You may have seen on LinkedIn yesterday that the German visual effects company Trixter is going to open up a studio in Toronto (thanks to everyone who let me know about it). They have an impressive reel, with work on it from several Marvel films.
What is somewhat confusing is that there is a company called Trixter Canada that already is in Toronto. I’m under the impression that these are two separate companies. If you look at the Trixter website, there is no mention of Trixter Canada. I did a quick search on LinkedIn and could only find two people that have Trixter Canada listed as their current company. There are no artists who have it as their current company, so I wonder if it’s just a company in name only. I reached out to them for a comment and I’ll let you know if I hear anything.
I emailed the recruiter with some questions:
When do you plan to open your studio?
- We expect to open studio in the beginning of the next year (February-March 2015)
How many artists do you plan to hire to staff up in Toronto?
- We need to cover all the positions in a normal VFX Studio: Starting from IT until VFX Supervisor, Producers, etc. Everything depends on the amount of projects that we will have, but let’s say something around 40 artists to start with a production.
-She was unsure if there was a connection to Trixter Canada, and said she would look into it.
One thing I can say is that in my years of working in VFX, I have never seen such a frenzy of activity in Toronto. The established studios here (Spin, Soho, Mr.X, Pixomondo) are all actively looking for artists and new studios (Stereo D, Legend 3D and now Trixter) are setting up shop and looking to hire.
You would hope that with more demand for artists, wages would go up. I’ve found that this isn’t necessarily the case, it often comes down to how well artists can negotiate. I’d encourage artists to ‘shop around’ when their contract is due. Perhaps don’t be so quick to sign an extension without at least talking to a few companies and see if anyone can improve upon your current salary.
I’d also urge artists to prepare for bad times when times are good. Look over your finances, start an emergency fund, keep your reel up to date and maintain your personal network while you’re not under the stress of looking for work. It’s much easier to plan for things when you have some breathing room. This business is always unstable, even at the best of times, so while things are looking good now you should always be prepared for rough times ahead.