earn a living. Trade is good - unfair trade is dangerous.

I don't see the evidence that Singapore is one of those countries... doing a quick search on Google shows that their cost of living is quite high actually.

mangolass
10-29-2005, 11:21 PM
It makes sense to build studios in different places to take advantage of different talent. If fewer and fewer people can get visas to work in the US, then the US is not going to continue to be as big an international hub of CG jobs as it has been. Plus they didn't want to keep expanding where they are competing ~ with themselves and all the studios expanding their 3D feature production ~ for the same people.

I'd be kindof worried about working in a studio where the whole studio depended on one TV series, though ~ TV series get cancelled all the time, and this sounds like an expensive one. Rmember that one about the lions? That one didn't last very long!

LT

pichoo
10-30-2005, 01:34 AM
Good point on the cost of living. Singapore it's not that much different than Australia in terms of cost of living. Automatically that makes the average salary as high as Australia, maybe slightly lower. That makes it far from sweatshop.

and if they do it in china or india, then it would be a sweatshop. And btw many companies did this already.

P_T
10-30-2005, 02:53 AM
Actually pichoo, the minimum wage in Australia is higher than in USA, i think it's around AU$12 which is around US$9. I'm guessing from Frank Lake's post, it's around $5 in the US? damn that sounds like a sweatshop wage to me lol :D

If the average pay in Singapore is only slightly less than that, you can be sure that those recruited students are gonna get paid better than their entry level artists counterpart in the US.

Per-Anders
10-30-2005, 05:37 AM
This may interest those who are into the economic side of things:

http://www.heritage.org/research/features/index/countries.cfm
http://www.finfacts.com/costofliving3.htm

However the wages quoted earlier on by a certain Cgtalker arguing how well paid and costly it is to live there seem about half that of here, if that's indicative of the wage being paid there then it's hard to imagine that economics aren't a factor involved here.

umfridus
10-30-2005, 11:48 AM
This may interest those who are into the economic side of things:

http://www.heritage.org/research/features/index/countries.cfm
http://www.finfacts.com/costofliving3.htm

However the wages quoted earlier on by a certain Cgtalker arguing how well paid and costly it is to live there seem about half that of here, if that's indicative of the wage being paid there then it's hard to imagine that economics aren't a factor involved here.

Thanks for the info. Take note, however, that the cost of living index here actually reflects "how much expatriates receive and what they can buy with that money" in those cities, which is why Beijing (ranked 19), for instance, is considered more expensive than Singapore (34), San Francisco (50) and Vancouver (89) even though the overall living expense in Beijing is much lower in absolute monetary terms.

AmbiDextrose
10-30-2005, 03:17 PM
This may interest those who are into the economic side of things:

http://www.heritage.org/research/features/index/countries.cfm
http://www.finfacts.com/costofliving3.htm

However the wages quoted earlier on by a certain Cgtalker arguing how well paid and costly it is to live there seem about half that of here, if that's indicative of the wage being paid there then it's hard to imagine that economics aren't a factor involved here.

Well, if they moved all the production studios form California to, say, Idaho, you'd have the same math working. Just because you're paid less doesn't mean you can't afford to support yourself. It depends on the cost of living in that particular area as your links show clearly.

Beamtracer
10-31-2005, 03:02 AM
Singapore is ultra modern with a very high standard of living... higher than many "western" countries. Many high-tech companies set up there. It has a vibrant multi-cultural population, and English is widely spoken.

stevopolis
10-31-2005, 06:07 AM
George Lucas is a has-been. What is even more pathetic, is as rich as the guy is,
he has to find sweat shops in Asia. Layoff and burnout his dedicated employees, and
then take the work outside of the U.S.. Lucas doesn't even care, because he is so
engrossed in his own spaced out views, thinking that his nerdy Star Wars convention types
are real film critics. He doesn't even see how washed up he is as a director...

Okay, rant over. Sorry...

AmbiDextrose
10-31-2005, 06:30 AM
George Lucas is a has-been. What is even more pathetic, is as rich as the guy is,
he has to find sweat shops in Asia. Layoff and burnout his dedicated employees, and
then take the work outside of the U.S.. Lucas doesn't even care, because he is so
engrossed in his own spaced out views, thinking that his nerdy Star Wars convention types
are real film critics. He doesn't even see how washed up he is as a director...

Okay, rant over. Sorry...

Why can't people grow up? I'm Asian. I'm glad George Lucas is opening up shop in Asia, so there.

