The VFX Trade Organization Dilemma

Last week VFX Artist Joe Harkins started a petition to end VFX subsidies and lobby for a trade organization that represents the VFX facilities. He also wrote a post on why we need to support the trade organization:

Unlike other crafts in the film business, we don’t work directly for the movie studios. We work for a 3rd party that negotiates the work, agrees to a price, and then executes the task at hand. We need the facilities we work for to be healthy.

While I agree with the conclusion that we need to end subsidies and form a trade organization, I have to respectfully disagree with the premise used to make the argument. The trade organization is a helpful but unnecessary earmark to the very prudent idea: Ending subsidies.

The Nationalist Point Of View Alienates Supporters

Throughout Joe Harkins’ post he conveys a nationalist point of view by proclaiming things like “I’m an American first, VFX artist second.”

This is a big mistake. The US VFX industry is made up of a huge number of immigrants and by making this an “American first” issue he alienates a huge group of vfx professionals who built and support the industry here and also want to see an end to subsidies.

Now to be fair, some of my international readers alienate those artists based here also by expressing that their struggle is somehow retribution for US corporate and government policy.

Since when did advocating for families, labor rights, and health insurance become a strictly American idea? If anything it’s a global idea.

The irony is that many of these struggles are symptoms derived by global subsidies offered to US studio conglomerates. You don’t hurt US corporations by giving them your local taxpayer money and you definitely don’t hurt them when you cheer the demise of the middle class in the US.

Mr. Harkins post also alienates foreign VFX facilities too. Why would a VFX facility in London join a trade organization that’s about putting Americans first?

It’s Unfair To Condemn Foreign Subsidies & Condone Local Subsidies At The Same Time

Mr. Harkins argues that we need to have a VFX trade organization that will end foreign subsidies but lobby for local subsidies too.

Again I disagree. I have been strongly against subsidies in New Mexico, Florida, Michigan and even California. Subsidies are regulated by the WTO not because of “Americans first” but because its a form of protectionism that artificializes the price of VFX.

Also again, why would a VFX facility in Vancouver want to join a trade organization that wants to take their subsidies away but lobby for subsidies in the US?

Unions Don’t Need To Wait For A Trade Organization

Mr. Harkins feels unions should wait for a trade organization because that’s how Hollywood did it. Historically speaking, that’s not correct: The MPAA was formed in 1922. The IATSE was formed 30 years before that in 1893.

He also argues that unions are for employees of studios, not subcontracting companies like the ones many of us work for. However many members of TAG and other union locals work for subcontractors.

To ask the unions to wait is a cop out. If anything, the formation of a union would coerce the facilities to jointly negotiate. Boom there’s your trade organization.

Mr. Harkins argues that forming a union is too much of a monumental task.

I disagree: They have the money, the retirement & health insurance plan, infrastructure, and representation. In fact The Animation Guild already covers many VFX artists. All they have to do to unionize is to confidentially sign a rep card.

The Trade Organization Has A Monumental Task Also

On the other hand the VFX trade organization is a monumental task: No money, no policy proposals, and most importantly, no interest from the facilities.

Asking the President and having professionals sign petitions is great but none of those have the authority to require the facilities to organize. However if vfx professionals confidentially sign union rep cards the facilities and studios are required by law to recognize the labor organization and collectively bargain.

Furthermore the trade organization has yet to even make a proposal of how they intend to ensure the financial health of its members. Is this organization going to negotiate bids for the group? Are they intending to fix prices? I’ve asked for details of what they intend to propose.

The Trade Organization Is In the Best Interest Of VFX Facilities, Not VFX Professionals

Has anyone even checked if the trade organization is even legal?! I’m skeptical that a trade organization will have the best interest of the professionals. If poach-gate is any indication of what happens when trusted facilities work together then count us professionals out.

Secondly, does this organization intend to save the US VFX industry? Scott Ross was asked that in a thread about saving the VFX industry and sort of skirted the issue. I’m not surprised by this as Mr. Ross has often stated his belief that the whole VFX industry will eventually go to India and China.

I personally feel Mr. Ross is bluffing but if he really believes VFX is going all to India and China, why not concentrate your trade organization effort there?

Also, why would professionals want to help an organization whose leader throughly believes in seeing your job go away? Scott Ross is a great guy but he doesn’t share the same goals as vfx professionals.

