Great start to the campaign. After 2 days we are 60% funded for our first stage. I’m incredibly thankful to everyone who has contributed. There was a lot of news generated from the start and a lot of questions.
The campaign has been featured on other sites:
Surviving Post Production: 5 Simple Clicks to Safeguard Your Future in Film VFX
Animation World Network: VFX Trade Subsidy Campaign Launches
Animaton Guild: VFX Soldier launches campaign against entertainment subsidies
and finally a new site called VFX Los Angeles has started: So, it begins.
and now to the questions:
How long will the feasibility study take?
It will probably take 2-3 months. Much of this will depend upon the law firm consulting with contacts in the industry so they can prescribe the route of action.
Who is the law firm and why won’t you reveal them?
We have chosen not to reveal the law firm at this time because it may reveal their contacts in the government which opponents of this measure will try to lobby. You’re going to have to believe in us on this one. We’re running a bit of a high wire act: We need to spread info to encourage support but at the same time we also need to conceal important information from the opposition or else the integrity of our campaign will be compromised. If we go on to the second stage that leads to a course of action, the law firm will divulge their identity.
How did you find this law firm?
I’ve been in contact with various officials in the government about the trade issues harming the VFX industry. It became quite apparent that I would need counsel to go further. I was referred to various law firms that specialize in international trade law. I was able to put together a list of over 50 international trade law firms which I contacted. Some recused themselves, some did not answer, some expressed interest, and some were just looking to rip me off.
After getting in contact with those who were interested, I personally booked a flight on my own dime and went out to meet each one. They were all very good candidates with incredible expertise. I chose this particular law firm for a few reasons:
Expertise: This was a law firm that had attorneys that worked in the Office of US Trade Representative. The team was highly experienced. One of the attorneys served for decades as a former partner at one of the premier international law firms.
Cases: This law firm has had a history of helping smaller industries that were being adversely affected by subsidies being taken advantage of by larger domestic producers. This was important because this is a situation most of us are in given the relationship between the VFX industry and US Studios.
Realistic: The final reason I chose this particular law firm was because they were realistic. They understood the challenge we faced as an ad hoc group of VFX professionals. They’ve worked with similar groups before. Instead of trying to charge a huge amount up front they were receptive to a pay-as-we-go plan where we crowd-fund their plan.
Isn’t VFX Soldier running a scam to get rich quick?
As silly as this accusation is, it must be addressed. Do a search on my blog. For years, countless hours, days and nights I have religiously posted on issues affecting my colleagues, my friends, and their families in the VFX industry. As of write now it’s 4:30am and I’m writing this post. All of this while working full time. I haven’t received one dime out of this blog and we’ve engineered this campaign so if we reach our goal the funding goes directly to the law firm. No money enters my hands. For years naysayers came to my blog and complained that there was no action from anyone in the industry. I took my time, worked the channels to arrive to this moment for action.
Do you really think after all this that my intent was to cash out by starting a crowd-funded campaign for $16K?
Many of the people who donated to this campaign and have supported this website have never met me. All I can say is that I’ve been here before. I remember not knowing anyone trying to get into this industry. I remember so many opposed to me becoming a VFX professional. They said I would lose. They said I would fail. Yet for some reason I kept going. The reason why was because the costs of doing nothing was far greater than trying my best.
That’s the situation we’re in right now. I know many of you are skeptical but again, I ask you to consider the costs of doing nothing. The status quo of chasing the industry as it moves to each subsidized locale cannot continue. I look forward to your support.