Do I care about employees laid off because of this? Heck, no! Why? Because people get laid off all the time and if they really want to, they will find a way to survive. In my industry (IT), entire departments get outsourced. So while you're in the mood, why don't you also blame IBM, HP, TimeWarner, Cisco, CitiGroup, Morgan Stanley, Merill-Lynch, JP Morgan/Chase, TexaCo, Shell, Comcast, and every Fortune 500 corporation?

I've been laid off at some point in my career. Did anyone outside my immediate family and friends care? If you don't like where the industry is going, by all means, become a doctor, lawyer, or nurse- at least those careers won't be outsourced anytime soon.

JulianHo
10-31-2005, 07:09 AM
I am confused as to why some people are reacting negatively towards all Lucas's decision to set up one of its production shops in Singapore.

The thing to remember that the standard of living is different from the N. American countries, so the sweatshop commentary was a low-blow.

As far as I'm concerned, change is always good. Even if it has to shake up the status quo and rattle your cages a little. :twisted:

PhillipCrond
10-31-2005, 05:38 PM
The lack of understanding in this is so amazing to me. To say that Asia = sweatshops is at best xenophobic, and at worst racist.

The days are coming to and end where you can have mediocre talent and break into (or stay in) the industry. And no matter which end of that we're on, we'll all be better for it. It seems to me that the people making the biggest stink about "foreign outsourcing" are people with massive inferiority complexes. Be confident, practice, get good, don't worry. If I lose my job to someone in another country, I'm not going to blame them because of their median income, I'm going to blame myself for not keeping up.

No matter what industry you're in, times will always change, and you've got to change with them or get left behind. And if you're not okay with the change, do something meaningful about it.

BillB
10-31-2005, 06:43 PM
George Lucas is a has-been. What is even more pathetic, is as rich as the guy is, he has to find sweat shops in Asia.
Man, read the thread - Singapore is NOT a sweatshop, I can assure you. We're doing a film in partnership with a couple of Singapore studios, and I can tell you their wages are far from "sweat shop". As pointed out elsewhere, Singapore is every bit as cosmopolitan as any major western city, with a standard (and cost) of living to match.
What they don't have, and do want, is a well developed CG industry. So they're attracting the likes of George and us to give them a leg up, help train their local artists to international production standards. They're very aggresive about it, I'd imagine there were some pretty good tax incentives waved under Lucas's nose. In that respect, he'll be saving some $$, but for the last time, Singapore is no sweatshop.

Dudeman
10-31-2005, 07:08 PM
This thread title should be changed.

LucasArts is a game publisher.

Leonard
10-31-2005, 07:28 PM
Hi all,

Just so you all know, I am originally from Singapore. The reason why my family migrated from Singapore was because the COST OF LIVING WAS TOO HIGH.

Just because a studio is set up in Asia does not automatically mean that it is a sweatshop. Anyone who thinks this should seriously do their research first.

Would it be any different if Lucas set up a studio in Japan? Or Australia? Or the UK? US studios choose to film movies in Australia because it's significantly CHEAPER than the US - so why aren't the Americans jumping up and down over this and complaining that it's taking away their jobs? Is it because Australians are predominantly WHITE?

It costs over $100,000 (US $80,000) just to own a decent car in Singapore. Most people there now can't even afford to buy a house because it's so expensive.

Please do some research and get the facts before coming to my forum and posting crap on it.

Leonard

AmbiDextrose
10-31-2005, 07:39 PM
It costs over $100,000 (US $80,000) just to own a decent car in Singapore. Most people there now can't even afford to buy a house because it's so expensive.

My wife also told me that you can't own land in Singapore if you're not a native (or haven't been living there for a very, very, very long time AND have good connections). Plus, because of limited geography, detached single-family houses are a rarity and cost a fortune. As such most everyone (especially expats), except the wealthy, lives in appartment buildings. It's one of the main reasons she moved to the U.S. Ironic, isn't it?

Artbot
10-31-2005, 11:06 PM
The whole idea of this studio in Singapore is baffling. Lucas originally claimed he wanted to be where Anime comes from (!). Then another article said that all story writing, preproduction, design, as well as all picture and sound editing, would be done at Skywalker Ranch. So all they are doing there is production. In the mean time, Lucas battles the city of SF over his attempts to sub-lease large portions of his new Letterman Digital Arts complex to outside companies, space that the city presumed was to be filled up by Lucas' various digital arts ventures, but has since been left vacant. Hmmm.

