Digital Domain’s CEO, John Textor has been boasting about plans to get up to 30% of studio work from students.
"What’s interesting is the relationship between the digital studio and the college. 30% of the workforce at our digital studio down in Florida, is not only going to be free, its going to be [student] labor that’s actually paying us for the privilege of working on our films.”
This is a blow for a lot of my class, since Digital Domain’s Tradition Studios in Port St Lucie (Very close to Ringling!) was looking to hire something like 500 people around the time we graduate. Obviously, 30% doesn’t mean they won’t need new hires..but this sort of thing makes you wonder about the studio.
“We were able to persuade even the academic community, if we don’t do something to dramatically reduce costs in our industry, then we’re going to lose these industries .. we’re going to lose these jobs.
So, if 30% of our labor can be free, actually paying tuition, but by [the] Junior and Senior year at the college, [students are] working on real films, as part of the professional workflow, and [they] graduate with a resume that has five major films, [their] name in the credits, and more than just an internship level of experience, then that’s the perfect kind of trade off.”
A lot of people are asking how legal this could be. I know of a few laws that state that you can’t contribute to a film without minimum wage, at least.
However, I’m reminded of the College football model. Students who pay universities huge sums of money to play on their teams..while the school makes millions off of them. While it is what the students love, and some do go on to the pros, it is still worth noting that this is another instance where a student pays to have money made off of them.
I do not know how this applies to the creative field, and I doubt that Digital Domain will easily get away with this with out some legal loop holes and a damaged reputation with students. Obviously I don’t know my legal mumbo jumbo too well, but I know a lot of you are in, going into, or interested in the animation/entertainment field…just wondering what everyone else thinks. No need to freak out, no one knows how it ill end. Just wanting opinions. <:
Edit: I also feel that Digital Domain is not thinking about the amount of manpower needed to fix simple student mistakes. In my opinion, they are going to have the quality suffer, or spend about the same amount of money fixing things.