Only yesterday, we reported that DNEG, the global vfx behemoth, had asked all staff earning over $43,200 to take a significant pay cut. Turmoil continues to spread through the industry, with reports that Technicolor has laid off hundreds of vfx workers in Canada.
Technicolor, which is based in Paris, France, is the parent company of a number of vfx studios located around the world. According to the Art Babbitt Appreciation Society (ABAS), a grassroots organization campaigning to unionize Canada’s animation and vfx industries, the company has laid off hundreds of workers across three studios in Montreal — MPC, Mr. X, and Mill Film — as well as its educational work program Technicolor Academy. ABAS’s assertion corroborates rumors of job losses that have been circulating for some weeks. In February, MPC won an Oscar for its vfx work on 1917 (pictured above), which involved Montreal staff.
ABAS raises this issue in a strongly worded letter to Technicolor’s CEO Richard Moat, which doesn’t directly address the causes of the layoffs, but castigates the company for letting staff go amid the coronavirus crisis, “at a time when their need for support is paramount.” The collective alleges that they were let go “without pay and without notice,” and that the cuts extend to both “highly technical positions” and “temporary foreign workers [working] under highly precarious visa requirements.” Technicolor has not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication, but we will update the story with their response if they provide one.