In response to our article on how the cloud will improve the health of the industry someone posted this:
“This won’t lead to better artist payment, only to more profit for owners and shareholders, for the most part.”
I thought about responding to it in the channel itself but then thought that this is a great topic for an article. While I think that this is meant to be a fairly objective statement, it starts to take on a bit of a negative tone. So I’d like to offer our perspective on how the cloud will in-fact help animation production artists. While no technology can guarantee wage increases for individuals, there are meaningful gains for the artists in moving to the cloud. I have three thoughts on this.
First, a profitable market is a growing market. If indeed, the cloud leads to more profits for studios and shareholders, that means it’s a good industry to be in and more business will pop up to capitalize on the opportunity! This means more studios and more opportunities for artists. Right now, animation/VFX houses struggle with really low margins and often have to scrape by or shut down. This sucks for everyone. A growing, high margin industry would clear this up quickly!
Second, while this doesn’t directly guarantee wage increases for everyone, there have been studies on the effects of globalization of industries. In general, globalization leads to higher wages for skilled workers and lower wages for unskilled workers. If you are good at your craft, you are going to get paid well for it no matter what form the studio takes. Additionally, in a globalized and cloud-based industry, you have a global pool of opportunities!
Third, a cloud-based studio can allow artists to live and work where they want to versus where the studio dictates. This makes it easier to live in a place that has lower living expenses and increase your disposable income. For artists with families, the benefits go further than just how far your dollar goes. Being able to live where you want can mean a much more stable life. I saw the effects when PDI/Dreamworks shut down and close friends had to uproot their lives to find a place to work. It was very heart-wrenching. Our goal is to eliminate this from the industry.
We really believe that this cloud-based future benefits everyone in the animation industry and it can’t get here soon enough!