March In March: Are We Worth Fighting For?

This Sunday hundreds of us will be gathering for the Oscar March in March.

The event’s goal is to help spread word about our legal effort to end subsidies. We’ve made some incredible strides as the media is interested in listening to what we have to say but only if you choose to be heard.

I want to thank everyone who will be joining us and those of you who have expressed support from allover. For those of you who are afraid, last year’s demonstration was actually quite fun, innocent, and had a great impact. But let me say something about fear: As easy it is for you to turn away from this effort, it was easier for those of us behind ADAPT to just walk away.

For almost four years I’ve written this blog under the guise of anonymity. The idea was to give a fact-based perspective of someone working in the trenches in search of actionable solutions. While, it gained many supporters, it also gained many opponents who disagreed with my effort to end subsidies because they greatly benefited from them.

Some of the opposition initially laughed at our position and even challenged us to take action. So we did.

I flew to Washington DC and rallied supporters to pay the firm to create a study on a solution to ending subsidies. I started coming out of the shadows to meet with supporters to work on an effort to execute the law firm’s findings.

Unfortunately the opposition didn’t like that.

So what did they do? A few nights before the DreamWorks Obama demonstration, I told our team I would attend the event anonymously. That night I came across a forum where opponents were wrongly listing names and accusing people of being VFXSoldier and blacklisting them in the hopes I would go away. As my blood boiled, I decided to reveal my identity at the DreamWorks rally. The irony is that some of those people trying to out me went into hiding when I came out.

Since then I’ve only taken a stronger stance in my position but you want to know something? It scared the hell out of me every time. When I flew out to SF and NY to meet with people I feared not being able to speak with what turned out to be huge ulcer on my vocal cord. Before every interview with a reporter or on the radio or tv I would fear not saying the right thing. When I was given 3 minutes to explain my issue in front of City Hall I feared I would fail. I hope you feel like I came through for the effort.

Given all the fear, stress, and time commitment, we stayed the course.

There is something else I should tell you: I left the VFX industry over the summer. A very good company made a great offer for a job in a very stable industry and I thought why not? After I left Digital Domain I took off to Japan and Hawaii for vacation.

I was still anonymous so I gave the blog and the effort a long thought during that trip. Is this worth fighting for? I volunteered so much time and there were so many that ignored the effort. It seemed so easy to walk away. That’s true for Scott Ross, Dave Rand, the law firm, and the ADAPT team but we’re all here and we’re all working together on this.

I stayed in the fight because it was the right thing and I was now in a position to be a bit of a lightning rod on this issue. In other words, I could go for the jugular, I could take the heat for those of you who couldn’t afford to do it.

But if you’re going to let me go for the jugular on this issue, give me the sword. Help us with our legal effort and help us gain media attention. We’ve already drawn blood on our effort. All we are waiting for is you.

Open any page in any history book. You’ll never find a page written about those who did nothing.

Have fun and be safe! I look forward to marching with you.

Soldier On

31 Responses to March In March: Are We Worth Fighting For?

  1. Andreas Jablonka says:

    We all owe you a lot sir. There will never be a beer in this life that is unpaid for, no bbq you could not afford. thank you to get us of our asses.

  2. Peter Greenaway says:

    What is needed, rather than running away or controlling or suppressing or any other resistance, is understanding fear; that means, watch it, learn about it, come directly into contact with it. We are to learn about fear, not how to escape from it.
    “Jiddu Krishnamurti”

    • Peter Greenaway says:

      Believe me it is not so hard.
      Once you see there is something wrong, just stand up, be calm and say what you have to say. If they want to fire you, means they will fire EVERYBODY at a certain point.
      I am sure that you experimented that feeling, feeling that you have done your duty. This is very hard to explain to those who are controlled by fear. Too bad.
      Good luck Soldier. You made a hell of a ride up to here…

  3. Soldier on! See you at the march!

  4. Dave Rand says:

    I can’t even begin to thank you enough. Not only for your initiative and perseverance but your courage and dedication to making sure the truth about these matters stay in the light in a format that invites debate and challenge.

    My message has always been positive. True growth of a lasting and profitable creative culture in VFX has to be driven by talent and branding.

  5. Rommel says:

    Thanks Daniel. You have our support!

  6. vfxmafia says:

    funny ADAPT has more production value in its presentation then most VFX companies websites….

  7. Disgruntled says:

    Thank you for all you efforts David.
    I think its safe to say you’ve graduated from Soldier to General. Lead the way sir…we’ll follow.

  8. Earl Grey says:

    Thank you, Daniel. Wishing you continued success.

  9. Your hard work is very much appreciated. Thank you Daniel, see you at the rally.

  10. Vfxman says:

    Very very we’ll said. It was a very honest and touching message. Thank you and really admire your courage and perseverance. I’m very very grateful for what you have done. See you tomorrow!

