Friday, May 27, 2011

Florida Feature Animation

The Fleischer brothers gave it a go. Then Disney tried the same thing. And now ...

PORT ST. LUCIE, — Travelers on Interstate 95 ... probably noticed a large new building going up. That's Digital Domain Media Group's future $40 million, 120,000-square-foot movie animation studio where an estimated more than 500 employees eventually will work. The studio ... is expected to be operational by December. ...

This, of course, fits the profile of a number of larger visual effects houses. They know there's not a lot of money in pumping up live-action movies with digital special effects. They also know that animated features are a hot commodity just now. You turn out a blockbuster cartoon, you can open your own mint.

Problem is, it isn't super easy to do, despite other movie companies' batting records. You need studio top-kicks that know what they're doing and staffs that are allowed to exercise their story and animation chops. (Remember Warner Bros. Feature Animation? Nobody else does, either.)

The only visual effects house now producing animated feature is Sony Pictures Imageworks, over on the Sony lot. Wonder how that's working out?

... Sony Pictures saw a drop of approximately 8% in revenues for the recently ended fiscal year. Sales decreased 14.9% year-on-year (an 8% decrease on a U.S. dollar basis) to $7.2 billion, primarily due to lower motion picture revenues and the appreciation of the yen against the US dollar. ...

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is a better/longer version of the article, which includes several snicker worthy proclamations :)

http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2011/may/27/digital-domain-positioning-itself-to-rival-pixar/

Floyd Norman said...

I wouldn't be surprised to see Disney returning to Florida one day.

The more things change...

Anonymous said...

Aaron Blaise is a good guy, and I wish him well, but it's pathetic the way one broke-ass state will spend what little money they have to steal jobs from another broke-ass state.

I love this line from the article:
In 2009, Digital Domain Media Group received incentive grants worth nearly $70 million from the state and Port St. Lucie to build an approximately 120,000-square-foot, $40 million digital production studio in Tradition.

Those Florida politicians must be great mathematicians to give a private company $70 million to build a $40 million facility.

And the statement that their movies will be "extremely clean, family films" is probably what will be carved into their corporate tombstone in about 24 months. The head of the company is so uptight that he talks about never doing anything as distasteful as a 'gas joke'! Good luck with that.

Anonymous said...

DD is a middle of the road company with no proven track record of CREATING CONTENT. That's why, a few years ago when they tried an IPO, no one nibbled.

Aaron Blase' is a mediocre "director," and dd has shitty management/producers.

Anonymous said...

Floyd, talk to some people. Make that happen. That would be ideal.

Anonymous said...

"We've got the right ideas. As Pixar is struggling with sequels and Disney's struggling to find itself, I think it's a good time for us to come in with a different point of view with great family films." - Chuck Williams, Director

This quote makes absolutely no sense-

"struggling?" remind me again how much Toy Story 3 made?

Anonymous said...

Not to mention he didn't comment on DWA, which is obviously NOT struggling to find itself.

"Different point of view" from Disney and Pixar?

Which one would that be... the one where films don't resonate with families and burn a truckload of cash with little return? That "different point of view"?

Anonymous said...

" which is obviously NOT struggling to find itself."

Oh--I suppose almost 7 straight big budget flops doesn't count? dw still doesn't know "who" it is. And their cartoons are crap.

Anonymous said...

" Digital Domain Media Group received incentive grants worth nearly $70 million from the state and Port St. Lucie to build an approximately 120,000-square-foot, $40 million digital production studio"

Why do these start-ups often seem to make the mistake of sinking a lot of money up front into carrying the overhead of a big, expensive building without having the track-record to warrant building the big, expensive building ? Spend that money on making a blockbuster film or two , then maybe build that big, expensive building when you know you're going to be around for a while. This feels like they're going to burn through that money pretty fast , make one film and then maybe there will be yet another big, expensive animation studio building sitting empty in the state of Florida.

But I hope they succeed. Good luck to them. They've assembled some good talent so far from the looks of that article.

Anonymous said...

Oh--I suppose almost 7 straight big budget flops doesn't count? dw still doesn't know "who" it is. And their cartoons are crap.

If there were "7 straight flops in a row" there wouldn't be a Dreamworks animation.

Boring troll is boring.

Anonymous said...

- They've assembled some good talent so far from the looks of that article.


