Imageworks

  www.sonypictures.com
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Imageworks Reviews

Updated Jul 23, 2014

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All Employees Current Employees Only

3.5 63 reviews

29% Approve of the CEO

Imageworks President Robert M. Osher

Robert M. Osher

(14 ratings)

71% of employees recommend this company to a friend

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
63 Employee Reviews
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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

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

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Culver City, CA

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

    ConsThe 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 Senior ManagementKeeping 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.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Great company to establish a career with

    Anonymous (Former Employee) Culver City, CA

    ProsLarge 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.

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

    Advice to Senior ManagementLoosen up the tie, and put some fun back into the hallways.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Great people and projects.

    Texture Artist (Former Employee) Culver City, CA

    ProsA good pipeline and tools.

    ConsWork is being sent out of the USA.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
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    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Best people, worst leadership

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Culver City, CA

    ProsBrilliant 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.

    ConsSenior 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 Senior ManagementFocus 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.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    This place has fallen so far

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsGreat 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)

    ConsCrazy 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 Senior ManagementStop 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.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    1 person found this helpful  

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

    Animator (Former Employee) Culver City, CA

    ProsHI 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

    ConsNo 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 Senior Managementsee cons

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Working in entertainment

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

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

    ConsVery clickish and stand offish

    Advice to Senior ManagementOnly if you the right person

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Industry leader in vfx and animation.

    Technical Director (Current Employee) Culver City, CA

    ProsGreat people
    Good projects
    Good pay
    Overall a very cool environment

    ConsLast 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 Senior ManagementTimes are not easy.
    Find ways to get more work and make imageworks great again.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    On a downward sprial :(

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Culver City, CA

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

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

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Dearly beloved we are gathered here today to lay to rest one of the great VFX studios

    Production Manager (Current Employee) Culver City, CA

    ProsGreat, rock solid pipeline
    Awesome tools
    Some of the best talent in the industry (mostly all gone now, but back in the day - wow, that a power house)
    Great tent pole projects
    Ken Ralston: VFX God
    Great management team (Sorry, Current CEO I'm talking about the crew that proceeded you. Can you bring them back?)

    ConsThe body is there but the soul of the place is gone
    The plan to treat the talent like a live action crew (let them all go after the show is done) made money but also created no loyalty and an environment of fear
    Willing to release key talent with no regard for the future
    Artists are not sheep or cattle and should not be treated as such
    Sony's stock is now a penny stock, it's only a matter of time before Bain Capitol comes calling and shutters this place

    Advice to Senior ManagementLet Imageworks die with some dignity rather than bleeding it off a little at a time

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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