What’s Next?

Hector asks:

What’s next?

Our law firm recommended that we form a trade organization to demonstrate domestic industry support for our effort. If we prove to the US International Trade Court that we have the support of the majority of the domestic VFX industry and the industry is being injured by international subsidies, a duty to offset and nullify their distortive effect will be instituted.

We have an interim group advising us and we are calling the group ADAPT: The Association of Digital Artists, Professionals, and Technicians. The hope is once we remove the artificial market created by these subsidies, VFX facilities will have to adapt to a level playing field. We also hope to use the CVD issue as the tip of spear to initiate negotiations with the studios for better treatment of the VFX industry.

So what’s next for me?

We’re getting all the necessary paperwork together to form ADAPT and getting a website together. A number of people have requested I do a reddit AMA which is in the works. Finally, in order to garner support of the domestic vfx industry to initiate the CVD petition, I’d like to start to initiate VFX professionals in the Bay Area and New York.

I would like to schedule time to fly out to the Bay Area and New York to meet with VFX professionals to answer questions about the CVD effort. So let me know your thoughts on what works best. All of this is voluntary on my part but I’m deeply motivated that this issue can change the industry.

Oh and we are also planning a March in March rally during the Oscars 3 months in advance.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1411561172415016

Soldier On.

About these ads

73 Responses to What’s Next?

  1. occupyvfx says:

    Soldier,

    How can folks living in Los Angeles participate in and get involved with ADAPT?

    • VFX Soldier says:

      Here’s what we are working on for LA: A March in March during Oscar Sunday to raise awareness and support for the CVD effort: https://www.facebook.com/events/1411561172415016

    • Andreas Jablonka says:

      I think Soldier is trying to broaden the memberbase to include the different areas of the US to show nation wide destructive influence of subsidies as we primarily have LA support right now.
      I could be wrong, just guessing. maybe i should not post this :)
      …too late…

      • VFX Soldier says:

        My goal is to show domestic support for this effort and that doesn’t just mean California. There is a good number of VFX pros in NY. Will I get the support of everyone? No. Will I be able to get the support of a majority? I think so and going to the Bay Area and NY will help me show the US International Trade Court that I have support.

  2. CGchick says:

    NYC artist here, I’d love for you to come visit so we can chat. A lot of folks forget that we exist out here on the east coast, but we are here.

    Any chance you can come in sometime in January after the holidays? I really want to make sure I’m not out of town when you’re here.

  3. Michael says:

    You’re doing a great (and unappreciated) job Hector. My one suggestion is the message needs to be crafted better to the public in more understandable terms. The forum comments in Hollywood Reporter were more attacking, than understanding. They see this plight as studios wanting to avoid overseas competition. Somehow the subsidy message, and how the govt that offer them also loos out, needs to be more clearer so you can gain their support.
    I tend to find a simple animation may convey the message more effectively..
    I’m not in your industry (I’m a game developer) but I’ve been watching and hearing the struggle now for a decade. I wish you the most success with the march.

  4. Easy says:

    Well if I had to bet, the agenda here is to snuff out the competition. The longer they hold onto the subsidies, the weaker their competition gets. So it’s really just the UK, Canada and others investing in destroying the VFX industry in the US as much as possible. The Mill NYC has been doing that for several years now. they’ve been taking any work they can get, and do their best to underbid everyone else. If you asked one of the guys over there 10 years ago if they’d ever be working on an Afflac commercial or some Sneaker commercial for a Chinese brand, they’d look at you like you’re crazy. I guess it’s easy to afford when you’re owned by Barclays…

  5. Hey – I’m skilled in a lot of ways and happy to help in any number of ways, if you will accept my assistance. – Pedram

  6. Freetrade Lover says:

    Hey Daniel,

    I have have a huge respect for your work on this blog and for the industry. Your anonymity sacrifice was also a brave one. I hope that this move will not negatively impact your VFX career. This would be a sad testament for this business if we are not entitled to our own opinions any-more.

    But do I understand your motives right that you are pushing for a sort of import tax to offset subsidies VFX films into the US?
    Do you really think this is so smart? Last time I checked it’s mostly american film studios who benefiting from these subsidies. When they then export these films into let’s say Europe, the EU could now counter this move by introducing a import quota for non European films. Or the EU could duty them as well higher just because. Then they could use this money to launch even higher subsidies or to just watch the money burn. Hollywood is working hard on china to remove the import quota’s. In the end such a move would torpedo the US film-studios.