Don’t Trust, But Verify

I have never asked for readers to trust me, but I do ask that you verify what I write. If I post something incorrect then I lose credibility. I welcome challenges on my blog whether they be insults condemning me as a wanker or more thought out arguments based on facts.

That notion should also be true for anyone in this industry: Don’t trust them but do verify the information they give you. This industry needs tough love and so does Mr. Harkins. There is a legitimate concern over how wildly his position has changed over the past few months.

Harkins 1.0 & Harkins 2.0

For those of you who are new to the discussion Joe Harkins exploded onto the scene with his Open Letter To VFX Artists basically impugning the struggles of VFX professionals. Some of accusations he made were incredibly wrong and wild. I call this “Harkins 1.0”. All of a sudden he was pro-union and recognized the struggle of vfx professionals. This is “Harkins 2.0”.

Consider some of the tweets and posts he made (which have been deleted):

Harkins 1.0 – May 5, 2011: I hate the idea of government programs that try to “improve” the welfare of our citizens by spending my tax money.

Harkins 2.0 – Our government should be interested in protecting our jobs in the United States, first and foremost. The recession, and our economy, have taken a toll on all Americans. We are not exempt. We need a bail out.

Harkins 1.0 – I’d like to say this to all the artists out there working in VFX.If you really feel bad for yourself, on your next walk to get a five dollar latte, or when you go to your companies parking lot full of high end foreign cars, remember that there are people out there who woke up today and didn’t know where their next meal would come from.

Harkins 2.0 – I had some great meetings yesterday about the VFX Foundation. Turns out I’m not the only one trying to do something about the struggles we face as a VFX artists in this business. I listened to some great ideas on how to solve difficult problems like group health care, retirement funds, and legal services.

Harkins 1.0 – 6-15-2011: I don’t give a shit about non-american VFX workers stealing our jobs with their foreign subsidies, and that I only care about workers here in the U.S. and workers who are U.S. citizens working abroad.

Harkins 2.0 – A global industry is important. There’s nothing wrong with globalization. China, India, and other developing countries that can offer work cheaper will continue to see new success. I hope they do.

So I’ve experienced Harkins 1.0 and prefer Harkins 2.0 but sometimes I wonder how someone so convicted in a belief can change it all so quickly.

When Mr. Harkins originally posted the petition, it was just asking for support of a trade organization. Quickly people were signing with comments about ending subsidies. An hour later the petition wording was quite different. It was now mostly about subsidies with the earmarked support for a trade organization. I tweeted a question to Joe to see if he changed the petition wording and his response was yes because people were saying it was too vague.

I hope that this isn’t all some ulterior motive to whip people up about subsidies and get them to funnel money to fund the $3 Million Scott Ross has asked for the trade organization. I hope that isn’t the case but I can’t trust anyone, but I do have to verify.

Soldier On.


37 Responses to The VFX Trade Organization Dilemma

  1. occlude says:

    Great post, lots of good points! 🙂

    I do have the ability to change my mind (yes, I am human), and my opinions are formed as I continue to be educated on issues. The difference is that I’m a little more vocal than others, and so my original views on an issue are pretty public, and as they change with convincing and proper arguments from others, I openly share a new perspective.

    With regards to subsidies: I never said we should encourage more subsidies here in the U.S., I believe that piece of information is inaccurate- can you find somewhere I said that?

    Also, with regards to being “nationalist”, that really isn’t going to change for me personally. I have respect for facilities in other countries that do high level work- like Weta and Double Negative and MPC, for example. On the other hand, do they really need these subsidies to compete? For Weta, I think the answer is no. For the U.K., I am left to wonder.

    For facilities that are “extensions” of U.S. facilities, like many of the shops in Vancouver, etc, I feel strongly that those only exist because of the subsidies, and that we need to somehow do something to prevent this practice.

    In general, I don’t think it’s clear what a Trade Org would do exactly yet, but we have a group and are meeting about it here in L.A. at least to try and figure that out. Ideally, it’s something everyone can get behind- facilities, artists, and the general public.

    A union only benefits the artists, and that’s why I think it needs to wait to happen. U.S. facilities are shipping out work for tax rebates is a more important issue in my opinion.

    If nothing else, the petition is supposed to help bring to light some of these challenges and get people talking about them. I believe it has succeeded in that thus far. I also believe it’s a good starting point for moving forward.

    The next steps are not clearly defined, but the issues we face are pretty clear.

