EW: Peter Jackson and others weigh in on Hollywood's F/X crisis

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Old 04 April 2013   #31
Let's not start bashing the developing world, shall we?

I grew up in the developing world, and there are loads of talented artists where I come from. In a free market, studios have every right to ship work where it's cheaper to get done. Every single one of us benefits from stuff everyday that was manufactured cheaply in the developing world; to complain only when it's your own job that's affected is a tad hypocritical.
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Old 04 April 2013   #32
Quote: "The truth of the matter is that it doesn't take a rocket scientist to do CGI so they shouldn't be surprised that they can be replaced by cheap labor."


This was my favorite because the founders of Blue Sky are rocket scientists.

Quote: Let's not start bashing the developing world, shall we?

I grew up in the developing world, and there are loads of talented artists where I come from. In a free market, studios have every right to ship work where it's cheaper to get done. Every single one of us benefits from stuff everyday that was manufactured cheaply in the developing world; to complain only when it's your own job that's affected is a tad hypocritical.


Aye, it's they way the world works, no one is entitled to a job. What I recommend for anyone that's worried about the state of the industry is stay on top of your game. Get your skills up. Make sure your growing and learning everyday, aim to be the best at what you do, then the money and security from doing what you love will come naturally no matter where you live..(well large metro centers anyway....)

Last edited by depleteD : 04 April 2013 at 06:06 PM.
 
Old 04 April 2013   #33
I had a very interesting conversation with my Mom the other day. She has 0 CG experience but she is a fairly skilled artist and musician.

She came over this weekend and I wanted to show her a personal project I've been working on for the last 2 months. I loaded it up and she gave one of those Mom responses, "Oh, very nice." As in, I'm your Mom and I'm going to nod my head and smile no matter what I'm looking at. Then I mentioned that I'd been working on it for 2 months and she had this dazed look for a moment before she started asking a bunch of questions about what it was and how it was made. As in, "Now I'm interested, tell me more." It was funny watching the change.

But the point is, people in general really just don't know what it takes to make ANY vfx. I remember we both watched the same Star Wars documentaries about how it took 18 months to make 1 scene. I'm sure she thinks that computers made all of that go away. Well to a degree yes, but now its not 1 shot taking 18 months, its getting 300 done in a fraction of the time.
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Old 04 April 2013   #34
Hey, I have nothing against the hardworking and creative people in developing countries doing whatever ethical thing they can and must do to climb and occasionally claw their way out of undignified poverty. The resentment I personally have is against the current economic model that vfx houses let the capital holders determine their worth.

It would be much better if vfx houses would do whatever they could to gain access to capital directly, and then use the means of production that they own to try to let the market directly decide what their labor is worth. In other words, the resentment I think a lot of people feel is that you can't say that vfx, whether it's made in the first or third world, doesn't provide plenty of value add.

As for me, I've given up trying to make it as a 3d animator per se because even if I can get A job, where is my career going to really be in 15 years, really? Nope, I have health insurance until I am 26 and I've always wanted to be a writer/director, and it might not work out, but, now or never.
 
Old 04 April 2013   #35
And if it doesn't work out, well, I, and I would suggest you guys as well, if you have any engineering aptitude, should consider going back to school and double majoring in biology and mechanical engineering since the United States' Government's horrendous military blunders have lead to a high and reliable demand for prosthetics in the next few decades.

(Still want to be a director more than life itself though, the above isn't even Plan B but more like Plan Q or R)

Good luck out there.
 
Old 04 April 2013   #36
Originally Posted by badsearcher: As for me, I've given up trying to make it as a 3d animator per se because even if I can get A job, where is my career going to really be in 15 years, really? Nope, I have health insurance until I am 26 and I've always wanted to be a writer/director, and it might not work out, but, now or never.


I'm kind of in the same boat. The cons in the industry are pushing me away from it. The rapid expansion and contraction is exhausting and terrifying to watch.

