Monday, September 23, 2013

They Go Where the Money Is

Now with Sarnoffian Add On!

Big surprise. Not.

Technicolor will officially open a new base for its visual effects company MPC -- whose credits include Prometheus and World War Z -- on October 28 in Montreal. It also plans to revamp its existing postproduction footprint in the Quebec city.

The news was announced Monday with the Government of Quebec, which offers incentives including interest-free loans to build its production infrastructure. The city already has a local talent base, with numerous VFX and post facilities, as well as leading VFX software developer Autodesk. ...

The team is already getting started on work for Fox’s X-Men: Days of Future Past with director Bryan Singer and the film’s VFX supervisor Richard Stammers, Disney’s Into the Woods with helmer Rob Marshall and MPC’s VFX supervisor Matt Johnson and Disney’s Cinderella with director Kenneth Branagh and VFX supervisor Charley Henley of MPC.

What could be handier. A pool of talent in place. A bunch of free government money.

Free enterprise. Fuck YEAH!

(I'm so old I can remember when Disney had it's visual effects division in Burbank. Money does talk, donnit?)

Add On: Tim Sarnoff, late of Warner Bros. Animation, Warner Digital, and Sony Pictures Imageworks, is now the topkick for Technicolor Digital Productions. Regarding the visual effects biz today, and the allure of Montreal, he tells us:

... “We’ve always been an industry in turmoil. In the older days, I don’t think the big facilities were suffering from the turmoil as much as small facilities, or certainly the mid-sized facilities. What’s changed is the larger facilities are suffering more than the small facilities are, and it’s precisely because you have to be a little more flexible and light on your feet to be able to survive in today’s industry.

“In the past you needed to be big enough to handle all the requests. Now you need to big enough to handle all the requests, and you have to be light on your feet.”

Sarnoff said Monday’s announcement that Technicolor is adding capacity for up to 250 vfx artists at a new 25,000-square-foot facility in old town Montreal reflects that new reality. “We have a choice of getting larger in one place or moving to another. If you get too large in one spot it makes you too heavy, and if you choose not to expand you get too light in terms of your abilities.”

Of course, if we strip away the bark and other hoo ha, Montreal is the new digital El Dorado because of MO NEE.


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