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Rhythm & Hues is Hiring Hundreds of People—In Taiwan

A little over a month after Life of Pi VFX studio Rhythm & Hues declared bankruptcy and laid off hundreds of employees at its Los Angeles studio, the China Post reports that its new Taiwan outpost is offering 200 job openings.

Rhythm & Hues recently had a booth at a job fair at Taichung’s National Chung Hsing University, where it was recruiting special effects engineers, 3D animation artists and other creative personnel. Starting salaries for new graduates at the Taiwan studio are roughly in the range of $250-per-week, according to the China Post.

  • There goes our jobs. Now before we start blaming the studio lets figure out why is that to produce quality work in America we have to either outsource or produce a cheaper quality. Is it demand from us the people?

  • Ian R. Hamilton

    Well as a proffesional in animation i think if the owners of Rhythm and Hues can continue to operate profitably and yield a quality product with artist in Taiwan its better than going under with american artists. I work in 2D and having an artist thats as talented as you but costs 1 /3rd as much as you take your job isn’t fun but being a part of a market that allows the artist and producers to take advatage of more efficient production models and labor will resort in more projects being created and more markets on both the creative and production side. The Ink and paint work being done overseas didn’t mean the end of 2D it was the beginning of new avenues for 2D creators and producers and it will be the same for VFX.

  • Toonio

    That a freaking low blow under the circumstances.

    I buy the idea they have to make it through their current productions in a profitable fashion but cheapening the bill to the studios only hurts the industry in every possible way.

    Hope R&H doesn’t get the bad Karma Digital Domain got but they are really asking for it.

  • jean paen

    Well, that’s the history of animation. It’s not a recent development, 90 percent of all major US animated television productions have had offshore components (usually studios full of animators) since the 50’s and earlier. Digital VFX is the same deal. Digi artists in LA wanna buy a house for their family, pay the mortgage. Fair enough.. but the studio I’m at in Indonesia, the artists live in dormitories and get bussed to work, 30 of ém cost one US wage. Quality? Some of the highest rated shows worldwide.

  • jean paen

    Well, it depends where ‘offshore’ is. In Taiwan the average wage is about $12, 275 USD. In Indonesia it’s $1, 500…

    • Taiwanese Guy

      Brill 93 and jean paen,

      Highest paying salary in USA is COACHING. What is wrong with that picture? According to USA culture, people doing animation must be all GAY. People doing math must be all NERD. And, people wonder WHY those jobs are getting ‘offshore’ these days when American kids in general don’t even bother to take those kinds of classes to began with. Just look at JAPAN’s ‘Bleach’ animation, ‘Naruto’ animation, and so forth right now vs ‘Adventure Time’ animation, ‘Chowder’ animation, and so on at USA Cartoon Network these days. In fact, older USA shows such as ‘G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero’ animation, ‘Aeon Flux’ animation, ‘ThunderCats’ animation, ‘The Catillac Cats’ animation, and so forth are so much better drawn than what is shown today with better original stories, too.

  • It is cheaper on paper but there are a lot of thing the studio heads aren’t considering and will have to deal with. I worked in video games for 14 years, here’s some info. Cheap outsourcing is cheap but the quality is questionable. If you can find a place and lock them in and have a good rapport then you might be in decent shape but you will still get the crap piece of art they didn’t have time for and sometimes needs to be completely redone. Also, they’re not personally invested in the project, artists just takes shots in the dark and hope for the best without understanding much context of what the project it. For a little more $ you get better quality but now it’s only about a third cheaper than hiring someone in the US. There’s also a major cultural barrier. Sometimes you’ll get choices made by the artists on shapes, colors or style that just look wacky and you have to go through an interpreter to explain what you want and hope they understand what you’re talking about. After dealing with outsourcing for several years now I think it can be a good idead overflow work but for the major bulk, I would never do it. For $30-80 hr you can hire great artists in the US. For full time employees you have to add and additional 10-20% for equipment/insurance costs for each full time employee but I wish they’d at least hire more local freelance artists.

    Also, you’re essentially training a foreign company all your trademark secrets on how to do your job. So when they get big enough, they’ll just start making their own movies and making their own.

    • jean paen

      There are bad studios everywhere, it has nothing to do with country. The Indonesian studio I currently work at (I’m an Australasian) is at the moment schooling a North American project provider on layout and background basics because they are fumbling the fundamentals. If we end up taking their work off ém it’s because they are lazy, complacent and way too self-assured. Here comes the hungry wolf, fellers!

    • Taiwanese Guy

      Trademark secrets? Really! What is that? Blowing your BS hot air. I’m sure Peter J Walters with so much inside scoop now for 14 years, he should be able to have a studio that is even more profitable and better run than Rhythm & Hues. BTW, a bit of Taiwanese animators are alumni of CalArts, VFS, DigiPen, and so forth, which end up doing Next Media Animation these days. Taiwan also have alumni of MIT, Stanford University, and so on in Discrete Math and Computer Graphics from Computer Science, too. Of course, EE is legendary in Taiwan as OEM with TSMC and in USA with Nvidia.

  • Miles Thompson

    As disheartening as this is to see (VERY), it can only be counted as business as usual, because given the numbers at hand it’s not hard to grasp why they’d make this move at all. Quality can suffer to cost because it’s no longer about the domestic work-market in a world of 7 billion people who watch movies on their phones. While the human population continues to grow numbers become more and more relative to whats on our own families’ shrinking plates. I work in TV and have for twenty years, the feature market is a crapshoot at best today and that’s NOT going to change… faster, for less, damn the quality. New darker days are here to stay a while.

  • DarklingDragon

    To be honest, that probably depends on what kind of job the citizen has and where in the U.S. he/she lives. Where I live most people only make $6,000-$10,000 a year if they’re lucky. No art or animation jobs where I live, most of it’s volunteer work. Plus, Our art community has only recently started to grow the past two years.

    TL;DR: $250 a week is more than I make a week working, or anyone else in my area. /:[

  • Mister Twister

    That is actually kind of sad.

  • matthew justice

    As a recent college graduate trying to get into the industry, this is depressing.

  • Disgusting… scratch them off my “to follow” list….

  • aug

    I am not working Taiwan and I do hope all the jobs stay in North America or just in U.S.
    But, the information is a bit off. $250/week in Taiwan is more like
    $750-$800/ week here. about $40,000 a year.. Living expense and salary
    in Mainland China and Taiwan are actually quite different. I really
    don’t like the jobs are going away but if Hollywood can sell the movies
    to outside of US, why can’t people outside of US make a little money out
    of it? I don’t like the answer of that either.

  • Joseph

    Maybe if US companies weren’t given tax breaks for sending jobs overseas this wouldn’t be such a problem…

  • Taiwanese Guy

    Taiwan have single-payer health care system.

  • Taiwanese Guy

    USA don’t need BETTER HEALTH CARE SYSTEM, since it would be one more COMMUNIST SYSTEMS except for those SPYING BIG BROTHER NETWORKS, POLICE THUGS, and MILITARY MASS-MURDERS that deserved even MORE FUNDING, of course…. hehe!! >=P

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    My TAIWAN NATION seriously needs to move toward a PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM similar to Denmark, Finland, New Zealand, and Sweden with LESS BS GERRYMANDERING and an actual FUNCTIONAL MULTI-PARTY SYSTEM plus GOOD SOCIO-ECONOMIC UPWARD MOBILITY!! =/