Good Luck Today VFX Soldiers!

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105 Responses to Good Luck Today VFX Soldiers!

  1. Matt Wallin says:

    Nice. Wish I could be there with all my colleagues today. I’ll be cheering from the East Coast. I wholeheartedly support today’s efforts and those going forward!

  2. Sari Gennis says:

    I have to work today – one of the lucky ones I guess – but I’m going to stop by for a little while. I’ll be the one with the “A day without visual effects” – (on a blank green screen) sign. Someone can have it when I leave. I’ll also be passing out little green greenscreen “pixels” to wear. Come say hi!

  3. luvs2spooge says:

    this speech by LT will also get them thinking about the world in and out of VFX.

  4. Perhaps the model should be changed. Visual Effects shops should ask for royalties or a piece of the gross profit for any film they work on. The employees should also unionize and of course the illegal subsidies other countries are giving to steal away the work should be stopped. I do believe unionized workers and some sort of trade union for the shops could work together as a powerful force.

    • NonLAartist says:

      – illegal subsidies? not sure how they’re illegal. the US can subsidise too you know. And if a production uses foreign investment, not sure how that adds up to it being “stolen” away, sorry.

    • Thad Beier says:

      You can always ask for that; during negotiation for award of work, everything is on the table. Traditionally, though, it just doesn’t make sense to turn away guaranteed cash for the promise of some share of the profit, or even the gross. Artists need to be paid, and to defer payment to a much later time requires the VFX studio to have a large amount of money — and that just hasn’t been the case.

      Arguably ILM and Sony Imageworks are funded that way, as they are owned by the studios making the films.

  5. Cherie says:

    I agree with Audri. Given all the screen space and time that VFX fills, and that it is even sometimes the film’s hero (R&H created Garfield for “Garfield”), it certainly makes sense that vfx shops would receive royalties or a percentage of gross profits.

    We’re coming to the protest, but we’re coming with 2 kids, so we’ll be late and won’t be able to stay longer than an hour.

  6. MrChina says:

    Well… I’m not sure about a company getting royalties, but the artist certainly should… A SAG puppeteer gets residuals for having his arm up a Muppet’s ass… So why is it the guy(guys) who created the “Performance” for Richard Parker get nothing??? You can bet Stan Winstons puppeteers got residuals for their performances with rubber Raptor heads etc on Jurassic Park… But the ILM animators who did the T-Rex??? NADA>. It’s not right.

    • Ymir says:

      How would that work for an artist whose task is non-performance? Animators get residuals, but sorry about you compositors that put the character into the scene?

  7. vfxanonyamous says:

    … as do games artists. Why should we not get a piece of the action when we create the fantastical creatures! Perhaps the model should change, we own the asset and get profits for its use. They own all the vfx plates created with it.

    • Clemg says:

      The model will not change, ever :) Vfxanonymous.
      Vfx facilities are only providing a service we do no own what we create just like the builders of a house and I don’t see how and why it would change.
      This is why most of the Vfx facilities are trying to enter in the production game in order to eventually get a piece of the pie just like feature animation or video games.

      To answer you Mr China , it’s not about what is fair or not. I don’t know if Stan Winston’s got residuals for their work on Jurassic Park but if they did well that’s probably because they created and own the design of those creatures.
      Don’t blame the studios for not playing “fair”. Vfx facilities sign contracts just like anybody. Why the facilities accept then ? because they need to get the next gig and they know if they don’t an other company will and they will quickly go out of business.
      Subsidies or not, the globalization itself is a race to the bottom and the vfx industry will be no exception.
      I think when Vfx will not be able to sell as many tickets as expected (Battleship, John Carter) Hollywood will move on, adapt and find something else to make money. (remember strike of the the script writers ? result ? nowdays it’s all about remake, best sellers adaptions, and big comic book franchise ..and.. lots of CG ! , it’s not about a good and original story anymore. This is only about risk management for the studios).

