VFX Oscars Demonstration: Hollywood & Vine – 1pm – 4:30pm

PIWithWithout

A demonstration to raise awareness for Visual Effects Professionals has been scheduled.

A Facebook event page has confirmed so far: 500 will attend along with 291 maybes.

Media outlets will be attending: Fox 11, CBS 2, Variety.

@DarbyKCRW Would like people at the #vfxprotest to talk about who they are and why they are there. Record it and send it to thebusiness@kcrw.org for the show.

Big thanks to everyone getting involved and putting this together. One person who has stood out in their efforts is Dave Rand who not only paid for a plane to circle the Oscars but was also able to get a ton of major media coverage for the event:

There is no requirement to bring anything but there have been some excellent and funny ideas for protest signs and imagery you can print out if you are interested (If you have others email me and I’ll post them.):

Be safe, be courteous, be concise and on point, and best of all, have fun.

Soldier On.

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93 Responses to VFX Oscars Demonstration: Hollywood & Vine – 1pm – 4:30pm

  1. Oscars says:

    http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118065617/

    Kind of old, but noticed its popping back up on the inter webs. Gives some good positive hype to VFX.

  2. [...] Effects Professionals has been scheduled for this coming Sunday. For full details on the protest, visit the VFX Soldier blog, and follow the #vfxprotest hashtag on [...]

  3. Andreas jablonka says:

    How are we splitting the group between the 2 locations?

  4. Daniel H says:

    I’ll be there!

  5. vfxmafia says:

    “Argo F*ck yourself Hollywood!!!” Stop Studio Subsidies!

  6. Jason says:

    Contact every artist you have in Linkedin..
    Is time to make this problem public. we are not doing this for our selfs, we are also doing this for the studios we all work for!!!

    I am hoping to see 5000 artist on Hollywood this Sunday.

  7. Curious says:

    This campaign seems a bit confused. On the one hand we have VFX Soldier and Dave Rand teaming up with VFXunited to organise this with a strong anti-subsidy, anti-foreigner, pro-Cali message, but the banner points everyone to IATSE at VFXunion.com where there’s no mention of the subsidy issue at all. In point of fact, from the bit of googling I just did IATSE seem, if anything, to be *pro* subsidies as this recent bit of news about local LA elections would suggest.

    http://www.johnchoi2013.com/iatse_endo

    Seems a bit like saying “vote for these guys, they’ll go to war for us!” but when you call them up they say “whatever gave you that idea? We’re friends with everyone!”

    Isn’t there a danger that someone in the media is going to realise that the two ends of the message don’t join up?

    • Dave Rand says:

      There is absolutely noting we can do at this point that can be subtractive…we are at the bottom. Any glimmer of solidarity can only be additive.

      To be clear, many believe subsidies have created a massive problem both here and abroad. The IA represents some of these countries citizens and those imembers interests. Many see the subsidies as a problem for all countries (and states), some still do not, that’s fine. It is not up to the union to decide. It’s up to the WTO and that is where we are taking that argument. Each nation signed that agreement, and although as imperfect as any political entity, it’s certainly done some great things, and is certainly a great idea, and a great tool.

      When asked what is wrong, we can point out both issues. A busted business model, and subsidies. As both issues are crushing our industry with the worst of it currently being in Los Angeles, however, the occurrences of bankruptcies and unpaid artists has been an international problem.

      Meanwhile there is plenty a union can do for us while international trade laws are being sorted out and while some of us are pointing out both sides to that argument. The IA has to take it’s neutral position there but we don’t have to have the IA do everything for us.

      We can certainly get the option of not paying artists taken off the negotiating table as an option when things get sketchy. We certainly can take advantage of the leverage at hand with the IA to gain far better health care while working and in between jobs and a pension both of which are funding by a residual payment from the work we do for the studios. We certainly can obtain all the benefits and respect that representation can bring and be united….vfxunited, and we can do that across many nations.

      I do not believe there is any real animosity between artists in different countries. We’ve been beaten up on an equal opportunity basis. I’ve helped Canadians get paid, and I’d like to help them thrive.