Assembled, as in moving California jobs to subsidy-crazy Florida:

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2010/11/digital-domain-parent-to-buy-and-move-in-threes-operations-to-florida.html

DD is stable until the new IPO goes through. After that, look for cost-cutting salary reductions until a new owner is snookered into buying DD.

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of bitter, anonymous people on this site.

Anonymous said...

Who cares if they move to subsidy-crazy Florida? As long as animation is being produced and people are working in the profession they love, who gives a crap? Is DD stealing jobs from California animators? No. You go where the work is.
You LA snobs have to realize that it's time to move.

Anonymous said...

Face it people, California is too expensive.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I'd wish animation would stay in California so that John Lasseter can buy more Hawaiian shirts to cover his marble one pack.

Anonymous said...

Face it people, California is too expensive.

Not according to a couple of studio managers I know. They make no bones about it -- the top three reasons work has been going to London or Connecticut or Florida or Vancouver or New Zealand is subsidies, tax breaks, and government payouts.

The deepest and best labor force is in California, the depth of studios, both large and small, is a huge advantage California has, and the cost of labor here is actually cheaper (you don't have to pay relocation costs or mess with a bunch of work Visas).

Anyone who has looked at the history of relocating studios over the last 15 years sees a clear pattern -- studios pop up like mushrooms after a rainstorm in some far-off place that's offering millions to the studio, and a few years later those studios are quietly shuttered when the locals realize they've been had. It's happened time and again.

Anonymous said...

"Not according to a couple of studio managers I know... The deepest and best labor force is in California".

You say "not according to a couple of studio managers..." and then you go on to say that the only reason studios are moving to FL, London and Vancouver is subsidies, tax breaks, and government payouts.
Doesn't that contradict what you just said?
So, then IT IS cheaper to run a studio in FL, London and Vancouver.

As for deepest and best labor force, that's just ridiculous.

The talent was deeper in California because that's where the jobs were, but it's no longer the case. Look at Bluesky.
WDFAF was a studio that could hold it's own against any studio. Had Disney's California management left well enough alone, the Disney FL could have remained a profitable 2D studio.

The movie business, however, is centered in California and that's a reason why most studios in other cities eventually close down. No executive wants to feel out of the loop, or loss of control, so they bring everything back. Another reason is that maybe they were in it for the quick buck, which again makes the case that it is cheaper to produce animated films in FL, London and Vancouver.

The movie business, and the depth of talent, started on the East coast and eventually moved West. It will take roots elsewhere, as it has with Bluesky, when studios feel no "Hollywood" pressure and decide to stay put.

Anonymous said...

Amen! to the post @ Wednesday, June 01, 2011 10:51:00 AM

Anonymous said...

Doesn't that contradict what you just said?

Not at all. I said the best and deepest labor force in animation is in California. This is indisputable. I said it's not particularly cheaper to produce quality animation elsewhere. That's also true.

The wages that animators are paid in California and elsewhere are roughly the same, for the same level of skill and experience. The overhead costs are roughly the same. However, California studios rarely have to pay relocation costs, since the talent is already here, while studios like the new DD studio is going to pay through the nose to get people to move. The fact that local governments help pay the cost for some of these studios doesn't mean it's cheaper to run the studios there - it means those governments are using unsustainable techniques to induce work to come away from California. It's a short-term distortion of the market, and as soon as those subsidies/tax break are used up, or as soon as the expected success in creating animated blockbusters doesn't materialize, it all goes up in smoke.

It's funny you mention Blue Sky as proof that the talent is no longer in California. In fact, there has been a steady exodus of top talent from Blue Sky to California. Check how many Blue Sky stars are now at Pixar and DreamWorks, among other places on the west coast. Those leaving tend to move more or less permanently to California, enlarging and enriching the talent pool here. Meanwhile, for every film they do, Blue Sky has to temporarily import a substantial portion of their staff, and they have to pay for travel and housing for many of those people. And they have to train them. When the project is over, much of the staff scatters. There is simply not enough high-end animation work in the New York area to sustain a large workforce there, and people also don't love the expense of NYC or dealing with the wonderful weather and boredom of living in places like White Plains.

You cite the example of WDFAF. Great example. Disney spent literally millions and millions on training programs, and on relocating artists from Los Angeles. They didn't form a studio from local, existing talent. And it didn't last. Despite many years of investment, despite some relatively successful movies, it still made economic sense for Disney to close that studio. Disney also closed two studios in Canada, one in Japan, one in Paris, one in Australia, and one in the Philippines. However, they kept the studio in California open.

