Double Negative lays off 200+...

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Old 10 October 2012   #16
what a surprise, another layoff. shocking in the vfx world.

Where's the next cheap place? Tax incentives ran out over there? Maybe they can open a cheaper operation in Guatemala. Quick everyone move to the next place...
 
Old 10 October 2012   #17
Originally Posted by leigh: Loads of us in London are out of work right now, it's the biggest dip I've seen in all the years I've been here. Things will pick up again, as they always do, but right now it's hard to compete against Vancouver and other places, so it's unfortunate but not surprising that a lot of us are currently sitting around twiddling our thumbs.

I'm using the time to do some photography and play loads of XBox, but I hope some new work hits town soon. I occasionally toy with the idea of changing my career but honestly, I love my job and don't want to do anything else. Time will tell, I guess.


In Asia where I live, the entertainment industry has been running this way for decades.. Expanding and contracting (sometimes project-to-project). Depending on where you're at there is more sensitivity or less sensitivity to letting people go.

So it's normal where I live.

Some of the artists I know do something else in the meantime, like take up an illustration task for children's books or something. Basically something short, sweet, and with a quick exit process.

So some of them have a smorgasbord of things in their CV like professorships at colleges, Children's book illustrations, comic book art gigs, posters, brochures....

Just putting that out there.
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Old 10 October 2012   #18
They went through a streak of major upsizings and even changed buildings, and now there's a lull in the workload and contracts aren't being extended. That's going from thousands of shots to less thousands, it's not like they are completely dry and/or unprofitable the way other shops that got slammed recently were.

And since when somebody tweeting up equates to a company making an official announcement?

If it was core staff being canned, it'd be one thing, but if every time a shop shrinks between peak jobs by not renewing 20% of their freelance base it was to be considered "firing", then every big shop is firing hundreds every year.
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Old 10 October 2012   #19
pretty much standard cycle for vfx houses in london it seems,

-get a big project,
-hire an unsustainable amount of artists to get it done
-let go huge amount of people
-have a quiet 6 months while the next company goes through the same cycle
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Old 10 October 2012   #20
Wink

Originally Posted by leigh: I'm using the time to do some photography and play loads of XBox, but I hope some new work hits town soon. I occasionally toy with the idea of changing my career but honestly, I love my job and don't want to do anything else. Time will tell, I guess.


Whoa. I don't know if it was that bad over there to a point you are thinking about career change...

But I do understand about doing what you love and won't settle into whatever else...
 
Old 10 October 2012   #21
You may be in for a shock if you think this is just some kind of "cycle" that will turn around soon. This is an industry wide change, on a global scale, of how the business is done, due largely to the rising costs of production and the easy accessibility of technology in emerging markets. This is more like dropping a bag of marbles and waiting to see where everything settles.
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Old 10 October 2012   #22
Originally Posted by teruchan: You may be in for a shock if you think this is just some kind of "cycle" that will turn around soon.


Not really. Honestly, I'm not sure why there seems to be so much shock over these layoffs - they're quite normal. In the six years I've been working in London, there have been a number of occasions when one of the big Soho shops has shed more than 150 employees simultaneously (the most notorious being the great "MPC post-Toastie cull" of around 250 people a few years back - Toastie was the internal name for one of the Narnia films, I don't remember which - and MPC is still going strong years later), while smaller layoffs are so common that they're part of life. We all work project to project and while things are generally consistent enough to jump from project to project with no gap in between, we all know that there's always a chance of a gap. Right now I'm in the middle of the longest gap I've ever had, but I know that all the studios are bidding on stuff and new work is bound to come along sooner or later. In the meantime, I'm just living off my savings, because I always financially prepare for gaps in case they happen, as do many of my peers.

This layoff is nothing new or unusual. If DNeg were shedding key staff, that would be unusual, but this is just the usual downsizing that happens after any project.

