Industrial Light & Magic FAQ

All answers shown come directly from Industrial Light & Magic Reviews and are not edited or altered.

15 English questions out of 15

12 September 2019

How are the career development opportunities at Industrial Light & Magic?

Pros

Great artists, amazin talents. If you like franchises, really good projects Good for the CV Good salaries There is a will to change things, but things take very long to materialise Some good Disney benefits (free parks entries)

Cons

old pipeline artist management is not great contract renewal usually done at the last minute London office doesn't get the same benefits as SF, ILM SF has a long VFX culture that didn't not reach London. uneven quality of supervisors, some are great some are bad They struggle to get new work, which resulted on a massive wave of lay off. More and more work is sent to 3rd party companies. No much space to grow, limited career development.

Advice to Management

There is work in modernising the pipeline but this is moving too slowly. ILM has to find a way to be more competitive. Maybe reduce the number of supervisor, streamline some departments, be more agile with the artists. Be more reactive, everything moves too slowly.

No much space to grow, limited career development.

12 September 2019

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18 September 2019

What kind of career opportunities exist at Industrial Light & Magic?

Pros

- Very talented team with some of the most experienced people in the business. When there's challenging work, there's lots of opportunity to learn from them and grow as an artist.- Reasonably laid back working style. There's not a lot of pressure forcing artists to work unpaid overtime during the weekdays. Weekend work can be necessary during crunch time but the artists are always given the choice of saying no if they have other commitments. - HR is helpful and understanding if there are personal issues interfering with work. - Nice facilities including bicycle parking and showers with fresh towels. Very useful for people commuting with bicycle or going to the gym before or after work. - Better pay compared to other VFX Facilities in London.

Cons

- While most of the team consists of friendly people who are great to work with, the occasional toxic personality can really bring the entire morale down. Especially when it's a supervisor who has been complained about to the HR multiple times and the company has chosen not to take any action against. It's very discourging to see decent and talented artists being subjected to abusive and condescending behaviour, not being protected by the employer and leaving the company or refusing to return at a later time, as a result. A company of this size and reputation should protect its employees over a single individual no matter how "important" they might be. - Little to no job security. They are unable to compete with other VFX vendors in London and cannot get decent amount of quality work as a result. And this means lots of people being let go on the regular. Unfortunately ILM has become very unreliable for artists who want to have a stable and reliable income. - Bad management of projects causing financial loss on the regular, which in turn means Christmas bonuses are cancelled. It would be hard to complain about this, considering it's just a nice gesture and not promised or guaranteed. But it's incredibly frustrating when you're being bombarded by coorporate Disney about how amazing the company is doing, while artists are not only not being rewarded for their hardwork but are also in risk of losing their jobs. It feels like a slap in the face when the big boss gets a yearly bonus that could pay everyone's salaries for a decade.

Advice to Management

Protect employees over management. Figure out a way to get more efficient and competetive and bring more work in London.

When there's challenging work, there's lots of opportunity to learn from them and grow as an artist.-

18 September 2019

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18 September 2019

What is the feeling of job security at Industrial Light & Magic?

Pros

- Very talented team with some of the most experienced people in the business. When there's challenging work, there's lots of opportunity to learn from them and grow as an artist.- Reasonably laid back working style. There's not a lot of pressure forcing artists to work unpaid overtime during the weekdays. Weekend work can be necessary during crunch time but the artists are always given the choice of saying no if they have other commitments. - HR is helpful and understanding if there are personal issues interfering with work. - Nice facilities including bicycle parking and showers with fresh towels. Very useful for people commuting with bicycle or going to the gym before or after work. - Better pay compared to other VFX Facilities in London.