      • gameArtist24 says:

        I kind of agree unfortunately. The only viable solution is for artists/studios to avoid “works for hire” contracts. “Works for hire” basically means you are an asset manufacturer and menial laborer for the creativity of others. It is the creatives that get the royalties, not the laborers…

  8. Alex Chiles says:

    Go get em guys…. i’m with you all in spirit and feel horrible sitting on the sidelines. However it may be, i truly feel this is an event this will shake things up quite a bit.

  9. wb says:

    Good luck and please do not stop once the Oscar is over…
    Keep up the good fight!

  10. Dave Rand says:

    HUGE SUCCESS. More to come. What A Great Day!!

  11. andrei gheorghiu says:

    Life of Pi – winner and looser!

  12. sergeypolishchuk@gmail.com says:

    After what happened during the Life of Pie winning for VFX acceptance speech, I lost all respect for the process of “film” making. No blast the “Jaws” song during the time Rythm & Hues was being mentioned and thanked, is at the very least disrespectful. I’m speechless, shut off my TV right after that, don’t plan on watching the “Oscars” again. Actually very angry right now and starting to ramble. Something needs to be done about this, and I am glad i’m not the only one who think this way.
    If i find a link to this I’ll post it.

    • sergeypolishchuk@gmail.com says:

    • Dankfx says:

      This is sad and great at the same time. This shows how powerful we are, the oscars are mad and shut them down. We actually did something today it’s time to keep the rally going, maybe now we can get VFX studio support since this shows the disrespect.

      • sergeypolishchuk@gmail.com says:

        They actually removed the video. If someone can find it, and repost that would be great! I’m fevereshly looking for it now.

      • Dankfx says:

        See we keep winning!!! They are turning it into an even bigger issue, all press is good press.. Not having press is bad press.

    • Get Real Soldier says:

      Well, that will fix everything. Today was a union driven political clusterfuck, but it got media… so all is cool.

      In case the visual effects community has not gotten the current message of the day responding to today’s action…let’s make it clear…Argofuckyourself.

      Mission accomplished, folks.

      • Dankfx says:

        The union was there.. So what? They wherent rallying poeple and they where not asking people to fill anything out as far as I saw.. And it wasn’t a cluster fuck.. Was actually set up very well, even the police thanked us for following the rules and being professional..

      • Get Real Soldier says:

        You know, the previous comment was posted when Bill and team were played off the stage so quickly with the Jaws theme. That alone was, to me, a big response to the actions taken today.

        Those taking the action today should be even more bummed, because unless I missed something…R&H and visual effects were completely absent from Ang Lee’s best director acceptance speech. I hope this is not true, and had not the Oscars been so long and so boring…I would replay it to confirm what Mr. Lee said. But I do not recall much/if any praise for the visual effects.

        Some of you were watching…did I miss something???

        Honestly, I hope I did.

  13. Now I'm really angry. says:

    What about vfx workers boycotting specific producers, actors, directors who profit from movies like Life of Pi whilst the people who made it worth watching don’t get paid?

    A strong start might be if everyone decided to boycott projects starring Sam Jackson and Robert Downey Jr.

    I don’t know what the exact specifics might entail, but it might be interesting to see which side the bread is buttered if studios have a simple choice between an actor and a vfx house.

    I know the real villains here are the studios, but it might be worth considering an option of raising awareness amongst other parts of the industry. Lets see if RDJ and bif Sam still find it funny when they aren’t employed on tentpole movies.

    • Paul says:

      No the studios are not the real villains, they tried it worked. The real villains are the pants droppers.

      • Now I'm really angry. says:

        No argument from me with that. All it takes if 7 or 8 guys in charge of the major facilities to grow a pair of balls.

  14. vfxmafia says:

    WOW….WTF!!!!

    First Samuel Jackson skips over “the Magic of VFX speach”…..and Robert Downey Jr….calls him out on it…after a big flub on stage….
    then they rush into the nominations….

    Life of Pi wins….

    and they cut him off as he starts to talk about R&H….

    The Studios must burn for this!