    I think your proposal (if successful) could lead to a trade war which will make the subsidy war look like child-play. In the end everybody looses. Mostly the US.

    If I am not getting it… please explain your proposals in more detail and please also factor in the blow back.

    All the best!

    • VFX Soldier says:

      We are already in the middle of a trade war: Various governments are using subsidies to engage in protectionism in the VFX industry.

      While the countervailing duty is a useful tool to discipline the subsidies, there’s bigger idea here.

      ADAPT is a trade organization that is involved with Scott Ross and others behind the scenes. The idea here is to use the CVD issue as a tip of the spear to draw the studios out to the negotiating table. The CVD delivers leverage to this group to help negotiate better terms for the VFX industry.

      Will others start to initiate CVDs against the studios? They have the power to do so but I doubt that will help. It’s similar to alot of the saber rattling in the Middle East: You have to twist arms to get people to negotiate.

      The CVD is the only way to bring that leverage.

      • Freetrade Lover says:

        Thanks for your answer. I agree with you that we are in the early beginnings of a trade war. And I also fully agree that the Subsidies have to go. Every single one of them. However, protectionist steps like the one that you and Mr. Ross are (possibly) proposing will most certainly intensify this still small trade war. Assumed that I kinda get the idea what you guys are planing with the ADAPT. I still guess that you are penalising in one way or the other each subsided film products that will enter the US market.

        Measured by the little information that is out now I don’t see how this is going to help the US or anyone in the end. Well, I hope you guys come out with more information on what exactly you are planing. For now I am very unsure if this will do more harm then any good in the end.

        By the way. I am also be very keen to know how this system you are proposing would deal with subsidised products coming from New York?

        Regards

      • VFX Soldier says:

        I think you keep trying to say I’m engaging I protectionism and trade wars when I’m not: subsidies are the protectionism, subsidy races are the trade war. The CVD is the treatment.

        You say there is very little information? We had a 25 page report paid for by a crowd funded group with a Washington based law firm. We’ve had posts explaining this issue numerous times. So the information is there.

        The CVD addresses the international subsidies. While I know your going to try to argue that we need to end state subsidies I’d argue they have had very little effect in VFX and here’s why:

        New Yorks program is severely limited for VFX: You must do 75% of the work in NY and it’s capped at 3 million:

        http://esd.ny.gov/BusinessPrograms/filmCredit.html

        >

    • minoton says:

      It’s not an import tax on the films themselves, as I understand it, but like a tariff on the individual shots, or the VFX work, as products as they are digitally shipped into the US. Those VFX shots are unfairly subsidized destroying the American VFX shot creating market.

      And to add insult to the foreign locale where the subsidies originate, the subsidies are funded by the tax payers, making them unwilling investors in the film. If the film becomes a huge blockbuster, they don’t see an investor’s return on their investment. They’ve helped an American studio pay for it’s movie, and for that studio to potentially earn millions to a billion in profits depending on how successful the film is. Does any of that money trickle down to the fx facilities or the artists? No. Win-win for the American studios.

      And they still charge the foreign tax payers to see the movie they helped pay for. ;-)

    • Long Time Post & VFX Producer says:

      Hi Lover,

      The CVD may or may not lead to a trade war, but it will definitely shift the work to other states with incentives because you can’t counter vail duty another state and/or the work will shift to countries where there is favourable currency exchange, or the cost of wages and living is inherently lower.

      So the CVD will shift work from London to Baton Rouge, or Vancouver to Mumbai or Montreal to Budapest but it won’t bring it back to Hollywood I’m afraid. Wish it would but Hollywood needs more than the CVD to even the playing field if you want to keep living in California IMO. It may help temporarily as the world VFX work force realigns, but not long term.

      The studios have been perfecting the exploitation of right to work states and global labour pools to make their movies long before vfx were even created and composited digitally, and it is foolish to think they will just lie down and move the work back to California. Heck, in their heyday Miramax wouldn’t even shoot a film in the Western 13 states to avoid IATSE. So even if you unionize VFX the work will shift to right to work states cause it can.

      And despite what you read on this blog about state incentives falling out of favor around the country, it is not entirely true. Here’s a current article that you won’t see mentioned on this blog, Illinois is close to upping the incentive ante on actor salaries: http://tinyurl.com/loy5wgh.

