MPC has shut down its Vancouver visual-effects studio, according to Cartoon Brew as well as the Vancouver Sun and CBC News. A letter was also allegedly sent out to employee that cited “increasing external market pressures in Vancouver and more attractive opportunities in other locations” as the reason for the shutdown.
The full text of the letter was posted online by an anonymous person and we have not been able to independently verify its authenticity.
“This decision has not been taken lightly,” states the letter, noting that “more attractive opportunities in other locations have created a challenging environment” for the company to sustain its Vancouver office.
According to a former anonymous MPC employee confirmed the studio closure with Daily Hive that many artists’ contracts wrapped up on 9 December and they were made aware of the full closure via the letter that was leaked on Reddit.
“For those small few who didn’t wrap on the 9 December, Wednesday was the first official contact,” they said.
DigiBC, executive director Brenda Bailey a local digital media trade association, told the CBC Vancouver’s tax incentives may have been a factor in the decision to close MPC’s Vancouver operation. “I think that there is a little bit of uncertainty right now in terms of the tax credits and business doesn’t thrive in uncertainty,” she said.
British Columbia’s tax credit for digital animation, VFX and post-production was reduced from 17.5 per cent to 16 per cent effective on productions that started principal photography on or after 1 October, 2016, but has remained steady since then.
The studio has been know for amazing projects around the year and continues to operate in Los Angeles, Montréal, London and Bangalore. Job openings at those sites are listed at the company’s dedicated careers site.