Industries Die and Ang Lee May be Right

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Old 02 February 2013   #1
Industries Die and Ang Lee May be Right

According to what I have read, Ang Lee made a speech at the Oscar ceremony where he stated that VFX are too expensive and he is aware of the plight of R&H. The people who do the amazing work in films like his The Life of Pi are very much against, and some outraged, at this statement. Less expensive VFX, after all, would mean lower wages, or possibly no job at all. Unfortunately, though, Ang Lee is right.

VFX are too expensive just like to design and manufacture a car, entirely in the US or UK is too expensive. VFX are too expensive just like to design, storyboard, layout and animate a 2D cartoon for television, entirely in the US or UK is too expensive. We all know what happened to the western 2D animation industries over the last 30 years. Today you are left with two options, cheap Flash animation, still sustainable in the US or UK, or ship it all overseas.

The thing is, it is not the audience who thinks VFX are too expensive, neither is it the people who do the work on films. It is the people at the top who think so. It is the people who realize that paying more for it means less of their profits going into their profits.

When I worked on low budget B monster movies, I noticed over the years that one by one the artists were disappearing from the LA office and more work was being done by a team in Bulgaria. Today, not one artist remains in that LA office, and all the VFX work for those films is done in Bulgaria. Even on large scale pictures we are seeing more and more work being done in the developing world and major studios in the US and UK closing, it seems like every time you turn around.

I came across an article in the Daily Mail lamenting British Industry. It says, "We invented TV, but Britain’s last (Japanese-owned) TV factory closed in 2009. Our truck and bus industry has largely evaporated... Most of our car-makers from the Fifties have gone out of business after losing the battle with imports. And what volume plants remain are in Japanese hands."

The article goes on to say, "...it’s managements that have lost the will to take manufacturing forward in the UK or see no commercial interest in doing so." The problem with VFX, just like I witness on the low budget B movie scene, is that there may be no commercial interest in doing it in expensive first world countries. Currently, studios in the US, UK and other first world nations produce some of the best VFX seen on the screen. The gap between this quality, and that done in the developing world has been rapidly closing, though. When studios in SE Asia or Eastern Europe begin to match the quality of the major VFX houses, especially with skilled artists from those big houses traveling there and training them, the gap will become small enough that studios will see no benefit to paying top dollar for the VFX which sell their films. It will become as financially feasible as paying to make a car entirely in the US or UK today.
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Old 02 February 2013   #2
You really needed to start another thread because you think your opinion is that important? Regardless, this outsourcing to countries for a rat cupcake is obviously a big problem. Hence, why I think there needs to be some international unionization at some point so work isn't being done on big professional pieces for less than it should be. And that's for all VFX houses globally. Pay needs to rise for these artists and I feel there needs to be some sort of standard whether work is done in India, China, UK, US, etc.
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Last edited by MrPositive : 02 February 2013 at 08:01 AM.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #3
You already said in another thread that you think VFX workers get paid too much, and now you start an entire thread to say the same thing again? Your posts are increasingly looking disturbingly like thinly-veiled schadenfreude.
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Old 02 February 2013   #4
MrPositive,
It is a problem to some, not everyone.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #5
Originally Posted by gkmotu: MrPositive,
It is a problem to some, not everyone.

Well, it better become more real fast, or the whole industry could collapse, or has it already (I guess it depends on how you define collapse). 2 gaming companies today died. Zygna being one of them I'm told. Just because you can get somebody amazing in Belarus to do animation for a dollar an hour doesn't mean you should be allowed to. And I'm talking about the 5 or so major film companies that I personally feel are to blame.
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Last edited by MrPositive : 02 February 2013 at 08:05 AM.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #6
It is not going to collapse.
You will see badly stuctured companies running same railtracks they did years ago fall, yes.
But its business as usual seen on the large scale.
Reform or die. It is not going to help praying for clients to change.
Fight instead

I just saw you edit your post, Yes I will raise a legion of wariors if I am to be dictated where to send my jobs to you can put that into the bank, NOONE tells me where to send my jobs to be produced. I repeat NOONE.

