Blue Sky Studios

  www.blueskystudios.com
  www.blueskystudios.com

Blue Sky Studios Reviews

Updated October 4, 2014
Updated October 4, 2014
28 Reviews
3.4
28 Reviews
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Approve of CEO
Blue Sky Studios President, Twentieth Century Fox Animation Brian Keane
Brian Keane
10 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    I love this place

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Blue Sky Studios

    Pros

    Great benefits, great people, get involved and you will be fine. Everyone is super friendly and always willing to lend a hand when needed.

    Cons

    It's a big company, so there are already established relationships with people who have been working here for years. It's a little hard to break into those. But it's not because they are cold or anything, just because that's how the social world goes!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More communication between departments is always helpful.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great place to visit

    Former Employee - Animator
    Former Employee - Animator

    I worked at Blue Sky Studios full-time

    Pros

    The animators rule the roost. Great place to be if that's what you do.
    The studio produces beautiful work, which looks great on your reel and resume.
    The facility and tools are very good.
    If you're staff and willing to tolerate so-so pay and benefits, the stability is good for this industry.
    You're a short train ride to NYC.

    Cons

    Since so many on each film are project hires, the politics and social interactions can get very twisted.
    There's a locker room kind of competitiveness and a strong sense that you're constantly being judged and assessed, for both new staff and project hires. The carrot of possible staff positions are dangled in front of project hires, leading to lots of covert OT and backstabbing coworkers.
    Don't bother if you're a story artist. Fox brass isn't going to let Blue Sky tell complex or interesting stories, and you will be miserable.
    The studio is literally out in the woods - you cannot walk anywhere at lunch. White Plains, where a lot of the crew still live, is a miserable little berg if you're looking for any kind of interesting social life.
    Fall and spring are beautiful. Summer is surprisingly hot and humid. Winter is brutal.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Come up with some original ideas, hire some talented writers and story artists, and do something more interesting that another rehash of the same Ice Age schtick. Treat your staff better so they stop bolting to Pixar and DreamWorks. Don't pit project hires against each other

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Blue Sky - Fantastic place to explore

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Character Technical Director in Greenwich, CT
    Former Employee - Character Technical Director in Greenwich, CT

    I worked at Blue Sky Studios full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Working with some extremely talented artists who are very helpful and pushes your ability two notches high every single day!

    Cons

    Transport during winter is slightly difficult.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
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  5.  

    Management and HR could really use an overhaul.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Blue Sky Studios full-time

    Pros

    The people (artists) are wonderful! You'll feel like you're working with your best friends. They bring in great speakers and there are the typical "cool company" pros- ping pong, arcade games, pool, etc.

    Cons

    You often have to "audition" for your promotion. You'll find yourself overworked without compensation. They are kinder to newcomers than long term staff. Also, the offices are very far from NYC and where many of the employees live. There is no nearby train- though they provide a shuttle that is often late or doesn't show up at all. It's located in a very expensive area and most are not paid enough to live nearby.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take great care to listen to employees grievances. Work to retain talent. Consider promoting people WITH a salary increase immediately. Share information and TRUST your team. Also- consider a President or representative from Fox who is warm and doesn't have an Us vs Them attitude.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 4 people found this helpful  

    Another day at the cartoon factory

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Blue Sky Studios full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    You work with very talented folks, albeit in the stranglehold of corporate bureaucracy.
    Overtime is a rarity, great for work life balance, less so if you were counting on that supplemental income.
    Lots of opportunities to explore other departments and areas of the pipeline, just don't expect it to help out your career.
    Job stability that borders on stagnation. You have to work pretty hard or screw up pretty bad to get fired from here.

