A digital production company that helps the St. Lucie County School District with design software for digital media programs is closing up shop.
Digital Domain Media Group has filed for bankruptcy and is being sold to a private firm for $15-million.
That’s less money than the company received in incentives to come to Florida.
Digital Domain was given millions of dollars in state and local incentives to relocate to Port St. Lucie in 2009.
Now, Gov. Rick Scott has ordered a review of the process that led to the company being awarded the money.
Film director James Cameron (“Titanic”) founded the company. It has offices in half a dozen cities in the U.S. and overseas.
Digital Domain’s facility in Port St. Lucie – a new animation studio – is shutting down. 280 people are being laid off. Many of them were hired from nearby Indian River State College.
In addition to its digital degree programs, the college has agreements with area high schools to prepare students for work in animation and other digital media careers.
Janice Karst with the St. Lucie County School District said the company has “been a wonderful source of information about the future of digital design” for the schools. She said employees had been working with high school teachers to review the district’s design software.
“Their staff basically spent time with our teachers giving them tips on new innovations utilizing the technology on hand,” said Karst. “No software, hardware, nor money changed hands.”
School leaders don’t expect much of an impact, since many digital media programs were in place long before Digital Domain arrived.