The talent pool is here. Wages have been flat or declining. California animation is the biggest bargain it's ever been.

Anonymous said...

"...and boredom of living in places like White Plains."

Your comment says it all. Snob.

Anonymous said...

" it still made economic sense for Disney to close that studio..."

How? Explain.

Land, labor, and capital are more affordable in Florida than in California. There is limited corporate taxes and no personal income tax. As with every state in the country, film companies in FL are elegible for tax incentives YEARLY. Incentives fluctuate, they do not dry up. If a company is not producing jobs the will lose incentives.

True, there has been a steady exodus from Bluesky, but also from Pixar. How many veterans are left at Disney Feature Animation? Besides heavy layoffs they are doing what every other studio is doing - bringing in young, cheap labor.

I agree with the comment above, you are a snob. You cannot compare NY and LA.

Lastly, is every California animator born and raised in California? Did every WDFAF come from California. No.

Anonymous said...

"...and boredom of living in places like White Plains."

Your comment says it all. Snob.


What? Look, I was one of those project hires living in corporate housing that Blue Sky paid for. NOBODY working at Blue Sky thinks much of where the studio is located. I'm just telling you what most everyone there feels.

There are basically two groups of BS studio workers. The ones who live in NYC, and pay though the nose, and have two hours of commuting a day, and enjoy it because they know they'll never stay long term and they want to enjoy the city for a few years before moving to California, or those who live close to the studio and work like crazy because there is nothing to do in White Plains or Stamford or anywhere else outside of NYC, and much of the year the weather is so brutal that all you're thinking about is staying warm, and you're just trying to do impressive work so you can relocate to somewhere you really want to live, like California. No one lives where the studio is located, in Greenwich, and no one wants to. It's just a corporate plot. So you can yell 'snob' all you want, but it doesn't change the facts.

Anonymous said...

" it still made economic sense for Disney to close that studio..."

How? Explain.


Look, you're trying to use logic for what you think Disney should have done to keep the Florida studio open. BUT THEY DIDN'T! They made a business decision, based on the economics, to close the studio. That's what businesses do. Your beliefs are irrelevant. The history is what it is.

And the statement that "Incentives fluctuate, they do not dry up." is so naive that I can't even respond. Do you have any idea what's going on in Michigan and New Mexico? Do you have any idea what you're talking about? No, I didn't think so.

Lastly, is every California animator born and raised in California?

No, of course not! That's my point. They move here. Like I did. Like thousands of others have. And many stay, and enrich the talent base HERE. There are countless talented Canadians and Frenchies and Iowans and Floridians who came here, and have put down roots, and work at one of the hundreds and hundreds of studios here.

The point is not where anyone was born, it's where they choose to live. Locate a studio in some cheap-ass place that pays you money to build a studio, and then you're faced with that inescapable fact. DD in Florida has an uphill battle in inducing talent to come there, and training local talent, and then in retaining that talent over time. And when they go belly up, that talent will disperse immediately. Same as it ever was.

Anonymous said...

First, you might be surprised to hear this but some people prefer living in places less "scenic" than L.A., even people working at that "corporate plot" that is called Bluesky.
And some people with testicles prefer chilly weather!

Second, "Frenchies"? Are you serious?
Besides being a snob, you're an idiot.

Anonymous said...

You really don't get what I'm saying, and you insist on arguing about something else. All I'm speaking to is the fact that the talent pool is deep and wide in California, more than any other place in the world, and it's getting deeper and wider all the time. I can tell you've given up trying to debate with me when you dissolve into childish name calling.

And by the way, I use the term 'Frenchie' with affection, and if you actually knew any French animators, as I do, you'd understand that (the term is hardly the insult you imagine it to be). You clearly have no connection with the animation business, and no idea what actually goes on at a real studio, which means in the future you'd do well to keep your ignorance to yourself.

Anonymous said...

"You cite the example of WDFAF. Great example. Disney spent literally millions and millions on training programs, and on relocating artists from Los Angeles. They didn't form a studio from local, existing talent. And it didn't last. Despite many years of investment, despite some relatively successful movies, it still made economic sense for Disney to close that studio."

Where do you get this garbage. Did you work in Florida?? Yes there were people who came from other parts of the world but there were also plenty of people who came from Ringling College of Art and Design. I myself am a Florida Native and still am.

