Industrial Light & Magic Reviews | Glassdoor

Industrial Light & Magic Reviews

Updated May 2, 2017
72 reviews

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2.8
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Industrial Light & Magic President and General Manager Lynwen Brennan
Lynwen Brennan
31 Ratings

72 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Some people are great to work with (in 6 reviews)

  • Great projects, Singapore is an awesome travel hub to be able to see the rest of Asia (in 8 reviews)

Cons
  • Doesn't keep up with cost of living in San Francisco (in 6 reviews)

  • salary is low compared to other studios and to live in San Francisco they are way too low (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Good"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Rotoscope Artist in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Rotoscope Artist in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    Great city. Relaxing setting. Nice staff. Beautiful company. Nice projects to work on.

    Cons

    Parking is bad. Living near the company is high in price. Food is high. People are in a hurry. Traffic is always in a hurry.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "ILM"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Industrial Light & Magic full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - lots of benefits and perks
    - run by women
    - beautiful campus
    - looks great on your resume
    - you can find some of the best artists in the world here

    Cons

    - legacy software hindering advancement
    - too many politics
    - advancement nearly impossible
    - pay does not keep up with the skyrocketing cost of living in the bay area


  3. "Great working environment and people"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Industrial Light & Magic full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Felt listened to by management and was happy with pay raises. Would go back if the opportunity arises.

    Cons

    Not too much room for advancement.


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  5. "Too old"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Production Coordinator in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Production Coordinator in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Some people are great to work with
    - They are attempting to expand their education structure, but no one has time to go to the classes
    - Company is led by women
    - Dem Disney benefits doe

    Cons

    - Too much legacy preventing updates to simple newer technology
    - No budget to fix annoying bugs in internal software
    - Weird internal politics
    - Poor long term crew planning
    - Not much room for promotion

    Advice to Management

    The senior management seemed to not care about the artists, or even the heads of the company and their goals. Production is relatively taken care of, but something is lost in translation to caring for the artists, who are the reason behind multi-billion dollar films succeeding. Give artists raises upon achievements within the company.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "monolithic and mismanaged"

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

    Pros

    + looks great on your resume, if you want to stay in the VFX industry
    + Presidio campus is beautiful
    + fun, interesting perks

    Cons

    - any vacated headcount in CA is immediately moved to Vancouver. It's like pulling teeth to convince management that any positions should be restaffed in CA.
    - technology departments are terribly mismanaged. Failed projects are pushed onto the actually competent people, while those who failed to deliver adequate results are rewarded with new projects and fancy titles.
    - pay is nowhere near competitive, even with other VFX houses in the US. If you're in technology, you can forget about being paid anything near market rates for engineers in CA.
    - upper technology management is secretive and full of hot air - lots of talking with no forward progress.
    - everything moves at a glacial pace. Managers make all kinds of excuses for why they can't treat you better and take months to deliver on their promises (if they deliver at all.)

    Advice to Management

    Take a long, hard look at why you can't retain CTOs and have such high turnover amongst your engineers.


  7. "Visual Effects Producer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - VFX Producer in Oakland, CA
    Former Employee - VFX Producer in Oakland, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great work environment, great co-workers, creative environment, good salary, big budget visual effects projects, collaborating with Hollywood A-List Directors and Producers, travel to locations.

    Cons

    The big budget projects involve long hours (average 50-60 hours per week), that often create stressful work schedules that are complicated by low budgets and combative "studio suits."

    Advice to Management

    Please pay attention to budgeting, scheduling and staffing to improve quality and reduce stress. Good communications between ILM and studio are critical as well as management of the project.


  8. Helpful (3)

    "R&D Engineer in an Artist worshiped culture"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - R&Amp; D Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - R&Amp; D Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good work life balance. Great people to work with.

    Cons

    Very low pay compared to any Software Engineering job in the Bay Area. Engineers are literally viewed as 'Overhead', like unsold product in a warehouse. Not valued by company at large, even though Shows and Artist need us to make the magic screen.

    No Credits, they say their is a a revolving list, buts not fair or evenly distributed.

    Flat structure so little room for advancement.

    Advice to Management

    Stop considering your Tech. people as overhead, work out the credits issue, and pay them competitive rates for the area. We need to stop losing amazing engineers because they can't afford to live on the salary.


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Institutionalized Passive-Aggressive Disorder"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Technology Manager in Oakland, CA
    Former Employee - Technology Manager in Oakland, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Work with some of the brightest people in the World, on some of the most amazing projects in Entertainment.

    Cons

    Work with some of the most petty, passive-aggressive, and dysfunctional production people ever... It's inherent in the culture, sort of like the reverse World in ST:TOS "Mirror Mirror"... Artists and Technology staff get ahead by skill and knowledge, while Production staff gets ahead through Social Darwinism—Only the folks who fit the pathological profile of the higher end of the food chain will progress.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of the "Coalition of the Unwilling", those who have been happy with the status quo of the George days, and embrace the disruptive innovators.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Great Legacy in a Pricey Place"

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

    I worked at Industrial Light & Magic full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Get to work on some of the largest VFX projects in the world.

    The artists and creative leadership is amazing.

    Amazing location, office space and company culture.

    Cons

    Doesn't keep up with cost of living in San Francisco.
    If you are entry or mid level then you should expect to have 5+ roommates to be able to live in the city.
    Large amounts of overtime.
    Some departments are falling behind on keeping up to date with software.

    Advice to Management

    Make sure the company doesn't just live off the glory of the past. Keep pushing forward to be as innovative as their as their legacy.


  11. Helpful (4)

    "Disappointing Experience"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - VFX Coordinator in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - VFX Coordinator in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The chance to work on some of the largest VFX projects out there appeals to some people. Benefits are good, and the office is beautiful.

    Cons

    You'll battle with lots of out-of-date technology (surprising for a firm that's known for producing state-of-the-art work), vicious politics, and gaping holes in management skill sets to get even the simplest things done. Unless working on movie franchises you loved as a kid is your overriding goal in life, you may want to give ILM a miss.

    Advice to Management

    Just because you've always done it that way doesn't make it right!


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