In the last couple of years I have noticed an influx of small independent visual effects studios that specialise in creating stunning visuals for TV, Feature film and commercials in an remote and collaborative working environment.
I'm not saying that big studios days are numbered, it just means that the independent visual effects artist will finally begin to get the recognition that they deserve!
I feel that remote studios will pick up the smaller, indie film projects hopefully bringing a bigger and more diverse selection of films for everyone to watch. The internet and streaming services have helped small/medium budget films get more coverage and hopefully this will mean there will be more work to go around for everyone!
Hardware and software has come down in price enough for independent artists to be able to afford the tools to create high quality work from their homes, and personal offices. Coupled with high speed internet connections it has made it more feasible to work independently.
This means independent artists don't have the overheads that the bigger studios have so they can cater to the independent film maker with a small to medium size budget.
How this could benefit independent film makers
A lot of the time directors and producers do not speak directly to the visual effects artists, this can create extra work (and therefore cost more) as the director's vision is not always passed down correctly to the artists creating the visual effects.
I have been lucky enough to work directly with directors and producers on jobs, cutting out the middle men and making communication easier.
The VFX industry is changing!
I am not sure what will happen over the coming years, I personally feel that there will still be large visual effects studios working on the blockbuster film format but there will be an increase of remote VFX houses and artists. This will help independent films get the quality of visual effects they require for their films.
I have recently read a great book that gives some impartial and interesting facts about the VFX industry and the possible future of it!! You can get a copy of it here:http://www.insidevfx.com/
In the video below Michael Cawood and Theory Animation discuss some of the possible ways that on-line collaborations may work in the near future - I believe that were are very close to this being a reality.