The story, on The Toronto Star
It is always sad when a company has to close. But Digital Domain was no ordinary company. It was at one point not too long ago, at the pinnacle of visual effects production and development.
They developed some of the most amazing effects we’ve seen on the big screen. Titanic, Lord of the Rings, Benjamin Button, among others.
The economics of film making are very complex, but animation and visual effects have been on the loosing end. It is a widespread problem. Producers want as much bang for their buck as they can. We all want that in any transaction, but in visual effects it has come to a point where it is incredible hard to sustain a profitable operation. These companies live on razor thin margins, on investments that are incredibly high.
I feel sad for all the artist, technicians and staff that will loose their jobs. It is bad for the industry as a whole.
Unfortunately, this trend will continue as long as the are people willing to work for nothing but a credit on imdb.com.
When this industry depends fully, and makes decisions, exclusively, on the availability of tax credits and incentives, we no longer have a business model, we have a subsidized hobby, an expensive one. We are no longer building an industry. It will take some real effects to save it.
DD, you will be missed. Farewell.