I’d like to make a proposal to VFX facility owners and professionals being adversely affected by subsidies in our industry. As you may know I’ve dedicated many posts to the issue and many international trade law experts and also the President of the United States have argued that subsidies violate international law. While I feel it was hastily put together, many found Joe Harkin’s online petition quite popular.
However there is a way to address this issue directly without political lobbying from a labor or trade organization. I would like to attain the services of a law firm to draft a challenge to the US Trade Representative. The goal is to bring an end to subsidies which artificialize the price of VFX.
Before I decide to engage in this action I’d like to discuss with readers who are interested as I have some legitimate questions and statements:
All donors will be kept secret unless they explicitly choose to donate publicly.
This is not an attempt to advocate for a labor or trade organization. I will welcome funding from facility executives and working professionals.
I need an efficient way of collecting funding. Kickstarter is good but I believe they only allow funding for creative projects. I was also thinking about opening an account for individuals to send funding.
The firm will need to be paid for it’s services. I haven’t checked the costs yet but let’s consider the costs of other possibilities:
Some VES members have been unhappy that the charter doesn’t allow for them to do something about subsidies. I’d like to make a proposal that those individuals suspend their membership for 1 year and dedicate the funding from their dues to this endeavor.
There is also the costs of doing nothing. Many VFX professionals are being coerced into moving to locations like Vancouver because of government subsidies. Take a moment to calculate the costs of uprooting and moving, the extra taxes, the higher costs of living. A lot of money right? Probably thousands of dollars? Well perhaps dedicating half or a quarter of the funding to this endeavor would help prevent that circumstance from occurring.
The costs for facility owners to do nothing is huge. They don’t receive subsidy money yet have to invest in the infrastructure, overhead, and labor mobility costs for key talent. Add that up, it costs a lot of money to chase work around the world.
Many have been interested in Scott Ross’s trade organization. He has asked for funding around $3 million dollars? Yet there has been no indication that the trade organization will do something to combat subsidies. I can guarantee you this proposal will be far less.
I’ll try to nail down the amount of money this will cost but my guess is if we all pitch in and generate funding in the six figures we should be in the ball park of putting together an effective challenge that will be taken seriously. When you compare it to the other costs I listed above, it’s a relatively small investment with a huge return: The end of artificial pricing in the VFX industry.
Checks And Balances
Obviously this can come off as a Nigerian email scam. How can I legitimize this to ensure that this is a trustworthy action?
I will need to protect the integrity of this case and therefore will need to keep important details from getting out. So I can’t guarantee that donors will be in the loop at all times. There are some that are heavily against us doing this and I need to protect information if this goes forward.
If at any time I feel that this case may fail (which it may) any leftover funding will be returned to donors in the percentage that it was given.
So comment below or email me: vfxsoldier at gmail. Let me know what you think.