Originally Posted by axiomatic
No studio who can handle the quality and volume of work that Blockbusters require are charging $800/month in SE Asia that I know of. Maybe for roto/mm legwork? Certainly not for complete sequences, comping or supervisor positions.
Yes, Asia is cheaper, but it isn't a hell of a lot so and the quality is still far below par. Take China as an example. There are literally only a handful of shops (I'd argue ~3) capable of handling of the standard required by Blockbusters and none of them are close to being that cheap.
I'd be interested in hearing of examples that support otherwise.
Basically I think your argument is flawed. Yes developing economies are a problem for VFX but compared with subsidies and the over supply problem it's smoke without fire. Certainly for the next 3-5 years...
I have said over and over and over that what I am talking about doesn't apply to the top of the top of the VFX world. I have also posed the question of how often does a Davy Jones or Richard Parker come along in VFX? The majority of VFX done in film and television (blowing up stuff, matte paintings, set extensions, vehicles driving and flying around, basic monsters etc.) can be done by just about any studio anywhere.
When I visited Big Foot in Cebu Philippines they had a small in house team. Could they do a Davy Jones or Richard Parker? No. They were doing better than anything we were doing on SyFy though. Their local artists make about $400 per month. The leads, one guy from, I believe germany, another from canada, make about $2500 to $3000 per month, tax free. You only need one or two top guys to get everyone else up to speed.
You are in Beijing which is an expensive environment by any standards. Of course, you won't find super cheap there. I have been to studios in Fuzhou, Zhengzhou, Hefei and other locations where the cost of living is a tiny fraction of Beijing or Shanghai and they are working beyond cheap. Of course the quality is not there yet. That is why my question was posed as, "What happens when...?" Because it is coming. The very top VFX artists you speak of have been showing up in places like India, China, Philippines, making huge salaries to essentially train the competition, if you want to look at it that way. The gap is closing faster than one might think.
We have outsourced to a studio in Dalian doing this kind of work. Can they handle a blockbuster? No. Can they handle most low budget and TV level stuff. Yes they can. I have their price list somewhere. It is cheap. Just like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie that was done inexpensively in China, or the movie Ultra Violet, not that it had great FX, was done all in China. That's where it is going to start, and slowly work its way up. 3-5 years could change everything.