Scot Ross discusses the State of the VFX Industry at NAB (Video)

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Old 05 May 2013   #31
Originally Posted by fablefox: .........a lot of ideas that hollywood plan to do (cinema and home view on the same day for example) were shot down by cinema chain - where most of where hollywood makes their money......


I don't know how Hollywood could expect cinemas to line up enthusiastically and commit mass commercial suicide with an idea like that. Only an idiot could have come up with something like that.
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Old 05 May 2013   #32
Originally Posted by SanjayChand: Most of the artists I know working in vfx dont want to live in small/mid-size cities anyhow. They enjoy big cities and the lifestyle it provides. It comes down to a preference of which big city they like (some hate LA but love Vancouver or London, etc).

Just talk to any recruiter who scouts people for studios in remote locations or smaller-cities. They tend to have a tough time finding talent who are willing to make the move.

For the young and single that might be true. But start getting workers with family involved and you might find a different story. Senior staff members, sups, directors...bring on the kids and your priorities change especially if your life partner is *not* tied to the city in their career either. Expect some mounting pressure from here...
 
Old 05 May 2013   #33
Originally Posted by circusboy: For the young and single that might be true. But start getting workers with family involved and you might find a different story. Senior staff members, sups, directors...bring on the kids and your priorities change especially if your life partner is *not* tied to the city in their career either. Expect some mounting pressure from here...


Agree, where I choose to live has change from my ideas in my 20s to what I think in my 30s. I think it would be amazing to still be able to do the big work without having to be in the big city to do it.
 
Old 05 May 2013   #34
I agree with both the last two posts. The industry is getting older and the folks doing the work want balance and a career that doesn't suck up all their time and money. Moving out of the city provides this. Another reason why I think this isn't happening yet is lack of job security. All the short term contracts make it harder to setup life outside of the city as you need some stability when you want to put down roots. In a city you can jump to other projects with more ease. This is perhaps why the studios who tried to setup shop outside the cities had little success, if they let you go you'd be in more of a pickle so why risk it.

Sanjay why should studios pay larger overheads because you 'like' the city life?
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Old 05 May 2013   #35
Originally Posted by vfx: I agree with both the last two posts. The industry is getting older and the folks doing the work want balance and a career that doesn't suck up all their time and money. Moving out of the city provides this. Another reason why I think this isn't happening yet is lack of job security. All the short term contracts make it harder to setup life outside of the city as you need some stability when you want to put down roots. In a city you can jump to other projects with more ease. This is perhaps why the studios who tried to setup shop outside the cities had little success, if they let you go you'd be in more of a pickle so why risk it.

Sanjay why should studios pay larger overheads because you 'like' the city life?


I agree too. It amazes me why the London facilities complain about tight profit margins and then rent some of the most expensive office space in the UK. They could all get organised and set up a VFX 'Silicon Valley' somewhere, still within striking distance of London but cheaper. There could even be an amount of sharing of resources, infrastructure, and staff (which they already do of course) between the companies.

And yeah, London is great when you're young but as real life starts to impose itself on the majority of us (house prices, mortgages, families etc) a big city really starts to lose its shine.
 
Old 05 May 2013   #36
Originally Posted by WesComan: I agree too. It amazes me why the London facilities complain about tight profit margins and then rent some of the most expensive office space in the UK. They could all get organised and set up a VFX 'Silicon Valley' somewhere, still within striking distance of London but cheaper. There could even be an amount of sharing of resources, infrastructure, and staff (which they already do of course) between the companies.

And yeah, London is great when you're young but as real life starts to impose itself on the majority of us (house prices, mortgages, families etc) a big city really starts to lose its shine.


They would drive the location prices up anyway. At least that what I heard happened in Oregon when large companies open their offices there.
 
Old 05 May 2013   #37
Originally Posted by WesComan: And yeah, London is great when you're young but as real life starts to impose itself on the majority of us (house prices, mortgages, families etc) a big city really starts to lose its shine.
You guys should all move to Norfolk. We could take over the world!

Here's a (horribly biased) comparison:

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property...y-26978685.html
http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property...y-37533814.html

Seriously though, the age/quality of life thing is a really important factor in any business. Personally I think that relying on a constant turnover of young hopefuls in favour of retaining experienced talent is almost always a mistake. I'm not saying there shouldn't be new blood, just that if you operate an environment where there is no stability for your staff, don't expect stability in your business.
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Old 05 May 2013   #38
Quote: if you operate an environment where there is no stability for your staff, don't expect stability in your business


Words of Wisdom...
 