My uninformed guess would be that Singapore must have a lenient immigration policy so that Lucas can hire and quickly import workers from around the globe. Hiring foreign workers in the USA is getting harder and more expensive all the time, and kids from around the world jump at the chance to work for him for whatever wages they can get. In short, he uses his name to attract talent, then pays them what they will accept. People who want to work for him and who settle for low wages (and I'm not saying everyone does) usually get what they truly seek: A Lucas company on their resume.

Listening to all his lame proclaimations of what he's trying to accomplish artistically, I'm reminded of a day long ago when he came to talk to his lowly Lucasarts employees about his latest movie, Radioland Murders. He said, "There's so much action in this movie it makes Indiana Jones look like a Merchant-Ivory film". I never fail to get a good laugh from that one. So I would definitely take his and his PR lackeys' missives with a big grain of salt. I'll have a margarita with mine!

jeremybirn
11-01-2005, 01:42 AM
And don't forget about L1 visas! International corporations can use L1 visas to let foreign employees of overseas branches work in the US. In other words: hire someone as a Singapore employee, and bring him over for 6 months to work in the US without worrying about the H1B cap. It makes everything more flexible.

-jeremy

GrahamHRoss
11-01-2005, 01:46 AM
I think what concerns me the most are trends. If Lucas leads the pack by promoting out of country labour, then it will directly affect me. I was actually affected by this when I was living in Chicago. Due to the film board in Chicago, all of the film industry left and went to Canada, who had been trying to steal US buisness for years.

I'm not going to say the same thing is going to happen, but I went into CG becuase I was hoping to enter a career field that had jobs for people like me. Whether it will be different in San Francisco remins to be seen, but I am a bit concerned the same thing will happen again and I'll be left without work because people failed to act when migration started.

julnyapp
11-01-2005, 04:37 AM
Hi all,

Just so you all know, I am originally from Singapore. The reason why my family migrated from Singapore was because the COST OF LIVING WAS TOO HIGH.

Just because a studio is set up in Asia does not automatically mean that it is a sweatshop. Anyone who thinks this should seriously do their research first.

Would it be any different if Lucas set up a studio in Japan? Or Australia? Or the UK? US studios choose to film movies in Australia because it's significantly CHEAPER than the US - so why aren't the Americans jumping up and down over this and complaining that it's taking away their jobs? Is it because Australians are predominantly WHITE?

It costs over $100,000 (US $80,000) just to own a decent car in Singapore. Most people there now can't even afford to buy a house because it's so expensive.

Please do some research and get the facts before coming to my forum and posting crap on it.

Leonard


I think some of us should step back and look at this differently. Lets not be quick to dismiss the notion that Asia is a sweatshop. I'm noot saying all studios in Asia are sweatshops(maybe some are). I could be wrong.

I'm from Singapore and have been studying in Australia for 3 ys. I've to agree with Leonard on this. One of the costly things to own in Singapore is a car - a standard, decent car would set you back at least SG$70-$80K. ( I could get 3 cars for that amount in aussie). A 110sq meter housing unit in a high-rise flat would cost approx. SG$350K. That's insane!! my cousin just bought one and he's paying installment for like 15-18 years.
Food and transport is cheap though. Yes, the cost of living in S'pore has certainly been higher in recent years but still bearable.


Julian



BillB - 'What they don't have, and do want, is a well developed CG industry.' is true. The animation/CG industry in Singapore is still young and new. The market is so tiny that its almost non-existant. Lucas setting up shop there is a major boost for the local / regional CG industry. New talents/ artists foreign & local will be attracted to the area as well.


Brent Turbo - I seconed that. In these day & age, we must learn to adapt/embrace changes, upgrade/improve ourselves to keep up and survive.

BillB
11-02-2005, 02:45 AM
went to Canada, who had been trying to steal US buisness for years.Steal!?

"Call the police! They stole our business!"

GrahamHRoss
11-02-2005, 06:13 AM
The main reason US companies go to different countaries is because the cost of production is cheaper. Plain and simple. THe auto industry does it. THe computer industry does it. And now the 3d indistry will do it. It's just unnerving is all. There's nothing I can do to control it, but it does make me sad that compaines can't see the benefit of paying american workers.

umfridus
11-02-2005, 09:58 AM
The main reason US companies go to different countaries is because the cost of production is cheaper. Plain and simple. THe auto industry does it. THe computer industry does it. And now the 3d indistry will do it. It's just unnerving is all. There's nothing I can do to control it, but it does make me sad that compaines can't see the benefit of paying american workers.
Lower cost is likely to be a contributing factor, but it's not necessarily the "plain and simple" main one, especially when the country the companies are moving to is not that much cheaper. Managing an overseas operation can actually be quite expensive even with significantly lower labour cost, so companies will not move out unless the benefit is obvious. The US probably has the largest pool of CG artists in the world, but it's not like the rest of the world cannot compete with it in any way except labout cost.