The folks they relocated from California, were a handful when the studio first started. And whats the nonsense about spending millions on training, like none of us hicks knew how to pick up a pencil. And your most uninformed comment that the studio didn't last because it was not economically viable? The studio was shut down because Eisner had his toadies take apart what Roy helped build. If the reason for shutting down the studio was money, then why didn't Stainton when he came to shut down the studio say that?? Because it was not true. The movies we made were on or under budget and made a profit. And we did it all with no incentives.

The talent pool here in Florida is still quite strong and has done plenty of work with California since the WDFAF closed in 2004.

In the end a lot of what your saying is not backed by facts. You're going back and trying to rewrite the past.

Anonymous said...

"BUT THEY DIDN'T! They made a business decision, based on the economics, to close the studio. That's what businesses do. Your beliefs are irrelevant. The history is what it is."

This is not correct. Your rewriting history.

Anonymous said...

Look, it sucks that you were at the Florida studio when it got closed down. It was clearly such an emotional thing that you were eager to believe whatever you needed to believe about why it happened. But the fact is, Disney closed the studio, when they're not in the habit of doing things to intentionally lose money.

For all I know, you were also at one of the studios that formed in the wake of Disney's closure, and went through the bitter process of those studios failing, too. I'm sure your bitterness is well earned. I'm sorry that pointing out the realities of our business has upset you so much.

The fact is, California is buzzing with animation business, despite the efforts of many other states and countries to bribe studios to move. I hope you get a job at the new DD studio. I hope you milk it for all it's worth before they, too, run though those subsidies and go belly up. Meantime, I'm working here in California with a lot of your old classmates from Ringling, and I don't know of any of them who want to go back.

Anonymous said...

Thank you to the last two anonymous posts. You are both correct.
The affectionate "frenchie" guy is an idiot.

Anonymous said...

These dopes who want to claim that Disney didn't make a business decision in closing their Florida studio remind me of southerners after the Civil War who wanted to claim that the war hadn't been about slavery. It was, they lost, and they had to live with the fact that the wrecked their states and their lives defending an immoral institution.

Disney opened the Florida studio because it was in a right-to-work state and they wanted a cheaper version of the Burbank studio. Other studios have made the same decision, going all the way back to the Fleischers. We can see that the Fleischer studio didn't pan out, just as the Disney studio didn't pan out. Facts are facts. Now it's DD's turn to sink some money into the swamp. Good luck to them, they're going to need it.

Paulo Alvarado said...

How dare you make assumptions on how I feel about the WDFAF studio closing or anything else I have gone through.

It did suck that the Florida studio closed and it was emotional, because it was a family of super talented artists who wanted to be there, living in Florida working on amazing movies. Your insulting comment insinuating that somehow I live in a delusional world of constant heartache about the studio closing is also your continuing projections on who I am.

I will state again, the movies we made were always under or on budget and made a profit. Common sense can lead anyone to ask the question why was the WDFAF studio closed? You can continue in your misinformed wisdom to blather on about the reason being economical but when you look at the history, especially the budgets it just does not add up.

In response to your comment about being part of one the studios that were formed after the closing of the Florida studio, I was. But again you project your feelings onto me on what I felt about the whole experience. I was one of the founding member of Project Firefly, and for three years we were able to give work to up to 60 artists, working on Curious George, personal projects, and doing plenty of development work for Disney. All of this was done with personal loans and an angel investor, again not incentives.

I won’t lie, the experience was a difficult one, and personally I went through a lot, but I am not bitter. I was able to help dozens of artist learn new skills, earn a paycheck, and even give them health insurance. I also learned more about the business than I ever could have going to school or working at Disney or any other studio. I would also jump at an opportunity to build something again especially if the state or government is looking help with capital, because there is still plenty of top-notch talent here in Florida who want to continue to live here.

Did we make mistakes? Yes. Did we have failures? Yes that comes with the territory of trying to build your own business. Am I bitter? Not at all, I grew as an artist and as person and its time to move on to the next thing.

I was not upset about you pointing out what you think are the realities of our business. The issue is your lack of knowledge of what happened here in Florida.

You fail to address the bigger picture of what was happening in the industry back then. Lion King made an obscene amount of money, and when many other pictures were not bringing in the same profits 2D became the ugly stepchild and 3D was the savior the stockholders were looking for. Add to that the trouble between, Eisner, Roy and Katzenberg and you were left with the company looking to dismantle a lot of what it had built.

