IA Prez Comments On VFXers

IATSE President Matt Loeb was interviewed by the LA Times and had this to say about VFX:

More daunting is a campaign the IA has launched to bring union contracts to visual-effects artists. Historically, makeup artists and other special-effects craftspeople were covered under union contracts. But most computer graphics artists today work as freelancers and don’t have health insurance benefits and other union protections. “They are the only trade that works on a movie that is not represented,” Loeb said. “That’s astounding to me.”

The union has dedicated a full-time organizer to meet with workers, but Loeb acknowledges the effort has met with some resistance on the part of employers, especially in California, where many companies are struggling to compete with low-cost labor and tax incentives offered by foreign rivals.

Dan Schmit, owner of L.A. effects house Engine Room, said he sympathized with the goal of unionizing workers at major studios but said it would hurt small boutique firms like his that rely mainly on independent contractors. “My hands would be tied in terms of my ability to negotiate for bids,” said Schmit, who already offers health benefits to most of his 10 employees.



4 Responses to IA Prez Comments On VFXers

  1. Maple Leaf EH! says:

    IA needs more than a fulltime organizer. Since I’m the only person to comment about this IA article proves that we as VFX artists need another union to represent us, seems like everyone has lost interest in IA but not in unionization.

    • Jimmy Goodman says:

      Okay, Maple Leaf: What do we need? We’ll get it, hire it, and do it. We just need the artists to indicate what are their priorities and objectives. We represent thousands of film and television industry artists and we certainly understand this industry and its employment practices. Give me a call and we’ll work together.
      Jimmy Goodman vfx@iatse-intl.org

      • Maple Leaf eh! says:

        IA needs some sort of a campaign strategy and should hire experts to utilize all the communication channels. To unionize the vfx industry, IA needs to be clear with the “dues” that will be deducted and the benefits members get in return. Others on this site have made some good suggestions such as Dave Rand and have also noted the issue with IA is the “higher ups” trying to limit the amount of information that’s available about IA. Keep in mind I have signed a rep card, so I’m not against unionization but a bit frustrated that they aren’t very vocal in dismissing the misinformation.

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