  15. Paul says:

    Ah politics…you poor suckers are not getting in the way and crashing the fucking party tonight!

    Great…so nothing, next!

  16. VFX_reckoning says:

    This literally makes me violent…How can we get the VFX shops on board, because we need them for any meaningful action like a strike.

  17. Twain says:

    Now we know how they value us…let’s walk out. This is intolerable.

  18. vfxmafia says:

    Make the actors pay at comic.con!!!….what I take from it ….it seemed like Samuel Jackson “purposely” skipped over a chunk of the teleprompter….and Robert Downey tried to read it (at one point asked them to rewind the teleprompter) and then was cut off…..by Jackson…..it was clearly unscripted….

    Be curious what Robert Downey Jr wanted to read on the prompter?…my guess is he knows where his bread and butter is at….ironman and avengers made alot of money for him ….and the computer geeks made him look good…..a reporter needs to ask them what happened…..

    I love the fact the DP Claudio Miranda (who got screwed on benjamin buttons) ….gets an oscar for a F*cking greenscreen job…..did Claudio paint that Vanilla sunset sky? or SIM the ocean in the back! Or did he pull a f*cking meter reading on a CGI tiger? I love Claudio ……but really….did you really light all that CGI in the frigging backround?

    too many pigs at the trough….Academy and the studio execs make me sick……

  19. Vfxpissed says:

    Wow. Wtf. Fine make movies without us then see how you do

  20. kafoo says:

    Nice solomon-like solution on stage. He knew the time limits. He left it late enough (after his mother, father, grand[parents, dog, and oh, the artists) so that he would retain street cred but also be assured of being cut off.

  21. Blacklight says:

    DAMN. The way the music got cranked up the instant R+H was mentioned, that’s the definition of rubbing salt on an open wound. Repulsive behavior from a repulsive industry.

  22. Yong says:

    Ang Lee didn’t even mention word vfx…
    What a night….

  23. really says:

    Anybody have a cyberscan of Jackson? Show the world his tiny dick.

  24. Now I'm really angry. says:

    Ang Lee thanks his agent and lawyer. Not the people who made the movie worth watching. Fuck him.

  25. Paul says:

    Have the useful idiots woken up now?!

  26. The Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Hey Soldier, how can I send you an email or PM or such? Or, where can I repost that horrid clip of the oscars cutting the Pi crew off?

  27. puppet master says:

    Ang Lee is a puppet director. He has no power, his speech is made for him, his movies made by the studios. He is just the face, we are the hands and the puppet masters are pulling ALL the strings.

  28. vfxmafia says:

    Seriously….Ang “wanker” Lee taking credit for all the CGI…and then they give a jilted DP an oscar for a friggging greenscreen job…….

    and lets fess up all you R&H compositors…..how even was Claudio Miranda’s Lighting? How hard was it to pull a key on that plate….

    they need to shove the acadamey awards up there ass…..

  29. itechonology says:

    here Lot’s of stuff

  30. Time to Act says:

    http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118066500/

    At the bottom you can see what the VES thinks of us..

  31. Andreas Jablonka says:

    They seriously unleashed wildfire tonight..what dickheads..

  32. PVC says:

    Ang Lee talks about how import actors where to his accomplishment but then completely ignores the talent behind all the CG supporting characters! How can that man work for months and months with so many talented artists to bring his vision to life then completely dismiss the value their contribution when he publicly thanks everybody else who contributed? The man is an ungrateful ass.

  33. VFX_reckoning says:

    Of course, what else do you expect from the egomaniacal cash hog side of the biz? It’s nothing more then greed, egos and ass kissing.

  34. Andreas Jablonka says:

    https://vimeo.com/60423494 for vfx oscar 2013 speech

  35. Now I'm really angry says:

    Puppet master above is correct. Ang Lee will have been told by his employer not to mention R&H.

    This is good news. It means there is leverage to be had. They are scared.

  36. GuyInProduction says:

    So who’s quitting their job to protest? No one? Cool. See you all at work tomorrow.