      The message is against the studios but also for the studios. It’s against practices that are equivalent to a man who beats his prize race horse to death and stopping that is a good thing.

      The WTO was formed so that justice could have some leverage. The I.A.T.S.E was formed to do the same thing.

      We can let each do their job and live in a world that is far better than were we are at now.

      • Dave Rand says:

        The American studios are using subsidies to keep the fences up not down. They are using them to keep us all in a weakened state as we chase each other around the globe….. I believe that, but I’m willing to let those that govern our agreements sort that out or make it better for all parties.

    • VFX Soldier says:

      Yeah I’ll admit given the last minute nature of this some of the messaging is off, in fact when I saw the foreigner comment I immediately objected.

      To me this is a demonstration to raise awareness of the plight of VFX companies and professionals.

      • Dave Rand says:

        Yes that is the new “F” word and we need to be more careful. Foreigner is still an awesome rock band though. I don’t care what anyone says.

    • Dave Rand says:

      Also grabbing this tiger by the tail and using Life Of Pi to gain some leverage we also have to be careful not to tarnish the film itself in any way, or Rhythm & Hues in my onion as they are just victims like us. PIece of Pi is a great catch phrase and it’s out there but the side car has to be that we have no beef with the film or Ang Lee. It is truly a master piece.

      • another_rh_dude says:

        Yes! I’ve seen a few images supporting the protest with the R&H logo on it and I find them a little disturbing. R&H has nothing to do with what is happening and the last thing they need right now is word getting around that they are officially igniting these protests.
        They are victims just as much as we are and I think we shouldn’t use their rep/image to further our goals. I may be slightly biased though.

      • Cold Water says:

        Sorry, but hundreds of now laid off R&H employees are unpaid and may forever be, so yes R&H IS an integral part of this story.

      • Just Curious says:

        I have no beef with Mr. Lee (since I don’t know him nor have ever worked for him) but this is of interest: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/life-pi-director-ang-lee-422270

        In it, he says that he wishes VFX was cheaper… twice. He blames it on R&D. Perhaps that was true at R&H but everywhere that I’ve worked, the high costs were blamed on artist salaries. These salaries racked up due to constant whimsical daily changes by Directors and Supervisors who either were too frightened to make a decision or didn’t know what they wanted until they saw it. And more recently, having 2 or more supervisors comment on it for weeks before it ever even makes it in front of the Director who sometimes had a different vision alltogether! There was also a lot of sitting around with nothing but busy work to do early in a show because the studios were holding back shots that we could have been working on. Apparently, I was told, they do this often to maintain their leverage (ie. we can still pull ths show anytime we want). Which.. WB just did to R&H. So I’m sorry, but I’m not buying R&D as being the problem here.

  8. Ray says:

    Is there a way for artists who cannot be there to make an impact too? Id love to participate but reality does not permit.

    Also what did you mean this could backfire against us Soldier?

    • Dave Rand says:

      This is a great point Thanks.. If you feel right with it you could send a letter or even better a short video of you experience, strength, and hope to the IA. I know Vanessa was going to assemble video and written testimonials for the website. You could send them to Vanessa Holtgrewe unless the IA has a better idea or address to send.

    • VFX Soldier says:

      Well for example the foreigner comment that I urged be removed. One misquote on television and people will get turned off.

      • Dave Rand says:

        This is a great point.. I’ve had a few artists ask me what to say. I don’t want to can their thoughts but it may be wise to put up a mission statement. Could you do that Soldier? You’d be best at I think.

      • VFX Soldier says:

        I think a clear and concise message works:

        This gathering is mainly to bring awareness to the plight of visual effects professionals and the companies they work for.

        We provide VFX for huge hollywood blockbusters but unfortunately the health of the industry is declining and at risk.

        Many of us are here to support the facilities we work for. We want to see an end to price distortion in the bidding process.

        Many of us are here to support the professionals we work with. We want to see better labor practices.

