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

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Gay-marriage opponents are looking for ways to maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture, one writer says More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the latest edition of "Beyond Category" blues singer and guitarist Corey Harris performs with his band and talks about his travels in West Africa tracing the roots of the blues.