P_T
11-02-2005, 12:33 PM
Companies from MacDonalds to PriceWaterhouseCooper open international branches all the time, you don't see American burger flippers and accountants goin apeshit over that :D so wat's the big deal?

gitgit
11-02-2005, 02:06 PM
Can anyone name me an animated TV series done ENTIRELY in the great country of USA in the last decade?? I don't know about you, but I can't seem to recall any.

Artbot
11-02-2005, 05:36 PM
...but it does make me sad that compaines can't see the benefit of paying american workers.

Which begs the question: What are the benefits of using American workers? The actual cost of living here is sky-rocketing, inflation is rampant no matter what the gub'ment tells you, the atrocious healthcare system is killing this country's industry, and workers here expect and demand better hours and quality of life than most workers of the world. So what are the advantages to using American workers if everyone's skill sets are comparable? I think this is the exact question GL asked and you see the answer for yourself.

RobPowers
11-02-2005, 05:39 PM
Voltron 3D and Max Steel were both done in the USA by Netter Digital - Later episodes of Max Steel were then done at Foundation also in the USA.

c-g
11-02-2005, 05:48 PM
so why aren't the Americans jumping up and down over this and complaining that it's taking away their jobs? Is it because Australians are predominantly WHITE?

Holy shit. I can't believe that came from a mod. Any other member posting that would ahve gotten the thread shut down.

BillB
11-02-2005, 07:42 PM
Voltron 3D and Max Steel were both done in the USA by Netter Digital - Later episodes of Max Steel were then done at Foundation also in the USA. Jimmy Neutron?

Jpsilvashy
11-02-2005, 07:47 PM
no way, singapore is a dope place, my friend is from there, singapore is a wordly place that is super diverse and it is such a tiny place. only about 4 million singaporeans on the planet now. so give them a chance. the US cant steal the industry everyehere.

MCronin
11-02-2005, 08:08 PM
Would it be any different if Lucas set up a studio in Japan? Or Australia? Or the UK? US studios choose to film movies in Australia because it's significantly CHEAPER than the US - so why aren't the Americans jumping up and down over this and complaining that it's taking away their jobs? Is it because Australians are predominantly WHITE?

There are plenty of people in the industry in the US complaining about Australia, New Zealand, the UK and even Canada taking American film jobs. I've read several articles about it in the last year alone, and it's actually crossed my mind that I'm contributing to the problem because I am an American working on an American production in Canada. Recently a couple of bigger stars have taken salary cuts to keep movies they were working on from going up north or across the Pacific. It really started coming to a head around tyhe begining of this year with all the acclaim Peter Jackson has gotten and all the huge films that were starting up in Australia and New Zealand (Superman, King Kong, etc).

Your attmept at race baiting is pretty shameful.

RobertoOrtiz
11-02-2005, 08:45 PM
People CGtalk is an international site.

Keep that in mind while posting.

I will close the thread if things get out of hand.


-R

thatoneguy
11-02-2005, 09:23 PM
I spent several months in singapore when I was younger. If you ask me, in comparison to singapore, LA is cruel and unusual punishment.

artzfx
11-02-2005, 10:03 PM
Wow, all this discusion because 35 jobs are leaving the USA and a few films are being made in other countries than America. The US should feel lucky Aussie companies don't come in and takeover US companies... lay off staff and ruin your traditional products for the sake of saving a buck. That's what happens in Oz from big US corporates taking over our companies... be happy for the rest of the world that some of your corporates care to share their business to foster international skills and give a handful of opportunities to people outside the US rather than just destroy the industries we have.

It's hard enough paying the huge prices for software and hardware that we pay outside the States. For example, Maxon products cost us nearly double what you pay in the States... don't think you need to worry too much about a handful of jobs and projects going international. Your'e not too hardly done by.

rcronin
11-02-2005, 10:06 PM
If you were a tequila distributor and you could buy 5 bottles of tequila from South America for the price of 1 in the USA, as a business man you would have to buy from South America. It raises your profits, gives you more capitol to expand your business, and keeps your share holders happy. It's good for business. By no means is it "stealing" from America. Canadian productions are done with on par quality and efficiency. In fact 4 out of 5 vfx emmy nominations this year were Canadian based. If the product is equal and provides your business with better numbers, you'd be a business fool not to take advantage. When you purchase from Ebay, do you look at where the product is coming from rather than price? (other than shipping concerns?)...

