Former Imagi employees called to tell me that the Sherman Oaks studio closed its doors last Friday.
My first reaction was "Whaaaa?"
But sure enough. There's this:
Imagi International Holdings Ltd (OTCBB: IINHY, IINHY message board) has announced large scale review of operations which has mostly negative effect towards the staff.
The company has cut off their US subsidiaries from any funding, the working contracts for 30 employees were terminated and the Los Angeles based office closed. The company was left with only a few important staff members being utilized as consultants and has transferred the functions of the closed office to other contractors.
I find this sad and depressing. The company had high aspirations a couple of years back. It had several projects in development. It had a large (and growing) staff. It had morale that was pretty good.
But when your first picture comes out and flops, it kind of casts a pall. And when you run out of money and fail to pay staff, you have shot yourself in both feet and one of your shoulders.
But where there is ying, there is also yang:
It looks as if it's going to be a big year for DreamWorks Animation.
In 2010, DWA will become the first studio to release three CGI animated films in one year. That's a potential game-changer as the studio will have five films hitting screens every two years instead of the three or four so far ...
Let's just call it the ever-turning, ever-changing circle of cartoon commerce. As one fades away, another rises up.