Post Magazine

December 2013

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VFX OUTLOOK SWOT: By Ch ristine Bu nis h Animation, Graphics & VFX While there's no shortage of work, players in the animation, graphics and visual effects space feel pressure from slim budgets, local competition and outsourcing. Professionals remain bullish on the business despite the recent loss of some major players.They point to the popularity and success of animated and VFXintensive content and the proliferation of VFX and animation — sometimes undetectable — in just about every project. But budgets are shrinking, payment terms can be lengthy, and work is still being outsourced. And there can be lack of client understanding of what it takes — and costs — to produce at a high level. Nevertheless, new markets are opening domestically and internationally, and studios look forward to a bright 2014. Chad Hutson Executive Producer Leviathan Chicago Three-year old Leviathan is a creative studio that's equal parts broadcast animation and experiential design. It crafts animated content and immersive installations for global brands, agencies and entertainers. Recent clients include Vizio, Sundance Channel, Disney, The North Face and Ubisoft. STRENGTHS: "It's great to see several well-executed animated 32 Post • December 2013 projects have won big awards: the 'Dumb Ways to Die' campaign won at Cannes and Chipotle's The Scarecrow short film has been very successful. Animation is still a magical way to tell a story, and good design never goes out of date. If balance can be struck between design as a universal language and also as a regionally-understood dialect, your firm will remain viable." WEAKNESSES: "VFX are more affordable and commonplace now — they're used in commercials more than ever before. But the industry has been turned upside down in recent years with budgets becoming extremely limited. Even the big guys are duking it out for the low-budget projects, so we hope that there will be enough work to go around for small- and medium-sized companies as well." OPPORTUNITIES: "Good content can be distributed in so many Leviathan's work for The North Face and Unisoft highlight how VFX can be used in both spots and physical spaces. ways now. Broadcast is, thankfully, still alive, but online channels have grown considerably, and there has to be enough content to feed the Web's insatiable appetite. "For Leviathan, physical spaces have become an important canvas for animation and visual effects. This could be at live concerts, product launches, publicity stunts, retail installations... people are drawn in to more personal experiences where content is displayed in unique ways. And with all the many screens consumers have at their disposal, entertainment, advertising and technology are converging more than ever. Mobile devices, TVs, game consoles, computers all have become ways

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