Cons

- While most of the team consists of friendly people who are great to work with, the occasional toxic personality can really bring the entire morale down. Especially when it's a supervisor who has been complained about to the HR multiple times and the company has chosen not to take any action against. It's very discourging to see decent and talented artists being subjected to abusive and condescending behaviour, not being protected by the employer and leaving the company or refusing to return at a later time, as a result. A company of this size and reputation should protect its employees over a single individual no matter how "important" they might be. - Little to no job security. They are unable to compete with other VFX vendors in London and cannot get decent amount of quality work as a result. And this means lots of people being let go on the regular. Unfortunately ILM has become very unreliable for artists who want to have a stable and reliable income. - Bad management of projects causing financial loss on the regular, which in turn means Christmas bonuses are cancelled. It would be hard to complain about this, considering it's just a nice gesture and not promised or guaranteed. But it's incredibly frustrating when you're being bombarded by coorporate Disney about how amazing the company is doing, while artists are not only not being rewarded for their hardwork but are also in risk of losing their jobs. It feels like a slap in the face when the big boss gets a yearly bonus that could pay everyone's salaries for a decade.

Advice to Management

Protect employees over management. Figure out a way to get more efficient and competetive and bring more work in London.

- Little to no job security.

18 September 2019

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17 June 2019

How are senior leaders perceived at Industrial Light & Magic?

Pros

I've been around the block and I like ILM a lot because it is much more well-oiled in process. You have to learn a bit quick the processes, but this place has been good to me and building up my career. Senior leadership trained me well, and now I feel more than prepared to do anything and capable as an artist. Benefits are really nice and they pay for OT. All the medical, 401K is good, when you first receive vacation it might seem like accrual is slow but you work OT often that it accumulates very fast. Take that as you will! I've been lucky to work with projects that are very flexible with OT, but some producers are not as flexible so it's more luck of the draw. Sometimes it's worrying because Canada is cheaper and I've wondered if San Francisco's office would lose its spot, but now I'm more than confident that San Francisco is here to stay. I feel secure more than ever and assured that if I ever left this company I can do anything.

Cons

I'm a bit concerned with the studios in Vancouver, London, and Singapore. I don't think they get the same standard of training as San Francisco. Sometimes jobs are so bad, they always come back to San Francisco. Training and leadership (maybe incentive for SF members to move to other places?) I think is definitely needed. I got hired at the cusp of Disney buying Lucasfilm. I know this place was ran a little differently before. You can see some Disney decisions bleed. It does feel like projects now revolve around them and approval, and not as many original projects are coming to our studio anymore because Disney vetos it. My bottom line comes down to this. I've never been to a VFX studio that was perfect, that didn't require OT and all that jazz. As sad as it's a bit of an industry standard. Hours reflect other places I've worked. If you don't like it here because of OT, it's more or less the same everywhere.

Advice to Management

Training is not equal across the board.

Training and leadership (maybe incentive for SF members to move to other places?)

17 June 2019

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13 July 2018

How is management perceived at Industrial Light & Magic?

Pros

Incredibly talented workforce, some of the best people in the industry. Nice location

Cons

Upper management treats their employees like expendable cattle and are completely out of touch with the struggles and difficulties of the everyday worker. Little to no job security with petty politics. Individuals who get promoted tend to be those who enjoy belittling and dominating others. Current hierarchy structure fails to recognize structural issues as the only opinion that counts is upper management, they completely discount employee grievances. This is not the ILM of the 80's and 90's that shone through innovation, this is now just another churn and burn studio that couldn't care less about their employees. I would highly recommend looking elsewhere for work, VFX is a dead end industry that is failing due to poor management and outsourcing.

Advice to Management

Figure out a business model that doesn't depend on churning through talent like they're expendable garbage. Stop promoting those who thrive at the expense of others. Adopt a performance metric that isn't reliant on filtered feedback from self serving managers while ignoring the opinions and grievances of those who actually do the work. I passionately worked hours for free at this company only to be sidelined, belittled and ultimately cast aside like refuse while a disgusting attempt was made to blacklist me from the VFX industry. This story has been repeated again and again. Sociopathic behavior is rewarded in middle management and a self serving out of touch upper management fails to recognize or accept any criticism of this from the general artist pool. Not sure how you will resolve such a toxic work environment, good luck to you.

Upper management treats their employees like expendable cattle and are completely out of touch with the struggles and difficulties of the everyday worker.

13 July 2018

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15 English questions out of 15