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Money laundering and the movie industry - $50 million for an animated movie!??

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posted on Feb, 11 2018 @ 07:26 PM
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So I just heard that this new animated movie had an estimated budget of $50 million! This is basically the length of 4 cartoon TV shows rolled into one. Given that animation has largely been automated since early 2000, I have a very difficult time believing that it cost any where near that amount of money to produce a movie such as this. Before when there were actual films and shooting a film was expensive because there was the cost of the physical medium, the development, the cutting/editing, etc not to mention all the cost of building sets.

Now we have CGI for A LOT of the sets, with green screens and digital video recording (no cost for film) and digital editing. Voice overs are much easier than they used to be and can be timed automatically with software. Much of the production effort seems to have been removed compared to what was previously needed yet we keep seeing the cost of movies going up.

Now I know actors get paid a lot more than they used to, but that still doesn't account for the huge increase while production costs should be decreasing at a very steep rate.

What I see is an industry that got used to laundering a lot of money through their films and once they got hooked on those big pay days (of "tax free money"), like an addict, they had to keep going and going bigger while getting less for the larger "dose" (meaning less production cost, less people paid for work, etc), while the studios are clearing larger and larger amounts when the costs should be much lower.

The real give away is when you see foreign films from Europe, China, India with $50,000 budgets that are as good, if not better, than many hollywood movies costing millions! Then you have the student films or independents (Sundance??) that even rival big budget Hollywood films.

So, I'm wondering where the money is coming from that they need to launder. Is this money skimmed from state, local and federal governments or is this maybe from sales of illicit and illegal goods (drugs and arms)? If you think they are laundering money, where do you think the source of the money is? With the stories circulating (think of profits stemming from the activities surrounding Corey Feldman's allegations and other possible sex/prostitution rings??)

What do you people think? Are these costs of movies legit and if so, please explain the breakdown of the production costs because when I did it, I found a massive amount left to be explained.




posted on Feb, 11 2018 @ 07:34 PM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

There is DEFINITELY money laundering going on; but ...animated movies as they're made today are not "automated". It takes a team of hundreds sometimes to animate and render these big budget animated movies. Not to mention that every animated movie made today by a large studio is in itself R&D for the next animation project when it comes to tech and production.
It takes a LOT of money to produce these things. No one is working for pennies.



posted on Feb, 11 2018 @ 07:51 PM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

Perhaps it comes from selling their souls.

Or pimping kids.

Probably both.



posted on Feb, 11 2018 @ 07:56 PM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

It's probably like medicine or education most of the cost is in the overhead like administrative costs.



posted on Feb, 11 2018 @ 08:03 PM
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I suggest you sit through all the ending credits sometime. Then see how many people and companies it takes to produce one of these full length animated films. Every single one of those names gets paid, and many of them also have a family to support. Not only that, but computers don't run for free....and use electricity which costs money, as do the facilities in which they run.



posted on Feb, 11 2018 @ 08:04 PM
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originally posted by: Atsbhct
a reply to: DigginFoTroof

There is DEFINITELY money laundering going on; but ...animated movies as they're made today are not "automated". It takes a team of hundreds sometimes to animate and render these big budget animated movies. Not to mention that every animated movie made today by a large studio is in itself R&D for the next animation project when it comes to tech and production.
It takes a LOT of money to produce these things. No one is working for pennies.


Of course they aren't totally automated, but much of the process is that used to have to be done by hand with paint pens, paint, etc - then it went to digital editing and it was done frame by frame by people and now edits can be done on one frame and basically carry them over to sequential frames using filters and special editing plugins.

Even with a team of a hundred people, say working full time for a year ($75,000) that is only $7.5 million and I can guarantee that most of the people working on these teams aren't making $75K per year and there for sure isn't 200,000 man hours put into one of these animation movies (which is 100 people working full time for a year). I've heard that a lot of the editing work is done for $13-20 per hour in large editing shops (and then there is the over-seas shops doing it for $2-3 per hour and I've heard they get A LOT of work in the last 10 years). It used to be you could make a really good living doing animation when people did it by hand (drawing), then they lost a huge number of jobs when places like Pixar got their tech developed, then when India, China, Indonesia, Phillipenes, etc trained a work force starting around year 2000 even more jobs were lost as work would be done over the Internet for pennies on the dollar.

You may hear that there are teams of hundreds working on a movie, but I know people who worked in the industry and it's like 20% do 80% of the work and 75% do very little (consult on filming angle or font type, etc). So these large number you hear are often very misleading.

