VFX artist Dave Rand has posted a very strong criticism of the IATSE leadership on his website:
Since Mr Loeb announced your “Drive” to the Visual Effects Society, Variety, and the world last November the workers of the VFX industry were excited at the possibility of finally gaining their seat at the big round table of the film world. The web lit up with voices of praise, concern, and hope, when in the past there was a lot of empty dark space concerning our futures. Next we looked towards the shiny charisma of your leaders and the premier of the fruits of all your eighteen months of groundwork. We knew you were not the only solution, but a we hoped your were a great turn on the race to the bottom ……and then ….nothing happened.
Variety also has an article about Rand’s concerns:
The union has neither publicly put a timetable on its campaign, nor predicted a quick conclusion to its bid to organize workers in an industry that is far-flung and encompasses a wide range of companies of varying size and scope.
I’m not at all surprised by this. Months ago I wrote a post about my concerns and that IA leadership meddling would lead to a backlash.
Now the hecklers are going to heckle but look, there is a fair amount of criticism that should be pointed out at the IA. If you read the MVP section of my blog I am a huge advocated of The Animation Guild, a local of the IA. They have represented VFX artists for years and they had a game plan in place to organize VFX workers here in California. I always felt they should have been the ones to lead the drive.
Now there are those who are going to use this as fodder to support the status quo. You know I can go back to being that artist with the headphones on. I can shrug my shoulders as artists have trouble getting health insurance for their families. I can make fun of them when they don’t get paid OT or even a paycheck at all. I can use twisted logic that working longer hours or turning a blind eye to illegal practices like collusion is somehow good for you.
There are reasons why people like Dave Rand other artists are doing this. We have a responsibility to look out for each other.