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Digital Domain files for bankruptcy

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XiaNaphryz

LATIN, MATRIPEDICABUS, DO YOU SPEAK IT
Nov 5, 2005
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This has been building for a bit (http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=489999, http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=490334)

http://www.deadline.com/2012/09/digital-domain-bankrupt-chapter-11/

Private investment firm Searchlight Capital Partners has agreed to pay $15M for Digital Domain Productions — the key operation at Digital Domain Media Group — although the special effects company will have to put itself up for auction following its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. Creditors threatened last month to foreclose; Digital Domain’s been losing cash which put it in default of its loan agreements. But Hudson Bay Master Fund and other senior note holders like the deal with Searchlight: They’re putting up as much as $20M in debtor-in-possession financing. Chief Restructuring Officer Michael Katzenstein says that Digital Domain is “grateful for the cooperative assistance of our lenders, our customers and employees as we work to seamlessly transition these important businesses and other assets to financially strong and committed buyers. Their ongoing support ensures the success of these matters.” CEO Ed Ulbrich adds that the company is “on track to deliver all of our clients’ productions on schedule, on budget and at the highest degree of quality that they expect from Digital Domain.” Films in its pipeline include Lionsgate’s Ender’s Game (Digital Domain is a co-producer), New Line’s Jack The Giant Killer, and Paramount’s G.I. Joe: Retaliation.

The turmoil at Digital Domain isn’t over yet. The company just laid off about 300 employees in Port St. Lucie, Florida — the home of its Tradition Studios, which was formed in 2009 and was producing an animated feature The Legend Of Tembo. In addition, Florida state and local officials are investigating the company’s use of millions in subsidies, including funds to develop the Digital Domain Institute, a partnership with Florida State University to teach digital arts. Last week John Textor abruptly resigned the CEO job at Digital Domain saying he’s “in profound disagreement” with the decision to close its Port St. Lucie operation.
Textor said that leaving would give him “greater flexibility to independently consider other strategic alternatives for the Company, the Port St. Lucie studio and the people affected.” Textor led an investment group that in 2006 bought Digital Domain from its founders who included director James Cameron, Stan Winston, and Scott Ross.

http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118059067

Employees at Digital Domain’s Venice, Calif. HQ and its branches in Vancouver, Canada and the San Francisco Bay Area will retain current salary and benefits.

This quote from the Deadline link caught my eye:

“We believe in the visual effects business of Digital Domain, led by Ed Ulbrich and his team, and are strongly committed to maintaining the premiere product they create for customers and moviegoers. Upon Searchlight’s consummation of the transaction, we have committed and will continue to commit our strong financial resources and expertise to ensure that this business always remains healthy and vibrant,” said Eric L. Zinterhofer, co-Founder, Searchlight Capital Partners L.P.

DD numbers:

Accounting Earnings

2007: $20 million loss on $73.7 million in revenue
2008: $15.3 million loss on $85.1 million in revenue
2009: $19.3 million loss on $70.8 million in revenue
2010: $42 million loss on $105 million in revenue
2011: $141 million loss on $99 million in revenue
Trailing twelve months: $80 million loss on $102 million in revenue

Cash from Operating Activities

2007: no data
2008: no data
2009: $19.2 million in cash from operations on $70.8 million in revenue*
2010: $16 million in cash from operations on $105 million in revenue
2011: $42 million loss on $99 million in revenue
Trailing twelve months: $60 million loss on $102 million in revenue

VFX is a low margin business, and I am still baffled DD decided to go public at all.
 

Zilch

Banned
Jun 8, 2004
6,107
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0
Brooklyn
John Textor is the guy who made the now infamous "students will PAY US to work on our movies" quote.

I feel bad for the Port St. Lucie employees; Legend of Tembo could have been neat.

What a colossal fuckup all around.
 
Jan 12, 2007
61,079
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Toronto, ON. Canada
...and nothing of value was lost.

Are you kidding me?!!

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XiaNaphryz

LATIN, MATRIPEDICABUS, DO YOU SPEAK IT
Nov 5, 2005
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How terrible. Clearly bad management is to blame here.

Textor doesn't have the best of reputations in the industry.

VFX is a tough industry - Matte World Digital recently went under, and Fuel VFX just went into administration. Searchlight has a tough job in front of them. No effects house should really be public.
 

