VFX Soldier Debated On BC Radio

You probably noticed that #SaveBCFilm supporters have kept getting a video I edited taken down on copyright grounds. I felt this was a bad move because the more they tried to stop the video, the more interest it would generate about what it contains.

So it’s no surprise that Saturday morning I was contacted by CKNW host Dave Teixeira who wanted a copy of the video to refer to on a radio segment about the social media debate.

You can view the video here.

I tweeted about the potential discussion and listened in and to my surprise frequent commenter & VFX professional Dave Rand called in. I’ve posted the radio segments here:


SaveBCFilm Organizer Wayne Bennett Accuses VFX Soldier Of Spreading Lies & Misinformation

If you listen to the radio segment SaveBCFilm organizer Wayne Bennett calls in and makes a number of accusations about this blog:

  • VFX Soldier, not SaveBCFilm has been spreading lies & misinformation.
  • VFX Soldier has incorrectly called the program in BC a subsidy.
  • VFX Soldier is not based in BC and is upset that California does not have a competitive film subsidy program.

First off, I have engaged #SaveBCFilm and their supporters on twitter asking them simple questions that they do not want to answer. I welcome anyone to challenge the information I have. I cite my sources and they are there for you to see. I do not delete comments and welcome an open forum for anyone. If you try to post any of my articles on the savebcfilm facebook page, it will be removed. This is ironic considering much of the outrage started when savebcfilm supporters has their comments deleted on the BC Premier’s facebook.

The idea that I am spreading lies and misinformation is laughably false. It is a fact that the film subsidy program is costing over $250 Million a year in taxpayer dollars and it is a fact that the program is a subsidy. A producer can receive taxpayer money that goes beyond their tax liability even if it is zero. The commenters on this blog and I have spent the last 3 posts wiping the floor with the facts.

The BC Minister of Culture calls the program a subsidy. Hell, there is even a huge book on Canadian subsidies and guess what they call the film programs?

Another big word in the subsidies directory, in fact maybe the biggest of all, is “film,” which appears a whopping 393 times.

Lastly, I’ve never pretended to be a resident of BC and I have never advocated for subsidies in California. I have actively written against subsidies in California, other states in the US, and around the world. I have constantly argued that subsidies create artificial markets, inflate bubbles, and force VFX workers to constantly be displaced.

So what the hell is Wayne Bennett talking about and can someone from #savebcfilm answer me? From the video above it looks like many of the experts on both sides are getting the message that this blog has argued.

Soldier On.


23 Responses to VFX Soldier Debated On BC Radio

  1. Craig says:

    Dave Rand’s suggestion to make marketable films was sensible but it went right over the heads of the guests. You could tell they have never given it a thought and they spoke the same excuse they used 30 years ago, that they cant compete with big budget Hollywood films, ignoring the output of other countries that also made profitable films that didnt cost $200 million. Oy.

    • Steve says:

      Forgive the meme-speak but ‘One does not simply start making marketable films’.

      To be fair the tax breaks are only aimed at competing in the jobs market and right now that market is servicing US productions. That is the market. Growing an indigenous industry is a great aim but is a more complex, long-term goal and I believe is more down to companies and creatives than the government and the Treasury.

      • Craig says:

        To start you have to want to make marketable films. Canada does not want to. Its always been a problem here. We only took a stab at it in the late 60s-to early 80s and pulled the plug so the most profitable english language film of all time in Canada is Bob Clark’s 1982 sex comedy Porky’s. A couple of more recent movies have been touted as the new top grossing film but they either arent adjusted for inflation, dont factor in foreign box office, or the country of origin. It will probably stay the winner for a long time.

  2. Andreas Jablonka says:

    hey Vfxsoldier, the audio segment cannot be downloaded due to overload. could you make them a youtube video instead?

  3. The Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Hey look whats going on now:

    “The Los Angeles-based company has been acclaimed for the quality of its effects but has had trouble competing with generous tax subsidies that have sent much visual-effects work in cities like London and Montreal.”

    • Paul says:

      Why is it that of all the departments involved in making a blockbuster or similar, the one that is in trouble – vfx – is precisely the one who returns the most cash?!

      What’s up with wardrobe, make up or editing?

      Studios should have their in house vfx or something…

      • A says:

        The ones who need to give up the biggest cut are the weakest links in the industry–writing, directing, and producing. The scripts for most major vfx spectacle films are horrible. Direction is horrible. Production is wasteful in many ways that have nothing to do with vfx, except when a director can’t make up his mind and wastes money on iterations.

        They need to take a pay cut and vfx artists need to make more money. Our work is THE most important part of selling movie tickets. Audiences care only about great looking vfx spectacle.

      • Jen says:

        Disney had an in-house VFX shop once: The Secret Lab. TSL used to be DreamQuest before Disney bought it.

  4. Ike says:

    Wayne will probably shut up next week, as he’s got a job. In film. In poor under subsidized BC.

    Keep fighting, Soldier! The facts are on your side!

    • Ymir says:

      Business-wise, Texas would be a great place to open a VFX company. Of course, all the business aspects (lower business costs, lower overhead, the way the incentives are structured) benefit the company, not the studios who just want to get a big cash kickback. But most of the incentives would help a company bid lower and keep the money on the screen. But again, all the studios are interested in is getting cash back, regardless if the overall costs of the project are lower or not.

  5. Skye says:

    What I think is really funny is how quickly you edited your original post to clean up the direct link that you are Dave Rand. Accountable and transparent my hiney!!

  6. vfxartist_who_wants_out says:

    What’s the point trying to save or change this sinking ship ?
    There comes a point where you need to just say fuck it and walk away to a new professional life.
    anyone who been in vfx industry is 2 steps away from working at Walmart.

  7. Steve says:

    I understand Save BC’s annoyance: If you want to take down your own video but someone else has saved it and reposted it, that is extremely annoying. However I don’t understand why they didn’t just put up a new video that corrected whatever was wrong with the other one. That’s the best riposte, really.

    • Ashes says:

      They haven’t put a new one up because they can’t. They have no actualy numbers, reports, or facts that support their position. They have now resorted to vague persoanal attacks on VFX Soldier and anyone who debunks what they say.

      Try it out for yourself. Anytime one of them says a post is crap or VFX Soldier is lying, ask them what the lie is or what’s incorrect with the post. They’ll ignore you or just do another personal attack. Occassionally they’ll try and cite some numbers which are either wrong or easily debunked.

      You are correct though, a new, factually correct, video would have been the best way to counter VFX Soldier. We’ll see if that happens.

      • VFX Soldier says:

        The problem is a factually correct video would show what my math shows: a huge government subsidy that pays beyond the amount of taxes received.

        That’s why I call this a poker game for them: they have a bad hand and the only way to win is to bluff their way into getting the other side to fold.

  8. Jeevfx says:

    Its not only Rhythm & Hues… but also Gameloft studio in india.. Its sad..:-( I don’t know what’s happening..????

  9. Billy Ballzack says:

    This video pretty much sums it up: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOR38552MJA

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