Sunday, August 07, 2011

The Work Force is Changing!

From Siggraph, up in the pristine North:

The landscape has changed dramatically since Andy Hendrickson entered the industry and was working on Jurassic Park. ...

“It used to be all PhDs and mathematicians, and it’s fine arts graduates now which means the tools need to be different in order to help them.” ...

When the Mouse did its Dinosaur Picture, the company spent more than a year searching for A) computer people with advanced degrees, and B) computer people with production experience.

This was the middle nineties, and there weren't a lot of either out on the labor marketplace. At least, not a lot that Disney could easily lay its hands on. Today its different. Supply has caught up with demand and software is more powerful and user friendly and you don't need to own two doctorates to make the production gears grind forward.

Still in all, studios like to have folks on board who know what they're doing, who have been inside production pipelines before. The big difference now compared to fifteen years ago, premium pay isn't what it used to be, and facilities are more comfortable having lower-paid beginners filling more of the production space.

Our fine, entertainment conglomerates want to have beaucoup animation and effects in their big, fat movies, but they don't want to pay a centime more than they have to.


Floyd Norman said...

I remember attending some of those early tech meetings at Disney in the nineties. A lot of brilliant CG guys were arriving to work on “Dinosaur.” Much has changed since those days. Today, my youngest son is one of those lower-paid beginners entering the VFX business, but he and his pals seem to love it in spite of the low pay. As their skills increase, hopefully so will their business savvy.

Chris Sobieniak said...

We can only hope.

Anonymous said...

This is the new normal for quite awhile.

"Today its different. Supply has caught up with demand..."

You couldn't be more right. CG has pros and cons and studios think just because there are so many CG students and beginners that they don't need to pay them like they did the 2D guys in the 90's and early 2000's when it was hard to find skilled hand drawn animators. And that is not the case. There is good CG animation and bad, no amount of rendering will cover up bad animation.

Anonymous said...

This is just supply and demand. There are plenty of old cg pros (good knowledgeable people) running things at all the studios. The job is still pretty technical, even for the young ones. I doubt most cg workers are mostly artists with no cg technical chops. The pay thing is because there is adequate supply. Although I would argue that truly talented people (heads and shoulders above the rest) are still hard to find. These are the people studios fight for and pay premium for.

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