Over the last few decades a large and globally distributed digital VFX industry has arisen from the periphery of Hollywood’s traditional base in Los Angeles. As Hollywood visual effects production began to adopt computational processes, practices and technologies, what started out as a branch of the IT and computer sciences industry became a hybrid.
Neither ‘inside’ the Hollywood studios traditional financial structures, nor entirely outside the value chains attached to Hollywood’s film output, the VFX industries have functioned as networks of highly skilled migratory labour. All of this has lead to an industry defined by computational skills and a constant R&D race to automate traditional animation techniques across the VFX pipeline. This talk considers the deployment of cross disciplinary methodologies (sociological, computational, design) in producing a migration visualisation tool to analyse the impacts and implications of this new industrial geography.