You can view the video here.
It’s a fascinating speech not only for his support of a trade organization or labor union, but because he reveals that as a one-time VFX facility owner, he was against unionization:
I was very fortunate to have started my VFX career at a time when VFX workers were covered by labor contracts and health insurance, under the auspices of the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees.
The studios were bound by collective bargaining agreements with IATSE Locals, as are today virtually all the other departments in film production and post‐production.
The visual effects companies who worked on the top films worked within that. IATSE and the AFL‐CIO Union Locals covered most VFX workers.
Shamefully, that is no longer the case. We all watched the influence of the Unions dissolve away from the Visual Effects industry, and let it slip away.
I’m personally guilty of this – I dodged the unions while I ran Stetson Visual Services, so we could compete against other non‐union shops.
I’m not surprised by stories like this. Some of the most vehemently anti-union voices in our industry have sometimes transformed into the most passionate advocates for the labor organization movement once the facts presented itself.
I know this is true for me as I was once anti-union until I joined The Animation Guild. This is also true for VFX Foundation founder Joe Harkins. Witness his transition from my April 24th post to my June 22nd post.
This latest revelation by Mark Stetson is something I’m thankful to hear. I hope to hear more voices like this. Know hope.