      In addition, contrary to opinions echoed in the VFX community, not all incentives are bad for the local taxpayer. It depends on how the incentive is written. British Columbia’s incentives for example, are labor only with stringent residency requirements. The spend on infrastructure, equipment, travel, expendables, etc. does not qualify for incentives and is a huge driver for the economies gross product. The workers whose salaries are subsidized pay big income taxes that nearly equal the incentive itself and provide numerous trickle down jobs for other locals, and those jobs can’t be snapped up by migratory workers because of the strict residency requirements to qualify for the incentive.

      Only essential workers with the highest skill sets are imported into BC, the rest are trained locally and brought up through the ranks from within and are usually trained at one of numerous local learning institutions for VFX skills. Foreign VFX students don’t train in the US cause our government kicks them out after schooling whereas in Canada schooling gets you permanent residency and you qualify as a “good spend” immediately. Nobody ever addresses this huge problem. You need to have a crazy solid resume to get a work visa in the US and talented foreign born students don’t have one.

      Some incentive programs are poorly written and they do suck the life out of local taxpayers, but not all.

      There is more to the tax incentive story than you may get on this blog.

      We need to do more than the CVD to keep the work in California. I’m afraid everyone will think ADAPT and the CVD is the miracle cure and just focus on that and I am pessimistic it will be.

      • VFX Soldier says:

        Long time:

        The goal is level the playing field: if the work goes to India than so be it. However here is why that argument is flawed:

        The cost of VFX in India is far cheaper than any subsidized price you can find out there, economically sensitive producers would ignored the more expensive subsidized locations and flock to India instead. That hasn’t happened: VFX is going to expensive locations.

        Also you mention a proposal in Illinois as an example that subsidies are ratcheting up: that’s just a proposal. We saw similar cons in NC and Pennsylvania. The general trend seems to show that states are capping and lowering the amount of subsidies offered. Doubt you read this but look at NY. They already want to lower the subsidies there by $50 million:

        http://m.bizjournals.com/newyork/news/2013/11/22/ny-commission-urges-cutting-film-tax.html?page=all&r=full

        >

      • minoton says:

        “The workers whose salaries are subsidized pay big income taxes that nearly equal the incentive itself . . . ”

        I really don’t see much incentive, as an American, to go work in BC if my largest source of taxation is going to my employer in the form of the labor tax incentive to pay for my job? When I did a short project in BC, I didn’t do anything that provided a trickle down job for anyone else (e.g., building a home) that wouldn’t have been there anyway, such as the cashier at the IGA where I bought more expensive groceries than I’m used to in the states.

        Why is VFX such a coveted industry? It’s a low profit margin industry, about 1% to 2% if your lucky. I get the sense now that the governments know it’s a loss for them, but it’s just a big pissing match now because everyone’s invested so much, no one wants to lose face and be the first one to pull out. There are certainly more lucrative industries to try to attract with targeted incentives, if the real goal is to actually help the locality’s economic structure. If a government is going to pick winners, there are better and more stable ones out there to choose from.

      • LAskyline says:

        “The cost of VFX in India is far cheaper than any subsidized price you can find out there, economically sensitive producers would ignored the more expensive subsidized locations and flock to India instead. That hasn’t happened: VFX is going to expensive locations. ”

        So, if the Vancouver/NZ/London vendors make a concerted effort to move their shops to India/China what then? Several are already doing that as the prices in their current locations continue to rise. Why would any VFX producer want to shift production to LA with the massive costs that would come with that?

      • VFX Soldier says:

        More power to them. As long as it’s a level playing field I’m sure we’re all ready to compete.

        >

      • VFX Soldier says:

        By the way I’m amused when people call me xenophobic because they argue it’s a global industry… But when it goes to india and China they get upset: isn’t that xenophobic?

        Sent from my iPhone

        >

      • LAskyline says:

        You continually draw spurious conclusions to support your argument which is based on limited experience: someone likes working in LA, they point out that fucking with the status quo will push work to China or India, where they don’t want to work because they have a home in LA. Your conclusion: xenophobe!

        Likewise: a producer has enough money to buy VFX in London or NZ – they could get it cheaper in India, but it’s an unknown and they’re already budgeted to pay the current prices so what’s the point? It’s not like they get to keep what’s left over. In other words: if things aren’t broken then why fix them? Your conclusion: no one will ever send serious VFX work to India!

