For existing AT&T subscribers looking to get a new handset for a few months before they make that inevitable Pre / iPhone 3.0 / Gizmondo decision this summer — or folks who just despise contracts in general — it looks like AT&T will be offering unsubsidized iPhone 3Gs at last. According to some training slides obtained by The Boy Genius, the “no-commit” price will only be available to existing customers, and will run them $599 for the 8GB model and $699 for the 16GB. Sounds like somebody’s looking to flush a bit of stock, or perhaps they’ve finally decided to almost treat the phone like pretty much every single other device on the market — wild times we’re living in, folks. The no-commit option should be available as of March 26th.

Thomson has appointed Tim Sarnoff as president of its Technicolor Digital Productions division. This new division, within the Technicolor Business Group, will focus on the company’s expertise in animation, games and visual effects. Its mission will be to develop Technicolor’s animation operations in Bangalore and VFX operations in Beijing, as well as under the MPC brand in London, Los Angeles and Vancouver, into centers of excellence and growth.

As part of Thomson’s strategic refocus on its content creator customer base, the company has specifically identified business activities centered around the entertainment industry’s needs to create, manage and deliver content. In today’s content production environment, there is a continuing increase in demand for high quality digital content creation. The new Technicolor Digital Productions division will target this growth area and build on Thomson’s well-established capabilities in animation, games, and visual effects.

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(Source: Fear and fantasy are the dynamic duo of the visual effects industry and they often stimulate wonderful creative work. However, they do just the opposite in the economy. There is no denying that we are in the midst of the worst economic downturn in almost a century and people are frightened. There are many reasons that jobs are being eliminated and companies are downsizing and certainly many people have less disposable income. How does the current economic situation affect the visual effects industry and what will the impact be in the years to come?

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