The Impending Layoffs at DNEG: A Closer Look

The Impending Layoffs at DNEG: A Closer Look

DNEG, a renowned VFX firm responsible for groundbreaking visual effects in movies such as Dune and Oppenheimer, is facing another round of layoffs. Reports suggest that the company is initiating a consultation process in the UK and Canada, with around 5% of its global workforce at risk of losing their jobs. This news comes on the heels of a challenging market environment and previous layoffs within the company.

The Consultation Process

The impending layoffs at DNEG are said to be concentrated within the R&D teams, indicating a strategic move by the company to streamline its operations. The decision to downsize is a response to the ongoing challenges in the industry, exacerbated by the aftermath of the Hollywood strikes and the lack of significant improvement despite previous efforts to retain staff through pay offers.

Union Support and Reaction

In the UK, where approximately 100 job cuts are expected, the union Bectu has expressed its commitment to supporting affected members during this difficult time. Philippa Childs, the boss of Bectu, acknowledged the concerns of DNEG employees and highlighted the broader challenges faced by the UK film and TV industry. Additionally, DNEG’s recent unionization in Canada through IATSE has provided a support system for workers faced with potential layoffs.

This is not the first instance of layoffs at DNEG, as the company had previously let go of around 70 employees in Central London. In an attempt to mitigate further job losses, DNEG introduced a controversial pay offer that required staff to take significant pay cuts or participate in a loan scheme. Despite additional options presented to employees, including extended pay reduction periods and compensation in the form of leave, the overall economic situation has not improved as anticipated.

DNEG, led by Namit Malhotra, has established itself as a VFX powerhouse with a wide-ranging portfolio of blockbuster films and award-winning projects. The company’s latest financial results showed impressive revenue growth and strong EBITDA figures, reflecting its position in the market. However, the decision to go public via a SPAC deal in 2022 was later rescinded, indicating a shift in the company’s strategic direction.

As DNEG navigates through the challenges posed by the VFX industry and evolving market conditions, the looming layoffs underscore the need for companies to adapt and make tough decisions to ensure their sustainability. The support provided by unions and the company’s efforts to co-operate with stakeholders demonstrate a commitment to minimizing the impact of workforce reductions. The future remains uncertain for DNEG and its employees, highlighting the volatile nature of the entertainment industry.


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