      • VFX Soldier says:

        If anyone is making a spurious conclusion its you: THE WORK WILL ALL GO TO INDIA AND CHINA! By the way you do know I’m a Burmese Muslim? I think having work in that region would be great to help the people of Burma. So stop being xenophobic. This is about ending the cycle of displacement. If we all have to move to Burma at the end of the day because the industry is there so be it. Ill show you how to make some great Burmese food.

        Your last point makes me laugh. You think penny pinching producers don’t know that India VFX work is way cheaper that subsidized UK and NZ?! Wow. Talk about spurious conclusions.

  7. Freetrade Lover says:

    Soldier,

    I did go through your 25 page paper as soon as it came out and it had the smell of protectionism. Don’t get me wrong, I really do believe you and Mr. Ross and all the others are trying to do the right thing. And I am sure that you all believe CVD is the cure. But this strategy is protectionism. Even if this doesn’t push the subsidy (trade) war into a new phase, LongTime is partly right. the Studios are smart cookies too and they will just work around it.

    Where I don’t agree with him is that Subsidies are not all bad. On the short term they work – thats true. But on the long term there is hard evidence that Subsidies are hurting every Industry they have been put in place. If CVD will push more work to Asia is hard to tell. But I also doubt it will bring any work back to the US. No way. These kinda strategies are not helping the US Steel industry why should it work for the US VFX Industry?

    The only solution I can think of is a rally against all film subsidies. Get rid of them all, State and government subsidies. And of course NY Subsidies are distorting the VFX market as well! You can not say that only the big cancer is bad and the little cancer is okay. Both of them have to be cut out!

    As long as Subsidies are in place the US film studios have a great time. For them NZ, UK & Co Film subsidies are kinda like foreign aid. Use them till they go broke. Till then the US Film industry is actually having a great time. Just not with it’s remaining VFX industry.

    • VFX Soldier says:

      This funny to me, you call CVDs protectionism but then argue that all subsidies are bad… Why? because they distort the market: that’s protectionism.

      Gavin Polone is a famous producer and big time Libertarian. He has written against film subsidies and call them a form of protectionism:

      http://www.vulture.com/m/2011/10/runaway_film_production_tax_cr.html

      So what is Mr. Polone’s remedy for this protectionism?

      Mr Polone supports an effort to challenge the subsidies in trade court which is exactly what we are doing.

      You seem to be against subsidies which is great, but you fail at offering a solution. What have you to offer to bring an end to the subsidy race?

      I’d like to hear your solution below.

      >

  8. Freetrade Lover says:

    Again, import quotas are just like subsidies a form of protectionism. After all it’s the very reason of quotas to distort the market as well – you just call it “making it fair again”. I find it just funny that the biggest winner of this game is the US Film production industry. Not the NZ nor the UK nor the Canadian film industries.

    If in fact you are just challenging the subsidies in a trade court, and this trade court has the power to rule out all subsidies world wide – more power to you.

    Unfortunately for everyone involved though, the industry would crash if subsidies are going to go away by tomorrow. So a plan to gradiuaditly decrease subsidies to zero over lets say 5 years would be favorable.

    Truth is… I see no solution to this mess other then a nice hard crash. Which will come sooner or later anyway… Unfortunately.

    Good luck though. You have done a great job of making this issue known to the artists and I am rooting for the best outcome.

    Best Regards!

    • VFX Soldier says:

      Thanks for playing.

      When you say subsidies are bad but don’t offer a solution, you can’t just sit there and say my solution doesn’t work because you feel it’s protectionism. It’s not, CVDs are specifically supported by the WTO as a tool to counter protectionist subsidies.

      You tacitly admit that this would send work back to the US, not India and China like you argued before. The reason? Because under market conditions the US VFX companies would probably offer very good quality at a better price. Nothing illegal or distortive about that. Trying to utilize subsidies to change that is protectionism.

      Sent from my iPhone

      >

      • Freetrade Lover says:

        If you pardon me, Soldier. The WTO / US is criticised by China to impose CVD’s as a form or protectionism:

        http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2012-05/25/c_131611418.htm

        Ask any economist if CVD’s are protectionism and they will tell you that’s of course what they are. CVD’s are also not new and have been around long before the WTO. Have they ever worked?
        Well… look what happened to germany, japan or china for that matter. It just made them all stronger in the end.

        It’s undeniable that CVD’s are protectionism. You said it yourself that the goal of these CVD’s it is to bring back VFX jobs to the US. You further completely disregard the fact that long before subsidies entered the VFX market, a significant amount of VFX contracts already left overseas. This hints that the US is not producing the highest quality in VFX anymore. The high US Taxes and labour laws make it further impossible to compete on price. Weta digital for example has left ILM (long before they opened pods everywhere) in the dust.