I know California has plenty of work in animation and live action, and that’s awesome, but don’t dismiss the work that goes on elsewhere. I would say you sound bitter and defensive about work being taken from California by so called bribes.

I have no idea what will happen with DD, and yes I have seen plenty of studios start up the same way and then shut down, but I wish them all the luck. And like you I know plenty of Ringling graduates working all over the world. I can’t speak for them as to if they are happy, but if they are pursuing their passion I’m sure they are, wherever they live.

Paulo Alvarado said...

First off, comparing the artist who worked at WDFAF to the Confederates is a ridiculous comment.

Second if the studio was cheaper to run in Florida than it was in Burbank, then why did they shut down a studio that was making cheaper films?

The point I was making is the studio was not shut down because of economics. You just added to my point.

I love the way you also insult a group of people and then hide behind an Anonymous post.

Anonymous said...

and it was emotional, because it was a family of super talented artists who wanted to be there

This is where you and I look at thinks in a fundamentally different way, and why you'll never quite get what I'm saying. For you, the Disney Florida studio was not a business, but an idealized family. Lot's of animators have fallen into that trap, both in Florida and Burbank and elsewhere. But it wasn't a family, no matter how much you wanted it to be. It was a business enterprise. And, the people running the overall business enterprise made a business decision and shut it down.

This is what happens to us all the time. We invest our hearts and souls into studios and projects, while the people in charge care ultimately about nothing more than dollars and cents. Read the memoirs of many of the golden age animators, and you'll read again and again about people making that painful realization.

Anonymous said...

Paulo, you'll never get through to someone like "anonymous". He's a typical company man lacking empathy or vision. Sadly, some day he'll be looking for a job in another field, probably management or HR, and then, maybe, he'll come to understand that the world does not revolve around Los Angeles.

So, let's move on and just reflect on some his quotation gems:


"These dopes... remind me of southerners after the Civil War who wanted to claim that the war hadn't been about slavery."

"There are countless talented Canadians and Frenchies and Iowans and Floridians who came here, and have put down roots"

"the cost of labor here is actually cheaper (you don't have to pay relocation costs or mess with a bunch of work Visas)"

"... and people also don't love the expense of NYC or dealing with the wonderful weather and boredom of living in places like White Plains."

"NOBODY working at Blue Sky thinks much of where the studio is located. I'm just telling you what most everyone there feels."

"No one lives where the studio is located, in Greenwich, and no one wants to. It's just a corporate plot."

"The point is not where anyone was born, it's where they choose to live. Locate a studio in some cheap-ass place that pays you money to build a studio, and then you're faced with that inescapable fact."

"by the way, I use the term 'Frenchie' with affection, and if you actually knew any French animators, as I do, you'd understand that"

"Now it's DD's turn to sink some money into the swamp. Good luck to them, they're going to need it."

"He who warned uh, the British that they weren't gonna be takin' away our arms, uh by ringing those bells, and um, makin' sure as he's riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be sure and we were going to be free, and we were going to be armed."

Oh wait, that last one wasn't him!

Anonymous said...

Paulo, you'll never get through to someone like "anonymous". He's a typical company man lacking empathy or vision.

Uh, Paulo was the company man, and is still grieving the hard-earned knowledge that the company didn't reciprocate his feelings of family. The animation landscape is littered with good people like Paulo, who got the short end of the stick in the game of musical chairs that studios play with where they chose to locate and relocate. I'm the guy who's worked all over the world, at a dozen different studios, and who knows that animation studios come and go, and kool-aide drinkers tend to end up bitter and cranky.

Perhaps it annoys people to know that California is still the animation hub of the world. Deal with it. Perhaps it annoys some people to find out that the primary thing driving the formation of new studios outside of California is unsustainable tax breaks/subsidies/grants, and the long-term success rate of such studios is abysmal. Deal with that. Or not. It's your choice. And I promise not to say 'I told you so' in a few years when the Florida DD studio no longer exists.

Look, I'm just a working stiff animator who's been around the block a few times, who's been in this game long enough to have been recruited to travel out of California to feed at the trough of local tax money, and who has seen lots of studios that pretended to be 'family' and assured everyone that they would 'do it right' turn out to be sketchy dreamers without a viable business plan. Because I've understood the nature of this business, and because I never was a 'good company man,' I've avoided getting screwed, or having my career dead-ended by putting too much stock in the pipe dreams of some animation mogul wannabe. YMMV, but pretend I don't know what I'm talking about at your own risk.

Anonymous said...

