Visual effects company Moving Production Company (MPC) has closed down its studio in Vancouver, which was responsible for much of the work that went into the new Sonic movie design.
This closure comes just a month after that design debuted in a new trailer, where it received a good reception from many on social media. A letter justifying the closure has supposedly been leaked, although cartoon news website Cartoon Brew, which broke this story, was unable to confirm the letter’s authenticity. According to the letter, the studio was closed due to “external market pressures in Vancouver and more attractive opportunities in other locations.” You can find the letter here.
In the aftermath of the closure, a former MPC employee took the company to task in a (now deleted) Reddit post. Although Cartoon Brew was unable to verify his identity, his comments match what the website has heard elsewhere. According to the poster, the studio’s working conditions included multiple 17+ hour days (sometimes three or four in row), few days that weren’t at least 10+ hours a day, and multiple weeks without a day off, leaving employees sleep-deprived. Although the Sonic movie was not expressly mentioned, the employee did say that these hours were fueled by “two infamous projects” they had recently completed. If true, this could at least partially refute an earlier report that the animators on the Sonic movie project were treated well, though it should be noted that MPC Vancouver was not the only studio that worked on the movie’s effects.
Overwork can unfortunately be quite common in the movie visual effects industry, and isn’t exclusive to this studio. If you want to read the full report, including the employee’s Reddit post, check out the source below.
Source: Cartoon Brew