        I think that is good and if you are asked what those issues are I’m sure you know the follow up details.

  9. Why is everyone concentrating on the Union? Shouldn’t the VFX community be looking at the business model? Royalties and Points would make it more profitable… Writers, Directors and actors benefit so why shouldn’t we?

    • Dave Rand says:

      We can’t look at the business model without any leverage. The problem is not really a business problem as much as it is a leverage problem. Steve Huelett often states that and I agree.

      Along with almost a 100 years of leverage, one of the great things about the IA is that there is already a royalty in place and it helps fund your health care, pension, and representation. That is why when I left IMD (union shop) i was handed almost 30k in bonus plus a 6k pension as I walked out the door instead of a swift kick in the ass preceded by bounced or non-existant pay checks.

      You are certainly correct though …WE certainly need to take a look at the bidding process…I don’t think you can even call that travesty a business model personally it’s more like a laughing stock.

      I truly believe we can demonstrate a way of creating great storytelling without it that will benefit both us and the studios.
      They have short sheeted their own bed. I believe there are many in their ranks that are seeing this now.

    • That right says:

      I agree, I think that there have been great points on why or what are we trying to do. There is a lot and like stated we need to start somewhere. I haven’t been doing this that long but everywhere I go I meet more “its all about me” or as stated here before “I got mine” attitudes between artist. Which has given away any leverage(power) we have. Getting together as many VFX-ers as we can ( Unionizing even at the purest form of definition) will only show that we mean business. The solidarity will make people listen, already we have gotten more attention then ever, even nation attention. We really do something that works in a black box, it’s time to remove our problems from that.

  10. [...] VFX Soldier – VFX Oscars Demonstration: Hollywood & Vine – 1pm-4:30pm [...]

  11. Randy Mil says:

    This a bit strange. I obviously sympathize with the R&H employees, but protesting the Oscars? Why don’t the R&H employees protest the R&H management team?

    This is like being fired from your job, and instead of telling off your boss, going and yelling at the customers. I’m not sure I buy the logic.

    • Rob says:

      The thing is that in this field, customers coerce bosses to continually lower their rates. I’m sure you’ve read that famous quote about that producer and putting VFX studios out of business. And I have heard about few other instances in which clients behave like such irrational divas as in feature film.

      That said, of course management SHOULD stand up to them. I wish people would realize that the relationship between clients and VFX studios is incredibly similar to the one between VFX studios and their employees. Everybody trying desperately to get jobs and agreeing to questionable conditions to get them. Except that of course generally, the bosses at various companies profit a lot more from such deals than average employees and once a company goes under, you can bet that the leading figures have more than enough cash set aside. Which is probably also not the case with average employees.

      So, it’s quite ambivalent. On the one hand, one should understand what the clients force studios to do and should help them push back against that. On the other, one should also put pressure on the studios, so that they in turn can’t afford to be as spineless as they apparently are when it comes to negotiations with clients.

      In the end, I’m afraid the customer simply IS the bad guy. Because he is the one who tries to get better and better deals, at the cost of the people who work on delivering the goods. (One may also do good to remember that while one goes shopping – but that’s just a personal note off topic)

    • G says:

      No one is protesting the Oscars per se; it’s just a tool to attempt some public spotlight given the opportune timing. R & H closes, Oscars happen within a month – while this closure is still fresh in the minds of the VFX community (it’s rare we’re motivated to the point of action).

  12. vfxguy says:

    I have to admit, I’m impressed.

  13. VFXFlack says:

    Of the 250+ people who were laid off at R&H, many were artists. But a *lot* of my friends and fellow co-workers there were the staff: Administration, Technology, Production Management, Facilities, PR – people who had been there for years, in some cases, 10, 15, 20 years. We were the backbone of the company, the *Overhead.* The day-to-day folks who saw digital artists come and go.

