(Creative Cow)VFX Crossroads: Causes & Effects Of An Industry Crisis

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  03 March 2013
(Creative Cow)VFX Crossroads: Causes & Effects Of An Industry Crisis


"The VFX industry is in a crisis. As Life of Pi won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects, the venerable facility that created those effects - Rhythm & Hues - declared bankruptcy, and they're hardly the first to close their doors due to financial problems. Debra Kaufman pulls from her 25 years of experience covering the industry to take a close look at how the creators of some of cinema's indelible images are falling prey to dysfunctional business models. Their deep historical roots have also led to visual effects becoming one of the least-profitable areas of film and TV production. How did we get here?"
:Daily Sketch Forum:HCR Modeling
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  03 March 2013
One of the best articles I've read to date on the problems plaguing the VFX industry. I'm hopeful that something of value will come out of these discussions to help stabilize the industry, although I still think it is going to get much worse before it gets better.
  03 March 2013
This list is from the article and it's not a complete list.
It doesn't mention companies like Foundation Imaging or small studios that have downsized to just the core management and ramp up just for a project.

"Shuttered: a list of bankrupt or closed VFX Houses

This list has been kept and maintained over the years by Phil Feiner, who kindly made it available for publication. Thanks to Jonathan Erland for the suggestion to add the box office numbers for the films that these now-defunct VFX houses did. Global box office numbers are courtesy BoxOfficeMojo.com

Please note that more than one VFX house worked on most, if not all, of the movies listed below.

The list includes houses that did opticals & titles as well as a handful of post production facilities that also contributed visual effects. Most, but not all, of the facilities listed here were closed due to bankruptcy.

Rhythm & Hues – Lord of the Rings: Return of the King ($1.1B); Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone ($974M); Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring ($871M); The Hunger Games ($691M); Life of Pi ($601M thus far)

Digital Domain (Purchased by Galloping Horse (China) & Reliance Media (India) –Titanic ($2.1B); Marvel's The Avengers ($1.5B); Transformers: Dark of the Moon ($1.1B); Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen ($836M); Transformers ($708M)

ICO VFX – Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore ($112M)

CIS – Hollywood – Titanic ($2.1B); Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest ($1B); Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End ($963M); The Twilight Saga: Eclipse ($698M); Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl ($654M)

Kerner Optical – Transformers: Dark of the Moon ($1.1B); Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen ($836M); Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull ($786M); Iron Man 2 ($623M).

Asylum VFX – Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest ($1.1B); Alice in Wonderland ($1B); Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen ($836M); Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull ($786M); Transformers ($708M)

Cafι Fx (aka Computer Cafι) – Alice in Wonderland ($1B); Spider-Man 3 ($890M); Iron Man ($585M); Armageddon ($553M); King Kong ($550M)

C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures – X-Men ($296M); Doctor Dolittle ($294M); Flubber ($177M); Nutty Professor II: The Klumps ($166M); Saw II ($147M)

Illusion Arts – The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe ($745M); Ghost ($505M); Bruce Almighty ($484M); Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian ($413M); Batman Forever ($336M)

Pacific Title & Art Studio – Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest ($1B); Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End ($963M); The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe ($745M); Star Trek ($385M); Night at the Museum ($177M)

Gray Matter – Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl ($654M); XXX ($277M); American Gangster ($266M); Fun with Dick and Jane ($202M); The Italian Job ($176M)

The Orphanage – Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest ($1B); Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End ($963M); Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire ($896M); Night at the Museum ($574M); Iron Man ($585M)

Digital Filmworks – Planet of the Apes ($362M); Minority Report ($358M); The Longest Yard ($190M); Cheaper by the Dozen ($190M); Big Momma's House ($173M)

ESC Entertainment – The Matrix Reloaded ($742M); The Matrix Revolutions ($427M); Constantine ($231M); Catwoman ($82M); The Ladykillers ($76M)

Howard Anderson Company – Spider-Man ($821M); Hannibal ($351M); Jurassic Park III ($368M); Rush Hour 2 ($347M); Scary Movie ($278M)

Imagica USA – My Fair Lady ($72M); Mysteries of Egypt – IMAX ($45M); Island of the Sharks - IMAX ($10.7M); Siegfried & Roy: The Magic Box -IMAX($5.23M)

B/G/L Post – Evil Dead II ($5.92M); New Best Friend ($46.3K)

Buena Vista Imaging – The Lion King ($951M); Beauty and the Beast ($425M); Armageddon ($553M); Toy Story ($362M); As Good As It Gets ($314M)

Centropolis – Godzilla ($379M); What Women Want ($374M); How the Grinch Stole Christmas ($345M); Stuart Little ($300M); The Patriot ($215M)

Cinesite (Hollywood) – Titanic ($2.1B); Mission: Impossible II ($546M); Armageddon ($553M); Ocean's Eleven ($450M); Rush Hour 2 ($347M)

The Secret Lab (TSL) – Unbreakable ($248M); Gone in 60 Seconds ($237M); The Princess Diaries ($165M); Snow Dogs ($115M); Disney's The Kid ($110M)

2002 and Prior
Available Light
Bill Cruse & Associates
Blue Sky/VFX
Boss Films
Boy Wonder
CFI Optical
Chandler Group
Cinergi Efx.
Coast Productions
Colossal Pictures
CRC (Cinema Research)
DeGraf / Wahrman
Digital Anvil
Digital Magic
Digital Muse
Digital Productions
Disney Visual Effects
Dream Quest Images
Eastern Opticals (NYC)
EEG (Entertainment Effects Group)
EFX Unlimited Inc. (NYC)
Encore Efx.
Hollywood Optical
Ferren & Associates
Film Effects of Hollywood
Flat Earth
Freeze Frame/Cinefx
Gray Matter
Jack Rabin & Associates
LA Effects Group
Landmark Entertainment
Look Out Mountain
Magi Synthivision
Mass Illusions
Master Film Effects
Master Film Effects
Metrolight Studios
MGM Optical Dept.
Modern Film Effects
Motion Opticals
Movie Magic
National Screen
Netter Digital
Optical Cinema Service
The Optical House-LA
The Optical House-NYC
Pacific Data Images (PDI)
Pittard Sullivan Design
Pixel Envy
POP (Pacific Ocean Post)
Post Group Film Unit
Ray Mercer
Robert Abel & Associates
RGA-NY (Robert Greenberg & Associates)
Side Effects
Skyline Digital Images
Station X
Threshold Digital
Total Optical Productions
TNT Optical
Triple I
Universal Digital Department
Universal Title & Optical
Universal Matte Department
Van Der Veer Photo Effects
VI Efx. – 20th Century Fox
Vision Arts
Virtual Magic
Warner Digital
  03 March 2013
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