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Old 02-23-2012, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Leesburg
799 posts, read 1,233,894 times
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The gaming cluster dovetails well with animation. CMU's ETC is the anchor for all this activity. It's easier to recruit talent at the source than compete nationally or globally for those migrating for employment.

I see Pittsburgh's relationship with New York as similar to the one between San Francisco and Portland. Of course, Pittsburgh has CMU. Portland doesn't have any asset like that. So the metro must attract that talent. Pittsburgh produces it. That's a huge comparative advantage.
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:07 PM
gg
 
Location: Pittsburgh
24,471 posts, read 23,359,379 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
That's pretty close to the Pixar model (probably not a coincidence)--they will start with a core group of experienced people willing to relocate, but I suspect they will be adding a lot of new hires directly from local colleges or smaller operations.
This is a big deal in that industry. Doesn't sound like all that much to the outsiders like ourselves, but it is exciting news if you are in that field.

Thanks Brian for bringing this to my attention. I know I give you a hard time now and again, but you do come through with some good stuff. This one means quite a bit to me personally, because I know someone that wants to be involved in that field and loves Pittsburgh.
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:31 PM
 
7,112 posts, read 9,460,499 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
I'm aware of no reason to think those two overlapping groups have wildly different locational preferences.
Pittsburgh has the highly educated but not the highly creative. Critiques of his work aside, Andy Warhol left.

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You are confusing industry clusters with living preferences. Aspiring live action film actors, writers, directors, and so forth move to those cities primarily because WAY more live action work is available there than anywhere else, and you typically can't afford to live far away from the vast majority of casting calls, development pitches, and so on if you want to work in that industry.
No, I really think the place also figures in attracting the so-called creative class. Producing documentaries and Mr Roger's Neighborhood is more Pittsburgh's speed.

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But as you noted yourself, animation work is different, at least to the extent it doesn't overlap with live action.
Filling in between the key frames is more of the grunt work. Not the highly creative end, just skill.

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The Simpsons is a very old show that grew out of the live action world (The Tracey Ullman Show), under the guidance of a live action movie and TV veteran (James L. Brooks), and has always featured lots of live action guest stars. No doubt that is a common theme (many big animation studios are still associated with live action), but some of the bigger animation studios today are actually not in LA or NYC. Pixar is in the Bay Area, of course, as is Lucasfilm Animation and as was ImageMovers. Nelvana is in Toronto, and Aardman is in Bristol (UK).
The Bay Area is not an astounding counterexample. I'd count it along with LA and NYC. Toronto is Canada's mega-metropolis and also their theater center. And for whatever reason, Bristol is a production center of the BBC. Pittsburgh was close to being the headquarters of CBS when Westinghouse bought it, but the CEO broke Westinghouse apart and then ran off to NYC to be a CBS executive.

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Anyway, if this animation studio was trying to do stuff with a lot of brand-name live action stars, it might be an issue. But in terms of getting talented animators, I doubt it.
If it's just doing the animation, perhaps, that's the annoying costly overhead they have to deal with. However, I don't see Pittsburgh as a center of its creation. If studios want to outsource the animation production from the key frames, Pittsburgh might be a player but overseas might be cheaper.

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Edit: By the way, Pittsburgh is about the same distance from NYC as the Bay Area is from LA.
If that mattered then I guess Pittsburgh will be the next Silicon Valley. That's something every place has been dreaming of being...for like...forever. Silicon Valley is probably a big reason Pixar and Industrial Light and Magic are there. And the Bay Area is a big reason why Silicon Valley is there.

Quote:
That's pretty close to the Pixar model (probably not a coincidence)--they will start with a core group of experienced people willing to relocate, but I suspect they will be adding a lot of new hires directly from local colleges or smaller operations.
And I wouldn't be surprised if they one day relocated to places like NYC or LA or even more likely the Bay Area. The quality of life of the place also figures in.

I mean, the Cartoon Network is based in Atlanta ...but the production studios...LA.
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:44 PM
 
20,273 posts, read 31,477,303 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MathmanMathman View Post
Pittsburgh has the highly educated but not the highly creative.
Says who?