  11. Natalie MacDonald says:

    hope it goes well. (obviously I’m stuck here. deadline extension kinda messed up my plans)

    Date: Sun, 2 Mar 2014 04:43:08 +0000 To: natalie-md@hotmail.co.uk

  12. contessa12 says:

    Sent from my iPad

    Connie Grunfeld 8224 E.Angel Spirit Drive Scottsdale AZ 85255 480.264.4896 Cell: 480.395.8720

  13. VFX_Reckoning says:

    Thanks for everything Daniel. It’s time for all of us to really start helping make some noise. Tear the stars out of the sky and show the world who really holds up this industry.

  14. Hanna says:

    Yes it is so much easier once your out of the industry isn’t it. Found a freedom to say what needs to be said and done without fear of stepping on toes. Well not really, did that when I was in the industry too. Good luck with the march I’ll be with you all in spirit while here in the great North East. Enjoy the sun for me.

  15. vfxCat says:

    After getting back from Montreal, I got three job offers – 2 for Vancouver and 1 for London. So from a vfx cat in London, I kindly request that you rock that protest so that more of us could stay in one city for longer than 6 months!

    • ty says:

      except if its not Vancouver or London???

      • vfxCat says:

        I’m not from any of those places. I think you missed my point of wanting to call one place my home for an extented period of time. The place that should be called home – my apartment, I call a storage facilty my friends check in on from time to time….

      • ty says:

        Ok but I am. Thanks

  16. LMP says:

    Thanks for your efforts Daniel. I hope this year the March can make it to Highland where it would be seen by the masses.

    I wish success to ADAPT, I as well decided to move on after a very long period of unemployment. I was newer to the field so I had very limited relationships and moving to Canada was not an option for me (us).

  17. John says:

    Hello, I am not involved in your industry but I must say I am confused about your “struggle”. Knowledge work of all kinds has been outsourced for 20 years, with millions of Americans losing their jobs to cheaper labor in India, china, etc. What makes your situation different? I mean, if a low paid offshore worker can do as good a job as you rendering a crumbling building or whatever, why shouldn’t the producers take advantage of that? If your talent is so special, then you should be able to command a premium for it. If not, then why does it matter? The audiences don’t care if a scene was rendered here or offshore, so long as it looks good. So again, my question is, what makes your situation special? And why should we, people who are not involved in your industry, even care?

    • vfxmafia says:

      READ THE FRIGGING BLOG….answers to all your questions are in practicially every article…and if they cute little animation couldn’t explain it to you.,….then you must be just trolling

    • Studio_Spotter says:

      Believe me John, a competition based on talent/labor value is exactly what most people here want. In a perfect world, your presumptions represent a commendable industry. Sadly this industry is not working out that way.

      Foreign subsidies are determining where work is being done, not talent, not efficiency. Because of foreign subsidies, a low paid offshore worker does NOT have to do a better job. They only have to do a little less than half as good of a job.

      The competition is getting 60% of their paychecks paid for by their government while US shops have to foot the entire bill. US workers would have to work more than twice as efficiently or for less than half the price just to break even. Id argue this has a negative impact on the quality of work you and audiences are seeing. If talent and efficiency was commanding where work was being done, the final product would reflect that.

    • Annoyed says:

      John

      To answer your question above

      SUBSIDES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • polyphemus says:

      Because its not due to lower wages for one. The jobs are largely not going to India, China or any of the BRICK countries.

      The jobs are going to Vancouver, New Zealand, London and to a new extent, montreal due to their local governments giving taxpayer money to perform work in their region.

      Show me where the low paid offshore workers than can do the work? Its usually the folks in the US/CAnada/UK who are told to move to another city every 5 months because of some local government fucking around with subsidies.

  18. Ross says:

    Subsidies don’t make movies. TALENT does. No amount of subsidies can make up for a crappy product. If you want to work. Go where the work is! Tradespeople move all the time for work! ALL THE TIME! Plumbers, Carpenters, etc. VFX is no different. If you don’t like the nature of the work, do something else. Pretty simple. Technology make sit that VFX doesn’t have to be done in ONE location! Each one of you can become a VFX vendor. Move to a cheaper place, set up your comp, and start bidding. California has an artificially inflated high cost of living. Bad place to set up shop! Vancouver is no different. Wages there suck, rent is the same as California! Too much.😛 Toronto, same deal. Montreal, low wages, low rent! Not sustainable. Many game studios already shut-down in Montreal. THQ, Visceral Games, and those are the only ones you heard of. There’s plenty! New York has a tax-free zone right now. If you are an entrepreneur, investigate!

  19. Ganesh Singh says:

    This is to expensive. lol

  20. Good day! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to
    give a quick shout out and say I truly enjoy reading through your blog posts.
    Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums
    that deal with the same topics? Thanks a lot!

  21. Thanks for finally talking about >March In March: Are We
    Worth Fighting For? | VFX Soldier <Liked it!

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