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VFX industry controversy.

Last updated on March 1, 2013

vfxI don’t feel too qualified to discuss this, but I want to open the door to anyone who wants to.  I’m going to try my best to formulate some thoughts on the subject, but until I feel like I can get into the subject from an educated standpoint, I just don’t feel like I should weigh in.  But I don’t want anyone thinking that we’re ignoring what’s going on in the VFX industry.  Far from it.  This feels like an important time, and we need to acknowledge it, and find a way to make something better.

We want to hear from you.


  1. paul paul February 26, 2013

    no shortage of information on the web…this is the ground swell we need in this industry. As a canadian who spent a great deal of time in California, we equally need to wake up too…

    this one is not going to go away.

  2. some dude some dude February 26, 2013

    VFX has loads of industry issues from people being overworked, underpaid, and studios just not being that stable (but really when has animation ever been a stable job), but canadian tax credits the problem? What do other canadians think of americans saying we’re the problem? Animation is worldwide and when LA VFX workers protest with signs against our tax credits, and loads of articles online saying that’s part of the problem, I don’t think canadian animators who are supporting this cause by changing a facebook profile to green realize what some of these US workers want. My impression is that some really don’t want work coming to canada, which as a canadian worries me. Is work coming to canada a problem for the VFX industry or is this predominantly an american issue as R&H goes bankrupt? I don’t know, just asking… It’s a complex issue, with many factors, not just tax credits, but seeing all those signs made me wonder if this will help the VFX community in Canada or is this an American call to action to try and stop work from coming to Canada…

    “VFX studios have also had to contend with the problem of foreign film subsidies. Some governments will offer to subsidize some of the cost of making a film, on the condition that studios move their film production to that government’s region. VFX houses have moved their production to British Columbia, New Zealand, and all over the world to chase these subsidies, taking a gamble on steady work in those regions and moving VFX jobs out of Los Angeles.”

  3. emily emily February 27, 2013

    It seems like the VFXSolidarity group on FB is the headquarters of the movement, so keep an eye on that for all the updates! I’ve watched that group grow from 10,000 members pre-Oscars to 55,020 post-Oscars (as I write this). It’s quite amazing!

    It looks like right now we are waiting for a ‘meeting of heads’ to happen to start a discussion on what we can do as an international community to fix this industry that needs dire help.

    Unfortunately some people seem to think it’s an ‘Us vs everyone else’ issue, so I have seen a petition to the White House to stop the export of ‘American jobs’, and VES’s ‘Call To Action’ (which I found really offensive, disappointing, and quite xenophobic):

    “But in today’s global economy, where many hundreds of localities around the world are feverishly devising new ways to make California’s piece of the entertainment pie smaller..”!/photo.php?fbid=479826255405964&set=a.178003795588213.60115.176890359032890&type=1&theater

    I look forward to see how this all unfolds. I really hope that good changes are coming our way!

  4. paul paul February 27, 2013

    the problem is and always has been the Producer. The buck stops with them, they can farm it out
    or do it locally and they never listen. I have had more than my fair share of bad experience with LA. producers going to the lowest bidder, resulting in most of the work being redone anyway. no savings.

    american need to get educated.

  5. Painter Painter March 5, 2013

    I am a visual artist with a BfA , I teach at a well known film school. I am and have been a key scenic or charge scenic or paint coordinator for the last 13 years. I am constantly being marginalized by an industry that does not consider my craft as part of the creative process. . I can not get an interview, since PDs tend to hire a construction key – I have to hope that I have a construction head that gets a job and takes me with. This is a big fat ol boys club. My loyalty and expertise means nothing. I’m not saying that I can’t get a job, but being marginalized is never a happy feeling. I still love my work and take great pride in it. I can never get an award, but what would a film be without good practical art? Why is my art any less of an art than yours or the decorators or the prod’n designers? We all bring our art to the making of films. As far as I can see, the rates and conditions are dropping all across the board. I make less money than I made 15 years ago , when I was a mere scenic artist. I don’t always get a screen credit ( especially WB projects) there are props at the science fiction museum that I painted which I never got credit for, and Designers and costume designers who got me to design surfaces for sets that they won awards for, another credit I cannot claim.
    Marginalization is not unique to visual effects. It’s just that in an industry of artists on top of artists ( the talent, the director, the spfx, the designer, the decorator, ) we artists trained, skilled and experienced are very much overlooked. Pre production and post production. So good for you guys for making a stand, but understand that your cause gets to be in the forefront, because you can be recognized for your craft, that has given you the venue for your protest – but your protest, like everything else in our industry , and what you accuse Ang Lee of, is less than visionary. Just a few years ago, by the way, VFX could not do their job without help from the scenic artist…how soon we forget.

    • Rebecca David Rebecca David March 5, 2013

      I don’t think I understand the point you are trying to make here. You seem like you are trying to detract from what the VFX community is trying to accomplish in some way.
      And their cause gets to be the forefront, but it is incredibly difficult to cause change! Especially when this has been going on for so long, and the higher ups are all worried about the bottom line.
      If you’re concerned about your credit and your ability to be employed properly then you should be able to immediately empathize with this problem and should support your peers (since you work in film too) in their efforts.

      I think my actual point here, is that as valid as your complaints are, you don’t walk into a discussion that is about a group of troubled/needy people and go “woah woah woah, but what about ME.” Start your own separate discussion, instead of trying to take the wind out of their sails.

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