Originally Posted by badsearcher: And if it doesn't work out, well, I, and I would suggest you guys as well, if you have any engineering aptitude, should consider going back to school and double majoring in biology and mechanical engineering since the United States' Government's horrendous military blunders have lead to a high and reliable demand for prosthetics in the next few decades.

(Still want to be a director more than life itself though, the above isn't even Plan B but more like Plan Q or R)


I've actually begun to explore getting involved in the health care industry and pursuing CG as nothing more than a hobby at home. The health care industry has its own problems, sure, but the demand for health care will never go away as long as there is people. In the USA, the baby boomers are going to see to that for the near future.

One cannot outsource health care to other countries, no matter where one lives (aside from paperwork and customer service phone lines, of course). Having spent months in physical therapy from computer related RSI, I have an even deeper respect for those who help others heal.

Originally Posted by badsearcher: Good luck out there.


Good luck to you, as well.
 
Old 04 April 2013   #37
Originally Posted by badsearcher: Hey, I have nothing against the hardworking and creative people in developing countries doing whatever ethical thing they can and must do to climb and occasionally claw their way out of undignified poverty.


I don't mean to pick on you personally because I don't think you meant this maliciously, but honestly, reading this kind of remark about the developing world is pretty facepalming. Your tone, perhaps unintentionally, comes off as rather condescending and your view is a little, well, ignorant. Have you ever even been to a developing nation? You know that they're not simply full of people trying to scratch together a living in the dirt, right? China, for example, is a developing country, and it's hardly a primitive wasteland. Same with South Africa, where I grew up. I didn't, contrary to the beliefs of some people I've met around the world, grow up in a mud hut surrounded by roaming giraffes; the country has a significant technological infrastructure and a relatively decent standard of living, numerous social strata, and wealth in certain industries. There are atrocious levels of poverty, yes, but those aren't the people you're competing with in this industry.

As for the rest of your post, what you don't seem to understand is that VFX is essentially a service industry; studios act as vendors to do a job. I think a lot of people here tend to view this field as somehow special, but it's really like any other technological industry in that we provide a service to a client. Don't assign it a special status just because you have an emotional investment in the art. I can see why people feel that way, but in doing so, you're distorting the way the industry works to fit your desired view.
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Old 04 April 2013   #38
" Have you ever even been to a developing nation?"

Yes, I am a second generation immigrant since my parents fled a nation that was under foreign occupation and I have returned to aforementioned place multiple times in my life.

"China, for example, is a developing country, and it's hardly a primitive wasteland."

Well, Shanghai isn't a primitive wasteland but for example in India you do have a lot of affluent people who moved into the cities from rural areas that didn't have modern infrastructure. It's the same in China.

But I think there's a bit of confusion here. I said 'undignified poverty' and I'm guessing you took that to mean mud huts and all that. I guess there's a lot of definitions for dignity and indignity but just to speak for myself, when I say undignified poverty, I refer to the fact that people in certain circumstances who are impoverished have severely diminished self-determination and in my view this sort of lack of self-determination is undignified. More power to people who can find a way out of that. I apologize if I offended anyone.

"what you don't seem to understand is that VFX is essentially a service industry;"

I understand this very well and it's precisely what informs my suggestion that vfx houses try to get direct access to the market rather than the current vendor system. What would be ideal would be if the vfx house could get a percentage of the profit but that's most likely not going to happen.

Therefore it's no accident that my suggestion ends up being that a vfx studio should basically endeavor to turn into a film studio with animators behaving collectively in their own self-interest to make the studio a success. This is hardly a novel idea, Studio Ghibli and Pixar are examples of organizations that fall within these terms.

In other words, the vfx house model doesn't seem to have any long term prospects inside of high cost of living areas unless they are being heavily subsidized or protected.
 
Old 04 April 2013   #39
Regarding to certain poster that talks about healthcare.