Zilch

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Jun 8, 2004
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The thread title is a bit confusing... DD is just shutting down the Florida branch. California and Vancouver are not affected by this.
 

Nizz

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May 18, 2007
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...and nothing of value was lost.

Christ...

I didn't know they had employees here in Florida. I figured most of the big fx guys were over on the west coast.

Am I wrong or wasn't this James Cameron's fx company at one time?
 

XiaNaphryz

LATIN, MATRIPEDICABUS, DO YOU SPEAK IT
Nov 5, 2005
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Yowza. A friend just got hired there, but it looks like she'll retain her job based on the article.

If she's part of the west coast studios, yea. If its DDI in Florida (wasn't shut down) or DD's 3d conversion group, those were not included in the sale to Searchlight I believe so those would be more iffy.
 

verbum

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Oct 13, 2009
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Is this due to declining movie ticket sales recently (last 12 months)? I know on KCRW's The Business, they were talking about ticket sales being down 4% this year.
 

2real4tv

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Aug 9, 2007
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Are you kidding me?!!

Rock of Ages
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Real Steel
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
X-Men: First Class
Thor
Tron: Legacy
The A-Team
Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief
2012
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Star Trek
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Gran Torino
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
Speed Racer
The Golden Compass
We Own the Night
The Seeker: The Dark is Rising
Transformers
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Meet the Robinsons
Zodiac
The Hitcher
Letters from Iwo Jima
The Nativity Story
Flags of Our Fathers
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
Zoom
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Roving Mars
Aeon Flux
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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Dark Water
Cinderella Man
Flight of the Phoenix
I, Robot
The Day After Tomorrow
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Secondhand Lions
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The Time Machine
We Were Soldiers
A Beautiful Mind
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Red Planet
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Supernova
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Red Corner
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Chain Reaction
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Interview With the Vampire
Color of Night
True Lies

Mostly sucessful movies wonder what the problem is?
 

XiaNaphryz

LATIN, MATRIPEDICABUS, DO YOU SPEAK IT
Nov 5, 2005
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Is this due to declining movie ticket sales recently (last 12 months)? I know on KCRW's The Business, they were talking about ticket sales being down 4% this year.

VFX studios very rarely get a cut of box office or home video revenue, so no.
 

Snaku

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Sep 15, 2005
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Delay big summer tentpole franchise sequel 9 months for costly 3D conversion.






File for bankruptcy.
 

fenners

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how in the world did THESE movies require FX?

Mattes. Cleanup of wires/shots. Touching up colour balance. There's all sorts of VFX work that isn't whizzbang Transformers work.

Is this due to declining movie ticket sales recently (last 12 months)?

No, it's down to lowball bidding, studios not wanting to pay the money it actually /costs/ to make the sfx to their standards/timescale, outsourcing to a degree etc. It's a very competitive market & the studios know it.
 

BattleMonkey

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Mar 5, 2009
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how in the world did THESE movies require FX?

Most movies use FX in some form, even for the simplest of things. Probably most movies you see in any city like setting has some kind of VFX work done in the background to hide production materials or to change aspects of it.

Delay big summer tentpole franchise sequel 9 months for costly 3D conversion.






File for bankruptcy.

You do realize that they are just the VFX company and not the ones who decided to delay GI Joe 9 months for a 3D conversion? Paramount made that decision. The delay to convert to 3D was actually a bonus for DD since Paramount has to pay them more to do it.
 

Zilch

Banned
Jun 8, 2004
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how in the world did THESE movies require FX?

This year the Emmy's added a second FX category:

The art and craft of special effects can make viewers believe that alien invaders walk among us on "Falling Skies" or add the Atlantic City shoreline to a New York set for "Boardwalk Empire."

One result is fantastic, the other is realistic, and the two are so different that it seems unfair they should compete for the same Emmy trophy — so they don't have to, starting with Thursday's nominations.

The TV academy has transformed its visual effects honors this year with two new awards. Category 89 recognizes shows with magic at their core, such as the sci-fi saga "Falling Skies," modern fairy tale "Grimm" or the monster mash of "The Walking Dead."

Category 90, the other newcomer, is for imagery that plays a supporting role in a program not dependent on "special visual effects to tell the story," according to academy guidelines.

