Digital Domain

www.digitaldomain.com
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Digital Domain Reviews

Updated January 28, 2015
Updated January 28, 2015
35 Reviews
2.7
35 Reviews
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Daniel Seah
1 Rating

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Used to be a great place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Digital Artist in Venice, CA
    Former Employee - Digital Artist in Venice, CA

    I worked at Digital Domain full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Used to have some the most talented artists in the industry, and a good management team. Truly a fun and creatively exciting place to work.

    Cons

    Once the Textor regime came in, everything went downhill fast. Environment became so toxic that most of the top talent exited.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat talent well, it is so much more than just a "warm body in a seat".

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Fun, exciting, unpredictable but always innovative VFX company.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Head of CG/VFX Supervisor
    Former Employee - Head of CG/VFX Supervisor

    I worked at Digital Domain full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    I was at Digital Domain for three years, first as more-or-less CTO then as a VFX supervisor. The company is driven by whatever movie projects are under way at a given time. Each project is led by a VFX supervisor, producer, and often digital effects supervisor; and each movie is basically a company-within-a-company; with their own effects pipelines and organization. This way of working leads to quick evolution of technology; as each team is always trying to find which new things to do; while making the best of their previous experiences. The long term employees (many have been there fifteen years or more) are amazing; and can do anything with nothing, and have it ready by tomorrow. The VFX Supervisor team is great -- each one radically different from the next; but all talented artists, leaders, and innovators.

    Cons

    It's a tough business, and DD (like R&H, and unlike Sony Imageworks or ILM) did not have any backup. Every single movie project put the future of the company on the line; and as such the pressure was intense; and most of the leadership decisions made (I'm not leaving my own decisions out of this!) were short-term focused. Fighting against the subsidy wars made it worse. Hours are long -- 9-7 is the baseline in the VFX side, 9-8 on the commercial side -- but were usually substantially longer than that. Most production is now in Vancouver, which is tough on the LA team.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    One of the best things DD did while I was there was create a new commercial (TV advertising) paradigm. All money for TV commercials is controlled by the directors, and VFX companies were competing for fewer bread crumbs; so DD decided to go into the director business. Intelligently, they decided to hire directors and producers, rather than promote their own staff to try to do these things -- this takes humility and common sense, both very rare in VFX management. Do more of that.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Very talented, passionate people but bad management and direction

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

    I worked at Digital Domain full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    High-profile VFX projects, talented people.

    Cons

    Lack of resources, bad management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Balance people and business interests.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    World class artistic talent and an amazing history of work.

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

    I have been working at Digital Domain full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Digital Domain can be an incredible place to work; you are surrounded by talented, brilliant people. When things are going well it's like a family of geniuses, where amazing work is done by people pushing the limits of their abilities. Unlike other companies in the industry there's quite a bit of room for movement once you get a foot in the door, and there's a lot more camaraderie and mutual support than I've seen at other facilities.

    Cons

    The work/life balance simply isn't there; too many hours of overtime, almost all of which are due to poor coordination and planning, as well as an overall lack of ability in upper management to steer the ship well. When times are good there's too much to do in too short a time and the burnout rate is extremely high; when times are bad, which under past executives has been far too often, there's a palpable sense of dread in the air, and still too much to do in too little time, while promotions and pay increases become increasingly rare, while added responsibilities definitely do not.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest more in the people and less in rearranging the org chart. Never, ever, again consider trying to take a VFX company public. And, most importantly, share with your people the plan, and let them help you execute it, rather than just react when you've overreached.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Digital Domain Prior To Bankruptcy

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

    I worked at Digital Domain full-time

    Pros

    Great projects to work on. Collaborative culture and generally nice people. Depending on the project you could find yourself working many hours or reasonable amounts. A few fantastic VFX supervisors, producers and usually good to great directors. The work can be a lot of fun. If you're Canadian, much of production is being shipped to Vancouver.

    Cons

    Half of the upper management was dysfunctional and a detriment to the company while the other half engaged in damage control and tried to move the company forward (true of most companies). Much of the work is shipped to Vancouver.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Replace the bad management, which it has. Digital Domain has undergone extreme change in upper management. In fact, they are now owned by Chinese and Indian interest.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Once a great place to work... now...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Digital Artist in Playa Vista, CA
    Current Employee - Digital Artist in Playa Vista, CA

    I have been working at Digital Domain full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    At one time DD was a wonderful hub of smart, creative and technically inclined artists, programmers, former scientists, and misfits (in the best way) who all collaborated to make great visuals. Now things are very different.

    Cons

    A portion of the remaining supervisors are very good people to work with. Some however, actively seek to undermine those whom they perceive to be a threat to their authority. Others have moved on to other companies. Still others have left the industry completely.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Step aside, resign, and turn the reigns over to someone who is not only competent, but actually cares.
    (And no, this review is NOT referring to Ed Ulbrich, who did a fine job when he was with DD)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Digital Artist

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Contractor - Digital Artist in Vancouver, WA
    Current Contractor - Digital Artist in Vancouver, WA

    I have been working at Digital Domain as a contractor (more than a year)

    Pros

    sometimes nice projects, and the benefits are ok.

    Cons

    NOT the 3rd Visual Effects Studio in the world... That would be Dneg, not DD.
    Revolving door on senior artists as well as supervisors, people tend to not stay because of internal politics.
    "Old Boys club" where if you are in the click then you're all good and nothing you do can be thought of as wrong, but if you are not in, then you are totally out and there is nothing you can say or do that will be worth anything.
    Production and senior management has no clue about what is going on, on the floor and if people leave they tend to think it's their issue and not the companys.
    Horrible working conditions, offices with no natural light at all.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    A lot of the ppl that should have been let go(in management in all the studios branches) are still around, poisoning the company and the people that are relatively new and are trying to further the company in some way are instead being made out to be the bad people who are trying to stir up trouble.
    Hiring new supervisors/producers/leads who are simply tools to control people and information under them.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    A privilege to work at, but maybe not everything you think it to be. Very friendly people, though.

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

    I have been working at Digital Domain full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Very relaxed atmosphere, until crunch of course. Good, Nice, Friendly people to work with.

    Cons

    Feels very unstructured in certain departments. Lacks good communication and leadership.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Set some higher standards in employees, clear out the dead weight.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    from an animator

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Animator in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Animator in Los Angeles, CA

    I worked at Digital Domain full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Interesting projects. Talented artists. Good camaraderie among employees. Great location of studio.

    Cons

    Upper management not on location. Uneven quality of some supervisors.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Sr. Character Animator

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Contractor - Senior Character Animator in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Contractor - Senior Character Animator in Los Angeles, CA

    I have been working at Digital Domain as a contractor (more than a year)

    Pros

    Good people to work with and good project when they are awarded. Always enjoy coming to work and be challenged with the work given.

    Cons

    Instability in the Features business since the bankruptcy. No permanent status within the studio and very few benefits like medical and 401k.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    none

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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