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

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

Country-pop singer, Lizzie Sider sits down with "Border Crossings" host Larry London to perform songs from her new album, “Butterfly,” and to talk about her anti-bullying tour.

Blogs