    We helped build and sustain that company into the global force it became over time. We accumulated weeks of PTO, but often couldn’t use the bulk of it because the company understaffed our positions; management was forced by industry market forces to keep overhead low. We endured salaries well below our industry counterparts, but we stayed for the supportive creative culture, the great health care plan, and the promise of someday using that PTO, or at least cashing it out. And we stayed because of the pride of having played a part in growing that company.

    Then one day we were suddenly, unceremoniously expelled out the backend of the visual effects industry during the near death throes of our company by forces greater than us. I did receive a phone call and a sincere thank you. I know my contributions were appreciated. That’s better than some industries. Still, my fellow *overhead* and I are left holding an empty bag.

    So, yes, organize, gain strength, digital artists. Just don’t forget about us, “the overhead.” We are artists as well: musicians, filmmakers, screenwriters, sculptors, painters, photographers – people with dreams and a life. We were part of what made that company a great place for artists.

    Would we, the overhead, have been helped by a VFX union? Who’s to say? Indirectly, perhaps. In an ideal world, a more stable industry, with an even playing field would benefit us all.

    For myself, there’s more to life than VFX. The Oscar ceremony tomorrow night will be the demarcation line for me. When I truly begin my life after VFX.

    • vfxguy says:

      Just asking out of curiosity: how did you accumulate that PTO? As ‘overhead’ you weren’t working weekends, or were you?

      • deanareeno says:

        @vfxguy, both PM and IT staff definitely work extended hours & weekends when it’s required, at least in my (non R&H) experience.

        e.g. If the render farm explodes at 3:30am on a Saturday when deliveries need to happen on the following Monday, who else is going to deal with it?

    • Dave Rand says:

      You are absolutely right and we need to clarify that. As soldier pointed out above this was a sort of spontaneous combustion and will evolve. I’ll ask Soldier to place this regrettably over looked fact up above and will change updated press release also. I will also contact the FB page owner to claryify…Thank you so much for this much needed reminder.

  14. angryVFXguy says:

    I believe that we need to unify but I also feel that the tax incentives are only part of the issue. Beside “forcing” VFX studios to extend themselves in other cities the culture of bidding and doing the work is broken.

    Lets say I have a contractor put an addition on my house. I get bids and pick the guy I want based off of a set of plans. Now you can have two choices, flat bid or cost plus. The flat bid the contractor will cut corners and do just what is in the contract to get the work done with some sort of profit. The cost plus model is doing quality work without having to cut corners so the client and the contractor are happy (client with product and contractor with some profit). Now in both scenarios lets say the contractor is 75% done with the work and I look at it and say I don’t like it even though its the agreed upon plan, and ask them to move a wall and a door. And I say the that I want him to do the work for free. He will laugh at me or either hand me a change order or not do the work. If I don’t pay the work doesn’t happen.

    Agreed upon scope and unlimited changes and the general subjective nature of our work is part of whats broken along with all these other issues we’re talking about. Among other stuff. This has to be the part message.

    I feel like were the “ants” and we need to stand up to the grass hoppers. What i don’t completely understand is that I know people are still working at R&H while basically not getting paid. (not slamming R&H, i’ve worked there and they have a long history of taking very good care of their artists). Out of loyalty..?? Loyalty doesn’t feed my kids or pay the mortgage. This is where art and business don’t mix because “we” the artists can make the machine stop. And the reality is that is the only thing that will FORCE a change… not crying about tax incentives. But making someone loos money. Yes its a start and we should get our act together, but … i digress.

    last comment with a pun intended. I feel like saying “It’s been a pleasure playing with you all.” We are playing our sweet music as the LA Film VFX sinks all around us.

    I’d rather try and change careers than chase lower wages around the world. I”m too old for that. But what else can i do? i don’t know…looks like in the near future I may find out.

    • Blacklight says:

      I don’t know what you do in VFX, but as long as you’re not too hyper-specialized, you’ll find that a lot of your skills can be adapted to other CG work such as product design, web design, scientific visualization, etc. etc. etc.

    • Dave Rand says:

      the busting bidding model is definitely being included in our mission statement and has been cited in the press also. It’s my greatest grievance as it cross all international lines and destroys lives everywhere…even caps the studios bottom line..they just need their eyes opened up to it.