    • VFX Soldier says:

      In your post you supported a quote by one of the petitioners who said:

      “it can fight for incentives to keep jobs here and lead the way to combat unfair subsidies”

      You also said:
      “Our government should be interested in protecting our jobs in the United States, first and foremost. The recession, and our economy, have taken a toll on all Americans. We are not exempt. We need a bail out.”

      You are working with Scott Ross and he has also indicated he wants subsidies.

      Could you plausibly deny that? Perhaps, but lets be clear, the trade organization is going to want to lobby for even more subsidies. The owners want them.

      The nationalist stuff is a huge mistake. I saw the cgtalk thread and what it does is open up the debate to all kinds of “america does this and that”. It diverts attention from the real issue. You can even see Americans on that thread who are turned off by it.

      • occlude says:

        Wow, you’re really stretching my message there into saying “get more local subsidies”. Ha! I, like you, don’t like the idea that any subsidy exists. At least ask before you assume what I meant.

        I don’t care what you think as far as if you think my POV is a mistake- I believe it’s right for us here. I don’t need approval from the outside world to feel good about myself.

        Also, there are plenty of people on the CGTalk thread from other countries readily admitting that their foreign subsidies are indeed a problem, so don’t be so one-sided with your argument if you wish to remain objective.

  2. occlude says:

    I’d just like to add- it takes a lot of guts to put yourself out there. I do that regularly, and welcome the criticism and feedback from others. Most people shy away from that, but for me, it’s a part of who I am. I can deal with not being liked if my point of view isn’t the popular one. As long as people don’t personally attack me, it’s fine. By all means, beat me up, and educate me on why my POV is wrong or incorrect, and I’ll be glad to listen. If you’re right, you’re right- and I’ll be the first to admit it.

  3. LMP says:

    As long as this issue start to move forward and get people involved I am happy with any activity being put in motion; trade organization, union, etc.
    Things just can’t continue going the way they are going… They are already building huge movie studios in China…

  4. skaplan839 says:

    You are spot on with this post. I’ve had big issues with the petition both with the way it was presented and the “shuck and jive” handling of the message it delivers. Most of my concerns are with the way Joe has tied the creation of the Trade Organization to the subsidy issue.

    Your “The Trade Organization Is In the Best Interest Of VFX Facilities” section highlights my biggest concern exactly. By my recall, the Trade Organization as it was envisioned by Mr. Ross would be a means to bring order out of the operational chaos of a visual effects studio. In my discussion with him, he quickly pointed out that the “Bigs” had to be members for the Organization to carry any weight. By Bigs .. he referred to those studios able to do the heavy lifting on tent-pole feature work: ILM, DD, Weta, D-Neg, MPC, etc. This is an INTERNATIONAL group with INTERNATIONAL needs. Wouldn’t this therefore make the Trade Organization in favor of subsidies?? Just a thought ..

    While I’m a regular critic of Joe’s approach, there’s no arguing the impact the petition and his posts have made. I’ve openly supported the idea of this trade association and Scott Ross as its founder and initial leader. However, the answer to the visual effects industry problem lies with the cohesive action between the union representing artists and the Organization representing studios. Together, the change we seek will be forged and solidified.

    • occlude says:

      You guys have spent so much time discussing a union, but nothing has happened. People are tired of hearing about it. I support the idea of it, but again, no movement, no change…nothing. Dead silence. We can hear a pin drop.

      Secondly, I support Scott Ross’ notion that a Trade Org has to be international, however, I think a U.S. based organization should concern itself with U.S. based facilities first, and have clear goals that represent American jobs first. If it figures out how to include foreign companies in that, then great.

      I don’t care what people think- I clearly want Americans to be employed, and preferably in America, paying American taxes, and contributing to the American economy. That includes foreigners who come here, pay taxes, and work and live here- people who dreamed about living here all their lives, and finally got the chance, and who want to stay here.

      You guys keep talking about unions. Meanwhile, I’ll keep rallying Americans to support American jobs, the economy, and growth in the U.S.A.

      Steve- you work for TAG/IATSE. What if we shipped your job off, to say Canada, for a tax rebate and told you to go or find another gig or pack up and move to Vancouver? Would you play nice?

      • VFX Soldier says:

        Joe, Isn’t the intention of this trade organization to essentially use leverage to charge for more so they can make a profit?

        Scott Ross needs $3 MILLION just to start. Thats more than the VES budget. Thats more than the yearly dues of all of TAGs members.

        If a group of vfx facilities in the US get together and ask for more money the studios will just send that work overseas. The trade org is just as susceptible to that anti-union argument.