Besides "Boardwalk Empire," shows vying for that nomination include such other distinctly down-to-earth dramas as "Mad Men," "Downton Abbey" and "Game Change."

Not everything is alien warships and natural disasters.

edit: asking why historical dramas would need VFX work is just dumb, though.
 

planar1280

Banned
May 26, 2011
5,261
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0
This year the Emmy's added a second FX category:



Not everything is alien warships and natural disasters.

edit: asking why historical dramas would need VFX work is just dumb, though.

Ah so the FX category includes Visual as well as touch ups.
 

RedBullEnergy

Member
Jun 25, 2011
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...and nothing of value was lost.

Let's hope when you have a family, mortgage and bills to pay the company you work for doesn't close down forcing you to worry endlessly about surviving. Actually maybe it would teach you a thing or two.

Allot of us are wondering if new companies will emerge and things pickup but I'm not sure. It's concerning for all but frustrating when it's more to do with mismanagement than poor output. :(
 

Shin Johnpv

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Nov 12, 2004
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Gokuentou
I know like 4 or 5 folks who lost their job (some who just moved out to FL) because of this, sucks big time.

Mattes. Cleanup of wires/shots. Touching up colour balance. There's all sorts of VFX work that isn't whizzbang Transformers work.

I think people would be surprised how much of what they see includes some form of VFX work.


No, it's down to lowball bidding, studios not wanting to pay the money it actually /costs/ to make the sfx to their standards/timescale, outsourcing to a degree etc. It's a very competitive market & the studios know it.

I really think VFX studios undercutting each other is going to fuck the industry in the long run. There's way too much selfishness if you will going on, and not enough we need to look at how our actions effect the industry as a haul. There's a server lack of "what does this mean for the long term" thinking.
 

CyclopsRock

Member
Jul 6, 2012
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490
I know like 4 or 5 folks who lost their job (some who just moved out to FL) because of this, sucks big time.



I think people would be surprised how much of what they see includes some form of VFX work.




I really think VFX studios undercutting each other is going to fuck the industry in the long run. There's way too much selfishness if you will going on, and not enough we need to look at how our actions effect the industry as a haul. There's a server lack of "what does this mean for the long term" thinking.

Additionally, studios need to stop doing work where they lose money purely for the bragging rights. All over Soho in London you have different companies constantly undercutting each other. The Mill was up for sale a few years back - not many people sell businesses that are making money.
 

Chuckl3s

Member
Feb 9, 2012
2,951
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500
Are you kidding me?!!

Rock of Ages
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Real Steel
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
X-Men: First Class
Thor
Tron: Legacy
The A-Team
Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief
2012
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Star Trek
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Gran Torino
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
Speed Racer
The Golden Compass
We Own the Night
The Seeker: The Dark is Rising
Transformers
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Meet the Robinsons
Zodiac
The Hitcher
Letters from Iwo Jima
The Nativity Story
Flags of Our Fathers
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
Zoom
My Super Ex-Girlfriend
Roving Mars
Aeon Flux
Stealth
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Dark Water
Cinderella Man
Flight of the Phoenix
I, Robot
The Day After Tomorrow
Peter Pan
The Missing
Looney Tunes: Back in Action
Secondhand Lions
The Itallian Job
Daredevil
Star Trek: Nemesis
Adaptation
xXx
The Time Machine
We Were Soldiers
A Beautiful Mind
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Vanilla Sky
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Red Planet
X-Men
Rules of Engagement
Supernova
Fight ClubLake Placid
EdTV
What Dreams May Come
Armageddon
Titanic
Kundun
Red Corner
The Fifth Element
Dante's Peak
The Island of Dr. Moreau
Chain Reaction
Sgt. Bilko
Strange Days
Apollo 13
Interview With the Vampire
Color of Night
True Lies

You forgot the Tupac hologram.
 

Tex117

Banned
Sep 20, 2011
3,528
0
0
Commedieu: Hope things are okay.


As for the bankruptcy...It seems they filed for Chapter 11 (which is a re-organization) and further that it was a "pre-pack."

This means that many of the issues that come up in a free for all bankruptcy have already been substantially worked out between the debtors and creditors.

The article linked is pretty vague at who is the Debtor-In-Possession lender, but it seems its already on the table (though the court has probably not approved it considering its just a "first day" motion).

