Ineffective business practices, uncertainty, and insecurity
Digital Domain Media Group plans to shut down its new animation facilities in Port St. Lucie, Florida, and in doing so, lay off 300 employees. The CEO of the company has resigned in the wake of these events. The company cited the need for “strategic realignment” to focus in on its core business of visual and digital effects. The studio has done digital effects for movies including “Transformers,” “Titanic,” and “Tron: Legacy.”
Another potential contributing factor in the resignation of the company’s CEO is hints at using more-or-less free labor:
Textor [the former CEO] recently created a stir over remarks that he made about the company’s new animation and digital arts institute, an unusual public-private partnership with Florida State University. The project angered visual effects artists in Hollywood, who fear it will encourage students to work for free at Digital Domain’s planned visual effects studio in West Palm Beach.
These happenings are just one of many examples of the predicaments media companies currently face. Media companies are finding it difficult to determine how to structure their businesses and networks to allow for creative endeavors while still maintaining a business. In this case, 300 recently hired animators are now jobless, attesting to the instability of employment in the media industry. This instability also has to do with the influx of young, aspiring media workers that are willing to do jobs for much less, or even for free.
When we look at the compound effects of inefficient business structures and precariousness of employment in the media industry, we can see why many media workers report high stress and uncertainty with their careers as well as with their employment in general.
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