President Barack Obama at DreamWorks

President Barack Obama speaks on the economy at DreamWorks Animation in Glendale on Tuesday. (Jewel Samad / AFP/Getty Images / November 26, 2013)

Obama’s visit and upbeat message about the entertainment industry, however, comes at a time of widespread anxiety among the middle-class crew members in Los Angeles who work behind the scenes on film and TV sets.

Many have seen their job opportunities and incomes dwindle as more work has migrated to other states and countries such as Canada and the U.K. that offer film productions stronger incentives and tax breaks than are available in California.

Some visual effects workers held a rally outside the studio to call attention to the plight of California's visual effects industry, which has been hard-hit by the outsourcing of jobs and layoffs.

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DreamWorks, which employs 2,200 people, laid off about 350 employees earlier this year following a decision to shelve production of the movie "Me and My Shadow," but that layoff was not tied to outsourcing.

“This is not an attack on DreamWorks Animation or Obama, but we do not have jobs coming to us. They are all going to other countries,’’ said Tom Capizzi, a longtime visual effects employee of Rhythm & Hues who lost his job in February. “We need to take away these subsidies. It’s having a huge impact on the workers of Los Angeles.”

Obama visited the West to raise money for Democratic House and Senate candidates. His itinerary included two fundraisers Monday night to benefit Democrats running for Congress and the Senate.

On Monday he attended a reception at the Beverly Hills home of Earvin “Magic” Johnson, along with Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.). Israeli American billionaire Haim Saban, who is chairman of Spanish-language channel Univision Communications Inc., also hosted a dinner for the president.

On Tuesday morning, the president also attended a Democratic fundraiser at the Hancock Park home of Marta Kauffman, creator of the television show “Friends.”


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