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Critiques of his work aside, Andy Warhol left.
Care to offer an example from the last 50 years?

Of course that isn't really relevant anyway. Warhol was trained at CMU then moved to NYC. That sort of thing still happens with not just creative people but all sorts of people. Nonetheless, educational attainment among young people continues to increase. There are some important lessons there about why migration doesn't mean net loss.

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No, I really think the place also figures in attracting the so-called creative class.
That theory has been completely debunked by subsequent researchers. The "creative class" cares about the same thing everyone else does: where they can get a good job that will advance their career.

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The Bay Area is not an astounding counterexample. I'd count it along with LA and NYC.
I was just pointing out that you were right when you said animation is becoming more mobile despite the traditional tie-in to live action studios.

If you think about it, your theory about attractiveness of place is debunked by the fact that LA still dominates SF in terms of animation. LA is not more attractive than SF. It is just where most of the jobs are.

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And for whatever reason, Bristol is a production center of the BBC.
Bingo. Good example of the importance of industry clusters. Bad example of the alleged importance of unconfirmable beliefs about attractiveness of place.

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If that mattered then I guess Pittsburgh will be the next Silicon Valley. That's something every place dreams of being. Silicon Valley is probably a big reason Pixar and Industrial Light and Magic are there. And the Bay Area is a big reason why Silicon Valley is there.
It is already happening.

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And I wouldn't be surprised if they one day relocated to places like NYC or LA or even more likely the Bay Area. The quality of life of the place also figures in.
Quality of life in Pittsburgh is great.

Seriously, you need to move on from that Richard Florida stuff. It turns out to be wrong.

Quote:
I mean, the Cartoon Network is based in Atlanta ...but the production studios...LA.
Like I said, industry clusters (broadcasting versus production in this case). That doesn't actually mean LA is cooler than Atlanta.
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Old 02-23-2012, 03:31 PM
 
Location: Mt. Lebanon
1,901 posts, read 2,313,436 times
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I agree with Brian. I work in one of the big corporations downtown and we hire more and more kids right off the college each year and you know what? I am simply amazed how good they are. And we have one here who is from New York . Granted, we don;t do animation but marketing does and they employ all kinds of graphic designers and people to make sure we have a presence on the web and on all kind of platforms. And these poeple design everything from the final product we sell to short commercials made with Adobe Flash, so they are very creative. Besides i can't even begin to tell you haw many artist friends I have. Pittsburgh is a heaven for artists, just go to any event in the art galleries or cafes in lawrenceville and talk to people. There's where the artsy crowd hangs out.
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Old 02-23-2012, 03:35 PM
 
7,112 posts, read 9,460,499 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
Says who?
Lots of talk about education levels. Precious little about creative output.

Quote:
Care to offer an example from the last 50 years?
Right, not much to speak of.

Quote:
Of course that isn't really relevant anyway. Warhol was trained at CMU then moved to NYC. That sort of thing still happens with not just creative people but all sorts of people. Nonetheless, educational attainment among young people continues to increase. There are some important lessons there about why migration doesn't mean net loss.
The highly creative have to leave. If you are educated there's a job for you here. If you are highly creative, head to NYC, LA, Bay Area...

Quote:
That theory has been completely debunked by subsequent researchers. The "creative class" cares about the same thing everyone else does: where they can get a good job that will advance their career.
But the highly creative have more choice. If I hear that Pixar and Industrial Light and magic are relocating to Cincinnati, then I'll believe those researchers.

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I was just pointing out that you were right when you said animation is becoming more mobile despite the traditional tie-in to live action studios.
It's seeking out the lowest cost. They'd do it in Vietnam if the cost and quality were right.

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If you think about it, your theory about attractiveness of place is debunked by the fact that LA still dominates SF in terms of animation. LA is not more attractive than SF. It is just where most of the jobs are.
It was probably good enough and warmer.

