Stealing Demo Reels?

Apparently that’s what happened to a compositor/roto artist based in California after he found out an Indian VFX Crew was using his demo reel (which has been taken down) to market VFX services with the following message:


am thilak working as a compositor in inida and I have 25 person team in india.Am strong in rotoscopy and chroma keying and cleanups ,
and i do have an experiance of 5 years in roto and touch up .i have attached my demoreel and resume with this mail .so kindly have a look at this, contact me if u have any freelancing jobs…like roto or cleanup, looking forwrd for your reply

my contact number +919789855744

This is my online Demoreel link


I find this impossible to believe. Afterall as we all know VFX has left California to all go to India and why would anyone have to resort to stealing another artist’s reel when the work they do there is just as good and it’s cheaper too! 😉

But seriously, if you read the thread there are others who claim to have the same thing done to them by some artists in India and I’m not surprised. I once was going through demo reels where many of them came from India and found some of the claims of work performed to be flat out ridiculous.

Just a few weeks ago I did a post on a video that was marketing Technicolor India’s work for DreamWorks Animation. I questioned the claim of some of the work they did after some comments at the TAG blog about the inability to finish work in India. Now even that promotional video was taken down.

What sucks about this is that is taints the work of legitimately good VFX artists in India.

Also what’s funny is that I’ve heard of a similar story of US artists stealing shots that they did not work on. An acquaintanceship applied for a job at a very large facility and it turned out he was using shots on his reel that belonged to one of the supervisors reviewing the demo reel! What’s crazy is he still got hired! I couldn’t believe it.

Soldier On.

14 Responses to Stealing Demo Reels?

  1. The DDU is in the progress of updating their reel. this might be the reason the reel was taken down. I have heard as well that some shots were still tweaked in Glendale but that does not mean the reel was a hoax.

    the vfxtalk thread was a big deal and its true it happens all the time. not only by indian artist though I will say that.

    You would think if your good enough and cheaper its enough but apparently not 😦

  2. Anselm says:

    My stuff had been pirated in India many times. Sadly I get a lot of jobs from my Vimeo presence and of course always uncheck to make the content downloadable and have a watermark…they use browser plugins to leach and crop the footage…
    Another befriended Indian VFX company was telling me they get a lot of applications with “very familiar looking” demoreel snippets.
    The thing is though that you don’t actually need a demo reel for let’s say a roto job. People just make reels to show an interest in VFX, that qualifie you.
    So I don’t want and can’t take down all my videos (over 100 on vimeo) because it’s how I attract business too. With great show-off comes great steal-ability…

  3. meh says:

    I think you are missing the forest for the trees – the reason western economies and western workers in globalized industries are feeling the pinch is that multinational companies (studios) have to invest for growth and the growth is happening in Asia not the west.

    • Bukka Bukka Beer Neer says:

      Growth can be anywhere. It’s a larger margin you get with cheaper untrained (yet trainable up to a certain level) that has companies going to Asia. This is why Apple continues to have their iJunk made in China and why a German with little tact, skill or moral fortitude can make a killing in China teaching students VFX 101 (see VFXTalk if you want to know who it is).

  4. Thilak says:

    This is not true, This post is Fake somebody playing with my name. Anybody cant cheat this field because this field is too small in india.

    This Reel link deleted july 18th
    but this post showing from last two days

    This is really Fake post

    Hi uploader please dont play with others futute


    • I would argue you need to take better care of your usernames and passwords then. this is bigger than just one incident anyway.

    • concerned producer says:

      Thilak, MANY people are on to you. Several good name visual effects producers in Los Angeles have also had the same issues with you. Believe it or not, it’s been talked about at dinner tables. (In a way that should be an honor, that your efforts are making people talk, but your morals were poorly placed)

  5. concerned producer says:

    Thilak has spammed hundreds of visual effects professionals and has even lurked through their facebook friends attempting to find / make connections. The kid has drive, i’ll give him that- though he’s dishonest as all hell. He even hunted down personal cell phone numbers for people at our studio asking for work. At the top of his lurking spree he even had family members calling producers, supervisors etc pushing his service in inappropriate ways. There are about 45 more known Thilak’s out there. Be careful.

  6. I stood witness to a similar case.

    A -former- client studio of mine showed me a really nice video of a pretty demanding VFX work, claiming it was done in some far Eastern-European country (don’t exactly recall) and that they charged one third that my team and I do for such material. It turned out that this was not the case and it was done for a fee 50% higher than ours.

    Some people can go to some strange extends to force quality work down to cheap sweat-shop labor. It’s immoral to do this based on other people’s work and lying about it.

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