If you’re following the news here or over on Cartoon Brew, or even at VFXsoldier, you’ll be familiar with American VFX shop, Digital Domain. They state with great pride on their site that they were founded by Jim Cameron, and they’ve contributed to effects on tons of huge movies. These guys have done tons of great, and very high profile work. They’ve opened a feature animation studio in Florida called Tradition Studios, and they’re getting on with making a movie, The Legend of Tembo. Well, they’re recruiting. They’re coming to Toronto this weekend for appointment-only sessions and are going to be hitting Vancouver and Montreal too. It’s on their site, which has a very thorough disclaimer about site content, and not using it elsewhere. So if you go to the Digital Domain homepage, hit careers, then open the drop down menu where it says “select a studio location”, there’s an option for events. There’s a list of them there. As mentioned, the event it by appointment only, so it’s probably to late to set something up here in TO.
Or maybe you heard about it through an email you received at the studio where you work? We’ve received reports from seasoned members of our animation community in Toronto that they’ve been “cold-called” via their work emails and asked if they’d be interested in setting up meetings at a local hotel, Le Meridien on Saturday and Sunday. Just to clarify, this is a practice called poaching. Some recruiters recruiters do it, some don’t.
If you’ve got an appointment already, please read the previous post today regarding the business model Digital Domain is employing to finance production. Or I can just tell you again. Government money to set up a school, students pay to attend the school, put the students to work on the films. Students paying to work.
You can hear CEO John Textor pitch it to a group of investors here. Here’s that great quote of his regarding student labour on the films, it’s my favourite: “its going to be labor that’s actually paying us for the privilege of working on our films.” What a guy.
I hear they pay well though, to non-students. So there’s that. Say hi for me.
This industry needs to be unionized. The studios are getting more and more userous of their animatiom/illustration staff. Especially the large ones. Hope you guys in the animation industry get it together to unionize or create a federation like the teachers did. Rather than create unions in separate studios it would be better to be represented as a group regardless of studios. It’s unfortunate that this step always seems necessary because unions have their problems too. But when I see people being asked to work hours of overtime with no compensation either in money, or time back during down times, and when I see people getting no benefits because of endless contracts, and now this, taking advantage of student labour, I think unionizing is still the better way to go.