Skip to comments."Life After PI"--the Oscar winning FX company goes bankrupt
Posted on 03/16/2014 9:31:41 AM PDT by LS
For you movie buffs, this is a fascinating documentary called "Life After Pi" about the special effects company called Rhythm and Hues that did the incredible effects for "Life of Pi" and "Snow White and the Huntsman."
They begin by blaming "foreign subsidies" (i.e., Canadian and British subsidies for outsourcing work, often to Vancouver) and feature Obama making one of his typical stupid appearances calling for "supporting" Hollywood.
But then you lean that this company, which has been in business for over 20 years, was using a poor, unsustainable business model in that it would bid "fixed" price contracts on work that continued to change (i.e., scripts change, the director wants the blown up car to land on a truck instead of a cafe, etc.) In over 20 years these guys didn't figure out how to deal with the studios on a reality basis.
By the way, over a dozen other FX companies have gone out of business for much of the same reason. It's not outsourcing of work, it's the failure for everyone to say, "Hey, we don't need a huge profit, but we DO need A profit." Then you just have to refuse the work until they pay what you have to have to cover expenses and make a buck.
BTW, don't blame unions. About 2/3 of all Hollywood work is, in fact, non union.
Hollyweird is one of the homes of creative bookkeeping. The Whitehouse being the biggest followed by Wall street.
Never take a share of the profits in a Hollywood contract.
Even if this company went bankrupt, check to see if a company it contracted with is hugely profitable. For example, did this company spend a huge amount of money on computer equipment leases or office rental and the equipment lessor or office landlords just happen to be owned by many of the same people.
“Never take a share of the profits in a Hollywood contract. “
I have read that they and record companies have an infinite number of lawyers and accountants with ingenious methods to hide profits that have worked very well for the last 90 years. It’s probably the dirtiest industry on the planet.
On the bankruptcy issue, I have read that these FX companies have been “race to the bottoming” each other, and they all lost.
That type of business was brutal before there even WERE computers. Animators, for example, were expected to work 50 hours a week for their 40-hour salary. That was an “industry standard”. If you didn’t like it, leave.
Fixed price contracts are a way of the client to say, “We want to control our costs and have you take on all the risks.”
I NEVER take on fixed price contracts unless I have a massive profit margin built in (typically 500% or more) and the requirements are fixed and not subjective.
There was a man with the carnival whose job it was to clean up the smelly bucketloads of prolific elephant dung.
A passerby, who saw him hip-deep in the excrement, asked, My good man, how can you put up with such demeaning conditions? Havent you ever thought about another line of work?
To which the carnival worker replied, Whatand give up show business?
Buy a big, good TV and sit too close. Then the movie looks better at home than it does on the screen.
And home made popcorn tastes better too! :-)
I saw it 4 times on big screen & have the blu ray. The special features on the blu ray are amazing. Fell in love with all the artists involved in the movie as so many aspects were shown in detail
Great movie. Hate to see any talent go under. The workers will find another company no doubt.