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Sony Pictures Imageworks India To Shut Down

Less than six years after opening, Sony Pictures Imageworks India will shut down, according to a report in Variety. Sony provided the following statement to the trade publication:

“Sony Pictures Imageworks will not renew its lease in Chennai, India when it expires in March. This facility made significant contributions to such productions as MIB3 and the upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Imageworks is committed to its headquarters in Culver City and facility in Vancouver, BC.”

Few of the Indian studio’s approximately 100 employees are expected to be relocated. Sony had launched the studio in 2007 by aquiring vfx outfit FrameFlow. The shut down of this Indian outpost is part of Sony Entertainment’s new goal to trim $250 million in operating costs over two years. As part of these efforts, Sony gave dozens of Imageworks employees in Los Angeles the choice of moving to Vancouver or losing their job.

  • NotInLA

    sad. my heart goes out to all those affected.

  • Toonio

    Sony its so terrible they wouldn’t sell coats in the middle of a freeze even if they were the only store around. Shake up that management tree Sony, or be prepared to die.

  • Ikas

    Does this suggest that its no longer cheaper to outsource to India ?

  • tstevens

    I have met a few of the guys from the old Sony Imageworks studio here in Albuquerque (now Pivot) and they seem to be doing well picking up work from the majors. From what I have gathered, the business model that Pivot has (staffs under 50) seems to be the way the industry will go or, for that matter, has gone. From a business POV it makes sense to keep effects departments small and farm out work. The downside is that most places are hiring contract workers istead of permanent employees.

  • Isn’t it strange to shut down a studio in India as part of a cost-saving effort? I thought their salaries were a small fraction of US talent? What has changed?

  • jonhanson

    Would be interested in reading a more in-depth story on this or another closing outsourcing studio. You hear all these stories about how India, China, etc. are all cheaper but then you hear stories like this where things don’t seem to work out. Not sure whether this means artists back in North America will benefit or what’s going to happen. For some reason I feel like either way artists are going to end up getting screwed over.

  • venu

    Cant understand why a vfx artist always face such an instability in
    Profession. Profit of the movies are huge in millions but
    Artist remain jobless. very sad ..

  • KW

    I’ll probably get a lot of flak for this, but I don’t feel much sympathy for an outsourced studio getting shut down.

    • jonhanson

      Want to expand on why? Not judging, just curious.

  • Christopher

    I love how a lot of the comments here are always about supporting animation and getting frustrated when a studio lets go of its employees, yet it happens in India, and some people actually have the audacity to say “Good”.

    Pretty patriotic bunch you are.

    I thought what kept us together was that we were all interested in animation, not that we were all American.

    • jonhanson

      It sucks but rational self-interest pretty much always trumps lofty ideals. Sure, I want you to get a job in the abstract, but when you getting a job means I don’t get one then suddenly I’m not going to feel that generous.

      Too bad that artists in other countries are the ones who often end up getting blamed instead of the executives who have loyalty to neither individuals nor nations.

  • Megan

    Except they also just told a bunch of staff in LA to move to Vancouver or take a pink slip…

  • ike

    You are very aware that will never happen, right? If you have a team of 200 people split in two studios, when you close one the other will have to work twice with the half of the employees…

  • It might be home for you.

  • AmidAmidi

    Matt – You need to read this post:
    Cartoon Brew readers come from 228 countries and territories. Home is relative.

    • Strong Enough

      Damn Amid you got him

  • Rocking the Dog

    I wonder how this affects Sony losing the bid on the Ash Brannon film project they were supposed to work on. Lots of upheaval at Sony right now.

  • tv

    Great people. Absolutely clueless management.

  • guest

    Mr.Hankenshift i will not agree on our point that work done in overseas is all crap, u might have faced a bad experience in your project that doesn’t mean all the work we do is crap , there is no language barrier at all ..plz try to find root cause to save vfx in your all happening because of “subsidy” not because of poor work …