#SaveBCFilm Gets Nailed

Nailed It!

Looks like it’s over for #savebcfilm:

Its fight for improved film tax credits unsuccessful, the advocacy group Save BC Film has called it a wrap, disbanding the organization in favour of other lobbying channels. The group announced the decision on its Facebook page Thursday.

The video above brings back some fun memories. The reason why #savebcfilm failed was because they refused to recognize basic facts about their film subsidy program that even this crappy blog did a thorough job of educating them about. In the end, their party shockingly lost in the BC elections.

However, I did believe that there was a way for #SaveBCFilm to win. While BC physical production was down, the cost of the subsidy program was swallowed up by VFX post production that was offered a more generous subsidy: BC would pay 60% of VFX salaries, but 40% of physical production salaries. What they should have done was negotiate some mechanism that offered the BC government some cap on the VFX subsidies and in return, remove the cap for physical production salaries.

Soldier On.

39 Responses to #SaveBCFilm Gets Nailed

  1. Andreas Jablonka says:

    This video clears up a lot of things but I am sure it will be seen as “mockery”. Lets hope our Canadian brothers and sisters can see past the tone and read the facts. It be interesting to see if Soldier can reach out to savebcFilm and maybe get them to join our cause as its now also their cause. we are all in this together!

    • Rob says:

      Well, with this whole hip, young and cheerful shtick while she is probably a cold businesswoman approaching or smack dab in the middle of middle age, she really already mocked herself. I remember watching the original video and thinking “Really?!”.

  2. rfk says:

    Had trouble with the video embed, but this link worked: http://videos.videopress.com/zHVJBxYT/savebcfilm2_std.mp4

  3. […] #SaveBCFilm Gets Nailed | VFX Soldier […]

  4. Bcplanet says:

    ????

    What business is this of yours? This is an issue for Canadians and Canadian tax payers, not for you

  5. hector says:

    Well, it is an issue for everybody.

  6. VFX Ninja says:

    Hey guys, without going OT, there is one very thing that used to be king when talking about work in/out of the US, and seems to have been forgotten since the subsidies fever started spreading a bunch of years ago.
    I am talking about US work visas (mainly O1 and H1B). I am really really surprised that nobody actually ever mentions this anymore but major vfx/animation/videogames facilities have been struggling to get talent from overseas for many years.
    Moving away from US doesn’t necessarily mean going just cheaper and “to the bottom” ..like it or not, there is a massive amount of top-notch talent across Europe and Asia, made of people that didn’t have the opportunity to attend some fancy expensive school with direct connections/internships to the big studios and didn’t grow up with a big r&d department solving their problems, but had to go through endless trials by fire instead, gaining strong core skills and flexibility.
    Now, a BC work permit takes 2 weeks, a US visa is an odyssey.
    I know this is shifting the main subject a little but having a branch in BC also means having access to the-rest-of-the-world which, if you don’t mind, has got something to say both technically and artistically.
    With this I don’t wanna justify subsidies but I wonder why this particular aspect of the problem stays so much in the shade when in my opinion is fundamental. Afterall, tax-rebates issues hit the global market, not just our industry, it’s a broad problem and thinking broader is good.
    So, don’t you guys think US loosening up the belt of immigration policies would be good for Hollywood and help the cause? It’s been a pretty tight belt so far…

    • VFX Soldier says:

      I’m absolutely for loosening immigration laws in the US. Problem is the only way to do that is to change federal laws which you probably have seen that our federal government is a mess right now. Shutdown city.

      One alternative is unions: they do help with immigration issues but VFX professionals don’t want to unionize until the massive bleeding to the industry stops.

      >

      • VFX worker says:

        No, majority of VFX artist don’t want to union, period. It’s a shame. When there was work O’ plenty, the excuss was, “I will get paid less” ” it will send work over seas” “I am staff”.

        Now there is less work everywhere, mostly LA, and people still say the same thing.

        Unfortunately to many VFX artist don’t see or care about the many benefits of unionizing. They only care or worry about themselves. If VFX wanted to union, they would have. Every week there is a new story of VFX workers not getting paid, and every week across the world VFX artist do nothing.

        Just look at the conversations on this site. Doesn’t matter what’s said or how it’s said, poeple always see you vs me, even though it’s not its a fight for all.