      • occlude says:

        No, the idea is to lobby the government to stop the use of unfair subsidies to level the playing field with other developed countries. We need some kind of representation to do that. Simply asking for it once isn’t enough.

        There are a myriad of issues that a Trade Org could address, both for facilities and for the workers, if setup properly. We’ll have to see if it ever happens.

        Yes, it requires money. $3MIL is not enough, probably we would need even more, but no-one knows for sure yet.

        And if a group of facilities got together and asked for more money that would be collusion. That can’t happen. The Trade Org should represent the facilities and artists fairly. It should use media/press to bring attention to some of these issues to the public and encourage studios to work with U.S. facilities more to help them thrive, and encourage fair treatment of workers. With the right organization, anything is possible.

      • skaplan839 says:

        I’m not arguing that the unionization effort has been effective, Joe. I’m saying that you jump all over the map with little time spent thinking your message or how it comes across.

        Take this comment for example. You support the Trade Org being international .. but want the Trade Org to be US based. You can’t have it both ways. The Trade Org *WILL* be international to have any teeth whatsoever.

        Its bullshit to say you’re trying to support American jobs when you’re really trying to get support for the Trade Org. What’s worse, you don’t seem to understand the Trade Org and your stated goals aren’t aligned.

        I think supporting the Trade Org is a good thing. It will help end a lot of the problems we currently face. I think ending the subsidies is a good thing. It will end the practice of flinging jobs across the globe for local kickbacks. However, I’m not using one to sell the other. Your doing so makes you seem more like a used car salesman than anything else.

        Please understand Joe, I’m not saying this to insult you. I’m pointing it out so you don’t look like an ass.

  5. edwardh says:

    Besides the discussion around this – why the hell would he set 100k signatures as the petition goal?! Considering the size of the industry, the 1475 the petition got so far already seem like a lot. The goal should have been more like 2000. After all, how many more VFX workers can there be in the US? But when the amount of signatures is so far off from the set goal, it looks pathetic to anybody who doesn’t know.

    • occlude says:


      That’s like saying the VES represents all VFX workers. They represent a minute fraction of the total workforce. (if that’s what you’re going off of).

      This industry is huge.

      Even more important, this issue appeals to all Americans, not just our industry. It’s easy to get Americans to rally behind a cause that supports creating more American jobs, especially in this economy.

      100,000 is nothing, and I hope to reach it, and then increase the number so it gets even more.

      Why aim low?

      • VFX Soldier says:

        This is my number one problem with VFX professionals: Lofty and unrealistic idealism.

        100,000 signatures?! There aren’t even half that many vfx professionals in the world!

        Put yourself in the President’s shoes or one of his officials.

        The minute they see that petition with that huge bar and small level of support its game over.

        Thanks Joe, you’re really aiming high and you just missed.

      • occlude says:

        Well now you’re just flat out insulting, yet at the same time you posted a nice new widget on your blog with a link to the petition…so…

      • VFX Soldier says:

        Oh you’re gonna double down on that unrealistic 100,000 figure? Okay then the trade organization should wait until you reach 100,000 signatures. Why aim low?!

  6. David Rand says:

    As i tweeted recently “I’s not perfect but it’s a start”, and it does have some interest and seems to be pointed at the right people. The author seems open to suggestions maybe Ross, Soldier, and Kaplan can add to it and push it forward…maybe that’s better than starting over? Or is it unethical to change the message a bit midstream again? I believe everyone that signed can be contacted to re sign a better draft if needed. Given Obama’s recent words I’m all for him seeing how we are affected by market socialization being brought to his new focus on leveling the playing field. I be he loves VFX like most people do. I’m still convinced subsidies are hurting the product and the studios bottom line be defocusing the creative process and killing the creative spirit by transforming us in to nomads in search of basal needs while we are expected to spawn creativity. That’s my broken record.

    I’m just glad to see more folks that ever chiming in. Much has changed in the last 5 yrs as far as that is concerned.

    • occlude says:

      Hi Dave, I can’t change the petition message at this point. I did that once, within the first hour of posting it, when it only barely had a few signatures. Adjusting now would be unethical, yes. Also, considering how well people are reacting to it (they are signing it, after all), it seems that the message is working.

      • VFX Soldier says:

        Did you consult Scott Ross on this petition? Or anyone else? I get the impression it was hastily put together.