Last edited by gkmotu : 02 February 2013 at 07:02 PM.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #7
Originally Posted by gkmotu: It is not going to collapse.
You will see badly stuctured companies running same railtracks they did years ago fall, yes.
But its business as usual seen on the large scale.
Reform or die. It is not going to help praying for clients to change.
Fight instead

I just saw you edit your post, Yes I will raise a legion of wariors if I am to be dictated where to send my jobs to you can put that into the bank, NOONE tells me where to send my jobs to be produced. I repeat NOONE.


I don't know about the rest of the world, but outsourcing is very regulated in most industries in the United States. Sure, tons of jobs are sent out of the country but slave labor, child labor, pay for peanuts is watched very closely by the unions. Fair pay and competition is a big part of American industry, just not really in VFX............yet.
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Last edited by MrPositive : 02 February 2013 at 10:41 PM.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #8
Originally Posted by MrPositive: Well, it better become more real fast, or the whole industry is going to collapse, or is it already. 2 gaming companies TODAY died. Zygna being one of them. Just because you can get somebody amazing in Belarus to do animation for a dollar an hour doesn't mean you should be allowed to.


Zynga died? That's going to need a link...
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Old 02 February 2013   #9
Originally Posted by mattwood: Zynga died? That's going to need a link...


This was told to me by my former student in the gaming industry in text today, so it's hearsay till confirmed. I'm assuming Zygna east, but I don't know as of now.
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Old 02 February 2013   #10
Originally Posted by MrPositive: Fair pay is a big part of American industry, just not in VFX............yet.


Same here ofcourse, probably even higher than in US.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #11
Originally Posted by MrPositive: You really needed to start another thread because you think your opinion is that important?


Originally Posted by leigh: You already said in another thread that you think VFX workers get paid too much, and now you start an entire thread to say the same thing again? Your posts are increasingly looking disturbingly like thinly-veiled schadenfreude.


The other thread is quite clearly focused on the Oscar ceremony and the protests. We also have threads on R&H, Pixmondo and other companies closing. We have a thread on people searching for other avenues to use their Cg skills besides TV and film. I think there is a large picture of the industry which is worthy of discussion.

If all you took from my opening post was that I, "think VFX workers get paid too much" then I have to assume you did not actually read it.
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Old 02 February 2013   #12
Anglee's speech was clearly a word of a clueless client who thinks VFX is an easy task created with a few mouse clicks. Without the slightest hint how much thoughts, power, energy, have to go into those clicks.

Clue.

Less.

Unfortunately THIS is the kind of clients VFX studios have to deal with 99% of the time.

Hearing him, I say yes we should all protest and stomp the Oscar hall to the ground. It's not only about money. But it's about those people IN THE SPOTLIGHT totally disrespecting those who work behind the scene.

Go. Protest. Burn everything to the ground. Go Go.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #13
Originally Posted by Panupat: Anglee's speech was clearly a word of a clueless client who thinks VFX is an easy task created with a few mouse clicks.

Clue.

Less.

Unfortunately THIS is the kind of clients VFX studios have to deal with 99% of the time.

Hearing him, I say yes we should all protest and stomp the Oscar hall to the ground. It's not only about money. But it's about those people IN THE SPOTLIGHT totally disrespecting those who work behind the scene.

Go. Protest. Burn everything to the ground. Go Go.


Lol, I think building awareness is plenty enough. Awareness inevitably leads to change. No need for anything more than that. And you don't need 15 threads or a riot on the topic to do it.
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Last edited by MrPositive : 02 February 2013 at 10:35 PM.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #14
Quote: Unfortunately THIS is the kind of clients VFX studios have to deal with 99% of the time.



(general not you personally)
So deal with it instead of stand and whine and blame everyone else. Tell the client they are uneducated and needs education if you got the balls to do the only right thing.

You need to educate the clients and stand up for your own intergiry which also means not undercutting constantly, demand what you are worth. Dont be so scared, the industry is soaked in underdog mentality, start doing something that matters.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #15
Only solution is to regulate producers is to limit their ability to show movies in westernized regions unless they are made in those regions. If they are paying low labour rates in other countries, there is no way people in those regions will be able to afford to see the shows they are building.
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