Old 05 May 2013   #39
Originally Posted by fablefox: They would drive the location prices up anyway. At least that what I heard happened in Oregon when large companies open their offices there.

Up a bit yes-but probably not with the regularity of a big city.
And the first companies to make to move-beat the market rise.
 
Old 05 May 2013   #40
Originally Posted by vfx: Sanjay why should studios pay larger overheads because you 'like' the city life?


It has nothing to do with me.

Most of the people in this industry are younger and/or single.
Most of the major clients the studios work with are in large cities.

Believe it or not, many clients like to come in to studios and oversee a project or aspects of it. This is especially true in commercial work. They cant efficiently do that if the vfx studio is in the middle of nowhere.
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Old 05 May 2013   #41
Originally Posted by pipdixel: Average residential connections are 12 megs a sec currently. Most of the tech I've seen is recommended at 25 meg miniums, but thats becoming pretty available


That's where they get you. The cable companies are all advertising up to 25 mb/sec. Occasionally I get that when starting a download (they advertise this "burst" of speed as a feature to mask their real average speeds), but it quickly drops down to my typical speeds of 1.5 - 2.5/sec. On top of that, my provider (and many others) have started to become inconsistent, and I can't go anywhere else. There is no competition to cable or dsl in much of the US. it's one provider or nothing, and if they suck, we're SOL!
 
Old 05 May 2013   #42
Originally Posted by SanjayChand: It has nothing to do with me.

Most of the people in this industry are younger and/or single.

And then what?! you die?
Where (Montreal-several different places) I'm working I would say that just describes a segmented group of juniors. Everyone else wants a yard!
I'm not saying most places are out of the city today. But I think more could if they were motivated. Heck just offer the clients some pony rides-and they will come whereever you want 'em to.

Neither Pixar nor ILM are in the prime downtown core.
And considering all the studios cropping up in places like India-just how 'near' do your clients really need to be these days?

Last edited by circusboy : 05 May 2013 at 02:26 PM.
 
Old 05 May 2013   #43
Originally Posted by circusboy: And then what?! you die?
Where (Montreal-several different places) I'm working I would say that just describes a segmented group of juniors. Everyone else wants a yard!
I'm not saying most places are out of the city today. But I think more could if they were motivated. Heck just offer the clients some pony rides-and they will come whereever you want 'em to.

Heck- Neither Pixar nor ILM are in the prime downtown core.
And considering all the studios cropping up in places like India-just how 'near' do your clients really need to be these days?

ILM is in the Presidio which is in the city of San Francisco. Pixar is in a *somewhat* more remote location but still not that far from the city.

Studios in India STILL dont handle tentpole summer blockblusters in any significant number. The ILMS, Wetas, DD's, do.

Either way, the idea of job stability and being able to own a house with a yard has less to do with where studios are located and more-so to do with the state of the industry in general. If you want stability in VFX, become a supervisor or someone high-up (easier said than done and still no guarantee). Your other options are to move into games or feature-animation, and even then there has been quite a bit of turmoil lately as far as layoffs go.
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Last edited by SanjayChand : 05 May 2013 at 02:34 PM.
 
Old 05 May 2013   #44
True I forgot ILM wasn't at 'the ranch' any more.

I think your perspective is kinda limited to the California industry.
I think there is a reason many are drawn there to make it 'big' (by working on something 'Hollywood'). But then they leave after a few years.
I'm working with many now. And a few of the studios here in Montreal were start-ups from people who did exactly that and came home again to work. Come to think of it - the only colleague's/friends I have that are raising kids in California's VFX industry are at PIXAR. Which is known to be family friendly...

I myself am already doing better than what you seem to suggest I could be doing (in California). I'm not in the country but I've owned a house - with a yard - since 2003. I've been a father since 2007. I've worked a places where my entire team all were parents. And I'm a senior artist. BUT I'm not a 'twenty something' (and haven't been for 2 decades). I'm quite happy where I'm living now-but if I could live in the country altogether and work I'd be tempted to do that.
But move the California? That wasn't for me.

Weta -now there is another example of why things 'could be' better in general around the world in this industry. New Zealand is definetly off the beaten track. Just how often do the Hollywood studio execs make a pilgrimage to NZ? for a show that *doesn't* involved Peter Jackson?

Last edited by circusboy : 05 May 2013 at 04:01 PM.
 
Old 05 May 2013   #45
Originally Posted by WesComan: And yeah, London is great when you're young but as real life starts to impose itself on the majority of us (house prices, mortgages, families etc) a big city really starts to lose its shine.


I feel the same... I am zone 4 for now. Will be moving even further away from the center...
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