artzfx
11-02-2005, 10:24 PM
rcronin, taking your analogy further... didn't Autodesk (a large US company) just buy out a Canadian company Alias... (please correct me if I am wrong about their origins)... won't there potentially be job losses for Canadians (Alias) moving forward? not to mention any profits no longer stay in Canada. As you say it is merely the way of business these days... money talks...

rcronin
11-02-2005, 10:35 PM
Well, as far as I have read the people who've made Alias what it is (I'm sure employees from many countries not just Canadians) will be retaining their jobs and continuing development on Maya and other products. Not only that, but the owners that sold Alias have obviously made a large profit. I can't back it up but who's to say that the sellers of Alias won't pump those millions back into the Canadian economy with an even more profitable business?

artzfx
11-02-2005, 10:50 PM
Very true... I think its great CG is an international industry... it provides opportunities for people to experience different cultures whilst working in their own industry... The Lucas Singapore studio provides yet another opportunity especially for US CG artists to work overseas.

gitgit
11-03-2005, 12:52 AM
Voltron 3D and Max Steel were both done in the USA by Netter Digital - Later episodes of Max Steel were then done at Foundation also in the USA.


Jimmy Neutron?

3 shows in the last decade? that's it? i'm sure there are more... keep the names coming guys.

malducin
11-03-2005, 02:58 AM
The whole idea of this studio in Singapore is baffling. Lucas originally claimed he wanted to be where Anime comes from (!). Then another article said that all story writing, preproduction, design, as well as all picture and sound editing, would be done at Skywalker Ranch. So all they are doing there is production. In the mean time, Lucas battles the city of SF over his attempts to sub-lease large portions of his new Letterman Digital Arts complex to outside companies, space that the city presumed was to be filled up by Lucas' various digital arts ventures, but has since been left vacant. Hmmm.

I don't see what's baffling. They always said writing and all the reative decisions would be done in the US. Lucasfilm Animation (in particular the Singapore facility) would only do the CG. Skywalker Ranch is setup for postproduction so it makes sense to do the sound and editing there.

Also I never heard Lucas battling San Francisco to sublease. The big problems he had were: the tax break he got and the size of the project (they had to scale down the buildings). For quite some time it was planned to move the companies only to the A-B buildings and sublease the other complex (although there's another controversy there involving The Orphanage). Even then last time I was there they were already moving furniture to the second complex so they must be subleasing some now.

If you were a tequila distributor and you could buy 5 bottles of tequila from South America for the price of 1 in the USA, ...

Well not a very good analogy, as tequila only come from Mexico. Kinda like you can only call champainge (sp?) the one that come from that valley in France. ;-)

A better analogy would be cars. You can produce them in the US or elsewhere.

Lower cost is likely to be a contributing factor, but it's not necessarily the "plain and simple" main one, especially when the country the companies are moving to is not that much cheaper.

Bingo. There was an article quite some time ago that indicated that Lucas got a great tax incentive in Singapore. Unfortunately I don't have it handy.

Which begs the question: What are the benefits of using American workers?

As unfridus notes, it's not the nationality that matter, but how things are setup in the US. It might be similar to with what happens in software development outsourcing. You might have brilliant programmers in India, China and Eastern Europe but sometimes the setup is not ideal. There might not be the flexibility or the ability to adapt things as quickly as in other places (I think ACM had an article about this) so you get good code but it might be to difficult to extend or adapt later on, so in the end that raises costs.

It might not be about the specific CG skills but many places may like the whole infrastructure, from pipeline to actually managerial considerations, to really explode in the scene.

Well, as far as I have read the people who've made Alias what it is (I'm sure employees from many countries not just Canadians) will be retaining their jobs and continuing development on Maya and other products.

Well I wouldn't use that as an example. Remeber when A/W became just Alias. Lots of turmoil, including closing many offices, including the one in Santa Barbara where Wavefront started and a good deal of development took place. From what I remember a lot of people didn't stay because the new deals (which included moving to Canada) were not very good, plus apparently the rather unceremoniuos way Mark Sylvester was "moved out".

Still not exactly the same, as Alias is a tool maker, while something like Lucasfilm is a service/content provider.

Ninjas
11-03-2005, 03:44 AM
First Singapore is not a country, it is a city state. They are small, rich (being the shipping hub of SE Asia) and very firendly to tech companies. Most of them speak english from what I understand. We are not talking about them opening a facility in Laos or Cambodia or something.

Americans have gotten used to the idea over the years that they deserve a better quality of life than other people simply because they are American. They are in for a rude awakening.

