Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Digital Domain said this today:

... The new Digital Domain - Galloping Horse Studio [in China] will provide visual effects, animation and production services for motion pictures, television and related media. The company expects that the facility in China will be comparable in scale to the company's nearly completed animation studio in Port St. Lucie, Florida, a facility that was funded by the city with an investment of approximately $50 million for land and building. ...

So you see? It isn't just going to India. It's also traveling to the Middle Kingdom.

Whether this will mean lots of domestic work will be going to the People's Republic, or that Digital Domain is catching the wave of expanding movie-making opportunities in China, will be known in the fullness of time.


Anonymous said...

It'll take them 5 years to get that facility productive.

DD had enough issues finding enough skilled and experienced labor up in Vancouver, and that's a location with the same time zone as California and no language barrier to deal with.

The amount of supervision and foreign support needed is going to make this a large undertaking for any studio.

I can see a few experienced staff getting suckered into going there for a few months at a time to help keep that ship afloat, and after a while they'll get burnt out trying to do the work that the out of country staff can't handle.

If DD were smart they'll start the group small with easier tasks, like tracking, roto and modelling tasks.. before branching out to whole scale production.

If it's anything like other VFX studios had to deal with, there will be plenty of "911" work for experienced VFX artists here and in London to pick up the work that couldn't be finished on time.

Anonymous said...

DD has overextended itself badly. Residents of Pt. St. Lucie are furious their tax dollars are being used for such a piss poor business plan (check the local papers). All this without ever having actually MADE a film!


Anonymous said...

-> If DD were smart...

That...they are not.

Overextended is right: LA, SF, Vancouver, Florida, Australia, and now China. And quite possibly one more office north of SF.

No mystery about why workers at DD LA have diminishing returns on their employment.

Chuck Ponzi said...

"And quite possibly one more office north of SF"

They've been posting job openings for the SF facility so it's more than a possibility.

I wish them well, but yeah, does seem overextended for a company that has always been a service studio , never producing original content. I hope it's more stable than it looks. The IPO in November was disappointing. The stock closed lower than it opened.

But for now I guess they're flush because a news story in the Palm Beach Post online says:

"Digital Domain has been promised $132 million in cash, land, tax credits and financing from the State of Florida, and the cities of Port St. Lucie and West Palm Beach."

I hope some of that $132 million in Florida taxpayer's money isn't going towards financing DD's "empire" in China and other foreign lands.

Anonymous said...

I hope many of you artists and professionals realize that at the end of the day it's the top artists and post production professionals that make quality work. Not the brick and mortar facilities and hardware. And we have a choice to change these issues with a collective voice. Not splintered comments across thousands of blogs. Make the time to register with the VFX Foundation @ today and lets galvanize our voices across the entire digital and CG industries. This will start to bring the voices together into a roaring crowd.

Anonymous said...

-> "And quite possibly one more office north of SF"

-> They've been posting job openings for the SF facility so it's more than a possibility.

The job openings may be for SF, but the office north of SF is yet ONE MORE facility!

The ex-ILMings that now run DD still have their families in Marin (north of SF), and so have created an additional office which is that much closer to home, being that much more convenient for them.

So DD rank-and-file, when your raise is nowhere to be found this year, console yourselves that the uber-Executives have a new suite of offices just down the road from their homes in Marin. Are you a team player or not?

Anonymous said...

Whats funny is these vfx facilities peddle the idea that it's global industry and the workers have to move where the work is.

Not for these mother fuckers.

Anonymous said...

Who said that? The idea is it can be done anywhere--and everywhere. DD is doomed to fail--but not because of that

No--visual fx are nice icing on the cake, but they're a small part of the filmmaking process--and certainly NOT the most important.

Anonymous said...

"Overextended is right: LA, SF, Vancouver, Florida, Australia, and now China. And quite possibly one more office north of SF."

"The ex-ILMings that now run DD..."

One of these guys regularly goes to see Wimbledon each year. Look for the next DD office to be opening in London.

(When it happens, and it will, think back to this post.)

Anonymous said...

Digital Domain should be fucking embarrassed.

Farming out work to Grass shacks in China under their "Pennies for Pixels" plan.

Cheap Bastards.

If your feature *ever* gets made in Pt. St. Lucie... I can tell you I wont ever be paying to see it. I'll download a copy from a Chinese torrent sight.
See how that works?

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