VFX Pros React to Cinesite Hollywood Layoff
Kodak recently beefed up its visual effects and 3D animation teams at Cinesite Europe in London, hiring much of the talent let go by Mill Film. "In Hollywood, Cinesite has done amazing work, but in the U.S., visual effects will always be a highly-volatile market where its tough to sustain a profitable business model," Eric Rodli, president of Kodaks Entertainment Imaging division stated in a release. "In Europe, market conditions and our position in the market are very different. There, Cinesite Londons established track record and unique capabilities provide opportunities to strengthen our leadership position."
"Digital imaging services are critical to Kodaks future," Rodli continued. "But, we need to concentrate our efforts and our investments in markets where we have a long-term sustainable business model with attractive rates of return and where we can achieve a leadership position. Long-form digital film mastering offers that opportunity here in Hollywood; London provides great potential to build on Cinesites award-winning work in special effects."
Since opening its doors in 1992, Cinesite Hollywood has done effects for more than 300 films, including ROAD TO PERDITION, RED DRAGON, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 1 & 2, TOMB RAIDER and HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE. Twentieth Century Fox's X-MEN 2 is amongst the house's last projects before it shuts down on June 1, laying off approximately 130 employees. Cinesite Hollywood will focus on long-form digital film mastering. Ruth Scovill, president of Cinesite Hollywood, said, "But, the original intention of Cinesite Hollywood was to be a learning environment where the company could help to establish quality standards and influence industry practices. By focusing on long-form digital film mastering which is in its infancy this unit will be returning to those roots." Cinesite Europe is working on HAPPY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN, TOMB RAIDER 2, TROY and THUNDERBIRDS. Cinesite Europe's subsidiary, Effects Associates is expected to do more model, miniatures and other practical effects.