      I’ve run show on a cost plus basis (the other construction model and the one we should be using and the one the set uses) These shows always cam in way under an artificially lowered incentive bid from international or domestic sources.

      Artists in the same breathing space as the director, run like the set, meter running, decisions made in real time…only way to fly.

    • anon says:

      FYI, it has taken some time to work its way through negotiations and court proceedings, but people still working at R&H *are* getting paid again.

  15. Dusty Kelly says:

    Dave Rand is right, you need leverage, and by engaging in this collective action it is a start to mobilizing towards attaining it. You work hard at creating amazing entertainment for us all to enjoy. Your brothers and sisters in the IATSE also work hard with you on the same productions. We have fair wages, overtime, retirement and health benefits, turnaround and the strength of over 100,000 members across the continent. This week that strength was called upon when Swamp People editors got a union contract with benefits. This past month the stagehands at The Philadelphia Theatre got a union contract. Both of these wins for the workers were because they took action by signing a representation card they gained the strength and support of IATSE! By signing a card you too can gain the strength and solidarity of thousands of members of the IATSE. UK artists are signing up with BECTU. Collectively you can succeed, alone nothing will change. Together we are stronger! Artists united will never be divided! I am with you in spirit on Sunday.

  16. Charlie, Vancouver says:

    California spends at least $4.17 billion per year on incentive programs, according to the most recent data available. That is roughly:

    • Dave Rand says:

      $2.29 billion California
      Research and Development Tax Credit$1.44 billion in Corporate income and personal income tax breaks
      $386 million in Sales tax refund, exemptions or other sales tax discounts

      What i don’t see is anything that moves a Canadian industry to California in an artificial bidding market. This practice by your government only helps the American Studios keep you in your place, one of weakness, and sustainability…it’s just one of the tools that got them what they have today. Abiding by it, feeding into it…only makes it worse.

  17. GetPerspective says:

    somebody please wear a bluescreen suit, under a tiger suit, but don’t wear the tiger head to create an incomplete tiger. Perhaps holding some sort of save vfx sign?

  18. Gene Kozicki says:

    So, I have a question.

    Are you going to be there VFX Soldier? Will you finally reveal your mild-mannered secret identity? Or will we be left guessing which of those assembled is him/her? Is there an over/under on who VFX Soldier really is?

    Of course, you could always pull a ‘Spartacus’ and when asked who amongst you is VFX Soldier, one by one you ALL stand and say “I am VFX Soldier…..”

    GK

  19. nonusvfxworker says:

    please don’t say this is a protest for all vfx artists world-wide as i have read. it’s not. it’s very specific to US-based vfx artists.

    • Rally everyone says:

      Sounds like there will be a rally in Vancouver at the same time. It takes the international artist to make this international. But I do believe it should benefit everyone.

    • VFX Outside of Los Angeles says:

      I don’t think it it (specific to US based vfx professionals). This protest will hopefully raise awareness of the plight of the vfx industry where the vfx companies are being constantly asked to do more for less, with directors and producers who are allowed to run amok asking for change after change after unpaid change.

    • The Dark Knight says:

      Where have you read this? The whole point is to show some solidarity in the entire vfx community.

    • Ivan DeWolf says:

      I will be attending the event in Vancouver. I am an american in Vancouver, but I moved here before the tax subsidies got the industry moving here; I came because I despise living in LA, and wanted to live where I chose. I chose Vancouver. I ran my own VFX facility for over a decade in LA, and I can clearly state that the unfair financial situation that R&H was in last week, was present in the industry for decades. I will attend this event for solidarity. The situation is unfair and is unknown to the general public; we need to be seen as a single unified group at this moment. and we are all in this together.

  20. Paul says:

    Isn’t John Hughes the one who should be protesting?! I guess karma is teaching him a lesson or two especially tomorrow night. Shoulda stop bending over to the studios at one point in his life I guess…as for the employees I’m sure their monthly rents don’t even begin to compare with his mortgage or personal assets.

