WB To Do FX Themselves[Wednesday, March 14th, 2001]
Warner Bros. are said to be doing the Visual FX themselves, instead of the Oscar Winning 'Manex'. Corona has reported that scoopers have been telling them that 'Manex' is to be relieved, and that WB In-House team were to take over the project.
Although none of this is confirmed by WB or Manex, scoopers are saying that Manex's dire financial situation, is pushing WB to move the FX department into their own In-house department.
Manex have been losing money for a long time, and its not unknown that FX companies run on tight profit margins. "They laid off their entire Surreality.com division last December, and then their Manex Interactive division after Christmas", a scooper told Corona. Manex still has some contracts left, like '13 Ghosts', but WB don't want the company going bankrupt before they finish making the film. "The original draft of the proposed contract between Manex and WB contained language prohibiting Manex from using initial funds from WB for any other projects/expenditures towards anything not having to do with Matrix 2 & 3", scooper said.
It is said that WB in-house FX is mostly done by ILM, and that the main FX person in 'Matrix 1' was working for WB.
Heres the scoop:
"This is mostly to discuss the reasons why Warner Brothers would change their mind and do the effects in-house.
"The 'leader' of the 'Manex' effects team for Matrix 1 is actually an employee of WB. Therefore, what will likely happen is that several key personnel (such as the original team) will just switch from working for Manex and start working for WB. Hence, the digital effects shouldn't suffer.
"Also, WB simply performed a negotiating trick that many studios (including Manex) have used before: ie. They had Manex do preproduction work for free as a goodwill gesture, and then once seeing Manex figure out initial planning, decided to go about it themselves. For example, WB is renting hangers at the Alameda Naval Base directly from the city instead of renting from Manex.
"Finally, Manex is in seriously poor financial condition, though they have a few remaining contracts. They laid off their entire Surreality.com division last December, and then their Manex Interactive division after Christmas. The digital effects industry is notorious for poor profit margins, unless the studio is well diversified (a la LucasArts). Unfortunately, Manex is no longer such. It's Studio Effects division tends to break even at best and mostly serves as good publicity for the rest of the company. WB probably figures it's easier to do the work themselves than worry about Manex's unresolved debt issues. For example, the original draft of the proposed contract between Manex and WB contained language prohibiting Manex from using initial funds from WB for any other projects/expenditures towards anything not having to do with Matrix 2 & 3."
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