Imageworks

  www.sonypictures.com
  www.sonypictures.com

Imageworks Reviews

Updated November 19, 2014
Updated November 19, 2014
66 Reviews
3.5
66 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Imageworks President Robert M. Osher
Robert M. Osher
16 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The culture is fantastic and I met a lot of great people/friends (in 7 reviews)

  • Great place to work,you learn a lot,very talented people around (in 5 reviews)


Cons
  • Crappy wrap parties, long hours, no real loyalty (in 5 reviews)

  • Those employees left in Culver City fear for their jobs and work plenty of unpaid extra hours, for free (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Opportunity of a lifetime, if you're willing to put forth the effort.

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

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

    Pros

    The facility fosters and encourages creativity and innovation of the highest caliber. Imageworks is home to some of the greatest minds in the industry.

    Cons

    The only cons are recent, with opportunities of advancement only being available in Vancouver. (Imageworks' new HQ has been announced as being there now.) For someone that's not able or willing to relocate, this can be an issue.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keeping core talent is essential the overall operation of the company. Though outsourcing is initially cheaper, new talent mistakes will nullify any benefits, and become more expensive in the long run if they don't deliver.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Take the Good and the Bad

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

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

    Pros

    Long projects to work on, some of which some are high profile. The pay was great initially but deteriorate over the years. If you work for a good supervisor the experience can be a good one, else, just the opposite.

    Cons

    Extremely political. Some middle management engage in questionable behavior to advance their careers (sometimes at the expense of others - classic corporate environment). Now the studio is/has relocated to Canada and the Canadian government makes companies hire Canadians before short-term-work Citizens (a side effect).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    People aren't cattle and should be treated with some respect.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    This place has fallen so far

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

    I worked at Imageworks

    Pros

    Great tools, and high profile projects. Things just work here, and you do not spend lots of time publishing.

    Imageworks used to have a get together every month to look at all the amazing work that was being done with catered food. Now they have it once a year with a barrel of Costco chips.

    Also until about a month ago they had Rob Bredow as CTO, and he is a genius, and can turn anything around (but he just quit to go to ILM)

    Cons

    Crazy schedules, and the moral of a dungeon. Imageworks is also famous for midday layoffs, and shady bait and switch contract negotiations.
    On top of that now this entire company has moved to Canada for tax subsidies, and many people have had to sell their homes, and pull their kids out of school to leave LA, and sometimes they get laid off 3 months later.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop chasing subsidies, and make your own animated content. Change with the market. Vfx is a loosing game and you need to focus on SPA, making good stories, and finding good directors to make money these days.
    I worked on Spider-Man 2 way back when we won the oscar, and it's an entirely different place these days. I miss the old Imageworks.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Best people, worst leadership

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

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

    Pros

    Brilliant senior staff, solid pipeline, excellent tools, some of the best benefits in the industry. Despite upper management's hack-and-slash bottom-line focused mentality, there are still some incredibly talented people hanging on there.

    Cons

    Senior management does not value artists and has no interest in being a top VFX studio or a leading animation house.

    On the Animation side, they tend to degrade and demoralize their creative staff to such a level that they just often walk away. The projects they chose to greenlight are dull and uninteresting, while all of the exciting/original ideas in development are shown to artists on a regular basis almost as if to remind them of what they will never make. The execs can't seem step back and empower the artists/writers/directors to do what they do best and make movies they are passionate about, and in the process of meddling to satisfy their ego they inevitably change things so much that no one cares about them anymore.

    On the VFX side, artists are just numbers to them. They'll let 10-15 year keyholders to some of their core technology go (or try to force them to move) without batting an eyelash. At the expense of QUALITY, the chief directive is "CHEAPER". R&D is non-existent. They have not yet drawn the connection between the quality of the product, the relationships of artists and supervisors with clients, and their ability to win work. Their sole concern is cost efficiency. As a result, the product suffers immensely. Artists can't do their best work, burn out, stop caring and the studio can't win work on any merits other than cost.

    It has resulted in a very negative work environment for the artists who know how to do things better but are ultimately powerless.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on creating the best work in the industry, not the cheapest. DEVELOP A RELEASE SCHEDULE (one spa movie a year, at least). Attract top talent and make them feel comfortable and secure. Empower people to develop projects they're passionate about, make them feel more supported than any other studio. Grow some courage and vision and push on Amy Pascal to let you make good original movies, not just derivative crap that no one cares about and no one is proud to work on. You still have some incredibly talented people. Step back and empower them do their thing.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Great company to establish a career with

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

    I worked at Imageworks full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Large infrastructure, connections to the studios has it's perks. Cutting edge technology, established in the industry as one of the few remaining players in the world of CGI.

    Cons

    More corporate structure, less artistic structure. Run more like a Sony company, not a ground up creative studio.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Loosen up the tie, and put some fun back into the hallways.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Great people and projects.

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

    I worked at Imageworks full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    A good pipeline and tools.

    Cons

    Work is being sent out of the USA.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Enjoy your time of the Show but prepare for that certain layoff

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

    I worked at Imageworks as a contractor (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    HI END Projects , Big budget tent pole franchises , greats shots for you reel. Paid Overtime , Benefits , Quality Health Care & Dental , robust pipeline, equipment and tools to succeed. You will be a specialist . A lot of talented artists and supervisors to learn from and network with. You will need this after you are laid off

    Cons

    No staff jobs , congrats on landing a gig on Spiderman , but don't get too confortable and now is good time start looking for your next job . No matter what management/supervisor says , how hard you work , how fast you work , make no mistake and believe none of their bull , you are their disposable asset. Hired per project sometimes as short as 5 weeks , a long project hire there could be 5 months. No transferable Union healthcare except at SPA (a separate studio from Imageworks) who wisely signed the TAG Union contract . Continuing your health care coverage after your certain layoff is very ,very expensive , 1500+ $/month . No opportunities to move laterally on projects like in smaller studios. No training opportunities , workshops to develop other skills to help roll between departments . Company chasing tax subsidies , set up satellite studios in favorable tax subsidy areas like Albuquerque and Vancouver.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    see cons

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Working in entertainment

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

    I worked at Imageworks full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    The company was a wonderful company to work for until they change the management teams

    Cons

    Very clickish and stand offish

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Only if you the right person

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Industry leader in vfx and animation.

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

    I have been working at Imageworks full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great people
    Good projects
    Good pay
    Overall a very cool environment

    Cons

    Last few years there is a big shift in moving a lot of the work to Canada.
    Not imageworks' fault, but the entire vfx/animation industry is in growing pains now, and it can be felt all across.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Times are not easy.
    Find ways to get more work and make imageworks great again.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    On a downward sprial :(

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

    I have been working at Imageworks full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    The pipeline is terrific, there are still a few good people that really know it well.

    Cons

    Its suffering from a significant lack of work, both from Sony Pictures and from Sony Pictures Animation, which is extremely odd since they are all part of the same company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Possibly ditch VFX, or really focus on ways to deeply integrate yourself into the rest of Sony, especailly in the pre-vis, and pitch areas.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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