Industrial Light & Magic Reviews | Glassdoor

Industrial Light & Magic Reviews

Updated March 5, 2019
101 reviews

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2.5
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Industrial Light & Magic President and General Manager Lynwen Brennan
Lynwen Brennan
46 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Great projects, free disneyland tickets" (in 14 reviews)

  • "Great projects, great work environment that makes artists and innovation top priorities" (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • "Salaries are awful no work-life balance in San Francisco, the most expensive city in the world" (in 7 reviews)

  • "Heavy OT can lead to very long days; work/life balance can be a struggle" (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Awesome place to wotk"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Industrial Light & Magic full-time

    Pros

    Work with some of the most talented and creative people you've ever met

    Cons

    Salary a little on the low side.
    Hard to get a full time position these days

    Advice to Management

    Take care of your talent


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Game of Thrones in here, you will be stabbed in the back..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - CG Artist in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - CG Artist in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Industrial Light & Magic full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    The story of this place and the people that started everything is so inspiring.

    Cons

    No morale
    No culture anymore, it's turning into a production line
    Long hours
    You will get emails about how the company is thriving, how successful the projects are thanks to you, but you will no get bonuses anymore.
    A promotion is just impossible,
    Managers don't really pay attention to who is who, they usually promote the whiners and not the most talented or hard workers.
    If you are not a supervisor nobody will pay attention to your suggestions or feedback.
    Salaries are awful no work-life balance in San Francisco, the most expensive city in the world.
    The work is now done in Vancouver mostly, San Francisco only gets the left-overs
    Not a healthy competition environment.
    Trying to save money they turned the work areas into a homeless camp.

    Advice to Management

    You are losing people because of the lack of morale, the micromanagement is also killing the passion.
    Listen to your employees, make managers understand everyone's level so you can promote people in a fair way , they are moire like "bosses" than leaders.
    Reward people, they are your company!
    Trying to save money hiring Jr's is not smart, you are losing Senior artist that now are leaving your company and will eventually turn into your competition.
    Managers are incompetent.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Terrible Managment of artists"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Digital Artist in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Digital Artist in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Industrial Light & Magic full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    good benefits for employees, used to be better pre disney

    Cons

    Managers who truly have no idea what the persons they manage actually do. if you not buddy buddy with them you won't go anywhere and will have actively thrown hurdles in your way.

    Advice to Management

    get managers to actually take interest in the day to day work.


  4. "Things are changing but I still like it here"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Digial Artist in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Digial Artist in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Industrial Light & Magic full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great projects, free disneyland tickets

    Cons

    Work being sent out of the US.


  5. Helpful (10)

    "Uncertain future in SF"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Technical Director in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Technical Director in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Industrial Light & Magic full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Generally great people, good projects, nice perks.

    Cons

    Leadership constantly assures staff of commitment to SF location, but bulk of work keeps going to competing divisions in Vancouver and London, and head count continues to go down.

    As such, management values its talent substantially less these days. No opportunities to advance, and raises have been replaced by meager bonuses. There's been a real disconnect/disinterest in day-to-day artist experiences and performance by management, reflected by a recent move to eliminate what little performance review system we had. Training program is not what it once was. Just talking to other artists, bad management tendencies, such as favoritism, have become very common. Getting onto the few slots on the hot project has become rather political.

    Advice to Management

    With all the incentives in Vancouver, Montreal, and London, it is admittedly tough running a VFX house in San Francisco. It seems like there's a lot of work in smaller US films that can be done (too small to be worthwhile working overseas?). Management also needs to change its DNA. It doesn't need to get all sweet and cuddly, but it does need to make an effort to really engage with productions/artists more to know who's really contributing and who isn't.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Review"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Industrial Light & Magic full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Good perks, offices are really nice, projects are cool

    Cons

    Not easy to move up or advance


  7. Helpful (22)

    "Don't work here, its a toxic mess."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Digital Artist in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Digital Artist in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Industrial Light & Magic full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Incredibly talented workforce, some of the best people in the industry. Nice location

    Cons

    Upper management treats their employees like expendable cattle and are completely out of touch with the struggles and difficulties of the everyday worker. Little to no job security with petty politics. Individuals who get promoted tend to be those who enjoy belittling and dominating others. Current hierarchy structure fails to recognize structural issues as the only opinion that counts is upper management, they completely discount employee grievances. This is not the ILM of the 80's and 90's that shone through innovation, this is now just another churn and burn studio that couldn't care less about their employees. I would highly recommend looking elsewhere for work, VFX is a dead end industry that is failing due to poor management and outsourcing.

    Advice to Management

    Figure out a business model that doesn't depend on churning through talent like they're expendable garbage. Stop promoting those who thrive at the expense of others. Adopt a performance metric that isn't reliant on filtered feedback from self serving managers while ignoring the opinions and grievances of those who actually do the work. I passionately worked hours for free at this company only to be sidelined, belittled and ultimately cast aside like refuse while a disgusting attempt was made to blacklist me from the VFX industry. This story has been repeated again and again. Sociopathic behavior is rewarded in middle management and a self serving out of touch upper management fails to recognize or accept any criticism of this from the general artist pool.
    Not sure how you will resolve such a toxic work environment, good luck to you.

  8. "VFX Artist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior FX Technical Director in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Senior FX Technical Director in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Industrial Light & Magic full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Highest caliber of talent and professionalism. Lots of knowledge sharing. Coolest projects. Great location.

    Cons

    Unstable industry. Large amounts of overtime. Work going overseas. Quantity starting to take precedence over quality.

    Advice to Management

    Invest more money on improving infrastructure and workflows.


  9. "Best CGI company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Compositor in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Compositor in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Industrial Light & Magic full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The company has some of the best people in the business, and despite what you know, there is always someone who you can learn from.

    Cons

    End of project crunch times can be quiet demanding.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Amazing People, Tough Hours"

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

    I worked at Industrial Light & Magic full-time

    Pros

    Work with the some of the most talented folks in the industry, who also happen to be wonderful, fun, supportive human beings. Benefits are top-notch (Disney pass, private screenings). Clothes/hair/tattoos - can do whatever you want, very casual. Very fun annual company events, as well.

    Cons

    Heavy OT can lead to very long days; work/life balance can be a struggle. Certain positions undervalued and underpaid. Advancement can also be slow.