VFX Studio That Played Major Role in Movie Sonic Redesign Shuttered

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

2 Comments

  1. As someone who lives in greater Vancouver, who appreciates the talent that comes through this city, be it animation, TV, film, or games… this is frustrating. A studio, that single-handedly saved a film from mediocrity, failing due to financial reasons (which are fueled by political issues in our province, which I will not get into because I’ll probably end up saying something which will get me kicked off the site)…is a shame and we shouldn’t be comfortable with it.

    Now to be fair, any admirable work done by these employees to ensure “more attractive opportunities in other locations” is not uncommon for those who have worked on Sonic games in the past. One of the MULTITUDE of reasons Sonic games end up SUCKING is because Nintendo likes to go scouting, and shanghais talent from Sega left and right – offering better wages and more reliable work. Sega gets the scraps, and compounded with “meeting deadlines” (which is always a mistake), we get Sonic Forces. WAMP-wump.

    1. And I suppose this bad karma will result in Sonic becoming SO Straight-to-Video it hurts! It just means more money for Paramount if it does well, unless it becomes as bad as Super Mario Bros. The Movie with Bob Hoskins, John Leguizamo and Dennis Hopper. I mean, I might consider seeing it, but I doubt it would be THAT bad.

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