For all the people with skillz, this news doesn't even raise an eyebrow. Why should it? They can look all day in the 3rd world and they won't find another person like me. I think the best security package you can get is being the best at what you do.

MCronin
11-03-2005, 05:02 AM
Americans have gotten used to the idea over the years that they deserve a better quality of life than other people simply because they are American. They are in for a rude awakening.

Are you not an American? American's generally don't demand a higher standard of living simply because they are American and feel entitled to it. They demand a higher standard of living because they have worked for it. No other country in the world has an economy that handsomely rewards creativity and ingenuity to the extent the US does.

I don't disagree that there will be reprecussions down the road and the lifestyle people in the US enjoy may be very different a decade or two from now, but if you are harboring a fantasy of the US collapsing under it's own weight like ancient Rome, don't hold your breath. The economies of the world are inextricably linked together and if the standard of living decreases in the US, so will it go in every other nation around the world... Many will go much lower much quicker than the US. As much as I'm sure it makes many people around the world sick to their stomach to admit it, given the current state of things, it's in the best interests of all industrialized nations that the US economy stays strong and US consumers continue to spend lots of money on imports and international travel.

Now I personally am not worried about outsourcing. I feel like I can always find a job even if it means creating one for myself, and eventually outsourcing will backfire on some of these companies. It already has to an extent in the games industry. There was a rash of outsourcing handheld games to eastern Europe and Asia a few years ago. US publishers found that they could get a game made for 40,000 US dollars if they outsourced development where in the US it would cost a quarter million. It got to the point where some longtime hanheld developers couldn't buy a contract in North America. What these publishers soon found out was that you pay 40,000 for a game you get a game that looks like it cost about 40,000 dollars to make. If you want a 250,000 dollar game you have to pay for it one way or another, no matter where in the world you decide to develop it.

At the same time, though, I think US artists have a legitimate gripe here and should be voicing their concern. There are all sorts of laws governing importation of products, but those laws don't seem to apply to intellectual properties. A film or game or television show, any intellectual property made for a mass consumer market in the the US in ANY foreign coutry should be subject to import restrictions just like any other product (cars, clothing, housewares, whatever). It won't stop outsourcing (personally I think some outsourcing is good, it's in the US' best interest to help grow economies with our trade partners, especially in developing nations) but it will stem the trade deficit we seem to be headed towards with entertainment products.

BTW, the US recognizes Singapore as an Independent Nation, despite the fact that it is basicly a city state. They have a nationally elected representitive republic government, a constitution, and their own economy and military.

Stahlberg
11-03-2005, 07:32 AM
I'm neither American nor Asian, yet have lived and worked in both places.
I just can't understand the attitude of thinking you know something about a place when you've never lived there, never even been there... Sweatshops in Singapore?! Would be hilarious if it wasn't indicative of a deeper more insulting pre-conception about Asia. I totally get why Leo's pissed.

Imagine the reverse - Asia rules the world in terms of cg, and a famous Chinese director opens up a new studio in say Cleveland, because Asia is getting a bit expensive and more and more cg talent is to be found outside of Asia. Then Asians go "Damn why'd he outsource when we need the jobs? It's just a sweatshop anyway" etc. That would make Americans feel real good about themselves wouldn't it.

And Leo's not just another 'mod' - he founded cgtalk. Show some respect.

They demand a higher standard of living because they have worked for it.
I don't understand this sentence. So people in other countries haven't worked for it? Or are you saying, we're all demanding higher standard of living but only the Americans should or can get it?

No other country in the world has an economy that handsomely rewards creativity and ingenuity to the extent the US does.
Hong Kong is currently at the top of the list as the most pure capitalist place on Earth, and having lived there 10 years I would say, the rewards are bigger there for creativity and ingenuity. And there are many other countries that rewards these things to nearly the same extent.

umfridus
11-03-2005, 07:45 AM
First Singapore is not a country, it is a city state.

BTW, the US recognizes Singapore as an Independent Nation, despite the fact that it is basicly a city state. They have a nationally elected representitive republic government, a constitution, and their own economy and military.
This sounds a bit funny.:D Of course Singapore is a sovereign country; I don't think there's any country in the world that doesn't recognize it. It's certainly tiny, but has a population on par with Norway or Louisiana so it's kinda crowded. The monicker of "city state" basically means it's a small, urbanized nation - not the state in the sense of US states, i.e. part of a federal government or something.

feefunk
11-03-2005, 07:49 AM
Most people who keep criticizing these business moves have never actually worked outside of their own city or country.

You cannot judge the standard of living and lifestyle of another country until you have lived more than a year there. A 2 week vacation does not count.


