Friday, February 15, 2013

Life Line

Amidst the lawsuits, the layoffs, the thumping from Warner Bros., a candle flickers in the darkness.

A federal judge approved a $17-million loan from two movie studios to keep the lights on at troubled Rhythm & Hues ...

Rhythm & Hues cited several factors, including a decrease in film production at Fox and Universal -- historically two of its largest customers – as well as rising competition from rivals in Canada, Britain, Australia and New Zealand.

The company added that higher labor costs in Los Angeles, such as the requirement to pay overtime, also contributed to its financial woes. At the end of 2012, the company had assets of $27 million and liabilities of $33.8 million. ...

So are we clear? All that nasty overtime was what sent the company reeling. The big, fat subsidies in Vancouver and Montreal probably didn't help either, but the TIMES describes those as "competition."

The truth is, our fine, entertainment conglomerates are like most other entities on the globe. They want quality things, but they want somebody else to pay for them. In the case of movie companies, they desire high-end effects, and if they can get a country or state to pick up most of the tab for making the effects, they're totally down with that.

Free enterprise now, free enterprise forever.


Celshader said...

They want quality things, but they want somebody else to pay for them.

That just about sums it up.

Dave Rand said...

Get foreign tax payers to pay for the movie, get the VFX shops to pay for the movie, get the VFX artists to pay for the movie...well some of they start to fight with each other over the American crumbs left behind. Then we ALL pay to go see the movie and look for our credit....often left out.

Celshader said...

@Dave - reminds me of this quote about the Western comic book industry:

At every turn, they make it obvious that you are completely expendable to them; they make it obvious that you have to play the game their way, or they're going to take their ball and go home. And still you give them ninety percent of your money to do basic high-school bookkeeping and secretarial chores, to lie to you, to cause you grief and, ultimately, to throw you away. - Dave Sim, "Address to Pro Con 93"

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