They do seem to already have what is called a "stalking horse" bidder.

None of the above shall be construed as legal advice in anyway shape or form. Its basic bankruptcy concepts and law.
 

thezerofire

Banned
Nov 8, 2010
8,868
0
0
RIP

 

XiaNaphryz

LATIN, MATRIPEDICABUS, DO YOU SPEAK IT
Nov 5, 2005
52,171
0
0
SF Bay Area
I really think VFX studios undercutting each other is going to fuck the industry in the long run. There's way too much selfishness if you will going on, and not enough we need to look at how our actions effect the industry as a haul. There's a server lack of "what does this mean for the long term" thinking.

Some of them can afford to do it due to government subsidies. To compete, US-based companies often have to break-even or take a loss on certain contracts to get major work, and hope to make up the loss through other projects.

Additionally, studios need to stop doing work where they lose money purely for the bragging rights. All over Soho in London you have different companies constantly undercutting each other. The Mill was up for sale a few years back - not many people sell businesses that are making money.

Many times it's not purely for bragging rights. It's also done to build relationships with certain directors in order to have them more likely to come back to them for future work (and at hopefully more reasonable rates).
 

XiaNaphryz

LATIN, MATRIPEDICABUS, DO YOU SPEAK IT
Nov 5, 2005
52,171
0
0
SF Bay Area
Florida is out $20 million on Digital Domain deal. Some more info on ex-CEO Textor in the article. This fiasco will likely have repercussions for any studio that tries to work incentive deals with state governments in the future.

In what stands to be the largest jobs incentive failure in state history, Digital Domain Media Group announced Friday that it would close its Port St. Lucie animation studio, a $20 million black eye for the state.

The mastermind who lined up more than $130 million in government incentives, West Palm Beach native John Textor, is no longer chief executive of the company he fashioned from a California special effects studio into a jobs-promising, Florida grant magnet.

For Port St. Lucie, it’s the loss of hundreds of high-paying jobs and a huge new expense to repay a $40 million bond issue that brought Digital Domain to the sprawling Tradition development on the city’s western edge.

In West Palm Beach, Textor’s dream of a for-profit animation studio linked to Florida State University’s film school stays alive for now, but city officials are wary and could be out $2 million they have paid Digital Domain.


On Tuesday, Textor reassured West Palm Beach commissioners after Digital Domain announced that it had defaulted on $35 million in loans and, with interest, owed $51 million to private investors. Textor, a born salesman with a history of business flops, remained unruffled, assuring commissioners that the company would survive.

“We are ready, we are keeping our promises, and we will continue to do so in our community,” he said then. “We’ve kept our promise. We’ve created over 300 jobs.”

But on Friday, Digital Domain’s board accepted Textor’s resignation and closed the Port St. Lucie facility, stopping work on an animated feature film and locking about 280 workers out of their jobs. A company statement said 20 workers would remain to close down operations.

Erinn Alberts, driving to her new, $46,000-a-year Digital Domain job with her husband and three children from New Hampshire, heard the news Friday. “We’d been driving 30 hours,” Alberts said. “Five minutes outside of Port St. Lucie, our relocation specialist called to let us know the company was no more, and everybody had been fired. We uprooted our whole lives.”

Gov. Rick Scott’s office cautioned that decisions involving the state’s $20 million grant to Digital Domain took place under Charlie Crist in 2009. But the failure will not dim the governor’s enthusiasm for future job-incentive grants, spokesman Lane Wright said.

The incentive money came without the usual state review process, after Enterprise Florida, the agency then charged with signing off on job incentive grants, refused to back the deal. Then-state Rep. Kevin Ambler, R-Tampa, drew up an amendment to award $42 million in nine state grants without Enterprise Florida’s OK.

Ambler argued at the time that an investigation of Textor’s project would take too long and risk losing the company. Ambler, who lost reelection in 2010, accepted campaign help from Textor and now serves on Digital Domain’s board, for which he is paid $20,000 a year plus $2,000 for every board meeting he attends. He could not be reached Friday for comment.


The state holds out the hope of getting some of its money back. “In cases where companies fail to meet their obligations, we have provisions in the contract that allow us to recoup our investments,” Wright said.