      • meinvan says:

        soldier, what you are saying is incorrect, the union would only make it even harder for a foreign professional to get a visa in the united states, as he/she is not part of the union, and the unions main objective is for their “own” people to have work, and to fight for their labor rights. If there was a vfx union then any shop wanting to hire a immigrant would ahve to go through the union to see if there arnt any unemployed people in the industry in that particular region. (which we know would drop your chances close to zero, except your the one in a million)

        So, let me actually correct my statement, if a foreign vfx worker is looking for a job in the los angeles area the above would be true….you are also correct that if there were a vfx union they would help in getting a worker a visa in a area were there is a “shortage” of US employees in a particular field. but that would mean it only applies to people that would want to go to one of the smaller production hubs – which in return would be bad for your cause ad they would be pushing the subsidized locations within the US.

        And i agree with ninja, that that is a huge problem for the US. and a big reason that even if subsidies go away, that vancouver is built up far enough in infrastructure, that they wont want to move everything back to LA as it would only limit their resources, and would be stuck battling a failing immigration system. (which is not only limiting, but also expensive, tedious and just a real pain in the a**)

      • LAskyline says:

        @meinvan I am ambivalent about a VFX union, but I don’t think a union would stand in the way of foreign VFX workers coming into the US; when ILM was a union shop in San Raphael back in the 90s it didn’t stop them bringing in people from Aus/UK/France etc. AFAIK it didn’t make any difference at all to ILM’s international recruitment drive.

      • meinvan says:

        im sure your right about that, but in the 90s there were more jobs than vfx artist out there. specially in the bay area, specially at the level of ilm, otherwise i assume that they wouldnt be recruiting the world over. these days with alot of people out of work in la, i believe the unions would try to stop more US/angelinos from not getting a gig because they hired a foreigner, and i guess they should…as thats what they are for.

        I lived in LA for 6 years, and at a few points talk to entertainment immigration lawyers. There are not many visa categories that apply to our field, and the h1b certainly has a regulation that the skilled worker that is to be imported needs to a.) meet certain requirments (schooling and or work experience) and secondly have to prove a shortage of local workers, or show that a local worker could not replace that particular person in the job they are trying to hire him/her for.

        At that time, as still now, there wasnt a union that all vfx workers were under, and the organization incharge of saying yes or no, to .the question of; if local talent exist that could take the job and fulfill the requirements, basically did not exist. Hence a good well paid lawyer could and still do find loopholes in the system.

        If all vfx workers would be unionized as the other parts of the film buisness, it would get increasingly hard….specially with the runt that LA is currently in, to prove that there isnt a shortage….as there really is not.
        Which is fair, but is also, in my opinion, a reason why vancouver and other geographical locations that are staarting to emerge as post production center will not be phased out, even if subsidies go away. Im sure the landscape will change again….and who know what happens….and alot of you are probably right to a certain extend that vancouver might end up in the same runt as LA as this buisness is controlled by soul less, mega corps whos only interest is making the biggest profit possible.

      • LAskyline says:

        But all you’re saying is that a union would seek to help enforce what is already a law of the land, namely that the employer has to prove that there’s no one already in the USA who can reasonably do the job. They wouldn’t be able to legally stop a company from employing workers from overseas if the company had fulfilled their obligations under US law. Totally agree about US visa requirements – nightmare.

      • meinvan says:

        Correct, which is exactly the point of my first post in disputing soldiers claim “One alternative is unions: they do help with immigration issues ”

        Which I believe will accomplish exactly the opposite. Which again, I dont think is a bad thing for Americans, but certainly not a good thing for the companies, or the artist whic are not in an high production area.

        Hence the flocking of foreign artists into production hubs that have much laxcer labor laws, which some might argue (including me) is in the end a good thing for most economies, as one skilled foreign worker can have enough of an impact on a economy to create either the need for more people in that given field, or even extend into other parts of the social economic system ultimatly creating the need for more skilled and unskilled workers.

        Either way, I guess that’s a bigger topic in itself.

      • VFX worker says:

        I worked at a union shop. The union has no part what so ever in who gets hired. All they do is set minimums for different levels of experience, make sure you get paid, and get you good benefits. They can’t stop anyone from being fired or hired. Also most are hired as a contractor anyways (show hires). The union make money with having more members foreign or not. They don’t care as along as the dues are being paid.

        Worked with a lot of “foreigners” at union shops. Actually most “foreigners” seem to have the staff passions, might have something to do with Visa investments of the company.

        They don’t pay as much attention as you think they do, we aren’t talking about the Teamsters here.

      • Gary Hiltsolm says:

        “All they do is set minimums for different levels of experience, make sure you get paid, and get you good benefits.”

        And then they TAKE THEIR CUT.

        Never forget: unions are about themselves first, their members second and the employers last.