    • Gene Kozicki says:

      I suspect you don’t really know much about the business side of things, karma, OR John Hughes, Paul.

      John has publicly admitted some of the the mistakes that were made on his side of the fence. But if he “shoulda (stopped) bending over to the studios at one point”, I can provide you a list of other facility owners/managers that should be included in your rhetoric as well.

      As for Karma, well, since I am one of the 200+ that lost their job a couple of weeks ago, and I am still willing to post this (and use my real name) – I think that speaks for the good will that John has earned over the years.

      GK

  21. Rally everyone says:

    Checked the link, Great protest signs on twitter shouldn’t they all be @oscars also or #oscars? Sorry I don’t tweet lol. Might as well start a tweeting protest now.

  22. Sari Gennis says:

    First of all, thank you Dave for all that you are doing! The plane idea is great. And everyone else… VFX Soldier for everything, Neha for the Facebook organizing… and Scott for always being the voice of reason…
    I’ve been quiet (at least publicly) lately. After the article in the LA Times a year ago talking about the crazy hours and difficulty getting health care for someone like me in VFx, things got better for a while but now they are pretty crazy again… 80+ hour weeks. But my company has been way more flexible in terms of my hours since I “came out” about my health issues, and there have been other general improvements. (As long as we meet quota…) So many people thanked me privately and anonymously for speaking out, but there were a lot of mean comments in the forums… you have to be more thick skinned than I am to be out there. So I’ve mainly been working behind the scenes, on the board of the VES, talking to people individually to raise awareness, etc.
    I’m going to try and get there tomorrow but we are in crunch mode so I may not be able to. I love the ideas about what to wear, etc., solidarity in diversity… Hollywood is all about image! I was thinking it would be great to have something like the ribbons people wear… like a square representing a pixel, made out of greenscreen green– I’ll bring some if I can come! (I’ve been handing them out at work so if you read this and you want one tonight, come by…) I was also going to make a sign with a blank greenscreen that says, “A Day Without Visual Effects”.
    I have to say I agree with almost everyone. I haven’t worked in Canada ( yet – have been to SF, Florida and Korea as an animator). But I have had to reinvent myself a number of times to keep up, especially after traditional animation tanked. It’s such a complex issue and it’s been going on for so long that we are messed up in a zillion different areas. But I also agree that doing something is better than doing nothing and we have to start somewhere. And bringing awareness to the issue tomorrow is a great start. Personally, I would love to see us artists (and the studios we work for) get residuals like actors and/or royalties like the games artists do… along with a union, that’s my dream.
    -Written while waiting for renders…

  23. G says:

    Does anyone have a tiger costume?

    • Gene Kozicki says:

      Please don’t. We are having enough problems getting respect without being viewed as a bunch of refugees from a Comic-Con. We are professionals. Act like it.

      GK

  24. Dave Rand says:

    Going (385) Maybe (277) and that’s just the folks able to post their face and name to this…. Could be a big party… Looking forward to being with old friends on the most famous street corner in the world to talk about our futures.

    I’m just back from recognizance mission to check out the vibe in Hollywood. The local LA finest told me that our that Hollywood and Vine will be open they will close Orange to Highland a few blocks West of us for the ceremony.

    I ran into Spiderman, Superman, Ironman, and Captain America –the street versions– they told me something that I found touching…

    “If it weren’t for you guys we would not have our jobs!”

    They said they’d come by…so tip your super heros well please.

    Channel 11 Fox told me they’d be by.. I’m sure there will be others. There’s a documentary being shot on VFX and they are coming by.

    I’m going to tip the pilot well so he does his very best, then head up to join you all.

