Originally Posted by mrcain
Regardless, yes the same effect will most likely happen here (UK), as the confidence in more high level work happens further East. When and if it does, the wages for staff there will increase, companies will want more profit and it won't be as cost effective. The same is happening for manufacturing in China. The GDP has gone up so much that companies are now looking at other countries, even there own for manufacturing. So with VFX, the work for US based studios will start moving back West, where it is more convinient (language barriers, time difference etc..)
it's also not as simple as if its cheaper then thats where it will go. I worked in Asia for three years, and there are so many issues above cost that do start to outweigh the benefit of saving some cash.
Out of interest, I do frequently see jobs posted for LA, Luma Pictures seem to post on the jobs board here, so I presume there still is some industry there?
It's funny when people bring up China/India in terms of VFX outsourcing. My experience living and working in China (2yrs as of last month) suggests that very little Hollywood feature work actually goes through here. Maintaining quality is difficult, there's political issues, costs are increasing and the expectation for bids is that they'll be cheaper than elsewhere. There's only really two shops in China that handle that level of work and both are connected to companies running out of LA.
I believe subsidies have a much stronger impact on the market than the rise of VFX houses in the east. And the problem with subsidies from an artists point of view is that they change and throw entire facilities into disarray. That's your migratory issue right there.
With regards to Luma I know they've been hiring for their Melbourne facility which brings up the Australian angle again. With Australia it's worth noting the tolling bell for Fuel earlier this year and Dr.D before that (yes different circumstances I know). Either way I think calling out the Australian VFX industry as being one which is prospering is a very contentious statement.
I think over all the state of the industry is relatively simple to summarise:
1. VFX films as a product are very desirable both financially and socially, so the subsidy game will continue to be played internationally in a world where international transitions are easier than they've every been.
2. In addition there are a lot more studios capable of doing the work and also still wanting to get more of this work, which means it's a lopsided market and the studios have the control.
Those things will more-or-less work themselves out:
1. Governments will realise it's a losing game to provide incentives to people who can just up-and-leave when the next cheapest offer comes along
2. Some studios will die, some will merge, others will expand to incorporate other revenue streams. Economic Darwinism will continue it's heartless and methodical dance.
What does this all mean? Well ... until things balance out and stabilise the short-term outlook is probably going to be filled with pain, tears, the occasional awesome set piece and lots of threads about how we should unionise.
Just my thoughts