The only thing that really makes this particular round of downsizing noteworthy is that it's happening at a time when there's little work in town, meaning that many of these folks will find themselves out of work as opposed to simply going to Framestore or MPC. This current lack of work has come around as a number of factors, from the failure of John Carter to shitty under-bidding that is putting a strain on everyone, but this is certainly not the death knell of London's VFX industry that you seem to be suggesting.
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Old 10 October 2012   #23
Originally Posted by fablefox: Whoa. I don't know if it was that bad over there to a point you are thinking about career change...

But I do understand about doing what you love and won't settle into whatever else...


I'm just thinking long term. I absolutely love my job and wouldn't want to do anything else right now (except perhaps doing photography full time, but that's an even more unstable career than VFX - I currently shoot gigs, you can see the link in my sig, but the pay is shit if you even get paid at all, and the work is sporadic), but thinking in the long term, I can't help but wonder if I still want to be living project to project in ten years time. I'm not one of these superstar artists that's going to get given a permanent post somewhere, and even if I was so awesome, my loud personality rubs enough production people the wrong way to ensure that despite being a very reliable and very fast worker (I'm always a go-to person for quick fixes on stuff), I'm generally not high on the list of people to retain after a project because people (well, production people) think I'm a clown. Production people tend to like quiet, studious types, while I'm a notorious socialite with a loud laugh. Which is why I could never survive in a regular office, apart from the fact that the tedium would drive me batshit anyway.

Anyway, my plans for the far off future involve living in a cottage on a fjord somewhere in the middle of Norway or in the mountains of northern Sweden, so who knows what lies between then and now. It'd be nice to keep working in films for a few more years but if work doesn't come into town soon (I've already been sitting at home for almost three months now) I may not have a choice but to find something else. C'est la vie.
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Old 10 October 2012   #24
But you paint, right?

So you can do anything... Comic books, printed material.....

Hope dies last.
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Old 10 October 2012   #25
Unless Movies stop being made, Advertising is no longer needed, or all the other requirement for cg cease, I'm pretty sure it's a career (hopefully) that will last longer than your lifetime. Unless something supersedes 3d technology.

The annoying thing is, because of under-bidding it means being able to hire less people, and the people that are hired have to work twice as hard to make up the deficit.

My ideal would be to make documentaries. Sadly that's been underbid out of existence. Still the occasional good one though.
 
Old 10 October 2012   #26
Originally Posted by CGIPadawan: But you paint, right?

So you can do anything... Comic books, printed material.....

Hope dies last.


I'm not particularly interested in those though.
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Old 10 October 2012   #27
Originally Posted by mrcain: My ideal would be to make documentaries. Sadly that's been underbid out of existence. Still the occasional good one though.


I'd actually love that too. I'm a big history nut and would love to work on digital constructions of ancient sites and stuff like that for National Geographic or the History Channel. I think it'd be a lot of fun. Or doing documentary photography. The BBC's Natural History Unit does some phenomenal work.
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Old 10 October 2012   #28
This is more than just the normal cycle of people leaving after projects end. Its a root and branch decision to let long term people go.

Quote: The decision to streamline our operation for the time being is a natural part of the cycle of our industry.

https://www.fxguide.com/quicktakes/...e-dneg-layoffs/

This is more like the situation when Sony made anyone above a certain pay grade redundant. Dneg are trying to survive as the industry changes they have no choice. No firm can compete with Vancouver.

b
 
Old 10 October 2012   #29
Sad to hear. I hope the affected artists will find new gigs soon without having to move to Vancouver.
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Old 10 October 2012   #30
Originally Posted by mr Bob: This is more than just the normal cycle of people leaving after projects end. Its a root and branch decision to let long term people go.


https://www.fxguide.com/quicktakes/...e-dneg-layoffs/

This is more like the situation when Sony made anyone above a certain pay grade redundant. Dneg are trying to survive as the industry changes they have no choice. No firm can compete with Vancouver.

b

Are you guessing it, or do you know that for a fact? Honest question, no confrontational tones or second meanings implied.

The article itself doesn't seem to hint at either direction (contractors only vs mostly long term staff on top of the hiring cycle), and the long term people I know there (which is of course a negligible percentage of their whole rather large pool of warm bodies) don't seem to have been affected.

You heard something more than that?
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