So, where is this money coming from that they need to launder?
edit on 2 11 2018 by DigginFoTroof because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 11 2018 @ 08:06 PM
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a reply to: Atsbhct

agreed. i was a TD for many years. even the small shots outsourced to my former institutions (small studios), we had to out source some of the over head in rendering and dynamic simulations. basically, these movies arent getting cheaper as technology improves. most of the time, big studios use proprietary software and with each movie a new set of tools are often needed, and R&D is not cheap.

is there a pseudo 'monopoly' on how the technology propagation to cheap available commercial software is rolled out? yes. ( just like the pharmaceutical industry unfortunately).
(see autodesk)
just like AMD and NVIDIA outsource their tech to smaller hardware makers in the name of fair capitalism so it seems like nothing 'illegal' is going on. strange how AMD is always just ever so far behind Nvidia, one could even say they are one company


then there is money on actual staff.... this industry is more compartmentalized than the government. there are more 'titles' at the end of an animated feature than any other cinematic medium or entertainment in general.



posted on Feb, 11 2018 @ 08:22 PM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

There are absolutely HUGE teams working on Disney/Pixar/Dreamworks animations. Your average "offbrand" animation might outsource a ton of stuff, but the huge studios aren't risking it.
No, not everyone is getting paid even close to $75000 a year, but it takes way more than a year to bring films to screen and plenty are getting $200,000+ per year.

The money laundering part is easy. The fananciers are laundering their own money through the movies, various "producers", credited and uncredited.
Looking at the picture this way is kind of backwards. You need to find a low quality film with a huge budget to see who is really laundering their money or rolling it over to avoid taxation; and where the money comes from is a totally different subject all together. We can speculate (yes, awful, horrible # goes down in the media industry as a whole) where people get this money, but good luck proving it, even if every celebrity was as brave as Feldman.



posted on Feb, 11 2018 @ 08:33 PM
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Well, money laundering is an very easy thing to do...end of.
Movies today are often an international affair, and the tech stuff is very expensive and, when it comes to 'animation' very very expensive at almost any level.
Hollywood is in there with the high tech, the newest form in recreating virtual replicas of real people is just coming to the big screen, and some of that stuff is really out there, definitely not kid's play...that costs a lot, much of it cutting edge. BR 2049 budget was $155 million, some real technical magic there, but still didn't put the world on fire.



posted on Feb, 11 2018 @ 08:38 PM
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originally posted by: Krakatoa
I suggest you sit through all the ending credits sometime. Then see how many people and companies it takes to produce one of these full length animated films. Every single one of those names gets paid, and many of them also have a family to support. Not only that, but computers don't run for free....and use electricity which costs money, as do the facilities in which they run.



Wow, talk about a straw man argument. Electricity to make the movie? You mean the rats turning the wheel have stopped running? What did they not get their cheese allotment and go on strike? Of course computers take electricity, but we aren't building nuclear plants to run our animation computers. These aren't super computers sequencing the human genome of doing quantum calculations. We are basically talking about web servers for the most part. By your logic it would cost us $50 every time we load a web page due to the electrical cost.

As far as the long list of workers, I covered that. Any who cares if they have a family or not, if they have 1 kid, 10 kids, no kids or 49 cats. By your logic I should be able to charge $340 per hour to wash dishes because I have a large family. I'm guessing you are a liberal...

So do you think there are more or less "facilities" to produce the current movie than ones made 20-50 years ago? Do you think it takes more or less people, people ACTUALLY WORKING, not just standing around making a comment on camera angle or background shading so they can get a credit in the movie. Don't think that happens? Have you ever been on a studio set for a movie, TV show or commercial? Union rules can be totally ridiculous probably rival NYC, Chicago & Detroit unions back in the 60/70's.



posted on Feb, 11 2018 @ 08:50 PM
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When an animated movie has the budget greater than the education budget of an entire country of 170,000 for a year, then you know there is something wrong with the economy.



posted on Feb, 11 2018 @ 08:56 PM
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originally posted by: DigginFoTroof
When an animated movie has the budget greater than the education budget of an entire country of 170,000 for a year, then you know there is something wrong with the economy.


Why would there be something wrong with the US economy purely because movie studios making billions are spending 100 million+ to make movies like Avatar?

Why would it even cost that much to educate the youth of a country with a population of 170 000? Like Guam? They probably want to see these movies too.

I don't see how it could truly harm the US economy.



posted on Feb, 11 2018 @ 09:22 PM
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Please show us your breakdowns, and where you sourced your figures....
Unless of course, you're just making it up as you go along....."cuz it just doesn't sound right"......Right?



posted on Feb, 11 2018 @ 09:27 PM
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originally posted by: DigginFoTroof
So I just heard that this new animated movie had an estimated budget of $50 million! This is basically the length of 4 cartoon TV shows rolled into one. Given that animation has largely been automated since early 2000, I have a very difficult time believing that it cost any where near that amount of money to produce a movie such as this. Before when there were actual films and shooting a film was expensive because there was the cost of the physical medium, the development, the cutting/editing, etc not to mention all the cost of building sets.

