Tony Sealy is an animation and VFX director with more than 25 years of experience in animation and post-production.
Tony established Intense Animation Studio in 2003. Intense has created a peerless reputation for high value technical and creative execution of TV commercials, broadcasting, engineering and interactive projects.
In these pages you will find TV commercials and broadcasting projects. For engineering and interactive, kindly click the Intense Animation Studio link below.
There is real trouble in the VFX industry in the US. Despite the massive number of VFX-based movies being regularly produced, VFX is an industry in crisis. The US dollar has been under severe pressure for some time, so this isn’t helping. Films being released into overseas markets are not making the money they used to, but this is only one of the symptoms.
The real crisis is the financial pressure applied to VFX, animation and post production studios who are being squeezed by movies studios and clients like never before to create more work for cheaper fees. The US has a very transient labour market in this industry, many people are hired on contract or freelance basis so they work without health benefits or any kind of insurance plan. Because VFX is deadline sensitive, many artists are obliged to work long hours and weekends, often without additional compensation. The VFX companies are delivering content for movies and TV shows at a fixed price so they are hardly in a position to pay overtime.
This author has some very strong views: http://www.visualeffectssociety.com/node/2425
But the pressure has moved past squeezed budgets and tight deadlines. Movie studios outsource as much work as feasibly possible. Asian and European countries with lower socio-economic levels can provide cheaper labour than the US, although the quality is debatable. The result is US artists are working longer, for cheaper wages (with little job security) in an effort to compete.
Therein lies the dilemma. What can US studios (or artists) do to stay competitive? Adapt and change? With such high living standards in California in particular, this is not easy without severe economic changes (rationalization) and history tells us society resists this to the bitter end.
This author has some very sensible responses to the first: http://www.awn.com/blogs/idea-pioneers/examining-ves-open-letter
Everything is not what it seems to be in Hollywood. And yes, we animation/visual effect studios do not get the credit that we deserve.
Hollywood’s VFX Shops: Trouble in Boom Times
If you want to see the names driving Hollywood’s growth, you have to stay for the movie’s credits. The very end of the credits. After the actors and electricians — sometimes even after the people who serve the tacos on set — come the visual-effects artists. These are the people who make superheroes fly and cities fall into the ocean, and the effects-reliant films they work on, like Avatar and the Harry Potter franchise, are Hollywood’s biggest moneymakers.