  37. Vfx vet says:

    Guy in prod nailed it. See you tomorrow. Dennis murren once told me there are as many vfx artists in school right now ( studying and hoping for a job), as there are working now. Think about the pressure that applies to negotiation.

  38. bleh says:

    they’re not scared. scared of what? crappy management? Rhythm & Hues folded because of bad management. I saw it first hand. it was a basket case. had been for years. didn’t change with the times. Ask anyone who worked there. vfx is a business – vfx workers are hired to work software, that’s it. R&H could have said “no” to Ang Lee if they wanted to, but they didn’t

  39. Instead of quitting in protest ... says:

    Now is the time to sign rep cards to unionize.

  40. tellor says:

    Shame on you ang lee.. Any courage, any words for vfx artists, you must have a strike in your face

  41. Ang Lee isn't reading this blog ... says:

    But if we band together, we can get residuals toward health care and retirement. Time to get a piece of the Pi.

    • bleh says:

      for who? everyone who works in VFX world-wide? all nationalities? i work with europeans, canadians, new zealanders. what happens to them?

  42. Start in Los Angeles ... says:

    We need to start in Los Angeles, and then work outwards from there. Subsidies must stop. Even the playing field.

    • bleh says:

      except subsidies help a lot more people outside of LA than in it.

      • bleh says:

        …and subsidies in the art sector are nothing new.

      • Straw man arguments stink ... says:

        British Colombian straw man arguments stink. Nothing against Vancouver, but we need to start here in Los Angeles. vfxunion.com Residuals are real. We can have them applied to health care and retirement. Don’t be sidetracked by international union phoney arguments.

      • bleh says:

        how is looking out for other vfx artists being sidetracked???? don’t they do the same work you do??? or is the non-LA/USA vfx citizen a lesser citizen? Try using that argument on the people I work with who work just as many hours as you!

      • An even playing field is fair ... says:

        With all due respect to British Colombia, an even playing field is not unfair. We are all equal. Let us play fairly.

      • bleh says:

        hang on, but screw non-LA workers, right? screw the people who have built vfx communities outside of LA.

      • To my friend in Vancouver ... says:

        No. We believe that fairness is good for all. Distorted competition is not fair. Listen to the wisdom of the WTO:
        “The WTO is sometimes described as a “free trade” institution, but that is not entirely accurate. The system does allow tariffs and, in limited circumstances, other forms of protection. More accurately, it is a system of rules dedicated to open, fair and undistorted competition.”

        http://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/whatis_e/tif_e/fact2_e.htm

  43. qualityVSquantity says:

    F this… We all knew it would get to this point. Either you strike and you’re out of a job… or you can wait until you refuse to move to Cambodia for work. Either way we’re all going towards unemployment if we don’t stand up for ourselves now.

    True there are kids in school but who cares, they can’t compare to the professional quality it takes to get this shit done in the haphazard producing/directing that these fools impose on us LAST MINUTE ALL THE FUCKING TIME.

    I’m sick of giving up my dinner plans/weekends/holidays. For what? To be dissed by the Academy in the most childish way?!

    I’ve saved up for this. And for those of you that haven’t… you should start. And if you can’t, you’re not charging enough. These are bold statements but no one is going to respect us until we stand up for ourselves. It’s time to make a move.

    • Stand up for ourselves by standing together ... says:

      Striking will have more impact if we first unionize.

    • Groundhog Day says:

      About the “there are hundreds of students in VFX school waiting to take our place” argument, remember, there are hundreds of thousands of ACTING students who all want to become movie actors. The actors have a union.

  44. CG Joe says:

    A very important question to be asking is: will the lot of VFX studios and artists improve if subsidies are removed? If studios will not pay cost-plus prices for VFX now, why would they pay it when the subsidies are removed and they are making less money? They know exactly how much this stuff costs, and they know exactly how desperate studios are for the work, so unless you also build unity, leverage AND the courage to wield that leverage, removing subsidies will only be half the battle…

    • Removing subsidies is one piece of the puzzle ... says:

      Removing subsidies isn’t a silver bullet, but its an important component, and will even the playing field. VFX Union is another part. We are stronger together.