Now we have CGI for A LOT of the sets, with green screens and digital video recording (no cost for film) and digital editing. Voice overs are much easier than they used to be and can be timed automatically with software. Much of the production effort seems to have been removed compared to what was previously needed yet we keep seeing the cost of movies going up.

Now I know actors get paid a lot more than they used to, but that still doesn't account for the huge increase while production costs should be decreasing at a very steep rate.

What I see is an industry that got used to laundering a lot of money through their films and once they got hooked on those big pay days (of "tax free money"), like an addict, they had to keep going and going bigger while getting less for the larger "dose" (meaning less production cost, less people paid for work, etc), while the studios are clearing larger and larger amounts when the costs should be much lower.

The real give away is when you see foreign films from Europe, China, India with $50,000 budgets that are as good, if not better, than many hollywood movies costing millions! Then you have the student films or independents (Sundance??) that even rival big budget Hollywood films.

So, I'm wondering where the money is coming from that they need to launder. Is this money skimmed from state, local and federal governments or is this maybe from sales of illicit and illegal goods (drugs and arms)? If you think they are laundering money, where do you think the source of the money is? With the stories circulating (think of profits stemming from the activities surrounding Corey Feldman's allegations and other possible sex/prostitution rings??)

What do you people think? Are these costs of movies legit and if so, please explain the breakdown of the production costs because when I did it, I found a massive amount left to be explained.



There have been several high profile cases of money laundering in the film industry. Given how much it costs to make a film, it shouldn't be surprising that investors in movies can be shady individuals looking to clean a lot of cash.



posted on Feb, 11 2018 @ 10:04 PM
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Don't you know that Hollywood was not supposed to talk about two things, ever? Even though they were open secrets? The first thing was Harvey Weinstein. The second one, was this.

Oops.



posted on Feb, 11 2018 @ 10:16 PM
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originally posted by: odzeandennz

then there is money on actual staff.... this industry is more compartmentalized than the government. there are more 'titles' at the end of an animated feature than any other cinematic medium or entertainment in general.



Sounds like the perfect money laundering vehicle then.

Not to dispute anything you've said, but imagine the ML scenario potentials in the game.

I know stuff aint cheap though.

And that most 'big' films end up costing about a million dollars per minute. I know there's single minutes of video I've spent days on end on plenty of times lol.
edit on 11-2-2018 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 11 2018 @ 10:18 PM
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originally posted by: DigginFoTroof

originally posted by: Krakatoa
I suggest you sit through all the ending credits sometime. Then see how many people and companies it takes to produce one of these full length animated films. Every single one of those names gets paid, and many of them also have a family to support. Not only that, but computers don't run for free....and use electricity which costs money, as do the facilities in which they run.




By your logic I should be able to charge $340 per hour to wash dishes because I have a large family. I'm guessing you are a liberal...



If I invested $340 per hr for you to wash dishes and I received a $2.5K return on that hr, I'd say we're both doing ok. I was an IATSE member that worked in the motion picture industry for awhile, nothings cheap when it comes to TV or major production films. Believe it or not, animation is a very labor intensive production. It took 5.7 million man hrs/654 man yrs to make Wall E, do the math on the hourly rate of pay, it's not peanuts. But......the revenue on the investment is usually very gracious many times over.


BTW: 50 million on a animation film is fairly conservative in todays standards.
edit on 11-2-2018 by mtnshredder because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 11 2018 @ 10:51 PM
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Anything goes these days with corruption. That'd probably explain a lot of the # being turned out. Though, 50 million, that's nothing. Look to the studio who made it as a whole, is there a pattern?



posted on Feb, 11 2018 @ 11:21 PM
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there IS money laundering going on all over hollywood. I've overheard more than a few producers laugh about how great a method it is to launder money. so it definitely happens all the time.

also Hollywood folks are greedy and self important and have lost the art of making any product without extreme cases of superfluous waste. the folks are literally overpaid far beyond their worth or skill set.

case in point The Raid 2 cost 4.5 million to make, shat on just about every movie in its genre and has higher production values than similar movies made for 50 million +.

Hollywood's a joke. and super corrupt. and nearly all of my immediate and extended family work for Hollywood in some capacity going back 3 generations I've seen it all and know just how that industry works.

Hollywood's a cesspit and I personally want nothing to do with it. if you ever wanted to participate in the bread and circus while being around the most self important and diluded people from the PAs all the way up to the producers and even most of the tertiary unions associated with that community then Hollywood's the myopic place for you to be.



posted on Feb, 11 2018 @ 11:26 PM
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a reply to: Krakatoa

and 2/3rds of that overhead could easily be gutted without effecting the quality of the end product. ever stood around on a set to see how many people are doing literally Jack shyt while standing around being overpaid in the process.



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