Friday, September 07, 2012

Digital Domain closes Florida Studio

Early morning news from Florida's south-east coast:
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sep. 7, 2012-- Digital Domain Media Group, Inc. (NYSE:DDMG) today announced that it has initiated a strategic realignment that will enable it to focus its resources on its core business, Digital Domain Productions, Inc., a company focused on creating digital visual effects, CG animation and digital production for the entertainment and advertising industries. As a key part of this strategic realignment, DDMG has begun the cessation of its Port St. Lucie operations by reducing virtually its entire Port St. Lucie workforce, retaining approximately 20 employees who will remain as part of the wind-down.

DDMG’s studios in California and Vancouver intend to continue to operate without interruption, as will the Digital Domain Institute, based in West Palm Beach, Florida. Long-time Digital Domain executive Ed Ulbrich has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer of Digital Domain Productions.

According to a local news report, over 200 artists, whose jobs were created as part of a promise to the state of Florida, are being fired. We're saddened at the loss of a feature animation studio and the impact it will have on so many lives.

While its easy to point at mistakes the former CEO made, its important to understand that at the core, he attempted to create a new business model in spite of the industry's resistance to change. That goal should be at the heart of all who call animation/visual effects their muse.

We wish Mr. Ulbrich and the rest of the artists and staff at Digital Domain the best of luck.


Steve Hulett said...

Usually an animation studio closes AFTER they make something (Imagi comes to mind).

This is one of the first times I have heard to a theatrical animation studio closing BEFORE they produce a feature

Anonymous said...

jester: You know what's weird? Textor and his family are being cyber stalked by these two anonymous commenters from the yahoo message board and now he persuaded a county judge to order yahoo to remove the comments. I'v heard of famous people being stalked but not CEO's.

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