        You further completely ignore the fact that the main beneficiary of these foreign subsidies, is your own countries Film Industry. For them these foreign subsidies and tax incentives are foreign aid. They love them just as much as they need EXPORTS to make a living.

        The Variety also reports about a possible solution to tackle CVD’s:

        “Moreover, two major American vfx companies are owned by studios: Sony Pictures Imageworks and Industrial Light & Magic (Disney). That wouldn’t doom the effort, however, Yocis noted. “ If someone in the U.S. industry is opposing it because they’re getting the subsidy and benefiting from it in some way, the government has the option to disregard that.”

        http://variety.com/2013/biz/news/wto-cvd-duties-visual-effects-1200568359/

        This is exactly why I say that protectionism won’t work. The only winners in this game are governments and lawyers while nothing changes for artists.

        I don’t tell you your solution won’t work. What I tell you is that CVD’s are not a solution at all. They are dangerous.

      • VFX Soldier says:

        @ Freetrade lover 5:36pm

        China has always argued that CVDs levied against their subsidies are protectionist:

        http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/09/11/china-condemns-tariffs-tires-protectionism/

        China lost in the tires case and the US was allowed to continue with the CVDs. In fact there are hundreds of CVDs by the US and China that go unchallenged: Honey is a great example.

        Your next paragraph doesn’t make sense. If CVDs are protectionists why does the WTO carve out special provisions to allow them? The countries you mention regularly utilize CVDs against the US too.

        I never said the goal of the CVDs is to bring back jobs to the US. It is to level the playing field. If the effect is that work goes to India, US, China, or whatever so be it.

        I’m quite aware that the US studios benefits from and international subsidy race. I am fighting to stop it. What have you proposed?

        You completely misread what David Yocis said: He said that even though Disney and Sony studios benefit from the subsidies, the court would disregard their opposition to the CVD effort. The support that matters are the people being injured by those subsidies.

        You keep saying subsidies are bad and must be stopped but don’t want the CVD to discipline them. What is your solution? You have yet to offer an actual solution to the subsidy race…

        Im waiting.

      • Freetrade Lover says:

        @ VFX Soldier 6:52.

        “China has always argued that CVDs levied against their subsidies are protectionist. China lost in the tires case and the US was allowed to continue with the CVDs. In fact there are hundreds of CVDs by the US and China that go unchallenged: Honey is a great example”

        Of course china lost. Does it make CVD’s any less protectionists just because they lost in front of a bias curt? Why do you think China is not only in a trade but also in a currency war with the US?

        “Your next paragraph doesn’t make sense. If CVDs are protectionists why does the WTO carve out special provisions to allow them? The countries you mention regularly utilize CVDs against the US too.”

        Because they are Soldier. Thats why. If they wouldn’t be every country would have them for all sorts of goods. So much for free trade buddy. The countries I mentioned had CVD’s placed against them years ago when they where at a state of an emerging economy… just like china is today. Germany and Japan are obviously today not emerging economies anymore so they too scream for protectionism. It’s always an easy sell to workers as you see.

        “I never said the goal of the CVDs is to bring back jobs to the US. It is to level the playing field. If the effect is that work goes to India, US, China, or whatever so be it.”

        You sound like you hope though. And thats the point of the whole pitch of yours isn’t it? Otherwise whats the point of all this? Why do you need the “fairness” for? The US is benefiting the most from these foreign subsidies. Is that fair? Is it fair that the US Film Industry is dominating foreign box offices? Do Foreign Subsidies change anything in that? Why don’t we all get import quotas back again on films – just like china? And CVD’s and whatever else you guys can come up with.

        Why don’t we just trade one all american film for one boring 3 hour long european arthouse film. Thats just fair. The american film studios will produce less, europeans a little more and all countries get forced to see each other movies.

        I guess what I am truing to say is that the world is not a fair place. Time to grow up and to move on.

        “I’m quite aware that the US studios benefits from and international subsidy race. I am fighting to stop it. What have you proposed?”

        Yes, in this we’re on the same side. I propose to end all subsidies in the world. Can we force them? Nope. Education and talking sense to people is the only thing that works. In the end you won’t even have to do much because the global financial crisis will sooner or later make subsidies unaffordable.

        “You completely misread what David Yocis said: He said that even though Disney and Sony studios benefit from the subsidies, the court would disregard their opposition to the CVD effort. The support that matters are the people being injured by those subsidies.”

