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Imageworks Employee Reviews about "animation"

Updated Oct 19, 2020

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Found 17 of over 238 reviews

3.9
95%
Recommend to a Friend
87%
Approve of CEO
Imageworks EVP Michelle Grady
Michelle Grady
14 Ratings
Pros
  • "Strong technology stack and great people(in 17 reviews)

  • "Good pay, great location, good benefits(in 11 reviews)

  • Cons
  • "Living costs in vancouver are expensive(in 26 reviews)

  • "Animation tools suffer from feature bloat(in 11 reviews)

  • More Pros and Cons
    Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.

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    Reviews about "animation"

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    1. 5.0
      Current Employee, more than 3 years

      Great benefits, but need to let artists flourish.

      Dec 30, 2013 -  in Culver City, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Being a part of Sony Pictures Entertainment, Imageworks treats their employees quite well. -Ample vacation, sick, and personal time -generous holiday breaks and frequent 3 day weekends. -Frequent on-campus social hours with free food and beer -Really talented and enjoyable co-workers -Leadership is pretty relaxed and encouraging -Despite being in a very transient stage for our industry, hard-working, dedicated artists are often kept around as long as (financially) possible and artist management tries its best to find a way to bridge gaps between shows and not let people go when they can.

      Cons

      While I don't believe this problem is specific to Imageworks, the focus on cutting costs has stifled almost all creativity and innovation that isn't about increasing efficiency and decreasing bid-days. This has made our jobs a little less enjoyable and the morale a little unstable. As with the rest of the industry, the push to move employee's to subsidized locations (which all VFX facilities must do at this point to stay afloat) has strangled employee morale in the LA office. The work environment itself is rather sterile compared to some studios & tech companies which focus on creating a more inspiring workplace. Upper management makes some frustrating decisions about what movies to pursue at Sony Pictures Animation, seem to interfere a lot and don't seem to empower their story-artists to make the movie they're passionate about.

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      1 person found this review helpful
    2. 2.0
      Former Employee, more than 8 years

      Animator

      Aug 15, 2016 - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Imageworks has had a varied film slate over the years giving animators lots of opportunities to explore different styles. Overall, your teammates are solid.

      Cons

      A management change in 2008 changed everything. Jobs outsourced, schedules compressed and the production teams put a ton of pressure on artists throughout production. The studio went from a career studio to a one and done facility. Most of the supervisors and managers that made Imageworks a destination studio were pushed out.

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      4 people found this review helpful
    3. 3.0
      Former Employee, more than 5 years

      Best people, worst leadership

      Jun 25, 2014 - Anonymous Employee in Culver City, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      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.

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      7 people found this review helpful
    4. 4.0
      Current Employee, more than 8 years

      Industry leader in vfx and animation.

      Feb 16, 2014 - Technical Director in Culver City, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      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.

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    5. 3.0
      Current Employee, more than 10 years

      On a downward sprial :(

      Feb 8, 2014 - Anonymous Employee in Culver City, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      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.

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      2 people found this review helpful
    6. 2.0
      Current Employee

      great people and technology, astonishingly poor executive management, murky future

      Jun 6, 2009 - Senior Technical Director in Culver City, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Great camaraderie amongst rank and file artists (but many have left). Incredible learning opportunities from some of the sharpest creative and technical people in the industry. Good pay, OK benefits (getting worse though), nice location. Great place to be if you are new in the industry, just make sure you have a job lined up for when your production is over.

      Cons

      Sadly, what has been said here before is very true. There was a time when Imageworks was the place to be if you wanted to work on both feature animation and visual effects. Those days are ending, as we simply cannot compete against Disney/Dreamworks in animation, and the tax-incentives foreign countries are passing out in visual effects. Many of these factors are out of the company's control. But the nail in the coffin is our astonishingly weak management. While there has been some well needed house cleaning of mid to upper-management, the facility is hopelessly lacking in creative leadership and artist management. There are murky plans for upcoming productions, but the recent exodus of talent and serious nose-dive in morale will make working on these shows (if greenlit) very, very unsatisfactory.

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      1 person found this review helpful
    7. 2.0
      Current Employee

      Imageworks is a wasted resource

      May 25, 2009 - CG Supervisor 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      A great talent pool. I have worked with some of the smartest people in the business. Also, they have built vast computing resources.

      Cons

      It is controlled by executives who do not have the creative vision to make Imageworks stand out. There has been a ubiquitous layer of highly paid executives who mostly jostle for influence and thwart productivity in their attempts to look like they know what they are doing to bosses who know even less. There is tremendous nepotism. The politics are cut throat and there is no clear and open system of productive feedback and reward. Imageworks (and sony pictures animation) has no idea what business it wants to be in, and as a result continually produces flawed and poorly designed products despite the talent of the artist pool.

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      3 people found this review helpful
    8. 4.0
      Former Employee, less than 1 year

      Co-Op

      Oct 19, 2020 - Software Engineer Co-Op in Vancouver, BC
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      fantastic culture, great for animation and movie enthusiast

      Cons

      software is not their main focus

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    9. 5.0
      Current Employee

      Great place to grow

      Jul 27, 2020 - Head of Department in Vancouver, BC
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Sony is a great place due to their animation and VFX work. Longevity and personal growth.

      Cons

      As the industry is spiraling downwards with shorter contracts and tighter deadlines and less money, Sony is forced to follow along

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    10. 3.0
      Former Contractor, more than 1 year

      People treated like paper

      Aug 18, 2019 - Animator Intermediate in Vancouver, BC
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      High turnover means there are many opportunities for newer people. Some fantastic people amongst the ranks. Occasionally a cool project Advice for people interested in Sony Imageworks - get in, get out. Good for experience but definitely not a place for advancement.

      Cons

      High turnover also means there are many new people in lead positions who have no leadership experience. Worse yet new leads aren't even given leadership training. Because of that your success can be greatly tied to what lead you get and when since all leads are not brought up to the same speed. Pipeline is set up to make you as replaceable as possible. Rigs are as slow as molasses. Animation tools suffer from feature bloat. Lots of "cool" additions to a crumbling foundation that just end up making everything more complicated than it needs to be. Culture of insecurity. Never know what project you'll be on, or when, or even if you'll have a job. Learn about contract extensions the week your contract is set to end. Repeatedly.

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      4 people found this review helpful
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