Screams of anguish from Brit animation companies:
The UK's animation industry is "scrabbling for crumbs, selling up and shipping off" because production companies cannot compete against tax breaks offered overseas, the companies behind Wallace & Gromit, Peppa Pig and In The Night Garden have warned.
Animation UK, which represents producers including Aardman Animations and Astley Baker Davies, has written to George Osborne, Chancellor, warning him that Britain is losing its best animation talent, and calling for tax breaks before the industry is wiped out altogether.
The sector is "not seeking handouts to get a competitive advantage", but needs to be able to compete with animators overseas, particularly Ireland and Canada, where tax breaks and funding supply up to 50pc of budgets and create "a distorted market place we cannot survive in", it said in a letter to be delivered to the Treasury today. ...
Let us face facts. Tax breaks for motion picture production are rampant around the globe.
Yesterday, a union rep for an IA live-action local said to me that television and movie productions have galloped away from L.A. in droves, going to where tax and other cost breaks are large and plentiful:
"Lots of shoots are now happening on the east coast. Atlanta has a lot of movie work going on. The place is hopping. " ...
And so it goes. The Los Angeles animation scene has been (somewhat) shielded from poaching and job shifting because Southern California is where a concentration of animation talent resides, and critical mass results in gravitational pull.
But this happy phenomenon will not necessarily last forever. Once upon a time, cities in Canada and other parts of the United States had a tough time fielding professional, competent movie crews, so work remained in L.A. That stopped being the case a long while ago.
When the cost differences and tax breaks get big enough, even established California animation studios could start saying ...
Animators and tech directors are not all that different from their live-action brethren. They are just as likely to pull up stakes and "go where the work is" in order to survive, if and when that work travels elsewhere.