      • occlude says:

        Yes, I did, but quietly. Scott doesn’t want to be at the front of this. So, throw the tomatoes my way please…and boo me off the stage. It’s all my doing! 🙂

      • skaplan839 says:

        Jesus Joe, relax.

        One of the reasons we’re commenting is because you did a *GOOD* thing. Its reaching a lot of people and getting a lot of play. As you pointed out, Soldier added the widget because you played to the subsidy issue which is near to anyone who understands the shell-game BS that subsidies are.

        You went off the rails a bit when connecting it to the Trade Org. No biggie. Now people know about it and that’s fine too.

      • occlude says:

        Sorry Steve, it feels more like a lot of these posts are just attacks at my credibility and reaction based snipey comments, but for no gain at all, just so other people can look smart. That’s fine for them, but it lacks any substance. As always, no alternative is proposed, no real ideas, just more internet fodder.

        Since I’m not negatively affected by the subsidies, maybe I should just stop caring if that’s what people want? I could just as easily do nothing, keep doing what I do for a living, and not care what happens to our industry here. I can keep buying lamborghini’s and blowing my cash and never stop to think twice. That’s an empty life!

        -OR- I could help the industry that got me to where I am today, and take the time to actually care about what’s happening to the next generation of artists around me who want so bad to work on cool movies and learn this craft.

        That’s why I give free lectures at schools, and do portfolio reviews for students and help them with resumes, in my own time. I want them to have a fair chance, and see them do well too.

        When someone e-mails me for advice I respond- every single time. When they’re struggling with their career and just reach out, I take the time to write back. Even if they’re in another country, I still take the time to help them out without prejudice. It takes 5 minutes to give someone encouragement.

        My problem is I care.

  7. Anon Anon says:

    Its not the case that critical comments have been made here ‘just so people can look smart’, or to attack Joe Harkins, although I admit a couple comments do come uncomfortably and unproductively close to ad hominen argument.

    Speaking for myself, when I heard about the petition I immediately went to sign it-

    But, then I read it. Several times. I looked at the list of intended recipients. Several times.

    Because the petition conflates a call for a Trade Organization with a call to enforce WTO law, I felt that I was either looking at a fundamentally misconceived, and consequently damagingly weak document, or that I simply did not understand what I was reading.

    I went with the second assumption and posted here a few days ago on a related thread, asking what the strategy was and how the petition was designed to work.

    The discussion here has been helpful for me at least in that it has answered my initial questions, and unfortunately as the case may be, confirmed that I still understand how to read English, and finally that I’m not at all alone in that respect. But that’s not the main point.

    Far more importantly, I think the comments here are indispensably useful in that they educate all of us on the hard problem of crafting effective messaging strategies with regard to the complex issues that concern us, and perhaps suggest a way toward some answers.

    I think we all realize that Joe should be applauded for his effort to move all of this forward with the petition after so much industry wide navel gazing, and I think the large number of signatures collected so far indicates that he’s hit a chord that resonates with a huge number of us. That’s a very good thing. I predict that some day this petition will have historical value.

    But I also hope that Joe can take a step back and understand that the critical comments on the problems with the petition are neither meant as snipey attacks against himself, nor are they intended to rain on a parade with soggy internet fodder before it even has the chance to get itself organized.

    There’s too much at stake for everyone to permit either attitude.
    There’s too much at stake for everyone not to get this right.

  8. Jeff Heusser says:

    I’m glad you explained the way the petition changed and then changed back. I was not pleased with the initial wording, thought the changes were much better but then by the time I went back to sign it – it had reverted. I decided not to sign a petition that could be changed after I signed it. Thanks for clearing that up.

    One thing I would like to add to the discussion is that the word “fair” keeps being thrown around. Romantic notions like “fair” have no place in mega corporate profit world. VFX companies and artists will only have better control of their destinies when they band together and work toward common goals and use that as leverage. VFX companies through a trade association. Artists through organizing via existing unions with collective bargaining power and experience. We can bash organizing efforts all day long but it is in the hands of the artists to take the lead on this.

    Let’s stop beating each other up and start demanding our industry matures and gets the respect and portion of the profits it deserves.

  9. Jeff Heusser says:

    I just re-read everything and it appears I Interpreted the fairness overtone. I stand by what I said but I apologize for sounding like I was responding to something specific.

  10. jona says:

    At first I thought a TA would be a good idea. I didn’t know who Scott was but I was under the impression he wanted people to help him with a ground floor operation. After watching those threads on Linked-in I got the impression he thought it was going to be easier.. or somehow that $3 million was going to fall out of the sky. I have my doubts about his ability to do the tough work after that.