Just like India is taking a lot of programming job from US, they are also doing it to the healthcare industry, to certain extent.

http://www.healism.com/blogs/the_st...ons_in _india/

http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/h...caltourism.html

Quote "India's National Health Policy declares that treatment of foreign patients is legally an "export" and deemed "eligible for all fiscal incentives extended to export earnings." Government and private sector studies in India estimate that medical tourism could bring between $1 billion and $2 billion US into the country by 2012. The reports estimate that medical tourism to India is growing by 30 per cent a year."

Like I said previously. Understanding that other people can do your job do go a long way...

And I think health care and surgery are far more complex than 3d animation.
 
Old 04 April 2013   #40
Originally Posted by fablefox: Regarding to certain poster that talks about healthcare.

Just like India is taking a lot of programming job from US, they are also doing it to the healthcare industry, to certain extent.

http://www.healism.com/blogs/the_st...ons_in _india/

http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/h...caltourism.html

Quote "India's National Health Policy declares that treatment of foreign patients is legally an "export" and deemed "eligible for all fiscal incentives extended to export earnings." Government and private sector studies in India estimate that medical tourism could bring between $1 billion and $2 billion US into the country by 2012. The reports estimate that medical tourism to India is growing by 30 per cent a year."

Like I said previously. Understanding that other people can do your job do go a long way...

And I think health care and surgery are far more complex than 3d animation.


And you must be truely desperate to go there for healthcare. Have you seen how "clean" that place is? Yes, you can say doctors do have a harder job than us artists. But if we screw up, no big deal, if they screw up, you are done.
 
Old 04 April 2013   #41
Originally Posted by Krisonrik: And you must be truely desperate to go there for healthcare. Have you seen how "clean" that place is? Yes, you can say doctors do have a harder job than us artists. But if we screw up, no big deal, if they screw up, you are done.


Did you even read the first article I linked to?

There are international bodies that ranked hospitals. Insurance company, being an insurance company, will not send their customers to fly by night hospitals.

Quote "Is Medical Tourism Safe?

For those group members who have concerns about how safe medical treatment outside the US is, Wellpoint has announced plans to co-ordinate all travel and treatment arrangements with hospitals in India that have been accredited by the Joint Commission International or JCI. This is a non-profit organization that certifies hospitals, depending on their fulfillment of certain patient safety criteria. This should put those patients, who have been pondering the question "is medical tourism safe" at ease
."

I still don't get this "they can't do the job as good as us" attitude, even when it come to hospital quality and cleanliness.

EDIT:

I really don't know how you view India or if you have any past experience with India, but...

http://www.voanews.com/content/mars...am/1616134.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian...ch_Organisation

There are smart people there. Those people can keep a hospital clean, you know...

Last edited by fablefox : 04 April 2013 at 02:15 AM. Reason: more info
 
Old 04 April 2013   #42
Originally Posted by fablefox: Did you even read the first article I linked to?

There are international bodies that ranked hospitals. Insurance company, being an insurance company, will not send their customers to fly by night hospitals.

Quote "Is Medical Tourism Safe?

For those group members who have concerns about how safe medical treatment outside the US is, Wellpoint has announced plans to co-ordinate all travel and treatment arrangements with hospitals in India that have been accredited by the Joint Commission International or JCI. This is a non-profit organization that certifies hospitals, depending on their fulfillment of certain patient safety criteria. This should put those patients, who have been pondering the question "is medical tourism safe" at ease
."

I still don't get this "they can't do the job as good as us" attitude, even when it come to hospital quality and cleanliness.

EDIT:

I really don't know how you view India or if you have any past experience with India, but...

http://www.voanews.com/content/mars...am/1616134.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian...ch_Organisation

There are smart people there. Those people can keep a hospital clean, you know...


Just one question, when you arrive, will you be in a bubble until you get to the "qualified hospital"? You can clean up a hospital all you want. But when the whole country is as poluted and dirty like China and India... Have fun fix your problem in the hospital and get something else while you are there.
 
