A visual effects artist protests during a rally outside the Academy Awards in March. The sign depicts Hollywood studios taking handouts in the form of tax subsidies.
The news that Sony Imageworks is headed to Vancouver -- taking roughly 300 jobs with it -- is just the latest in a string of depressing headlines for Los Angeles visual effects workers. Nearly two dozen VFX firms have closed or gone bankrupt in the last decade. A film subsidy bill working its way through the state Legislature would give qualifying VFX houses a 20-25 percent tax credit. But the industry doesn't have a union to fight for it, and it's up against big Hollywood studios. California companies are having a hard time competing with foreign subsidies that can pay up to 60 percent of visual effects costs, a savings studios can't overlook. The result has been the scattering of California's VFX community, with artists forced to chase jobs, often overseas. Reporter: Susan Valot
Note: This story was edited to correct an error. In the original version, we stated a bill currently in the Legislature did not address VFX companies.In fact, the current version of the bill would offer tax credits to some visual effects companies. We regret the error.
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