    Cons

    Active effort on the part of management to suppress any innovation, advancement of the craft, and other hard to quantify budgetary "unknowns". If it's not faster/cheaper, or you can't prove it's faster/cheaper, or you can prove it but they don't get it, then don't bother. Leadership is basically a good-old boys/girls club. They systematically weed out anyone trying to push creative or technical boundaries and replace them with Company men/women that fall in line. Most people that stick around for the long term do it less out of genuine loyalty and feeling rewarded and more because they either have family in the area or have gotten used to a steady paycheck with pretty much minimal effort. Can't argue with a system that gives you steady employment and puts your kids through college, but every day feels like your selling yourself out just a little bit more.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Really nothing I can offer here. They run this company exactly according to their own beliefs and promote leadership in their own image. It results in a suffocating environment devoid of any real creative or technical innovations, but it cranks out moving pictures and keeps the whole machine in place and running. The company will not fail with this business model, and it retains talent, so it's hard to argue why it should be different.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    You're not a cog in a big wheel. You're part of an awesome creative family.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in White Plains, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in White Plains, NY

    I worked at Blue Sky Studios full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The people here are the main draw. Blue Sky has always had a chill and fun atmosphere when it comes to the people you're working with. I always felt that it was unique that way by far. I loved coming to work every day for this reason. It doesn't matter what department you work in, each one has it's own community vibe and it's easy to feel like you fit in the studio.

    The technology developed here is some of the best in the industry and is often immensely underrated. You're able to--- encouraged to make suggestions and give feedback on all aspects of the films and process whether they're your job/department or not. There's opportunity for lateral movement should you become more interested in other parts of the pipeline.

    Salary was pretty good. Bonus potential was good as well, especially with any of the Ice Age movies. Benefits were great.

    Cons

    Being owned by Fox has its downsides. They have a knack for crapping on what were some pretty good stories, and turning them into fart jokes and tired lame executive (non)humor. The vibe at Blue Sky is one of an independent studio but there's a shadow cast by Fox that can linger at times. It's worse in some more quota-driven departments.

    Aside from Ice Age, Blue Sky hasn't really had a "big" hit. They've had some good films, but some have underperformed. Until they have a non-Ice Age success, they're always going to be (falsely) considered the younger sibling to Pixar (or Pixar U as they're known at Pixar). These lackluster box office showings don't create rewarding bonus opportunities

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You're never going to please everyone, but trust your employees. There's no need to have your hands in everything or partake in helicopter parenting

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Great place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Technical Director in Greenwich, CT
    Current Employee - Senior Technical Director in Greenwich, CT

    I have been working at Blue Sky Studios full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    great people, challenging projects, lots of opportunities. this is the place to be if you want to be in animation. company cares about their employees and tries to give opportunities whenever possible. culture makes it easy to communicate with senior management.

    Cons

    can be tough to commute to. only animation studio on the east coast.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep investing in your people. don't always be concerned with the bottom line.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Good place to work as character animator.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Animator in Greenwich, CT
    Current Employee - Animator in Greenwich, CT

    I have been working at Blue Sky Studios full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The studio is located in a beautiful natural spot. Overall environment at work is good. Animation Department is great: telented, creative, fun...

    Cons

    Movies are technically spectacular and beautifully animated, but direction, script and cinematohraphy are low quality. Poor HR dept.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest more in script, direction and HR.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Great Place To Work!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Blue Sky Studios full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Very collaborative, creative and technical environment! I enjoy coming to work each day to tackle new challenges.

    Cons

    Most people have at least a 45 minute commute to come into work (myself included).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the great work!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Great place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Blue Sky Studios

    Pros

    Blue Sky is a great, fun, stable place to work. Everyone's easy to work with, extremely talented, and compensation and benefits are in a comfortable range for Staff. For contractors, depending on the position, they are sometimes able to offer housing for the duration of your contract employment, which is quite generous.

    Cons

    Most days feel like a giant startup where no departments are talking to each other, working in highly proprietary pipeline that takes at least a few months to wrap your head around (if your role involves that sort of knowledge). Many departments also lack solid documentation, if it exists at all making the initial learning curve potentially steep. These are things you find in most post houses but odd in a big-league animation studio that is on par with Dreamworks and Pixar in visual work quality.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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