art3full - Digital Visual Effects Digital Visual Effects...

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30 Monthly Labor Review March 1998 Digital Visual Effects Digital Visual Effects Multimedia and digital visual effects: an emerging local labor market Surveys of this industry in southern California reveal that its workers are predominately young, white, highly educated, and well paid; most of them originated from outside the region, but their labor market activities are characterized by complex social networks Allen J. Scott Allen J. Scott is a professor in the Department of Policy Studies and the Department of Geography, University of California-Los Angeles. S ince the 1980s, the multimedia and digital visual effects industry has been emerging at an extremely rapid pace in the State of California. 1 Two geographic areas, namely, the Bay Area and southern California (principally Los Angeles County) contain most of the industry’s es- tablishments. The southern California region is now moving into a position of dominance, not only in the State, but probably in the world at large. In its narrowest sense, the multimedia indus- try consists of firms that produce compact disks and materials for diffusion over the worldwide web. These products can be further categorized by substantive content, such as games, interac- tive stories, educational and self-help materials, business aids, and advertising. In this sense, the multimedia industry is currently pushing all me- dia (visual, textual, and audio) into convergence around interactive, digital methods of presenta- tion. However, the industry can be defined in a somewhat wider sense so that it includes not only the activities previously indicated, but also all forms of digital enhancement of conventional media—particularly, a wide range of computer- ized approaches to graphic design. It is this larger conception of the industry—the multimedia and digital visual effects industry—that will predomi- nate in this article. Applications of computer graphics, particularly in the fields of animation and special effects, have developed apace in re- cent years, and Hollywood feature films and tele- vision programs now routinely depend on ancil- lary high-technology image-processing opera- tions for their commercial success. 2 The remarkable dynamism of southern California’s multimedia and digital visual effects industry is, of course, closely related to the region’s overwhelming and long-standing im- portance as a center of the entertainment indus- try. As such, southern California represents the country’s most densely developed concentration of specialized workers in such domains as storywriting, visual dramatization, and scenario production. It is also a place where multimedia content providers can always find an available supply of subcontracting services in film and video production, photography, graphic art, scriptwriting, musical composition, acting, voice- over, and so on. Even so, and in view of the recent mushrooming of the multimedia industry in the region, many firms interviewed for this research reported an acute shortage of workers with com-
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This note was uploaded on 01/09/2010 for the course DES VCD468 taught by Professor R.matta during the Spring '09 term at American InterContinental University Houston.

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art3full - Digital Visual Effects Digital Visual Effects...

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