    I was also impressed with the impatience and exclusionary nature of the thread. Overall, it was a terse exchange with no steering and no results.

    I also feel that this is already a global industry and there will be some huge challenges flattening out the imbalance that exists now. I am trying to learn exactly how any of these approaches, TA, union, etc.. will really help the situation. There is actually more real information about the pros and cons of possible approaches here on this site than I have been able to find elsewhere. A little bickering as well but I attribute that to the difficulty of properly interpreting text. Be patient and consistent.

  11. Jeff Heusser says:

    Scott Ross is uniquely qualified to head a trade association as someone who has helmed two of the biggest shops in the business (and created one of those). He is passionate about the business and is a proven, driven individual and a relentless fighter for his team. He talks at length about that and his history in two podcasts I did with him at

  12. The petition as worded was, for me, somewhat incidental to the fact that we’re allowed to make our own commentary when we sign it. We need the biggest possible tent to contain everyone, and a diversity of viewpoints held within that tent.

    100,000 people is… overly optimistic, yes, but why should we arbitrarily consider the total number of VFX workers in the world as the upper bound on support? To use a biased example, one of our signatories is my dearly beloved mother-in-law, who’s been a bookkeeper at the former family business for most of her adult life. She may not fully grasp the intricacies of VFX subsidies or the bid system, but she does get accounting, finance, and job creation at a working-class level. Everyone has a colleague or a drinking buddy in some other industry that faces similar competitive market forces– grab that person and educate him or her over a drink.

    Seen the latest news on the proposed Apple data center in Oregon? Development driven by low power costs and attractive tax rates, which created the FB and Google data centers in the region. Your IT buddies will understand this– they may not want to leave the town where you guys live any more than you do, they may worry about longterm job security, they might be working as temps at Google on Google gear and Google projects without being classified as employees.

    These issues are common, and if we want to be more than a few thousand voices murmuring in the larger policy discussion, we need to evangelize a bit. (Think of it as buying Scott time to dig up his three million dollars from the undisclosed location, if that makes you more or less comfortable.) Folks that we don’t usually talk nitty-gritty business details with may have more to contribute to a grassroots movement than we think.

  13. jona says:

    Jeff.. I understand that may be the default consensus. This isn’t a new problem. If DD was sold in 2006.. what did Scott do about this when he was in that power seat? (that’s a question) This is a different set of issues than those that are presented to a CEO of a major, well funded VFX facility. Given the importance of this issue I would like to see more people involved with an eye towards helming a TA so the beneficiaries of such an entity might have more than one choice before it all gets going.

  14. Billyshakes1492 says:

    Why is that the studios can have the MPAA do their bidding.. and vfx cant have a trade association.

    Can we have both a trade association and a guild?

    We need to do something

    • VFX Soldier says:

      Good question.

      The mpaa represents the studios which in this case are the customers. The facilities are the sellers. Any attempt by the sellers to manipulate prices could be a candidate for antitrust violation.

      It’s okay for consumers and employees to form organizations the leverage price. Not for the sellers.

      It’s a rock and a hard place.

      • Billyshakes1492 says:


        Yes big fear about Anti-competitive activity but do you think the facilities (the american and the european) need to do something as a group? They are getting beaten up by the studios with regards to cost and turn around time.

        i know you ve heard this before: We are the only craft in the motion pictures industry with out representation… why cant we agree to come together to get representation and some sort of health and welfare for the freelancer among us…

        No general among us soldiers…

        Time for a revolution….

      • VFX Soldier says:

        These things take time. Nothing is going to happen overnight. In theory it would be great to have all the facilities jointly negotiate but the problem is a) the big 10 facilities aren’t interested b) it might be labeled a trust. So the underbidding continues.

        A union would be great but even they can’t prevent companies from the cut-throat competition. They could indirectly by standardizing the cost of labor with wage minimums, portable benefits, and enforcement of labor law.

  15. Billyshakes1492 says:

    Would be nice to have things happened overnight. We wouldnt need to have these discussions threads.

    I keep reading about the Big 10. Why start with the big 10? Why not go after the smaller shops. Bringing them together. Help them save money. Standardize them.

    So another question I have is: If there’s a trade association, will the workers be left out in the cold?

    Does both go hand in hand? Trade Association. VFX Guild.

    Time for a revolution…VFX Spring Revolution….

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