      • CG Joe says:

        Yeah I agree, totally. I worry that the subsidy issue has more potential to be divisive than unifying though… a TON of great, passionate and hardworking people in subsidized locations, it’s a tactical and strategic puzzle that I hope Solider, Rand and others have a plan for…

      • bleh says:

        spot on CG Joe. People have built lives in BC.

      • People have built lives in Los Angeles too ... says:

        My dear British Colombian friend, why do you insist on believing that we have malicious intent? You yourself are convinced that our efforts “won’t keep production in LA”. We only desire “open, fair and undistorted competition”, according to the principles of the WTO. And a piece of the Pi, in the form of residuals toward healthcare and retirement, that come through unionization. Why do you continue to attack our efforts to unionize and promote fair competition?

  45. bleh says:

    omg. you can’t just *remove* subsidies. other governments do what they like and respond to their own voters.

  46. bleh says:

    sure. give it a red hot go. but it won’t keep production in LA. the international money behind these productions will take care of that. They’ll still have a choice of places to go to get their effects done, just as now. And when they go somewhere else, it’ll still be considered “open, fair and undistorted competition”. just sayin’.

    • Then you have nothing to fear ... says:

      My friend, then you have nothing to fear. We do not mean you harm, as you have insinuated in your posts above. We only desire fair competition, and a piece of the Pi. Unionization will allow us to channel residuals toward health care and retirement.

  47. VisualEffects.United says:

    • wb says:

      very nice. Hope next time will be more people…
      could you please tell me who’s music is? the one you use in your clip?
      I really love it!!

      cheers

  48. Marcus says:

    Begging for more scraps seems like a dead end to me. Why don’t we just go around them and start our own studio?

    – Crowdfund the initial investment amongst ourselves for each project
    – Have a profit share for all the collaborators
    – Digitally distribute the projects via Netflix
    – Collect royalty checks

  49. kafoo says:

    VFX artists are now the 99%.

    The artists (not the industry) are going to have to fix all three parts with some powerful lobbies and unity –
    (1) the subsidies, in WTO, to prevent exodus of good talent (not cheap talent) which creates a fake competitive landscape
    (2) the supply – by unionizing and requiring union contracts
    (3) the underbilling – but reporting OT and comp-off abuses even in the big US shops, making sure the correct pricing is forcibly discovered by anyone wanting to do high end work

    Earlier arguments against these were that it would “destroy the LA industry”. Well where is it now ? Neither biggies nor indies like Asylum are surviving.

    Expecting anything short of this (voluntary self-improvement of competitive and pricing behavior by studios and shops) is naive and pointless.

    • mclovin media says:

      yeah, the more and more i read the arguements on here. this is just growing pains. The fact the vfx’rs are the 99% is a good point too and I’ve tried to relay that on here a few times. unfortunately kafoo it’s clear there’s a lot of valid short-term stress when top guys are being dumped onto the street.

      Hell, i think advertising should be a part of this discussion too. Many of the ad folks are generalists who’ve worked on features.

      Because if the feature vfx guys are out of work. Where the fuck do you think they will go next? Mining? Florist shops? No!!!! They will flood advertising!!

  50. Paul says:

    this post rox ! be carefull about trolls from fox and others vfxsoldier in france we have a lot of troll about europe. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z12Y5bPsZfI

  51. Rob says:

    There was a very nice interview with Scott Ross on Bloomberg:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/video/vfx-artists-need-more-respect-better-pay-ross-n08JeuXQRLiEL~mXVhuDkA.html

    Although I wish people would talk more about overtime than pay. Because even if people in some positions are underpaid, it’s generally still alright, at least in most western countries. What I personally find horrible is the incredible amount of overtime. I’d rather stay at roughly the same wage per hour but work 35-40 hours per week, and just maybe a couple more hours during crunch time. Not those insane hours that many studios currently demand.

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