Or you can choose where you want to live your life and avoid states that are a financial, political and over taxed disaster, and if good enough you can maintain strong relationships with many of the studios and enjoy those pay checks they give you for your services. And those checks go much further in a choice state. That is something that is happening more and more and I am so thrilled for that.

Anonymous said...

The approach of working remotely is viable for a tiny sliver of the animation community. Top level character designers have been doing this for years. Some modelers and riggers are doing this, though the results are often unsatisfactory, and any studio doing animation on a consistent basis is going to avoid this approach in the long run.

Working remotely as an animator is much less common, and it's difficult to maintain consistent work or get a fair paycheck (getting paid for approved work is a great way to animate for minimum wage). Other job titles, like lighters, compositors, effects animators, and so on, are only going to be able to work in house, unless they're generalists who are doing the whole thing.

I've worked remotely, and while it has some advantages, the disadvantages are greater. Remote work will continue to grow on the margins of the industry, because it relieves small studios of the need to maintain both staff and equipment, but I'm not at all sure it's a good thing for typical animation workers.

Anonymous said...

"Paulo was the company man..."

You're a hypocrite. If you weren't a company man yourself you would sign your name as Paulo did. You remain "anonymous" because you're afraid of losing a company paycheck. Pretend I don't know what I'm talking about at your own risk.

Anonymous said...

Your assumptions about why I post anonymously, like most of the rest of your reasoning, is muddle-headed and incorrect.

I'm not working for a studio right now. I'm working on my own project. I've played the studio game well enough to finance my own ideas. That's what keeps me from sitting around being bitter about the mess our industry is in. Try it sometime.

mackenzie said...

I'm a member of the Blue Sky Art Department. I have to say that I disagree with "anonymous" about his blanket stereotype of Blue Sky Employees. The idea that there are basically only two types of Blue Sky employees and everybody hates the location of Blue Sky is simply innaccurate. Perhaps "anonymous" did not work at Blue Sky long enough to gain a true understanding of the studio.
New York or Connecticut is not for everyone, just as California is not everybody's cup of tea. I am a California native and happen to love my home state, but I really appreciate the fact that Blue Sky is far removed from the Golden State and the rest of the animation industry. I have learned a lot more by swimming in a different creative talent pool than I would have if I had stayed in my comfort zone on the west coast. It is good for the industry to spread out so that it does not get any more incestuous than it already is. To think that California should be the one and only creative mecca for animation is small minded. New York City has plenty to offer in the area of the arts and cultural stimulus.

"Anonymous" talks about the money Blue Sky wastes by importing talent and relocating them. I'm wondering if he actually is looking at the figures on the movies we make? Thus far Blue Sky has made profitable films on budgets that are not bigger than the budgets of Dreamworks, Pixar and Disney. They pay us competitively with other studios. Each studio is free to spend their money as they see fit to make their business run properly.

I work at Blue Sky, because it is a creatively fertile, prosperous studio with a lot of really cool people. While some talented people have left Blue Sky for other studios, a lot of talent stays here and sees this place not as a stepping stone, but as a place to set roots and produce.

Anonymous said...

Mackenzie, I've been at BS for two pictures, so I got to know a lot of people. It is a great place to work, and they treat their talent well. I'm sorry if it seemed like I didn't think much of Blue Sky or the people there.

The last time I was there, I didn't meet anyone who didn't wish that the company had moved into the Chrysler Building when they were offered that chance. The new studio is a nice studio, but people didn't seem to have any emotional connection to Greenwich. Lots of people are happy to be at Blue Sky, but many are also looking towards moving to California, or returning to their home states or countries when they could leverage their BS experience to good jobs there. Especially in the winter! I say that not as a rag on a great studio, just that I was surprised at how often this came up.

As far as putting down roots, almost no one I knew owned homes or were thinking of buying except for a few leads. That's different than at other big studios I know about. But maybe I knew the wrong people. Either way, if BS ever closes, those people know they'll probably have to rip those roots up, since Greenwich is a one-studio town.

My real point was that it's easy to start up a studio in California, and it's a lot more work to staff up and to maintain an animation crew in most other places. Blue Sky regularly flying people out there, and paying for their housing, is evidence of that. That was my only reason for bringing up Blue Sky.

I never suggested that California should be the only place animation is done. The whole thread was triggered because Florida is using taxpayer money to basically bribe a California studio to relocate. From a studio standpoint, it's a sucker's game in my opinion.

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