Although the rainy weather put a damper on Wednesdays turnout for the second UK Showcase at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel, the visual effects seminar was worth attending for its updated information. VES founder Tom Atkin moderated a panel that consisted of VFX producers Stephanie Austin (SAHARA) and Angie Wills of Cinesite; Rebekah Rudd, exec vp, Spyglass Ent. (THE HITCHHIKERS GUIDE TO THE GALAXY); William Sargent, chairman of Framestore CFC; and Lucy Ainsworth-Taylor, business development exec with Moving Picture Co. (MPC).
The four leading companies [including Double Negative] are like a campus community with support around them and we need to spread the risk around, explained Sargent. What Ive noticed thats different [about us] is that we are multi-skilled and our productivity is extremely high.
Citing MPCs growth on the 3D side (it has staffed up to 280 and last month opened a satellite office in Hollywood to work on POSEIDON), Taylor said: The whole world is getting smaller. We recently bid on a project with 15 others and won a revolution picture with help from work that we did on VIRTUAL HISTORY: THE PLOT TO KILL HITLER and the SINGIN IN THE RAIN VW commercial.
Tayler added that MPC is competitive because it sets a daily pay rate and its artists are willing to sacrifice to work on big budget movies such as the HARRY POTTER franchise.
Austin noted that post schedules arent changing with the introduction of digital intermediate as another aspect of vfx, so staff must work through the middle of the night to meet deadlines.
And even though the leaseback program remains an enticement to U.S. productions in the U.K., the vfx houses cant always count on the program. Such is the case with Spyglass UNDERDOG. There is no leaseback on UNDERDOG, but the U.K. houses are still competitive, so thats why we are doing business with them, Rudd confirmed.