Sunday, December 07, 2014

The Leakage

There's been a lot of commentary about Sony's hacked data. It's crappy that personal information and Social Security Numbers of thousands of employees got released; on the other hand it's enlightening for showing how studios/conglomerates really operate.

... Contained in the same [hacked] document were details of [Bob] Osher’s recent restructure of Imageworks, Imageworks Interactive, Colorworks and Post Production -- a move that reduced staff by 230. Osher's move to outsource much of the company’s special-effects work was controversial in VFX world.

“Because of Bob’s extraordinary focus on cost management, Imageworks is expected to generate $7M in EBIT (before restructuring) in FY15 despite a 30% reduction in revenue,” the letter states. ...

This pretty much confirms (if confirmation was needed) that studios do what they need to do increase profits, and the soothing company memos to employees saying "There will be no further layoffs" or "We're paying competitive rates" are pretty much flapdoodle.

But then, they always have been. My longtime joke that "Employees should start looking for other work when managers come downstairs to assure everyone that 'their jobs are safe'" is as true as it's ever been. The hacked information from Sony simply underscores the trueness.

One more point: The Guild has gotten concerned e-mails and phone calls from ex-Sony employees about leaked data. The Guild received screen shots of lists of former ImageWorks employees with a "MPIPHP" designation beside their names. (This is the Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plan, jointly run by unions and industry companies).

One caller said, "This can't be right, we weren't in the Plan because we were non-union. Was somebody skimming?"

I had no answer other than to tell them to check with Sony and the Plans, because they shouldn't have had contributions made, so I have no idea what the acronym next to their name even means.

Further, I don't know where the list that was sent to us comes from. It might be a screen shot of hacked Sony files, it might be something else. (And I'm not going to be downloading anything to check. First because I'm a Luddite and second because I don't want to get messed up in this fustercluck.)

Lastly: The IA communicated to TAG and other production locals that Sony informed them the company is still investigating the extent of the corporate hacks and so hasn't sent communications about the digital thefts to many employees (even though employees, present and past, are clamoring for information about what info was taken.)

The IATSE's communication happened before the last round of released information from the hacker(s), so what Sony does next week or next month is anyone's guess.

Right now Sony ain't saying.


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