        I stand corrected. Thanks for pointing that out. But this quote still demonstrates the problem. The US is benefiting from these subsidies more monetary then the VFX industry is loosing. A healthy tradeoff to the US economy if you ask me.

        “You keep saying subsidies are bad and must be stopped but don’t want the CVD to discipline them. What is your solution? You have yet to offer an actual solution to the subsidy race…
        Im waiting.”

        Education. Convincing people. It’s not easy. There is not much money in it and It will take a long time. But so far you have done a great job. When I started years and years ago telling people how bad subsidies are I just got laughed at. Just enjoy the ride was the going motto. Now people are ready to listen but most are still in denial.

        “You are beginning to sound like an arsonist begging the firefighters not to put a fire out because the world is going to end anyway.”

        At least I am not trying to put more gasoline on it.

        Enjoy the ride my friend. And no hard feelings. If more people would be like you, we wouldn’t even have these problems to sort out right now.

      • VFX Soldier says:

        All this writing and your solution is “Education and talking sense to people is the only thing that works.”

        So what do you think this blog has been about. I’ve done the educating. I’ve done the talking sense.

        Now I’m taking action.

      • Freetrade Lover says:

        @ VFX Soldier

        Just for the fun of the argument: For years, all this writing and your solution are CVD’s? No offence but you needed crowd funding? Seriously? And now what? You quit your full time job, form a trade association, collect more money from members to finance beside your modest salary some expensive lawyers and legal battles?

        I am not trying to form a trade association, so its not me to try to find a solution for stupidity and bad business practices. Last time I checked, there is no better cure against stupidity in business then bankruptcy.

        But that doesn’t mean I that I would put some CVD gasoline on it. This could just get you burned (not meant as a threat at all. I just like the metaphor.)

        Anyway, knock yourself out!

      • minoton says:

        @ Freetrade Lover, if you truly are a Free Trade Lover, then you should support the CVD movement to level the playing field, so that all companies are competing on price and merit value of the company without any governmental intercession.

        http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/12/06/deal-to-boost-global-trade-reached-at-wto-summit-despite-eleventh-hour/?intcmp=latestnews

        “The idea behind the WTO is that if all countries play by the same trade rules, then all countries, rich or poor, will benefit.

        But some critics say WTO rules may hinder countries from setting their own priorities in environmental protection, worker rights, food security and other areas. And they say sudden reductions in import tariffs can wipe out industries, causing job losses in rich and poor countries.”

    • Easy says:

      I see. So, the whole industry will just disappear and “go Galt” if they don’t have that sweet subsidy money??

      LOLz

      • VFX Soldier says:

        If the whole industry stops because some stupid kid with a blog was able to go to court then that probably means that building a business model on free money ain’t a great idea.

        >

      • Easy says:

        Speaking of trade protections, NPR is doing a series of stories about it by tracing the production of T-Shirts designed in America and made in Bangladesh.

        http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/

        Start with the story titled “How a T-Shirt Threads Together Lives Around the World”

      • Easy says:

        What we have here is just another smooth talking suit pissing on your head and telling you it’s raining.

        They seem to wander on over here once in a while, which is both amusing and useful because at least you know you are getting their attention.

      • Freetrade Lover says:

        No, a crash doesn’t mean that the industry will disappear. You sir, will most likely just be out of job because there are so much fewer around. And this time there wouldn’t be many places to travel too who still have jobs. Thats a crash.

      • VFX Soldier says:

        Free trade lover:

        You are beginning to sound like an arsonist begging the firefighters not to put a fire out because the world is going to end anyway.

      • Easy says:

        I’ll be fine because according to you, everyone can just switch to working in commercial VFX. I work mostly in commercials so I am enjoying the huge glut of jobs that are available…

        You wanna know how I know you don’t know what you are talking about? Take a wild guess.

      • Freetrade Lover says:

        @Easy
        I never sayed go and work for commercials. That wouldn’t make sence. It’s the same industry. With move on I really mean that. Life can be a bitch sometimes.

  9. Studio_Spotter says:

    How about US citizens currently working in foreign subsidized countries? How might they get involved with ADAPT?

  10. LAskyline says:

    “More power to them. As long as it’s a level playing field I’m sure we’re all ready to compete.”

    No, you’re really not.

  11. vfxguy says:

    “If we all have to move to Burma at the end of the day because the industry is there so be it.”

