Vfx firm calls Twitter chatter crazy

Visual effects house Double Negative has denied rumors that swept Twitter on Tuesday night that it was about to pinkslip between 200 and 250 staffers, calling the figure “crazy.”

While the London and Singapore-based company admits it is undergoing layoffs and is currently unable to release figures of those affected, execs insist it is purely due to the natural ebb and flow of the vfx industry and not an indicator of trouble within the company.

“I can say (the layoff) is not significant,” Double Negative’s Sarah Harries told Variety. “The numbers quoted on social media are ridiculous.” The vfx house has roughly 1,100 staffers.

Taken by surprise by the rumors, Double Negative issued a statement Wednesday saying, “The project-based nature of our business means that from time to time we need to grow and contract to reflect the needs of the films we are working on at any given time. Our policy has always been, and will continue to be, to hold onto people where possible.”

Such layoffs are common at large vfx companies as many no longer keep a large permanent staff and instead hire artists as crew for specific projects. However, the global vfx business is jittery following the bankruptcy of Digital Domain and the news that Rhythm & Hues Studios is seeking equity investment. This year Double Negative has worked on vfx for “The Dark Knight Rises,” “Snow White and the Huntsman” and “Skyfall,” and is completing work on “Rush,” “Les Miserables,” “Captain Phillips” and “Man of Steel.”

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