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Bingo. Good example of the importance of industry clusters. Bad example of the alleged importance of unconfirmable beliefs about attractiveness of place.
I don't know why it's there. It might have a good quality of life by British standards. England is not that big so there's not a lot of difference from place to place. Don't hold out hope for NBC studios in Pittsburgh just because of Bristol's example.

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It is already happening.
Yeah...right.

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Quality of life in Pittsburgh is great.
Hard to beat the warmth and sunshine of other places.

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Seriously, you need to move on from that Richard Florida stuff. It turns out to be wrong.
I remember when Lycos left for Boston. But I don't feel so bad about it as Lycos has sort of fizzled anyway. I'm not an adherent to Florida's teachings but for workers who are talented enough and can pick and choose for whom they work...sure, they'll figure in quality of life. The present economy will probably make some less picky but high quality creative talent will always have their pick.

Quote:
Like I said, industry clusters (broadcasting versus production in this case). That doesn't actually mean LA is cooler than Atlanta.
Atlanta has a lot of things going for it, but a creative hot bed is not one of them. For that business, LA is cooler.
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Old 02-23-2012, 04:42 PM
 
7,112 posts, read 9,460,499 times
Reputation: 1780
Quote:
Originally Posted by XRiteMA98 View Post
I agree with Brian. I work in one of the big corporations downtown and we hire more and more kids right off the college each year and you know what? I am simply amazed how good they are. And we have one here who is from New York . Granted, we don;t do animation but marketing does and they employ all kinds of graphic designers and people to make sure we have a presence on the web and on all kind of platforms. And these poeple design everything from the final product we sell to short commercials made with Adobe Flash, so they are very creative. Besides i can't even begin to tell you haw many artist friends I have. Pittsburgh is a heaven for artists, just go to any event in the art galleries or cafes in lawrenceville and talk to people. There's where the artsy crowd hangs out.
No, I'm talking the very high end creative. I recall a game designer whose company is in Atlanta. He has no problem finding people for artwork. He said for him, he has no trouble finding artists, they are a dime a dozen. He needs coders.
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Old 02-23-2012, 04:59 PM
 
Location: Leesburg
799 posts, read 1,233,894 times
Reputation: 237
Pittsburgh has the very high end creative talent. The community is still relatively small. The cluster is nascent, but booming.

There are lots of niche talent clusters that are outside of the big, global cities. Albany is a world class nanotech hub. Companies move there to access the talent. I see Pittsburgh as marching down the same path with the edutainment cluster.

Last edited by globalburgh; 02-23-2012 at 05:00 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:14 PM
 
20,273 posts, read 31,477,303 times
Reputation: 2908
Quote:
Originally Posted by MathmanMathman View Post
Lots of talk about education levels. Precious little about creative output.
Tell me where to get data for "creative output" and I'll take a look.

But you are the one making the affirmative claim, so don't you think you should have some sort of basis for that claim?

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If you are educated there's a job for you here. If you are highly creative, head to NYC, LA, Bay Area...
In other words, now you agree with me: it is about jobs, not all that other stuff you have been claiming.

Quote:
Hard to beat the warmth and sunshine of other places.
Which does a great job of explaining NYC, one of your own examples.

Bottomline: there is no doubt industry clusters exist. But not for the reasons you have been suggesting.
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
3 posts, read 2,442 times
Reputation: 12
Default Very Interesting Discussion

Very interesting discussion.
There is a lot of talk about the type of talent we can attract. Rest assured, that the high quality talent is with us. Most of our animators have worked for Disney, Blue Sky, Pixar, Dreamworks, Imagi, etc...
And we are continually getting swamped with emails from others who are working for these studios and originally from Pittsburgh - they want to come home! Others know that they will make a better living here and to most animators, that's what counts. What kind of work will I do and how much will I make? We have the cool projects, and they will make a good living. A win/win situation.

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As far as Korea or LA, that is all fine, but if Pittsburgh can get a tiny part of the pie, that is better than none.
- Well said h_curtis.

Keep up the chatter. It's good that people are talking

Cheers!
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