|sent from: London, UK. destination: Brockley, London, UK|
Double Negative, the VFX company for which my wife works and where I used to work is going through a series of redundancies. It is larger than normal because it affects everyone, not just production, and they’ve seen fit to hire an external company to handle the process. It has caused the usual recriminations and hand-wringing about the broken business model of vfx and how unreasonably susceptible everyone is to short-term slow downs that they cannot see everyone through this. The exact scope of the problem is widely disputed – not as big as rumoured but not as small as publicly announced, so I will not be specific here. For me it is a large and obvious sign to everyone in the London vfx industry, who have otherwise seemed to me a little naive, unaware of how precarious their work is in the globalised vfx industry, even as people have had to work harder (for no OT pay), pushed themselves farther to meet mad deadlines, and now see that their loyalty to their employers may not see them very far. It’s a hard lesson; and I wait in vain for a VFX company to have a truly sustainable business model.