Old 04 April 2013   #43
This conversation isn't going anywhere good.
 
Old 04 April 2013   #44
Originally Posted by badsearcher: This conversation isn't going anywhere good.


You are right.... let's stop here... neither political correctness or truth wins is going to be pretty ending.
 
Old 04 April 2013   #45
Originally Posted by Krisonrik: And you must be truely desperate to go there for healthcare. Have you seen how "clean" that place is? Yes, you can say doctors do have a harder job than us artists. But if we screw up, no big deal, if they screw up, you are done.


Sorry, but I really have to chime in here.

Firstly, a VFX house is NEVER going to get a gratis share of profits of a feature.

NEVER.

A studio is primarily a service, just like the camera operator, gaffer, sparks, set designer, art director (etc) on a film set. Do they get a cut of the film's profits? No. Why? Because they too are service and, quite simply, are not putting the money up to finance the film so therefore are not taking the risk a producer would.

For a VFX facility to gain any income outside of the amounts derived from their contracts with production with respect to facility work, they are going to have to invest in the feature itself, which means either injecting money into the production or taking a cut on the "standard" fees to re-inject that money back into the production. Provided the producer agrees on this co-production.

Oh and while I'm at it,

Ever been to India? Witnessed the dirt first-hand? No? Then, sorry, but shut up.

We'd all love to be driving Mercs, but I need to speak to the investors about that and possibly re-negotiate the next production contract...

Or tell your government to lower the prices of everything, and lower your salaries relatively so therefore everyone's on the same level playing field.

I've lived in India for over four years and I've even had major surgery here. Yes it's not as squeaky clean as the US or the UK (where I'm from - hell we even get free healthcare in England), yes there is pollution, yes there is disease - we have big frickin' mosquitos during the monsoon for god's sake. But it has its merits. The hospital in which I had my operation was as clean as a whistle, was very professionally done and no complications, infections etc. One tends to paint a picture of something when one has no direct experience of it.

Yes standard of living is less than the west for the majority of people. Salaries are less, but on the flipside everything costs less. Just over $1 for 1L of fuel (or about 75p for those in the UK), I can buy 4 bags of fresh groceries for about $4, antibiotics (should you need them) cost 20c for 15 pills. Shit, my operation only cost $800 (minus the health insurance I have with the company, so I only paid $150) and I was sliced and diced by a guy who practiced in the UK for 10 years.

Oh and my experience of VFX houses over here? Some are good, some are average, some are very good.

So why am I in India? I mean I could get a nice cushy job in London or LA for a shitload of extra money a year couldn't I? Hell, I've turned down offers of the same...

I do it because I enjoy it and I love working with the guys and gals here. There are some hurdles, yes, but once you get to know the nuances it's fine. Our primary mission statement, if you like, was (and still is) to raise the game of Indian VFX, primarily for the local market. Over here we have the same issues that studios in the US are having - lots of studios bidding for the same gig and going to different states within the country to reduce costs (a studio down south would be cheaper than one in Mumbai for example). So to get the work, one has to shine. I'm a firm believer that people are not stupid - there's only so far "cheap" can get you - one needs to pay for a good quality and that is something we as a studio strive for.

So, again, please if you don't know the situation, ask. Or at least research.

And no, we don't have the artists sat in mud huts working on 486 systems...

FYI on Sunday we celebrate our 3rd year running. We won the National Award for Visual Effects last month for the Telugu feature "Eega" (housefly), of which we did over 2000 shots, most of which in 8 months. It was tough, but we did it.

We do it because we love it. Just like a true artist anywhere else.

We're Makuta - we're in Hyderabad, India, we're 50 strong, we're growing, we're hiring.

And this is what we do

Reel - https://vimeo.com/49944024
Capacitor (Short) - https://vimeo.com/63086586
Decibel (Short) - https://vimeo.com/63131447

Thanks

Pete (co-founder)
 
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