If you think you work hard in North America... you should go to Asia for a bit of an eye-opener. Everyone who's talented and works hard deserves a fair salary and good opportunities, but unfortunately the playing ground is very uneven.

AmbiDextrose
11-03-2005, 07:59 AM
I don't understand this sentence. So people in other countries haven't worked for it? Or are you saying, we're all demanding higher standard of living but only the Americans should or can get it?

Being SE Asian, I also do not fully understand that sentiment although I have seen it in action every year-end when bonuses are announced or November, when promotions are announced. You can hear a lot of grumbling from people regarding compensation/promotions they should have received "because they worked for it."

I mean, I work pretty damn hard (60+ hour weeks) and I always meet or exceed what's expected of me. I put the time in because, well, they're paying me to complete a certain task within a specified amount of time but I don't go around thinking the company owes me anything for basically doing my job. If anything, I'm glad and thankful for what I have because I know there are a lot more people who aren't as lucky. And if some upper-management chap thinks I deserve more because of my efforts, so be it. And fankly, the less expectations I have, I more fulfilled I become.

AmbiDextrose
11-03-2005, 08:03 AM
If you think you work hard in North America... you should go to Asia for a bit of an eye-opener. Everyone who's talented and works hard deserves a fair salary and good opportunities, but unfortunately the playing ground is very uneven.

Yes, but they should be treated like the locals, not as expats or else the experience will be for naught.

artzfx
11-03-2005, 08:17 AM
Mike,

A lot of world politicians and economists have just been made redundant because of your comments :) ... if only they knew their hard work had no bearing on the success of their own economies, it was merely decided on the success of the US economy.

Of the 20+ countries I have been, they all work hard but don't all experience higher standards of living. Various standards of living exist in every country: poor-low-mainstream-higher-wealthy... I don't presume the States is any different.

I will be made redundant in March because most of my depts jobs are being outsourced to India... their are some very happy people in Indian because of it. Good luck to them. Am I upset? No... I get a nice payout and now the opportunity to go do something new...

Jobs for life rarely exist in our time, people need to be prepared for change and be ready to adapt when change occurs. Outsourcing doesn't just happen in the States... it happens everywhere, everyday.

Stahlberg
11-03-2005, 08:20 AM
Yes, but they should be treated like the locals, not as expats or else the experience will be for naught.
The problem with expats is, they usually don't plan on settling and staying forever in whatever country they're 'expatting' in atm, and so don't want to feel like they wasted their time, you know in terms of building their nest-egg and all, because maybe they could have made much more at home... so we have to pay them a little bit more than the locals. Otherwise they simply won't come. This happened to me about a year ago when I hired a guy - he was Asian, but lived in Australia, at that time he was working in Europe. I ended up paying him even a bit more than myself. :)

AmbiDextrose
11-03-2005, 08:32 AM
The problem with expats is, they usually don't plan on settling and staying forever in whatever country they're 'expatting' in atm, and so don't want to feel like they wasted their time, you know in terms of building their nest-egg and all, because maybe they could have made much more at home... so we have to pay them a little bit more than the locals. Otherwise they simply won't come. This happened to me about a year ago when I hired a guy - he was Asian, but lived in Australia, at that time he was working in Europe. I ended up paying him even a bit more than myself. :)

That's true. I've heard of it in Japan where expatriate Americans send their children off to American schools that seldom teach even rudimentary Japanese. I've seen it also in Manila where there are exclusive schools for American and European children (eventhough English is the language of instruction in Manila and many of my elementary and high-school teachers ended up in New York teaching English to Americans in their owh country :D).. It's like they don't even want anything to do with the locals even if, in actuality, they are just guests in that country.

c-g
11-03-2005, 01:37 PM
Americans have gotten used to the idea over the years that they deserve a better quality of life than other people simply because they are American. They are in for a rude awakening. .

Thanks for the blanket statement asshat.

Ninjas
11-03-2005, 03:40 PM
If you can't handle generalizations, maybe you should stop using words. Language is based on generalizations.

Anyway, I bet you own a car, eat 3 meals a day (if you feel like it) and have clean running water. I also bet that you expect to continue to have these things. Other people in the world don't expect these things.

DARE YOU DENY IT?

[edit]

I decided to make it easier for you.

If you DO deny my above statement then:

You must be pretty ignorant if you don't expect these things (that represent a higher standard of living) when living in the US because everyone here has them!

if you DO NOT deny the above statement then:

Huh, I guess I was right afterall, asshat.


This way I don't even have to bother responding to you again.

