If any of you were long time readers you probably remember there was a great blogger who called himself VFX Law, an anonymous production side CG Supervisor by day and law school student by night who wrote some great posts with insight into the VFX Industry.
One of his memorable posts was about who were the big decision makers at the studios. If my memory serves me right they are Warner Bros’ Chris De Faria, Disney’s Art Repola, Sony’s Neal Moritz, Marvel’s Victoria Alonso, and a few other kind people that we all have loved through the years.
Well Animation World Network has a good interview with Victoria Alonso up on their site. At one point Ms. Alonso mentioned the challenges of sending work around the world is security:
I think the most important thing in the last five years that we’ve had to do is to adjust to this global way of working, because our films have very tight security. Fans are very happy to get their hands on our information before it comes out. And although we appreciate how happy they are to get their hands on our stuff early, there is a time and a place for everyone to know because we don’t want you to see something that is not ready to be seen.
My guess is she’s alluding to the Wolverine piracy leak incident where the whole film was on the internet before it was even out. I get that. The industry doesn’t want to lose money off of piracy.
Then there is talk about my favorite subject subsidies:
If you get the same quality out of any country or any state that you go to, then if I’m the studio I go, “Well, hold on, if I send it here, or I send it there, and I still get the same imagery, why wouldn’t I go to a place that gives me $30 million at the end of the day.” It’s a lot of money!
I get that too, hell it’s free money! Of course you all know my objection as the subsidies are a violation of international trade law blah blah blah.
Here’s my point. Steve Hulett alludes to this on the TAG blog a lot: There is no right or wrong, good or evil, fair or unfair, legal or illegal in this world. There’s just leverage.
Ms. Alonso and many studio execs decry piracy. Yet I’m sure many execs turn a blind eye to an overseas vendor that uses pirated software. Unfair? That’s just leverage.
John Textor openly markets his intent to have 30% of his work done by students who he expects to pay $100k+ in tuition. Wrong? That’s just leverage.
On a flight the passenger next to me is watching a pirated version of a film I worked on. Illegal? That’s just leverage.
So if a student has a choice between paying for expensive classes and expensive software to learn the trade what do you think they’re going to do?
That’s just business. You want morality? Go to a church. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.