But what exactly is this train wreck? What is it exactly? I think it is the following things. That a large number of people, Americans and others, were encouraged to devote a tremendous amount of energy and time and money to become skilled in this area of computer animation, only to discover that there was no reasonable employment for them that would allow them to live a reasonably secure life and support their families. And that furthermore, having made this bad choice, that it was in fact too late for them to change direction because their career has been, from the point of view of employment, set. Thus we have thousands and thousands and thousands of people either impoverished or going from bad company to bad company trying to earn a living. This human misery is the primary part of the train wreck. Secondarily, that in the process of creating a new industry, computer based visual effects and computer generated films, we not only wiped out several earlier industries, but because of subsidies and globalization we lost our own industries, and that the American computer animation and visual effects industries no longer exist or are on the verge of being completely eliminated. And third, that in spite of the great technical advances in 3D, that in fact there is very little demand for those skills outside of certain kinds of animation production, and those who specialized in them, and helped create them, are very likely to never work again.
One more thing. This is not black and white. You are going to have to think. Don't assume I am wrong if you disagree, instead find out more about what I am talking about. Obviously this is from my point of view.
So cut me some slack, people, and pay attention: I am not doing this for me as much as I am doing this for you. I have at best a fatherly attitude towards the situation. I can't force you not to do drugs and drive drunk, but I can sure as hell make sure you know that you are risking your life when you do so. And since I am one of the people who invented the automobile, to continue our analogy, I feel some responsibility to do so.
The situation has its origins in, among other things:
- the labor intensive, highly skilled nature of the work,
For example, many people are calling for labor to organize. On the one hand I am always in favor of labor organizing to present a united front to management. In this case, I doubt very much if labor organization, possibly even unionization, would have made a huge difference, but it might have made a minor difference in the following way: (a) there might be a system set up to accomodate some of the continuation of benefits for project oriented people and (b) there might have been more in the area of the political process here: particularly involving the US Govt and foreign subsidies. I doubt very much if unions would have done much to help improve employment in this country in this case, which is probably what most people would desire or expect from a union.
Train Wreck at Wikipedia
1. It used to be the case that the studios would not work with visual effects production companies outside the Los Angeles area.