  7. The Charm Of Features VFX Has Worn Off says:

    Holy Smokes is that lady annoying.

  8. Good Riddance BC Film! It’s pathetic that their whole goal was just to beg the government for handouts rather than trying to mobilize their industry.

    You live by the subsidies you die by the subsidies….

  9. VFX_Reckoning says:

    Speaking of BC, I recently looked into MPC Vancouver. Between the cost of living, Canadian and U.S. taxes, and family to provide for back home, how in the world do people from the U.S. afford to move up there for work?

    • Salb says:

      Oh please. Just like anyone else!

      • VFX_Reckoning says:

        I’m actually pretty oblivious to this, being that I’ve never been to Canada. I’m just curious how people with families do it. Are the contracts offered for Canadian jobs higher then California wages, making up for the differences? Or do most people end up taking a loss?

      • vfxmafia says:

        to VFX_reckoning:

        Im exploring the BC option as well. And what i can tell rent is higher in Vancouver. The other big issue is taxes as well. If your not careful you can get taxed twice.

        Be interesting on how the healthcare thing plays out……

        If anyone knows the answers please post something…

      • Andreas jablonka says:

        The taxes are higher and you cannot decide how little or how much they take out of your paycheque each month. Unlike the us where you can offset the cash to have more in hand and not get as much back with your tax return.

        Rent and food cost are about 16% higher.

        Rates are about 15% lower than LA I find. A senior rate seems to be between 40 and 50$/hr with many shops paying overtime only after 10 hours.

        Double taxation is an issue if you don’t spent 11 months or longer in Canada.

      • VFX_Reckoning says:

        That would be good to know as well. I was looking at VFX watcher reviews for MPC and some say they don’t offer very comprehensive contracts and it’s near impossible to negotiate a better rate. I see how that might benefit single people who have no tight fiscal responsibilities, and don’t own a home, etc., but I wonder how the other shops compare?

      • VFX worker says:

        I heard MPC and others are forcing artist to sign docs saying they are residents of Canada even though they aren’t. Anyone heard of this or got info?

      • Andreas jablonka says:

        If that is true please contact IATSE dusty kelly or Steve Kaplan with some proof. This would be a very shady tactic and the labour board would love to hear about it.

    • Dun unda says:

      Also if you have family staying behind in the states what are they going to do for healthcare? They won’t be covered under your Canadian plan.

      Most loose a lot of money relocating up there, then there is less in the bank every week. Plus the studios in general up there are not paying California rates. It’s lower.

    • Gary Hiltsolm says:

      Easy. What happens is that Canadians are less greedy, so they make do with less. That’s the secret. That’s how they win.

      • vfxmafia says:

        At Gary,

        If you call making a living “greedy” you are so blind.

        When Gary wants to retire he won’t have shit except his really grating comments that he makes…..and he won’t be able to afford a girlfriend…..but hey!…. he will have a glorious VFX career with nothing financially to show for it!

        Hate to tell you Gary this is still business and you should be paid for what your worth. But go ahead and keep giving money away…….”greedy” US producers.

      • VFX_Reckoning says:

        There’s more to it then just ‘earning a living’. It’s a bit of a paradox, but I can agree with that in a sense. America has created itself into a corporate culture ruled by the mighty $$$. People with power and wealth are placed on a pedestal to be worshipped, and admired to the point where our success in life is solely determined by how close you get striving for that ideal, how much money you have and your place within the social class. It’s a sickness I would say, a sickness that’s compounded by the growing wealth inequality and unfortunately we are all raised within those underlining ideals.

        But Canada has similar ideals by assimilating into American culture, for example, why else would they try so hard to lure American film work with subsidies instead of building their own film industry? I wouldn’t call that ‘winning’, especially within a socioeconomic framework. I would call that catching the disease.

  10. mattD says:

    @garyhitsolm
    The studios make tens/hundreds millions profit directly from artist work. So where would the extra money freed up by non-greedy workers taking ever lower renumerations go otherwise? Just interested to know. Maybe exec producers blowing it on lamborginis,coke and hookers?

  11. urizen says:

    “But Canada has similar ideals by assimilating into American culture, for example, why else would they try so hard to lure American film work with subsidies instead of building their own film industry?”

    This is insight.

    Unfortunately.

    For all concerned.

    Cee-ment pools and movie stars!

  12. VfxSuperSlave says:

    Meanwhile….. Quebec extends its tax credit in the video game industry as far out as including matematicians and analysts. Their Subsidies where put in place in 1997 and is still there.

  13. ford taurus says:

    go here for the best ford truck anywhere

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