We’re beginning to see a few more people be receptive to unionization. I’ve been extremely busy so I unfortunately missed a lot of news happening in the VFX blogosphere so let’s check out what’s happening.
The first is probably what I deem the post of the year by David Stripinis. Read all of it. It basically gives a run down of how the VFX industry developed huge problems with it’s business model:
So here we are, in 2011. With more VFX than ever, and the state of the industry as dire as ever. VFX driven movies like Avatar, Transformers and Harry Potter regularly add millions to the bottom lines of the studios, yet many VFX artists starting off today struggle to pay off student loans, pay rent in the markets VFX work exists in – London, Los Angeles and the Bay Area are some of the highest cost of living areas in the world. As the VFX industry has become global and driven by cost, artists have had to become nomadic. Los Angeles today, Toronto tomorrow. London next year, stopping off in Vancouver for a month in between. And while that may seem glamourous or even attractive if you are 22 years old, it seems less so when you must say goodbye to dear friends for the fifth time, your spouse wishes to have a career of their own, and your kids want to go to the same school for more than one semester.
It’s also worth reading the response by IA Organizer Jimmy Goodman and TAG rep Steve Hulett.
If you click on my link for Joe Harkins’ blog, you’ll probably notice that it’s gone. He garnered attention in Variety with his own open letter to VFX artists that warned against unionization. However, recently it seems things have changed:
While I continue to develop VFX Foundation, which at this point, is going to be a web 2.0 social network for VFX artists, I’m going to take the blog offline. I started it as a suggestion from someone saying I should post the full text of the open letter that was published in Variety.
My position now is to support Jimmy Goodman and IATSE organizing artists here in Los Angeles, support the VES 2.0 effort, and focus my time on developing the VFX Foundation website.
Thanks for reading,
Joe mentioned that he met with IA Organizer Jim Goodman and TAG Organizer Steve Kaplan last week. I don’t blame anyone for having huge doubts of unionization. However people change when the facts are presented correctly. I can tell you that I was anti-union until I was a TAG member. I realized that what a union can do for all of us and the industry was legitimately better and could transform it. The same can be said for the VFX artist running the Organized VFX website. He was anti-union then read what they could do and joined the cause.
What this proves is how imperative it is to have the IA leadership allow more open lines of communication. How much more proof do they need that a website is needed and interviews need to be scheduled? Kudos to Joe for taking up the cause and leading by example.
Scott Squires had a few posts that give an overview of what needs to happen for a labor and trade organization for vfx Lots of great info there.
Progress is being made. It’s slow, but it’s progress. While there are legitimate disagreements, I see a consensus slowly forming.
Look, we are going to need a collective bargaining agreement that is enforced with a mandate. It all begins with you. Talk to others about it and join the cause.