The contract called for Digital Domain to employ 148 people in Port St. Lucie by the end of this year and 500 by the end of 2014. It allows the state to demand repayment of some or all of the grant money, with interest, if those terms aren’t met. At its closing, the Port St. Lucie facility had 300 employees.

Textor’s pay included a salary of $791,372 and, a bonus of $407,000. He also cashed in stock options last year for a gain of $5.6 million. He took the company public last year at $8.50 per share. The stock closed Friday at 60 cents per share. Textor’s 10.5 million shares have lost more than $90 million since May.

In a widely circulated resignation letter posted on various websites, Textor reportedly wrote of “profound disagreement with the decision to close our animation and visual effects studio in the wonderful community of Port St. Lucie, Florida.”

Textor clearly butted heads with the board of directors, once considered his loyalists. On Friday, Digital Domain Media Group issued a formal statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission that comments made Tuesday by Textor to a Florida TV station didn’t represent the board’s own assessment of its dire financial situation.

The SEC filing stops short of identifying the TV station, but in a television interview earlier this week on WPTV-Channel 5, Textor downplayed the amount owed to creditors, stating, “In my opinion, this is a very small amount of money” relative to the value of the company. “There’s been no missed payment or default. This is about a contractual dispute,” he said.

The company, though, painted a grimmer picture, stating that it was in default and that a bankruptcy filing might yet be in the cards. “Mr. Textor’s remarks do not reflect the views of the company, its board of directors or the special committee of the board,” the company’s statement said.

With Textor’s resignation, the CEO’s job is open, a spokeswoman said. Company officials and board members would not comment.


The board’s decision will hit hardest in Port St. Lucie, where Digital Domain jobs promised to anchor growth in a region hard hit by the housing crash. In 2009, city officials hailed their $51 million deal with Digital Domain as a win-win because, they said, taxpayers never would have to pay a dime. But the city guaranteed the bond issue to pay for construction of Digital Domain’s 115,000-square-foot studio building, meaning it’s on the hook for annual debt payments of $3.7 million.

Currently, Digital Domain makes those payments through its lease with the city. The company is due to make its next payment in January, and a payment to bondholders is due in March.

That gives the city some breathing time, but it’s already out some money.

Of a $10 million enterprise fund, about $7.7 million has been paid to Digital Domain. The company didn’t get the entire $10 million because it had not yet hit the agreed-upon employment threshold of 500 workers.

“More like 300,” City Manager Gregory Oravec said. While it’s too soon to make sweeping decisions, he said, “We are looking at the grant agreement to see if there is any way to recoup that money.”

Former state Rep. Carl Domino, R-Jupiter, a financial manager who once lost money in a deal with Textor and fought the state’s grant to his company, said Friday that a backer of the deal once accused him of grandstanding. He said he warned the supporter the deal would never work. “I told him you’re going to have an empty building,” Domino said. “This was very predictable.”
 

Tex117

Banned
Sep 20, 2011
3,528
0
0
Oh no.

This will be a political fiasco.

When politicians get involved, it effs up the Bankruptcy Process.
 

~Kinggi~

Banned
Oct 22, 2006
23,454
2
0
Jesus Christ did i dodge a bullet here. I graduated with a vfx degree in Florida in 2006. Luckily i have found work doing more technical database stuff with a brief stint in vfx as a contractor but was considering a move to Port St Lucie cause that was the hot talk amongst the slew of graduates coming out of all the graphics schools in Florida (there are a ton of them for such little work its ridiculous). I knew some people that got jobs at the St Lucie office and they even tried to get me in once but i never fully pursued it. Would be out of the job now.

Goddamn employment situation is just horrid down here. I would be scared shit if i was a recent graphics graduate in Florida right now.
 

victreeb3l

Member
May 7, 2008
27,608
0
1,180
i never heard of this company but it seems like they did some legit stuff. sucks for those who lost their jobs though, thats never nice.
 

XiaNaphryz

LATIN, MATRIPEDICABUS, DO YOU SPEAK IT
Nov 5, 2005
52,171
0
0
SF Bay Area
Variety - Can ailing fx house fix woes in post?

Tuesday's pre-dawn announcement that Digital Domain Media Group had declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy and then sold part of itself to Searchlight Capital Partners for $15 million touched off some celebration in Hollywood.