  25. intvfxartist says:

    Dave, I haven’t read everything about what the plan is during this rally, but I hope your all going to do it wisely. People at this event will be representing VFX artists EVERYWHERE. Not just Californians I hope. Its an important and serious matter. our livelihoods are at stake. There’s many things we can all agree with that need to change or get better in our industry but the subsidies issue is one that’s complex. On the one hand it has opened up opportunities in cities for people where once there was little or no VFX work, or hard to get (I’m sure Vancouverites wouldn’t have the work they’ve had if it wasn’t for subsidies,as well as Australia to mention a few, I don’t think they would agree to have them removed totally). On the other the hubs that once were the VFX Meccas like California, London etc.. Are suffering. Also not a good thing. A level playing field would be ideal but hows that going to happen?

    Anyway I support an event to bring awareness and a change for better conditions, I hope everyone that plans to take part in it takes care to make the message wise and the event as professional as possible that’s all.

    Knowone wants to see fellow VFX artists suffering and facilities folding when we should all be flourishing together doing the things we love.

    “endangered species” would make sense after.. Piece of the PI something we “need” not “want” to survive..the connotation is different and plays more on survival and less on greed or want I think..

    Godspeed, we’ll all be watching and hope it makes a positive impact.

  26. [...] VFX Soldier – VFX Oscar Demonstration: Hollywood & Vine 1-4:30pm [...]

  27. anonymous says:

    Know what you’re going to say. Be consistent. Be smart. Print this and bring it with you.

    “We’re here today because of the way the Studios take advantage of their visual effects vendors.”

    “This is something that happens worldwide, and that affects visual effects artists in every country.”

    “The Studios earn billions from movies that could not be made without visual effects, while the people creating those visual effects receive nothing.”

    elaborate:
    “There are three basic problems:
    1) the Studios effectively force their vfx vendors to work below actual cost
    2) the Studios effectively force their vfx vendors to chase tax incentives and subsidies around the globe
    3) the Studios effectively prevent the artists working for their vfx vendors to unionize or get better representation within the overall production of the film”

    elaborate further
    “1) The Studios expect more work to be completed within ever shorter periods of time, and at lower cost. The Studios require fixed bids and don’t pay for changes or delays. The Studios break work up and spread it around to multiple vendors, forcing the vendors to bid against each other. All of this leads vfx vendors to do more work for less money.
    2) The Studios gain from tax incentives and subsidies, and therefore require that production be located where incentives are most generous. The vfx vendors do not gain from incentives. People often don’t realize that. It actually often costs the vfx vendors more to have to set up satellite facilities in other locations than it would have to simply complete the work at home. One could certainly argue that artists in those other locations gain from the increase in work locally – but one must remember that these gains are temporary, only lasting until another different location offers higher incentives.
    3) Ever notice how vfx artist credits come last, even on movies that were in large part cg driven or even full cg? VFX artists are the only major group of people working on films that are not unionized, can not count on benefits, fair pay, or work condition regulation. The Studios effectively threaten, on the basis of cost, to move work away from any vfx shop that unionizes. VFX artists are scared.”

    Remember, this protest is not about LA vs the world. It’s not about R&H or any other specific shop. Life of Pi is a perfect example of a Studio benefitting from a film that would have been impossible to make without vfx – but this protest is not about that specifically.

    It’s about the bigger picture. It’s about the future.

  28. Dave Rand says:

    Need someplace else to go Hollywood and Vine 1:30 – 4:30 pm

    • VFX Friend says:

      Please don’t let VES & Jeff Okun represent our community today. They care about membership dues and helping the studios bid facilities against each other, thus causing the artists to lose benefits like health insurance. Ask Jeff what company he works for. Hint its based in India.

  29. [...] la convocatoria publicada en Facebook y en VFX Soldier, Ross comentó que “esta reunión es principalmente para crear conciencia sobre la situación [...]

  30. Chris says:

    I know you not going to like this, but it needs to be said. But first, I do have much sympathy with your plight, you are at the coalface.

    What I can’t believe is that R&H did not know nor did not see this coming, and that’s before the bridging loan. There is no way that I could ever imagine a ceo & cfo would not know this was going to happen. Bankruptcy does not just creep up on you all of a sudden, it a bitter pill, that you taste all the way down. Neither does the decision to skip out on wages, suddenly appear from nowhere.

