Variety’s MPC Puff Piece Reveals VFX Industry Woes; Few Solutions

November 6, 2014


Technicolor, owner of London VFX house MPC, is celebrating it’s 100th anniversary. Variety has come out with a series of puff pieces to showcase the company and one piece was on how MPC values it’s artists:

Moving Picture Co. Finds Valuing Artists is the Best Effect

Given the reaction in the comments section, it shouldn’t be a surprise that I snickered a bit reading the article. While I have never worked at MPC, many people have constantly expressed to me that it is one of the worst VFX companies to work for amongst the top tier VFX companies. I occasionally get an email from someone showing me an MPC contract that violates local labor laws by not paying overtime or I hear a horror story of someone who was wrongfully blacklisted or fired for really stupid reasons.

In my view MPC is sort of the Walmart of the VFX industry: It’s a powerful company that treats it’s workers just poorly enough to where they can get the most amount of work out of them. They’re pretty good at being really bad and I have to admit I’m regretfully impressed at the amount of work they can do at good quality while treating their workers so poorly.

So I read the comments on the thread about the bad conditions and can’t help but ask at this point. What do you want to do about it?

Read the rest of this entry »

Where Are The Women In VFX?

October 22, 2014


Marvel’s Vice President of Post Production Victoria Alonso was a speaker at this week’s VES Summit where she asked “where are the girls?” and called for more women to work in VFX.

In Variety’s report, she spoke about how lowering the gender gap would help bring balance to the industry. She also pointed out obstacles that make it more difficult for women to make it in VFX:

  • Subsidy-induced cycles of global displacement.
  • Long 16 hour work days.
  • Maternity leave dampens the ability to get back to work.

While I agree with her on the problems that cause a gender gap, I can’t help but ask the same question Scott Ross asked:

Why would anyone want to encourage anybody, woman or man, to join the tumultuous VFX industry as it currently is?

Read the rest of this entry »

VFX Artist Michael Scott Seriously Injured

October 1, 2014

VFX Artist Michael Scott has been very vocal about VFX issues on twitter. Michael was seriously injured after he was hit by a car:

During a break from work, Michael Scott was walking to get dinner when a car jumped the curb and pinned him to a concrete wall. He has a lot of internal damage as well as broken bones and a fractured skull. His color is good though, and his pulse ox has climbed. He will remain on paralytics until he can fully stabilize then further address the internal damage. He is currently at Cedars Sinai in critical condition, after undergoing emergency surgery last night.

He needs our help.

Anyone that can, please make a donation for his medical care and rehab.

Thank you all for your support.

There has been a donation page setup and I strongly encourage you to donate. Michael’s donation to our effort 2 years ago was the final donation needed to put us over the top and get our feasibility study going.

Soldier On.

Deluxe Entertainment “Currently Vulnerable To Default”

September 10, 2014

If you work at Stereo D, Method Studios, Encore Hollywood, or Iloura (list updated per comments below) you may have been aware about some recent news concerning parent company Deluxe Entertainment’s credit rating being downgraded by Standard & Poors:

The $605 million of loans to Deluxe Entertainment Services Group Inc., which Perelman controls through his MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc., were quoted at 88 cents on the dollar Aug. 26, according to Markit. That compared with an average of about 98.3 cents for the broader market. Last week, Standard & Poor’s took the rare step of cutting Deluxe’s credit rating three steps, to a level that implies the production company is “currently vulnerable” to default.

Read the rest of this entry »

LA Siggraph Panel: State Of The VFX Industry

September 3, 2014


This sunday I’ll be at the VFX BBQ by the VFX Progress Group. Later in the week on Tuesday I’ll be at OTIS college to attend a LA Siggraph panel on the state of the VFX Industry:

When: Tuesday September 9th 2014 7:30-10pm
Location: Otis College of Art and Design: Ahmanson Hall
Address: 9045 Lincoln Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90045


6:45-7:30 Social Hour
6:45-7:00 Members only
7:00-7:30 Members and guests
7:30-7:40 Introductions
7:40-9:30 Panel
9:30-10:00 Questions and Answers


All will be admitted free of charge. Non-members of LA ACM SIGGRAPH are admitted for free. New LA ACM SIGGRAPH members who sign up on-site can pay the $40 annual membership fee. The chapter accepts checks, cash, or credit cards (Mastercard or Visa only) for all dues or fees.

Soldier On.

As CA Film Subsidy Passes, MPAA Prepares To Raise Stakes

September 2, 2014


If you read through the posts on this blog about film subsidies one trend should be abundantly clear:

Hollywood studios will take one government’s offer and game it against others in the hopes of increasing and maximizing the total amount of free taxpayer money available. So no sooner than a few days after film and VFX workers celebrated the passage of CA film subsidy bill AB1839, the MPAA will be looking to meet with other states to increase the stakes:

Well, that’s certainly looks like a kick in the teeth to the home of Hollywood. Just days after the state Senate voted overwhelming to increase and expand California’s $100 million Film and TV Tax Credit Program to $330 million for the next five years, the MPAA has announced it is hosting a shindig in the nation’s capitol to help other states compete.

You’d think the state of Louisiana which offers a 30% film subsidy would be on solid ground but even they lose out as studios will take their offer and game them against international governments agreeing to give even more free money. Can you see how this is a race to the bottom? In order to win you have to be willing to be the biggest loser and even then, it’s expected that you keep raising the stakes. It’s also not cheap as the LA Times questions the cost effectiveness of these programs.

Read the rest of this entry »


August 27, 2014

The VFX Progress Group will be having a BBQ that anyone is invited to attend. I will be there to answer any questions and help lobby for support of ADAPT’s legal effort:

Veterans Memorial Park
4117 Overland Ave
Culver City, CA 90230
Sunday, September 7, 2014
from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM (PDT)
Register here to attend

There is also a list of items that we should all chip in to bring:
To have access to the list you’ll need to email

We had a BBQ before the March in March and it was quite fun just to catch up with people face to face. Hope to see you there.

Soldier On.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,156 other followers