Digital Domain, after all, is a storied name in visual effects, and this announcement suggested it would be reborn in something close to its original form. Layoffs or salary cuts in its L.A., Vancouver or Bay Area offices were ruled out. There might be misery at the company's Florida ventures, including 3D conversion and startup animation studio Tradition Studios, but those were severed from the new entity Digital Domain Productions, so that pain need not spread.

But as details emerged of the nature of the bidding ahead and the problems that brought down DDMG, including vfx snafus on Warner's "Jack the Giant Killer," it became clear those West Coast celebrations are somewhat premature.

Tuesday morning's optimistic announcement was meant to reasure clients and staff, but Digital Domain Productions, the company split off from Digital Domain Media Group, won't officially be acquired by Searchlight until the sale is approved by the bankruptcy court, and such approval is not certain. Searchlight is acting as the "Stalking Horse" in the bankruptcy; it has established a floor for the bidding for DD, but another buyer could come in.


Press reports Tuesday indicated Prime Focus is interested in bidding for Digital Domain.

Even in California there was a growing dark cloud inside the silver lining of the Searchlight bid. The bankruptcy announcement was met with outcries from vfx artists who have worked for DD in recent months but have not been paid. Bob Coleman of Digital Artist Agency said he alone has four clients who are owed money by DD, including Brian Begun, owed $21,160 for working on Universal's "47 Ronin."

A DD spokesperson conceded that payment for both independent contractors and employees had been affected by the filing. "We are seeking approval to release payment to these independent contractors as soon as possible," said DD. "This process does have to be court-approved during bankruptcy proceedings."


Emerging details on how DDMG wound up in bankruptcy in the first place did little to brighten the picture. The company spiraled into bankruptcy in part because it adopted some unconventional financing: A $35 million loan from Tenor Capital that was to be repaid with stock, not cash. When DDMG defaulted, that amount owed ballooned to $51 million, a structure one industry insider called "usurious."

DDMG's bottom line was also wrecked by a disastrous year from its visual effects business.

Almost all of DD's visual effects capacity was devoted to two movies. One was "Ender's Game," for which Digital Domain is doing the effects at cost in exchange for an equity stake in the picture. This is a proven method for vfx studios to improve their return on a movie, as long as the vfx company isn't counting on cash flow from the job to stay afloat.

Digital Domain's other big project was "Jack the Giant Killer," a project so catastrophic DD employees came to call it "Jack the Company Killer."

According to several insiders, DD underestimated the complexity of the vfx on "Jack," underbid for the work, tried new software and techniques that didn't entirely succeed, and found itself having to re-do scenes. The re-dos were unremarkable for a studio movie but they obliterated DD's already-low margins.


CEO Ed Ulbrich told Variety "Jack" was "a contributing factor" in the bankruptcy "but by no means is that the only reason."

Management told employees that work and staffing will continue, and added that DD cannot honor former CEO John Textor's pledge of $100,000 to fund a vfx trade organization while it is under bankruptcy.

Textor continues to explore options to re-open Tradition Studios, the animation studio he'd modeled after Pixar. The former CEO had an expansive vision of Digital Domain's future, including military contracting for simulation and training. If that vision is to be realized, DDMG will have to go on without the vfx business, apparently.

The proposed new Digital Domain Prods. includes DD's Venice, Calif. HQ; its Bay Area and Vancouver branches, its virtual producition studio in Playa del Rey and its commercials business, and Mothership Studios, also in Playa del Rey.


Ed Ulbrich is CEO of Digital Domain Prods. Jody Madden continues as chief operating officer. Darin Grant is chief technology officer. General counsel is Joe Gabriel. Digital Domain Prods. will continue to outsource work to Reliance offices in London and Mumbai.

Not included in the proposed new entity are the Digital Domain Institute in Florida; Tradition Studios; and the 3D conversion business descended from In-Three. All those remain with DDMG, along with In-Three's patent portfolio.

Digital Domain Media Group faces a probe from the State of Florida into how it received $20 million in subsidies.

One ironic detail from the closing of DDMG's toon shop: Some computers for Tradition Studios were picked up at auction after Disney shuttered ImageMovers Digital. If there is such a thing as cursed computers in the animation biz, they may be it.
 
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