Special effects workers not worth a moneypenny

22Oct12

Double Negative Visual Effects is the largest visual effects company in Europe, but even workers at this company (that produced effects for the new James Bond movie, “Skyfall”) can not escape the precarity associated with a project-based industry (discussed in all of our readings relating to the TV and film industries). An undisclosed number of employees will be “made redundant” within the next few days. A spokesperson for the company said, “The project-based nature of our business means that from time to time we need to grow and contract to reflect the needs of the films we are working. The decision to streamline our operation for the time being is a natural part of the cycle of our industry.” The layoffs come only days before the premiere of “Skyfall.” Double Negative wasted no time in adjusting to their decreased workload.

As previously mentioned, Double Negative is the largest firm of its kind in Europe. It has produced special effects for films like “The Dark Knight Rises,” “Bourne Legacy,” “Inception” (for which it won an Academy Award), and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows II” (for which it was awarded a Bafta award). With the layoffs, one might think that the firm is losing work, but the firm plans on making effects for “Fast and Furious 6,” “Thor 2,” and “Hunger Games: Catching Fire.”

I would think that workers who gain employment with a firm like Double Negative would feel secure in their jobs, as the firm works on such massive productions. Also contributing to perceived job security is a seemingly constant demand for visual effects in the film industry. However, as this article illustrates, even employees of successful visual effects studios can not avoid precarity. In a fickle, project-based industry, nobody can be sure they are needed for the next production.

~Senia

Article: Special effects workers on new Bond film to lose jobs at Double Negative

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