Saturday, April 28, 2007

Imageworks toying with moving?

First off, everyone here knows about Sony flirting with the idea of opening shop in New Mexico. The tax incentives make it attractive to the company and since the studio seems to be hemorrhaging money they are thinking of possible solutions. Some of the comments in my last post seem to suggest "if you build it, they will come". Seriously though, does that always work? If Sony opens a studio in NM, will many people really pack up their lives and move to a one pony town? I realize the cost of living is lower there (and you can be assured your income will drop too), but is it worth the gamble? If Sony goes through with it, I guess we will find out.

The above isn't really news. Now that I think about it, neither is this. However, I've heard that Sony is also flirting with a satellite NorCal studio. I'm not sure what they would do there, maybe just a way to steal talent local to the area. This btw, is unrelated to another move to the San Francisco area - the Zemeckis thing.

Meanwhile, back in Culver City, I've been told that they are down to a pretty small crew working on a couple of shows. If you believe the people I talked to, they don't have much lined up right now. Surf's Up is done, their next SPA film is a ways off and they don't have many pure Imageworks fx jobs.

I don't know what any of this means or how true any of it is. Perhaps I am just spreading rumors. Whatever the case, I'd like to see Imageworks and SPA succeed. I enjoyed Open Season and Surf's Up looks pretty good too.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The majority of LA Animators don't live on the west side.

So where do the majority of LA based CG animators live? The obvious thought is that most reside around the Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena area (or atleast within a relatively easy commute of). However, there are a ton of smaller to mid sized shops on the West Side. Could that possibly add up to more?

Why would I even care? I guess I really don't, but the conversation came up with someone and it is extremely important to him. And since I can't think of anything better to blog about...

He is going on the impression that most of the experienced feature talent live closer to Disney and DreamWorks than the West Side. I question if that is true. If so, I wonder how easy it was for SPA to get the creative talent to jump over the hill to Culver City. Some of the people I know over here (Burbank) would rather live on the street with nothing more than a shopping cart to their name than deal with the commute.

So I ask you, my loyal group of 2 readers. If you were to start a studio in LA, where would you put it to take advantage of the people?

Monday, April 16, 2007

Wow! Happy Feet sucked.

Has it really been almost two months since I posted to this blog? Apparently so! I'm sure there is no one reading this anymore, so I suppose I'm free to say whatever I want.

First off, during my blog hiatus, I saw Happy Feet. What an utter piece of crap that movie was. Completely ignoring the motion capture, the story was just ridiculously beating the audience over the head with that environmental message. I'm just as much for saving the planet as anyone else, but this was not entertaining at all. Taking out the messages, the story was uninteresting and boring. If I weren't in this business, I would of walked out of the theater (or in my case, shut the DVD off). The character designs were also horrendous -- down right ugly and unappealing.

I'm not exactly sure how it won the Oscar. Were the other animated films that bad (or maybe my conspiracy theory isn't so crazy after all)?! This wasn't exactly a banner year for our business, but Happy Feet shouldn't of come anywhere near even being nominated.

What a piece of crap that was.