    It comes across as inexperience, desperation, and a willingness to let others suffer, while you try to scramble to save the business, which you should be literally callous enough to say, at that point, is beyond saving.

    So they, the vfx studio management, either by inexperience, or gullibility, or naivety, or desperation, or ineptitude (or a mix thereof) have to be culpable in this whole debacle, that has again left the actual workers on the street, the ones worst off.

    Ironically I see it not as the studio’s fault, nor with the artists, but with the vfx companies themselves.

    Basically put you can’t leverage a company that does not want to be, nor can be, leveraged.

    In someways I see the line of the infamous Gordon Gekko being apt:

    Bud Fox: Why do you need to wreck this company?
    Gordon Gekko: Because it’s WRECKABLE, all right? I took another look at it and I changed my mind!

    When your dealing with finance, bridging loans, banks, investors, insurances companies, et al, no-one, read that again, no-one, care’s what type of company you are, nor the art, — “It’s all about the dollars”.

    The only vfx house that is not wreckable, is the one that doesn’t allow itself to be. That’s not an artists, nor studio issue, it’s a vfx house management issue, that time and time again has shown itself to be lacking.

    Maybe the brutal truth is that companies need to fall, nay will continue to fall, if they can’t, nor don’t have the necessary skills to position and protect themselves – against being wreckable.

    When that happens, you the artist that’s continually dumped on, will be for the first time in a much better position, and maybe just maybe, you’ll be valued too.

    Okay, now you can scream at me. :)

  31. [...] artists are fed up and want a “Piece of the Pi.” They are protesting now — in conjunction with the Oscars  in Los Angeles. Their message: “VFX artists [...]

  32. Unicron says:

    Wish you guys the best out there! However if the vfx studios really want to make a statement, I think they should do this. Whomever wins the academy award for best vfx, they should NOT accept the award on national TV. They should either hand the award back to the presenter or sit it on the floor. Give a brief speech about why and give a shout out to the folks on Hollywood & Vine protesting. Then walk off the stage. Now I know the odds of this happening is slim and none. But imagine the press from that. It would get the attention of the media and maybe expose what’s going on to the general public.

    • Just Curious says:

      I disagree with this. They earned that little statue and they should have it. Throwing it back in the faces of the Academy would be seen as a disrespectful move and the message would be lost I think. The only reason I’m watching tonight is to see if they say something. I sure hope that they do but not claiming the prize that they’ve earned doesn’t serve any purpose.

      • Just Curious says:

        I stand corrected… After seeing that blatant disrespect to these guys, I wish they had put the statues on the floor and walked offstage. I truly feel sick right now.

  33. VFX_reckoning says:

    Ok, now since the protest is boiling down can we please keep the momentum rolling…maybe start planning something more useful, more invasive, that will hit the studios where it hurts? No offense, but the only way to get the attention of a giant is to cut off its fucking toe.

  34. intvfxartist says:

    This is interesting…
    R&H opening a studio in Taiwan.. Costing 200 million

    http://www.thewrap.com/movies/blog-post/matchmaker-matchmaker-ang-lee-introduces-rhythm-hues-taiwan-34113

  35. Broski VFX says:

    Time for a 1 day walkout, across the industry. Let all the companies know we are serious about this.

  36. tellor says:

    When a massive vfx strike with director’s studios, vfx sup, vfx artist to protect our future, our studios (now it’s pixomondo after r&h..), our colleagues ! We have to stop this situation like writer strike. Not against studios but with studios againt production company

  37. sandy says:

    Ths is the only time we all VFX artists n VFX industry can get highlighted.
    Iron is over heated lets mould it now before its too late.
    Need this news to be published in front page of newspapers.
    Lets unite n get recognized as one.
    cheers to VFX union !!!!

  38. Glad people are taking the Soldier more seriously now.

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  41. […] Awards, because for the first time, it looks like visual effects artists are finally going to take a stand and protest at the big event. For those that don’t know, the last few months have been depressing and […]

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