In a further sign of the turbulent VFX times, 30-year-old Tippett Studio (Ted) has laid off 40% of its work force Friday, according to The Hollywood Reporter, with the possibility of more pink slips to come.
More than 50 visual effects designers were let go, leaving a staff of 100 full-timers still working at the studio founded by stop-motion guru Phil Tippett.
“We’re hibernating, figuring out a way to reinvent and scale down because there’s a lag in work obviously and there’s such upheaval in the visual effects industry, period,” said CEO/president Jules Roman.
“We’re not sure where it’s all going, but we think it’s probably going north,” she added, referring to recent losses to Canada-based effects houses, which lure Hollywood studios with enticing tax credits.
The layoffs come in the wake of Rhythm & Hues’ bankruptcy and apparent acquisition this week by an affiliate of Prana Studios.
However, Tippett clarified the situation:
“As we wrap our current work on After Earth, we have been slowly scaling down the work force and reducing our overhead, until we have something large enough to justify carrying a large staff, so that we can be here when our clients call. We are retaining our core talent, and will use that talent to re-staff the studio when larger projects, that need more artists, are in production.”