    You’ve said this several times now. Do you and your supporters believe it? It had better be because this is exactly what CVDs would do. Are you really just fine and dandy with putting the final nail in the coffin of the western vfx industry just so you can take the moral high ground?

    “We also hope to use the CVD issue as the tip of spear to initiate negotiations with the studios for better treatment of the VFX industry.”

    Please explain to me how forcing a 30% increase in the studios costs is a good opening play to negotiate for “better treatment”

    • VFX Soldier says:

      Because the threat of the loss of subsidies is what will bring them to the negotiation table.

      The goal is not to totally end subsidies. The goal is to get an agreement that allows regulated use of subsidies while allowing sustainability in VFX: standardization of payment on change orders, organized bidding structure.

      Only way to bring the studios to the table is to give them the carrot and the stick: CVDs are the stick.

      >

      • vfxguy says:

        So your going to say “if you don’t give us what we want, we’ll take legal action to stop the subsidies”?

        What if they then do give you what you want? Will you drop the CVD thing? Or if your plan is to “allow regulated use of subsidies” your going in there saying “stop using subsidies or we’ll take legal action to stop you using subsidies”? I’m confused.

        What is “regulated use of subsidies” anyway?

      • VFX Soldier says:

        Welcome to the world of negotiations and leverage. I’d prefer to keep our strategy under wraps for now.

        >

      • LAskyline says:

        “The goal is not to totally end subsidies. The goal is to get an agreement that allows regulated use of subsidies while allowing sustainability in VFX: standardization of payment on change orders, organized bidding structure. ”

        What? We all thought that this blog was “kill the subsidies”. Which subsidies would you leave in place?

      • VFX Soldier says:

        That’s the essence of negotiations. I’ve got my position, the studios have theirs. If they don’t negotiate: bye bye subsidies.

        >

      • Freetrade Lover says:

        Soldier. I am very sorry but now you sound like a sellout who is going into politics. Now you lost me completely. If you are not for ending ALL subsidies you are not changing anything in this business for the better. Bidding structure? Standarts payments? After all these years of writing about VFX it seems like you still don’t understand the problem. This just makes me sad.

        the studios are going to eat you guys for breakfast. Of course just after you have spend all the Other peoples money on your wages and lawyer fees.

      • shanep says:

        freetradelover, in this case a CVD is being used as a a potent weapon against subsidies: nullification.

        Nullification of profits gained from the subsidy. Nullification of the political gamesmanship used by governments and studios to take excess profits while producing nothing(rent seeking).

        It would be different if we were talking about governments cutting a check to vfx studios in-country or prod. cos. But were talking about non-producing oligarchs reaping the benefit of a check cut to them from respective govs.

        You say you’re a free trade lover. So am I. But you show me the free trade that exists in the movie market now.

      • Freetrade Lover says:

        CVD’s are simply a trade strategy that may or may not work to reach a certain goal. Further, CVD’s are as far away from freetrade as you can think because they do what they are designed to do, which is hampering the trade. This strategy can backfire as CVD’s certainly will trigger counter reactions and unforeseeable, partly undesired shifts in the economics of movie making.

        Therefore I hope the lawyer firm hires also an economist (easily paid by the hundred’s and hundred’s of thousand dollars needed to sue) to run a forecast on how this policy would impact the global VFX Industry. Yes, its a global industry now.

      • VFX Soldier says:

        Done. Picard Kentz Rowe has an economist also working on the team. Enjoy.

      • Freetrade Lover says:

        Awesome! I hope this economic study will shut me up and overthrow all my worries.
        Can’t wait to read it.

      • shanep says:

        free trade, correct a CVD is not about free trade. But subsidies aren’t either. This is a protectionist counter to nullify excess profits gained from the artificial markets created by subsidies. Free market solutions would work if we had mutual reciprocity among governments. We do not.

        The mere threat of a CVD could be the needle needed to pop the bubble.

      • Andreas jablonka says:

        We do have these agreements. The WTO. They are just not enforced enough.

