I’ve devoted much of my writing on this blog to the idea that we as VFX artists need to organize. The industry volatility has led many of my colleagues to frequently change jobs or go through bouts of unemployment whether they be senior or junior artists, staff or contract. While we are a tough group, there needs to be some guarantee that no matter where we work, we are able to save for our retirement, provide our families with health insurance, and are assured labor laws are followed.
This is essentially one of the small steps/giant leaps our industry needs: Portable benefits and the enforcement of labor laws. This is exactly the specialty of what labor organizations like the IBEW and IATSE can provide. This is nothing new folks, almost every other discipline in the film business does it this way. Even professional athletes in the NBA, NFL, and MLB are a part of a labor organizations that guarantee minimums and pensions etc.
While I’m not entirely familiar with the dynamics of the Vancouver VFX industry, I do know there have been many who have mentioned some tough labor issues concerning the ability to be paid for work completed, possible collusion between facilities, and unpaid overtime.
The IATSE has formed a VFX union for British Columbia and they have launched an excellent website and blog. No matter how you feel about the issue, get involved and give your voice on how to make YOUR industry better:
IATSE 891 VFX
In Los Angeles, the IBEW is interested in talking to vfx artists in the area to hear what YOU would like to see in a VFX organization. Have your voice heard and take a moment to listen about the benefits you can receive. Best of all, this meeting has been scheduled on a Sunday so you hopefully wont be busy at work:
Sunday November 7th at 1pm
at The American Legion Hall
5309 S. Sepulveda Blvd. Culver City, CA 90230.