Back on topic-> Sure Americans are productive and they earn what they do based on the fact that the things we are good at are things other people aren't doing. I don't imagine America is going to have a huge downfall, or even that we will have a lot less in the future than we do now. There will be fluctuations in the job market and our standard of living will sink reletive to others. The people who are going to be hardest hit are those that really aren't very good at their jobs.

China is going to have a larger economy than the US in just a couple decades. This is going to change everything. It will open a huge new market to the people who are good at what they do, but it will shut out people who are only so-so. Cheap computing and mesh networks are going to put BILLIONS (10^9) of Chinese, Indians and Africans on the internet. Once they learn english (or french, or german, etc.) watch out! Entertainment production will become localized, yet the movies America produces are ALREADY for a worldwide market, so we will do better at this than most.

It is pretty smart for Lucas to absorb those workers into his company now before it is too late. You get to be co-workers instead of competitors. I think he is a much better business man than he is a film maker, so he should get some credit where credit is due.

On a related note, I think the economic choices the US has made are probably very bad for it. They have been focusing on a service based economy (business management for example) With this type of industry anyone can take it away simply by being better (ie better educated, and we see this in our industry; how anyone can jump in). The other problem is that the people in the US who have these skills can simply move somewhere else. there is no real way to keep the talented people you have where they are if things start going down the tubes. A lot of other industries require huge amounts of capital that are hard to get and hard to move. This provides economic power that can't easily be taken away. Raw natural resources is another area where economic security can come from, but the US is not particulaly gifted in this area. I think new technology would be the way to the future, but kids these days are not being taught much about science... these are the things that do not bode well for the future econonomic superiority of the US.

Borjis
11-03-2005, 07:59 PM
Generalizations fine, but stereotypes no.

"Anyway, I bet you own a car, eat 3 meals a day (if you feel like it) and have clean running water. I also bet that you expect to continue to have these things. Other people in the world don't expect these things."

If I'm paying for it with my hard earn dollars you bet your ass!


Is this even related to whats actually happening with LucasFilm and Singapore?

Reminds me of a poser thread.

c-g
11-04-2005, 04:30 AM
I decided to make it easier for you.

If you DO deny my above statement then:

You must be pretty ignorant if you don't expect these things (that represent a higher standard of living) when living in the US because everyone here has them!

if you DO NOT deny the above statement then:

Huh, I guess I was right afterall, asshat.


No you are just lumping everyone into one stereotype and telling them you are right about it. I didn't say I believed one way or another with what the others posted. I simply pointed out you didn't need to post a blanket statement like a racist son of a bitch.

Ninjas
11-04-2005, 05:21 AM
I don't know why I have to put up with these personal attacks. Am I a racist? No. I have a latina wife and I'm an American Indian/White person. I judge individuals based on their behavior. Puedo ablar in espanol si nesesito Gomez.

Am I a poser? No. I have a degree in economics and I focused on SE Asia. I am a freelance artist and I never have to struggle to find work. I have posted work up here on CGTalk in the past if anyone wants to see my stuff.

Was I off topic? No. I wrote 3 paragraphs on topic.

Was I wrong? No. Even these people making personal attacks are saying I was right!

What is wrong with you people? You can't come up with anything to say on topic so you just spill out your contridictory nonsense and insults? I can see the way you people think from the garbage you write and it makes me sick.

JulianHo
11-04-2005, 05:47 AM
After all the previous posts, I still have can't understand why people are upset about having an outsourced production line.

Surely people should be aware that the majority of the electronic products they've been using were outsourced and manufactured in other countries as well. :shrug:

And last of all, Singapore is a city-state/sovereign nation. It's a small country, but we're a very techno-saavy nation.

Besides, I don't hear anyone complaining about "Pet Alien" being made in India. :p

MattClary
11-04-2005, 07:05 PM
THis is seriously old news and been chewed to death already.

BillB
11-04-2005, 07:18 PM
THis is seriously old news and been chewed to death already.
There's another thread about Singapore not being a sweatshop?

Stahlberg
11-05-2005, 01:22 AM
I think there have been at least 2 other threads about GL opening up a studio in Singapore, and in both of them people started discussing the cost and quality of living in Singapore, after an American complained about outsourcing. Then we have all the threads about outsourcing in general; they always end up with Americans on one side of the fence, and everybody else on the other, giving similar arguments as we have here. There's even a thread about Japanese animators salaries that's tending in the same direction.

edit: and I see the other Singapore thread has just been brought back

AmbiDextrose
11-08-2005, 08:02 PM
Message moved to General section.

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