News / Arts & Entertainment

Hollywood Visual Effects Go Global

Hollywood Visual Effects Go Globali
X
Elizabeth Lee
April 22, 2014 10:02 PM
Many of today’s Hollywood blockbuster movies include stunning visual effects. Most of those effects used to be produced in Hollywood, but that has changed. Now, one film can include visual effects produced in many different countries. Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles on how the globalization of visual effects is affecting artists in Hollywood and around the world.
Elizabeth Lee
Many of today’s Hollywood blockbuster movies include stunning visual effects.  Most of those effects used to be produced in Hollywood, but that has changed.  Now, one film can include visual effects produced in many different countries.
 
Tommy Williamson is passionate about filmmaking .  As a former visual effects supervisor, he worked on many Hollywood blockbusters, but not anymore.

“It kind of breaks my heart to leave the whole thing; in fact I don’t even say that I left.  I said it left me," said Williamson.

Thanks to technology, visual effects work can be done anywhere in the world and more Hollywood films are including work from other countries.

"In the last five to seven years is where you’ve seen an explosion of content getting processed in different parts of the world," said Venkatesh Roddam, chief executive officer of India-based Reliance MediaWorks. "Not just India, but China, Taiwan, Korea, India; these are all the markets that content from Hollywood is going to."

Countries such as India offer lower costs, and some are offering financial incentives for work to be done there.  

“I’ve been at 12 different visual effects companies.  [I’ve] been on the staff of five, all of which have gone bankrupt for one reason or another; basically it’s only two, the way we work and the subsidy race that’s driven so many of them out of business," said Dave Rand.

Rand and Daniel Lay, co-founders of the Association of Digital Artists, Professionals &Technicians, say that subsidies offered by other countries are driving work out of Hollywood.  He says the solution lies in the U.S. federal courts.

“The United States government puts very strong anti-subsidy laws that have been around for years that allow for domestic industries that are being injured by these international subsidies to seek relief through the trade courts," Lay said.
 
He wants a U.S. federal court to levy a mandatory tax on the work produced outside the U.S.

“It’s not a progressive idea.  “You are actually artificially pumping up the cost.  You are limiting talent availability," said Roddam.

Roddam says currently Hollywood can draw from an international talent pool.  

It’s benefiting artists like Kunal Chindarkar, who works on Hollywood movies from Singapore for visual effects company Double Negative.

“The people that are working with me right now in Double Negative are...are from all over the world.  We have people from Australia, from U.K., from France," he said.

Roddam says working with Hollywood improves the quality of work worldwide.  He says the key to a visual effects company’s survival is to also branch out into other areas of filmmaking.  

Firms also need a presence in countries where the work is done, and that includes the U.S.

“You cannot survive in this marketplace without a physical presence here," Roddam said. "So from that perspective, companies like ours will continue to create American jobs in America, rather than actually think about how much of this work is going to Canada or U.K. or India or China."

Roddam also says the visual effects industry will continue to evolve and those who want to stay in the business will have to continue to adapt.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Beyond Category

Pianist Myra Melford’s new CD “Life Carries Me This Way” features solo piano interpretations of drawings by modern artist Don Reich. She performs songs from the album, talks about turning art into music, and joins host Eric Felten in some Chicago boogie-woogie on "Beyond Category."