      • CCD says:

        Wow, So many of you are pissing your pants just imagining work leaving from wherever you are to go to China or India. So what are your options? Exactly how long do you think you have a future in this industry the way things are going? You are so scared to do anything and things just keep getting worse that when a guy tries to stand up for you all you just piss your pants more. Here he is sticking his neck out for you all and you worry some more about your jobs which are clearly going to go away anyway! Well how long do you think it will be before the jobs go to India or China anyway? Your logic makes no sense.
        Stand up for yourselves, have some pride I the work you do and your skill set.
        Show our forefathers that the sacrifices they achieved so we could have better lives as workers were not in vain!
        I have watched this for years, always you naysayers have the same arguments, You make me ashamed to be an artist in this industry, and you clearly lack in knowledge of your rights as workers.
        I am going to give you all a clue, the only chance you have of stemming this tide is to gain some collective bargaining power, without that you are all on borrowed time. I sincerely hope you all get it together and make something happen.
        VFX Soldier, thank you for your dedication to this industry, to trying to make a change, I would love to meet you in NYC but I won’t be back there until the end of Jan., in the end I already have more than one foot out the door, Ive been doing this all too long already.

  12. vfxguy says:

    “I’d prefer to keep our strategy under wraps for now”

    okay. that sounds a lot like ‘i’m making this up as i go along’.

    i’d still like to know what subsidies you would keep in place and how you would have them regulated.

    • VFX Soldier says:

      Yes I’m going to leak all the details to you. Seriously.

      >

      • JamesBondVillain says:

        10min later:
        “Silly Soldier you will never guess that we have the VFX industry you are looking for hidden behind these Film Subsidies.”

        Mean while:
        VFX Soldier is cutting the ropes binding his hands.

        ——–
        I love how people have misunderstood who the real villains are that should be monologing, thinking they have won.

        Keep up the good work.

  13. Andreas jablonka says:

    I think its really sad how many judge every move soldier make syet offer no solutions of their own!
    IN order for our CVD effort to go through a bit of “tug of war” with the studios is needed. ADAPT is initiating a trade association that studios can join to have this discussion. We propose to end all subsidies, we are implementing CVD to counter their effectiveness. this leverage should bring the studios to the table and come up with a fair agreement: award work globally(!) based on merit, quality and cost of work produced. NOT cost of work minus subsidie/tax rebate which artificially lowers it.

    Soldier is moving into a clear direction. Is it political? sure it is, is it needed? 100%!

    All the naysayers used to tell us its futile and we should either

    a) move to subsidie locations and shut up
    b) do commercials and shut up
    c) accept that nothing can be done (my personal favorite)
    d) all is going to china and india anyway.

    I have not heard a single good suggestions what you would do instead. Trade Org for Studios? We tried it, Dr. Ross had no luck.
    Unionize the Artist? We are trying to many of you are quite frankly so dense they cannot see past their own paycheque or have loyalty to companys that have none to you. So the union alone would not end subsidies. It would speak up for existing(!) jobs and their working conditions. not fro lack of jobs in areas.
    Most of you are afraid to rock the boat, get underpaid, say yes to flat rates and no overtime (hello london) and ridiculous offers (hello mpc!).
    Not doing anything will not change anything! If you believe the studios will loose their greed are mistaken. If you are waiting for it all to go away by itself you are naive. We dont have all the answers, but we have a clear direction and gameplan that will force the studios attention. CVD’s will work to archieve that. The WTO movement can be lobbied and countered, we cannot compete against the money of the studios. the CVD’s are established and proven so they cannot be lobbied. Thats a plus if I ever seen one.

    So to the crybabies that soldier has lost now: were you ever helpful? I doubt it, so go put your headphones back on and stop with the unproductive comments. If we save the industry you are welcome, if we fail, you lost nothing right?
    Makes my blood boil to have so many piss on David’s leg when he is mounting this Herculean task for us!

    • hector says:

      As you noticed, once you get up against abuse, all sorts of individuals will say you’re not good professional, and try to isolate you. And outside USA is the same, and I think it is even worse.

      This problem is not just local, many artists from Canada and UK suffer, and currently all are afraid of everyone.
      I would like to know if there are opportunities for those outside the USA to become a member ADAPT, and what should I do to become one.

      Once again, I’m available to help with whatever I can, I signed the card, I tried to wake interest wherever I’ve worked, but way too many workers are against any form of unionization, and beside the fact that currently I am 100% isolate, didn’t make any progress.

      Thanks Andreas for your dedication, I know it is hard, but before all the job is going to China,we should find a way to stop this.

      • Andreas jablonka says:

        Adapt is still being formed, once it’s officially launched we will let everybody know. Just not that deep into the rabbit hole yet. Thanks for your support!

    • CCD says:

      Actually commercials isn’t that much different, We need just as much help as VFX.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,064 other followers

%d bloggers like this: