More VFX Pros Go Unpaid In Montreal Screwjob

I’ve been on hiatus from the blog but my goodness there has been so much to talk about.

Thankfully many of you have been driving the conversation. One of those people is Dave Rand who came out of nowhere fighting to get him and his colleagues at Meteor Studios in Montreal paid after the company closed 5 years ago.

Since then I’ve posted about other instances where Montreal VFX pros were left unpaid. In 2010 there was Fake Studios. Then there was Lumiere. At the same time, Discovery Communications CEO which was sending work to Montreal facilities was making out like a bandit.

Well now there is news that New Breed in Montreal isn’t paying their artists according to VFX Solidarity’s page:

Just heard some disturbing news last night from a friend in Montreal. Seems New Breed has bounced the last two paychecks to its artists. So that’s 4 weeks no pay. They’ve considered a class action but the higher ups at New Breed don’t seem to concerned since the artists really seem to exhausted to follow through. Since I’m not Canadian nor is my friend, does anyone from our Canadian peers know what options they may have to fight this or know any good lawyers in the Montreal area?

Now The Animation Guild blog has posted a letter from Dave Rand urging them to stand together against this:

Leverage is what ultimately runs everything in our business, and all businesses. Sadly it’s rarely about ethics or fair play. Almost every labor law was created because of labor unions and the exposure they gave to injustices like these. (Here’s the list.)

Our government labor departments have been weak when it comes to getting lost wages. Bankruptcy laws protect owners from losing their “personal money”. Only your personal money is at stake. That is what incorporation is all about, their protection and not necessarily yours.

Right now your leverage is evaporating every day you approach delivery without a paycheck. Given this history of Montreal, I hope I’ve enlightened you to your world.

Dave Rand took a lot of heat in BC for standing against subsidies as #savebcfilm tried to lobby for them. Yet time and time again whenever Canadian artists went unpaid he was one of the few who stuck his neck out publicly to fight and get them paid.

In a similar story, a huge ruling by a US Federal Judge concerning unpaid interns in the film industry.

Soldier On.

115 Responses to More VFX Pros Go Unpaid In Montreal Screwjob

  1. Easy says:

    Why don’t people just get up and walk off the job? You probably aren’t going to get paid, and if there is money hidden somewhere, you can be sure that when you shut down someone’s production they will find it really really quickly.

    • Hanna says:

      Actually a lot of them did or they didn’t stay to extend their contracts.There are artists that ended their contracts back in May that still haven’t been payed their final checks. Didn’t know that when I initially posted the situation on VFX Solidarity. Also didn’t know how close they were to wrapping. And that is a mindset among artists that needs to be addressed. Not ridiculed. Remember most of them are exhausted by that point.

      Here’s the link to the conversation. https://www.facebook.com/VfxSolidarityIntl/posts/389149114526993?comment_id=2086168&reply_comment_id=2100791&offset=0&total_comments=41&notif_t=feed_comment

      • Easy says:

        They’re not being ridiculed by me, if that’s what you’re suggesting. It makes me mad as hell to hear things like this. Being blunt and getting to the point isn’t the same thing as contempt and mockery. If there was a little more of that kind of talk instead of this vague idea of being “professional” perhaps it would drive more of these studios out of business. Speaking of “being professional” isn’t it curious that it’s almost always defined behavior that lets people like this get away with treating us like crap?

      • mattmerk says:

        Nobody is being ridiculed here. It bothers me when I see comments like that. No point is getting all sensitive about it. I’ve worked in VFX for 20 solid years and have been paid every cent I’ve ever billed for because I live by the policies of “Easy” and Dave Rand and my personal policy: at the first sign I might not get paid, that’s when I stop working and immediately threaten lawsuit. And this is a hair trigger. This course of action has not gotten me blacklisted. It has, in fact, gotten me more work. And who cares if you get blacklisted by some shady asshole? So ease down there Hanna. Easy seems to be on your side. Now if only everybody on that job, and not just some, had walked, I guarantee the money would have miraculously appeared from somewhere.

      • James B says:

        @mattmerc I’m totally fine with being blacklisted by someone that won’t pay whats owed. Hell, I’d send him a picture of my ass if it would only ensure he never calls me again

      • Hanna says:

        Easy And MattMerk. I wasn’t being sensitive. Just making a statement to correct Easy’s ill-informed comment.

    • Alain Dubois says:

      Is there any link between Meteor Studios, other studios and New Breed ? Too often the company name changes but people move on whitout any remorse. Names please.

      • Creator says:

        Kind of. I started NewBreed Visual Effects back in 2007 because I was asked to supervise and build an animation team for the Halo 3 cinematics. I then added Josée Lalumiere, Jocelyn Cote and Another partner in 2008 because I couldn’t grow the studio on m own as I had no general managerial skills. The nice guy that i am, I GAVE them their shares and GAVE Josee presidency over the company. She then grew the studio in terms of physical space, company structure, etc.

        I left the company in January 2012 for massive differences in leadership amongst other things that I didn’t agree with.

        I can’t say anything else… For now. Depending on what happens, I might say more on The Wrap and/or Variety.

        Stay tuned I guess.

        Emile.

  2. DarkEnergy says:

    Interestingly enough, Lumiere was the new name of Meteor after it shut down and re-opened. Same facilities, same bosses, new name only to do it once again to mostly a new batch of artists.

  3. Easy says:

    There should be a list of people who do this to VFX artists. Karma doesn’t just happen on it’s own, sometimes you have to be the instrument that makes it happen.

  4. wb says:

    Montreal is a very special place – a totally separate place from the rest of the world.
    Montreal is really special
    Newbreeds is the old DAMN Fx and his owner, Josee Lalumiere, seems to keep the same practices as in the past.

    This is not a surprise – In a place where if you talk and try to bring onto the light the shit you are immediately thrown out and in a place where the work in constantly underpaid, overtime unpaid ( or put in databases?!) this news are not coming as a surprise.
    Just curious to see the official position of the VFX community regarding this sad story. Probably nothing…
    And in the same time, on their website – they are hiring! Big Time!!
    http://www.newbreedvfx.com/eng/#/careers
    Keep a big distance from Montreal . It might happened to any other houses there.

    • Hanna says:

      Yes that’s the funny thing. They are hiring. And they have probably posted on most of our communities major job sites too. I know it was mentioned that the employees and ex-employees are trying to get the word out NOT to work for them.

      • ana says:

        ..beware – Montreal is like a big family – they talk each-other and if you are saying bad words about a company, pretty soon the others will find out and will try to avoid you – First thing? They will say you are not good professional…and you are done – no more work in Montreal.
        Witch if I look carefully – seems ok.

      • Hanna says:

        Ana- The whole industry is like a big family. Stopping thinking about whether they will pass it on that your unprofessional. Because honestly if a company that you apply for is actually a “responsible” and “legitimate” business, they will ask you about it. And when they find out the criminal activity those other studios are doing, it will be those studios that lose credibility. If they do not ask about the said rumor, of your unprofessionalism, for clarification than you don’t want to work for them either.

        It is not unprofessional to fight for the wages you have earned, but it is unprofessional not to pay your workers for the work they have done.

      • mattD says:

        There is some funny thing with studio job adverts – you do get a lot of vfx houses who post job adverts for jobs they don’t have, regularly. Not sure if it’s just a resume gathering exercise or sometimes when they are up the swanny trying to put on a big act. Whatever it is, always worth trying to contact someone working there to find out if they really have any work, are quietly laying off, so on. Have a look here ;

        http://www.rhythm.com/jobs/vancouver/positions/

        A studio we know from posters here that laid off nearly everyone, has nearly no staff in the building or active project work. Maybe just propping up mannequins in the seats when the BC tax incentive folk take a tour round the facilities.

        Why anyone not from quebec would ever move to Montreal for work, I’ll never understand. That place is the wild west for the lowly worker. And it is always the same names behind the scenes. Must be some really amazing bancruptcy discharging laws in that province. Good luck to all you Montreal Framestorers. You’ll need it! Pretty sure john Textor will hitchup into Montreal at some point …

      • sirhc says:

        Agree MattD, most studios post job ads to field who’s out their looking for work, also makes people think they have work coming up.

      • What? says:

        No one talks I’ve seen the same horrible artist get picked up place after place, I’ve seen the same dick heads get pick up place after place, I’ve seen the same great and talented artist get picked up place after place. It’s all bullshit. No one talks or really cares.

  5. Michael says:

    All of this is being driven by the Discovery Networks. They are the ones responsible for manipulating the studios and how they are acting toward the workers. I would think these acts of unpaid employees falls under some degree of criminal act and punishable by law. I worked at Meteor just when Peter up and left. He claimed he did not want Discovery telling him how to run his studio, now I think there was much more behind it as they never paid people either. I left when they started jerking me around and told me I was expected to work the midnight shift. But this is a Canadian company, so laws and layers are probably not the same as U.S.

  6. Dave Rand says:

    These things spread like a cancer in our business. One company seeing what the other can get away with in or weakly governed labor markets. I hope the new shops in Montreal are not pulling this crap: http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=21131 I’m already hearing of extremely low ball offers being given by both shops to the same people. No one is going to watch out for us if we don’t watch out for ourselves.

  7. Michael says:

    I often wonder why it seems EVERY studio runs on greed. Even Pixar has lost serious credibility in the last few years with the people I’ve spoken with who have worked there.

    Spare me the preaching, I know. I know.

    But seriously are there no studio owners out there man enough to actually care about their team and make the investment in fair pay and pleasant working conditions for their people? None?

  8. Ben says:

    I quitted Newbreed last week. I want to share my bad experience….

    I signed a 2 months contract with Josée Lalumière. (Newbreed’s Boss)

    I am supposed to receive a direct deposit payment.

    First pay: I received a check one day late. I was one of the lucky guys… The check did not bounce.

    Second pay: I received a check 8 days late. I had to be part of a list of people who would stand in line to exchange their checks for money at Newbreed’s bank. Royal bank of Canada.

    Third pay: I was paid via Wired transfer one week late.

    Last pay: I did not received my payment yet.

    During my short time at Newbreed I saw:

    1. People quit without being paid.
    2. Licence server fail because of late payment.
    3. People getting hired from all around the world regardless of Josée financial situation.
    4. People calling the Normes du travail du Québec. (Work labour protection)
    5. HR woman quit. (unpaid)
    6. And much more…. But it’s enough already.

    I have been working 8 years in Montreal in the VFX industry and that kind of situation never happened to me before.

    I am a French canadian and I am disgusted by Josée Lalumière’s business.

    • Wb says:

      Beware
      Some of the jerks who worked there before and put their “efforts” for this company are now at Mikros, vision globale, and mokko as well
      Hope in the furure companies like damn , newbreed, fake, will dissapear for good, and their owners will be banned forever

      • Michael says:

        Ultimately it will be up to the major studios hiring these effects houses to demand fair pay and treatment on their productions. Similar to what has been happening with major retailers and the clothing industries in Bangladesh. It’s up to Hollywood (that’s calling the kettle black, isn’t it?) to ensure this shady business practice doesn’t destroy the public’s view on feature films all together.

      • F says:

        Why do you insult and distrust everyone who worked for this company ? I worked for Newbreed and was lucky enough to quit way before the same bullshit as DamnFX happened. How does that make me a jerk ? Please explain.
        I happen to know most of the people who left Newbreed to work for Mikros, Mokko and VG, and most are pretty nice and competent people I would gladly work with again, and I don’t understand why any of them should be branded a jerk just because they were unlucky enough to work for Josée Lalumière at a certain point in time.

    • Another Fly in Moore’s Law’s Ointment says:

      Is it greed or did they just get in a BIT over their heads? 80% of businesses fail.Just sayin’. You know more about the place than I do but when people use the names of others you gotta be careful not to spread misinfo. So you think it’s greed or just a sign of the times?

      • mattD says:

        that’s a fair point. It is also good to be aware of some of the folk who regularly start up companies as well. Most artists are too trusting, believe they are going to work in a regular firm that operates in a regular manner. And are totally naive about some of the same names that appear over and over again in company startups. It could of course be nothing at all shady, just incompetence, over-extension, the like. That is just as important to be aware and paces like this can allow you to become a better informed ‘consumer’ of employers (in the absence of any business regulations or employment laws in this industry). If someone is well intention but just seems to continuely be involved in payroll and business failures, that is worth being aware of, whatever the reasons for that.

  9. BadVFX says:

    Newbreed is a wreck due to the absolute gross incompetence of Josée, who also took Damn FX down in flames, for the very same reason. Lumiere folded due to inexperience of its owners and no sense of managing finances. Companies set up by stars-in-their-eyes artists are too common in Montreal. They have absolutely no skills to navigate any business or government taxes and bureaucracy. It has nothing to do with the direct intent of not paying artists and everything to do with companies run by complete utterly untrained fan-geeks who get in trouble grossly underbidding, promising great work, not paying taxes, hiring and doing free work to get work, free bids and elaborate tests on the back of interns.

    • Dave Rand says:

      If you can’t pay me say so, don’t run me in circles bullshitting me about wire transfers that don’t exist, checks that bounce, and work permits that do not exist. This goes beyond ignorance of business, this is plane abuse and corruption.

      • Easy says:

        Dave, in NYC there’s legislation in the works that would allow freelancers to take their case to the department of labor instead of having to take the company to court. I’m curious, what’s your recourse in Canada or California if you don’t get paid?

      • Dave Rand says:

        At union shops, the day the pay stops, the work stops and it’s almost miraculous what happens next.

        Labor enforcement is weak in the USA even worse in Canada. Like superman it’s a nice idea but not very real. Be your own hero. Woman up, Man up, and sign up.

        http://www.vfxunion.info

      • BadVFX says:

        I totally agree. They hold their employees ransom. They fear the “fellow artists” will leave en masse if not paid, yet threaten to not pay them if they don’t complete the work. They should be fined, or punished by the government, or better yet, blacklisted from opening another business.

      • sic! says:

        This is Montreal ! There is no official attitude in suport of the people who lost their time and money working for that lady. Nobody says nothing. it’ s very confortable to turn your back and pretend nothing is happening – VES Montreal section should take an official position, but again, this is where Montreal exceed.
        The fact thet nobody says nothing ! SILENCE PROFONDE….

    • Ana says:

      Hey F

      Wasn t for everyone…slaves are excepted

      Mostly was about the the people who helped josee during that time…
      Not the workers..sorry for the missunderstanding

  10. Spoogicus says:

    There’s another kind of business that treats their employees like garbage and is in a perpetual cycle of closing down and then re-opening under a new name but with the same owners: Strip joints.

    • Ana says:

      Hahaha…when you are ugly you open a vfx company…

    • Caleb says:

      Actually, Strippers do much better than most vfx artist these days, not to mention I’ve been going to the same 3 or 4 strip joints for over 20 years. The only similarities I see are when you are over 30 work gets harder to find.

      • mattD says:

        Not so, then they can go to the niche markets at any age, still work available for them. So they are still ahead of vfx workers by a long way. (average vfx worker lifespan = 5-7 years, 3 years junior dogs body 100+ hours a week + minimum wage, followed by 3 years average pay as a ‘senior’ or ‘lead’ 100+ hours week, moving town to town around the world throwing half your pay away in rentals and travel, followed by 1-2 years as seasoned pro 100+ hours, above average pay for a brief second … then you are too expensive and some hungry burn-out replaces you for their 1-2 years of fame. Lather, rinse, repeat).

        http://www.amazon.com/50-Adult-Magazine-V6-2004/dp/B004C1X78A

        plenty of back issues for sale on amazon … though some of the pages may be stuck together.

  11. Another Fly in Moore’s Law’s Ointment says:

    I’m just a fly in Moore’s Law’s Ointment….

    http://studios.amazon.com/storyteller

  12. […] More VFX Pros Go Unpaid In Montreal Screwjob | VFX Soldier […]

  13. Caleb says:

    SO? When are people taking to the streets?

  14. VFX_Reckoning says:

    Yeah, a world wide, week long protest or something. Maybe It’s about time we push this dead bus over the cliff and see what happens?

  15. Jay says:

    I believe that two names should be exposed regarding the Newbreed scam; Josee Lalumiere (CEO) and Derek Wentworth (VFX Sup), just to make sure they don’t create the same scam under a new company name.

    As of now most of the artists have walked away or stopped working.

    Please check Newbreed website and spread the word so other artists do not get trapped.
    http://www.newbreedvfx.com/eng/#/contact

    Also rumors suggesting that Josee’s credit history reflects an ongoing lawsuit from her previous business partner causing her assets to be frozen.

    • Dave Rand says:

      Jay Derek Wentworth has nothing to do with the finances or any decisions on how the company is run. He’s a really good person and a personal friend of mine. He is sub-contracted to the studio. He is not part of any decisions regarding their business practices or treatment of labor. He’s been responsible for bring a ton of work to Montreal, work that paid a lot of people and went very well.

      • sic! says:

        well Dave – this is a bit confusing to me.
        From one side you accept the work to be done in Montreal , at a lower price than LA , and then you are against outsurcing work from USA.
        So your friend is taking jobs from states and bring to Canada ( saying he is bringing work that will pay a lot of people – but you know what kind of payment is that) – see? …very confusing….

      • Easy says:

        No one is ever responsible apparently. It just the greedy awful suits and producers that run the show and never ever because supervisors turn a blind eye to what goes on around them. Perhaps this is unfair. I don’t know this guy, I’m not saying this is the case in that situation, but it’s just something that seems to be a recurring theme. I’ve encountered it myself before a few times. The head of 3D at one abusive place I worked was who I answered to about everything, but when the shit hit the fan undeservedly for his people, he was all of the sudden hands off and didn’t want any part of it and just wouldn’t bother to step in and back us up.

      • julian mann says:

        I worked for Josee and saw her drag her previous partners down. One lost his house. If history is anything to go by she was probably optimistic to the point of delusion, and then lied through her backside when the cash dried up. Derek is generous to a fault by the way. Its simply not in his nature to rip anyone off. More likely he’s sitting there finishing your shots.

  16. BadVFX says:

    Can the artists who work at Newbreed PLEASE, get up from your desks, talk to each other and take a stand? Enough is bloody enough! EVERYONE in this town knows that Josee is rat poison to the business, yet she smooth talks her way into yet another deal. If this kind of bullshit happened in another type of business, heads would roll. Promises of cool credits are no excuse to take abuse!

  17. Steve Whitmore says:

    C’mon, it’s Quebec. If you don’t expect corruption and malfeasance, it’s your own fault. That’s like showing up in Sicily and saying “hey, there’s an awful lot of mob influence around here” or going to the middle east and wondering where all the alcohol is. If you’re a non-Quebec-born Francophone and you go to Quebec, then congratulations! You’re getting screwed.

    • BadVFX says:

      Ok, this is getting a bit ugly. Montreal still has the studios you don’t hear about that do stellar work and don’t treat the people like dirtbags: Mokko, Rodeo, Oblique, Hybride, and maybe Modus. It’s sad that the fools that we do hear about make Montreal look like a shit-hole. Framestore, MPC, Third floor, Mikros, possibly BUF will just drain the local companies of their good talent and leave 5 years later when the tax honeymoon is over, leaving any shred of good reputation that Montreal has left in the dustbin.
      What a bloody shame, since a good many of the best and brightest in the VFX industry were bred in Montreal.

      • Hector says:

        Mokko pays low rates, modus keeps people until 4.30 in the morning, oblique don t get enough jobs and the so called savers-Framestore mpc and so on… Forget about them
        See what mpc is doing in vancouver and expect to pay even worse in quebec

        Montreal is the soho of the north-the mumbai of America-land of cheap work

      • BadVFX says:

        Hmmm, worse than I thought. Doesn’t help that the studios come to Montreal for the cheapest bids and beat them down further.

      • Steve Whitmore says:

        The mayor of Montreal was just arrested for corruption. That’s the culture out there. If you trust anyone in Quebec, you’re a sucker. End of story.

  18. sic! says:

    “We are presently looking for new talent!

    If you believe you have what it takes to join the team of a growing world-class visual effects studio, Newbreed Visual Effects is the place to be.

    International applications are welcome.”

    http://www.newbreedvfx.com/eng/#/home

    • F says:

      This sentence has been on their website for years. The only things that were updated were some past projects removed from the spotlight when things got ugly between Josée and one of her business partners.

  19. really? says:

    DD had a company meeting telling everyone most of the feature work is going to Canada or elsewhere. Lots of people either to be laid off or forced to move. The hollywood power and elites should be ashamed of them selves! The greed of the studio heads, producers and directors in this industry is disgusting!

    • VFX_Reckoning says:

      If were up to me, these studios who don’t want to provide jobs or support the local economies where their own buildings and/or offices reside, would be run out of the country. They obviously don’t want to be here anyway.

    • mattD says:

      Its also one of the worst cities for a vfx artist to live in terms of being one of the most expensive cities in North America. And vxf is not a highly paid industry if you checkup the labor bureau statistics. I think lots of folk seem to have a mind association with the on-screen talent who can be well paid. Even a high ranking Exec Producer or VFX Supervisor in a vendor will earn a fraction of a well paid accountant, lawyer, or tradesman running his own firm. At least in LA you can fight the trafic if you choose and be able to own a home, maybe. In vancouver, that is impossible, absolutely impossible, with 1 bed condos 30 miles out of town starting at $300,000 and houses starting at $600,000-$700,000. So there you have it, throwing away half the money from your peak earning years into the bank account of a landlord. With nothing much to show for it at the end of your glittering 5-10 year career in vfx.

      • Another Fly in Moore’s Law’s Ointment says:

        Matt

        That’s a serious link brother. I’m starting to like you. Have I smoked something? Cause that link was beyond believable. On par with LA, possibly even worse in some examples.

      • mattD says:

        I grew up in vancouver, lived in LA most of my career.

        Vancouver is way, way beyond crazy L.A. living costs. Seriously, if you are an L.A. artist being asked to move your job up there, just change industry if you have no other option. You will never afford a decent life up there and eventually the 9 months of grey skies and horizontal rain will grind you down anyway. Our deepest sympathies to the DD venice workers now, but those chinese landlord investors will be waiting for you in surrey and burnaby for rental of ‘executive’ 1-2 bed 20th floor tower block condo. Hope you like the boom-box-all-hours-of-the-night tower block dwellers you will encounter along your travels. All night boom-box in tower blocks was always the main form of entertainment there and I heard its got worse since.

      • Charlie Don't Surf says:

        That description of Vancouver sounds exactly like London.

  20. mattD says:

    you may start to understand now that countries are just an idea in your mind only. To the people who print the money, own the banks and the politicians, there is no such thing as country borders. Welcome to the world of globalisation. A place where distant people control your local economy, playing local regions off against each other, with the profits all going to the same offshore bank accounts.

    • Another Fly in Moore’s Law’s Ointment says:

      Sire MattD

      To give you credit….where credit is due: Now this is a point I can agree with. Seeing entitlement within borders is definitely not my style. I’m big on meritocracy, but fair conditions for WHOEVER gets the job.

      Found out a jerkoff I used to hangout with indirectly was forced to move across the border. He was bragging a couple years ago at a party about how invincible and superior he is. Arrogant prick is now shitting and scrambling. Karma is a mother fucker.

      • mattD says:

        Agree with the meritocry thing, but in globalisation, it isn’t really about meritocracy, it seems to be all about strange trade games and taxtion subsidies overseen by mysterious private companies who don’t seem to have anything to do with our day-to-day lives, are unelected, and don’t seem to have any basis in any country, just ‘international’ and ‘there’. But why are they there? Did you ever vote for the World Trade Organisation or IMF? Do you ever get a message from your president during election time that he is signing away your industries to these unelected international bodies? I actually think things are getting worse for ordinary folk under this globalisation crap. The countries people post from here were not built and developed by this globalisation system – they developed their own industries long before all this globalisation crap reared its head and infact, I think it’s going to kill the goose that laid the golden egg along the way.

      • Another Fly in Moore’s Law’s Ointment says:

        Honestly if someone better puts me out of work. Fine. It’s happened plenty of times. It’s like saying I’m the best looking in the world. There’s always someone better looking. I’m not for subsidies they are rigged games. The only subsidies which should exist is the boon of talent in a given area drawing interest from companies based on talent only. Fuck subsidies and the fact taxpayers are royally screwed.

  21. urizen says:

    @mattD

    If you liked the WTO and its cousins, you’re going to love the new behind closed doors trade agreement that that crazy ultra left wing socialist Obama has been quietly negotiating:

    The Trans Pacific Partnership.

    Look it up- although there wont be a huge amount of detail-

    -because its a secret for our own good!

    Here’s a start:

    http://rt.com/op-edge/trans-pacific-partnership-obama-704/

    • Dave Rand says:

      My favorite part of the article is its premise. It’s built on the secrecy of the agreement, the author has not seen it. Then it is followed by a description of all the bad bits. Amazing sixth sense reporting, I’m in! Thanks for posting that.

      • vfxmafia says:

        Dave the article from Urizen is a little whacky but he is right the The Trans Pacific Partnership is NAFTA on steroids…..and unfortunately Obama is bed with all the corporate overlords….including Monsanto, BP, and Goldman Sachs…(just take a look at his cabinet appointments)

        http://www.democracynow.org/2013/6/6/obama_backed_trans_pacific_partnership_expands

        The Obama administration is facing increasing scrutiny for the extreme secrecy surrounding negotiations around a sweeping new trade deal that could rewrite the nation’s laws on everything from healthcare and Internet freedom to food safety and the financial markets.

        Secret Trade deals…..are crushing the world’s labor force. I bet when the lawyer panel we hired comes back….they are gonna tell us all the major governments are in on circumventing labor laws…to the point…they actually rewrote exisitng laws……

        Globalization on a corporate model has led to this race to the bottom, where the world’s biggest corporations really play a game of arbitrage, and they’re pitting especially developing countries one against the other, who can provide the lowest wages, the weakest worker rights regime, the fewest unions

        The studios will continue to get away with the subsidies….

        make sure to read the full transcript on the article i posted….

    • sic! says:

      Newbreed is not the only shitty place – be careful when you start a job, you might find yourself in the same position ( not being payed ) in this beautiful ( 2 months /year) town of Montreal.
      As someone said before – avoid the french people as much as you can – seems like here the cancer is general.

      VES should stand up as well and at least send a letter to these people , cause otherwise , they might think is ok to do this in the future.
      Josee is VES member , BTW?

      • Paul says:

        “avoid the french people as much as you can”

        Why?

      • Get Real Soldier says:

        Just curious…why do you think a letter from VES would have any impact on this whatsoever?

      • Jackadullboy says:

        Well, I went through the same New Breed type scenario on three separate occasions in London. As far as I know, there were no French people involved on those occasions.

        On the other hand, London is in fairly close proximity to France so i have my suspicions… Perhaps this is an example of “action at a distance”😮 !!

    • Easy says:

      Obama may be a lot of things, but ultra left wing he’s not. You’re a kook. Please go away.

    • mattD says:

      It’s not just an obama thing. There is continuation of policy whoever is in. For decades, it was denied that a trans-american highway was being built from mexico city to Toronto, well before whole rafts of the North American free trade were rammed through. You get that? Agreements for town and port agreements were in progress but never once published in election manifestos, and not mentioned once to living along the route or anywhere. Infact, think it was a whistle blower under Bush Mk. 1 where it came out first. It’s still been pushed through and developed despite court rulings in texas state and denials. I think the pacific-chin agreement has already happened years ago – its called Vancouver! All financed by imaginary computer money in Wall Street and various ‘environment’ taxes.

    • Jackadullboy says:

      One word… Lizards.

      • mattD says:

        Get a grip man. Stay within the realms of reality, real people and identifiable policies, don’t drift off into fanatsy lands. If you haven’t noticed, there are some techtonic shifts in the movie business at the moment, some business related, some policy related. If you want to be able to get differing opinions and wider pictures on your current situation and job and where/if there is a future for you and your family in this, then please add to the debate. Anything else is just stupidity/trolling.

  22. urizen says:

    @Easy
    @Easy

    Ya think maybe, baby?

    Its called sarcasm, easy one.

    Never mind.

  23. urizen says:

    @Dave Rand

    You’re absolutely right. Its not really journalism.

    Except in so far as there seem to have
    been ‘leaks’ regarding the substance of the agreement that
    have alarmed a lot of people.

    Not to get too political here, but I cant help but point out that
    the problems of VFX can’t really be an isolated bubble in the scheme of things. I believe the resistance to understanding and owning that fact may be part of our problem, actually.

    Just an idea.

    • Dave Rand says:

      That would by myopic I agree. Soldier’s scope of coverage and activism is evidence that our collective consciousness was raised years ago. The underlying scam is simple, and is older than the Hollywood hills.

  24. Dave Rand says:

    Very proud of you guys.

  25. Another Fly in Moore’s Law’s Ointment says:

    This whole subsidies lawsuit sounds interesting. Can’t wait to hear about it in more detail. At first I was skeptical, but now I think I know the angle. Shhhhh. Don’t want the studios finding a clever rebuttal before teeth can sink.

    • Another Fly in Moore’s Law’s Ointment says:

      Holy subsidies!

    • F says:

      This sad state of public affairs related to the construction industry has nothing to do with the Newbreed scandal, or any other VFX studio failure.

      I am tired of reading rants that border on the xenophobic every time one of these sad affairs happen in Montreal. Remember a lot of studios here are really nice places to work for, and are managed by honest people.

      If you really dig about those stories you will find some names keep popping up. Simply add those names to your personal black list and move on, no need to generalize about the ethics of French Canadians in general.

      That sais, I’d like to know more about the subsidies lawsuit, where can I read about it ?

  26. Creator says:

    Important info:

    – Meteor and Lumiere have nothing to do with Newbreed. Not the same people leading.

    – Derek Wentworth has nothing to so with anything except bringing work to Newbreed. He has no decision making. He’s a great guy and was hired when I was still there.

    – Josee Lalumiere was GM of damnfx an partner there and is currently president of Newbreed.

    – Josee Lalumiere and Jocelyn Cote are the only decision makers at Newbreed

    – I started NewBreed Visual Effects back in 2007 because I was asked to supervise and build an animation team for the Halo 3 cinematics.

    – I then added Josée Lalumiere, Jocelyn Cote and Another partner in 2008 because I couldn’t grow the studio on m own as I had no general managerial skills. She then grew the studio in terms of physical space, company structure, etc. so I can’t take that away from her. I would’ve need wen able to do that.

    – I left the company in January 2012 for massive differences in leadership amongst other things that I didn’t agree with and went to direct te animation on Riddick 3.

    I can’t say anything else… For now. Legally. Depending on what happens, I might say more here, on The Wrap and/or Variety.

    Stay tuned I guess.

    Emile.

    • vfxinloop says:

      Hey Emile,

      You seem to be a gr8 guy who left the company to weird hands,something you should be really shamed off.
      we artists are throttled to work like slaves and payed like par time students who come here to study…I find cab drivers, plumbers etc earns better than us.

      Don’t these owners of production houses really understand we too have family to run and have lots if dreams to live on.

      – I too have red coloured blood and I need to live a decent life and go out with my family and kids, do pay our cheques regulary.
      I am not begging i am asking for the time I spend in working while screwing my health.

      ……………………

      • Creator says:

        Hey vfxinloop. What do you mean by “something you should be really shamed off.”

        Ya it’s sad what has happened there, but leaving that place was the best thing I ever did for myself. My health was deteriorating because of stress related stuff with my partners.

        I’m an animator/animation director and ill be sticking to that. It makes me happy and running a company simply did not.:/

      • Hector says:

        I think he might refer about an eperience he/she had at that company at the time when you were there.
        Might be related to work condition ( long hours and maybe unpayed time) …who knows.
        Read again please.

      • Hector says:

        In other words, he was saying that you should feel sorry leaving the company in Josee’s hands
        Otherwise, you are a great guy

      • Sic! says:

        Otherwise saying
        You were on the shitty side until you argue with josee and become ” the nice guy”
        I wonder what was not to argue with that lady…

      • F says:

        This is completely unfounded. Emile was the reason many of us stayed in the company. A lot of the people who were there left shortly after he did.

  27. Montreal Light says:

    The owner of New Breed Josee is now telling artists that because of there big mouths about rip off of pay, it is there fault she can not pay them now, because it is they that ruin her reputation. This is bullshit. I guess it have nothing to do with all the bounce check, late deliver, talent leaving, and her many year of lies to many people…no nothing to do with that of course not. About time artist speak out. this need to happen man.

  28. Hector says:

    “Newbreed Visual Effects provides an entire range of services related to computer generated imagery for motion pictures, commercials, trailers and videogame cinematics with an emphasis on character animation and effects.

    Tax credits

    Having the highest Provincial and Federal tax credit packages available in North America, Montreal is the finest location to encourage the production of audiovisual content.

    For more information, please visit:
    http://www.telefilm.gc.ca/accueil.asp?Lang=EN
    http://www.sodec.gouv.qc.ca/en/home/english

    http://www.newbreedvfx.com/eng/#/services

  29. Hector says:

    “To encourage foreign film productions to be shot in Québec, which creates or supports
    roughly 4500 jobs and generates spinoff of nearly $200 million, on average, the government
    is announcing a major revamping of the refundable tax credit for film production services.
    Accordingly, the tax credit that is currently calculated using a 25% rate on wages and salaries
    will henceforth apply to all production costs incurred in Québec (the “all-spend” concept). ”

    http://www.sodec.gouv.qc.ca/english/press_releases/COMEN_20090612.pdf

  30. Craig says:

    They do have their own version of the mafia in Quebec and some terrible corruption scandals. Google the Duplessis Orphan scandal.

    As a foot note on the Save BC film issue, it has all but completely died after the election. They had no other strategy than elect a new government that would offer better subsidy numbers.

    The news that Vancouver has a 35-40% higher cost of living than Los Angeles is incredible. We lack most infrastructure, business and cultural venues that LA has.
    Gentrification related I assume.

    • Josee says:

      Mafia is inMontreal since forever
      This is a scandal of supremacy. Some heads will roll ,but you teally have to be blind not to see that everything was orchestrated by the woman , named pauline
      You can see very clear her involvment into film incentives as well bringing framestore and mpc in montreal on taxpayers money
      Hope this will end in the future

      • google search Pierre Trudeau says:

        hummm …. hands up those who think that 2-3 years down the line, yet another politician-tax-payer scandal will erupt in Montreal, all the tax funding is frozen for vfx houses, with lots of local politicians, mayors, bank staff and vfx house management dragged into court (but ultimately nobody will get charged for anything). This is how almost every industry is run in Montreal. All you MPC’ers and Framestorers who have gone there, with no family connections or owing a home there, with none of that safety nets, let me tell you … as well as being one of most corrupt cities in North America, it is also one of the coldest in winter. Better hope that when the envitable scandals and tax payer backlash hits, it’s in summertime. But don’t take anyone’s word for it, do a bit of research, plenty of history for you in this vein. maybe start with hydro-quebec.

  31. J says:

    Jesus! Talk about mixing apples with oranges. Don’t you think ( I’m addressing those referring to the orphan of Duplessis, the mafia, the mayor or those pesky French) that it is a bit farfetched to link the VFX biz to these scandals? It is as dumb as me saying “Toronto is being managed by the Somali drug lords” because some mayor is allegedly smoking crack.

    About what Sic said, Or whatever is name is, I would like to tell him that were not French , just like Americans aren’t English … Hell I speak French as my first language and i’am half Irish and I am far from considering myself a Frenchman. You sound as dumb as those frustrated francophone/separatists from Quebec, to you sir I say BRAVO!

    About Nubreed and the other scumbags who screwed people over the years, well, it’s not hard to figure it out. It’s always the same names, and this include higher management/supervisors who often jump from studio to studio burring them in the ground as they go. A guy who used to work at DamFx and knew Josee told me that Nubreed wouldn’t last, I guess he was right. I bet the same things happen elsewhere, It’s not just Montreal.

    I’ve been in this business since 1995, I’ve seen the up and downs of the vfx industry in Montreal and to be honest, there wasn’t much happening in the movie biz here in the last decade and so was Toronto, but Vancouver was booming . Look what’s happening now, more and more super productions are being shot Montreal, a bunch of European studios are opening shops in here, but it won’t last and subsidies are not the solution.

    Right now I’m in the videogame inudtry (in Montreal) , if I’m not mistaken, 35 to 40 percent of my salary is paid by the government (and just like in the VFX biz overtime is not paid BTW) , you think the videogame companies will stay if the subsidies stop? What will be the impact on the local and provincial economy when they leave, what about all that was invested by the government ? I guess the grass will stay green until there is a drought.

    I usually don’t post so pardon me if I’m not concise .

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