Sigh. I’m really surprised that I have to write this post but I’ll go ahead.
Some in the VFX community are going starry-eyed over some potential carve out for VFX in the CA film subsidy bill. Some have been given the impression that if we continue support for the legal effort to place anti-subsidy duties on subsidized visual effects these provisions will be thrown out and it will be all ADAPT’s fault!
This assumes that lawmakers are sophisticated enough to know what visual effects are and most don’t have a clue. Most only know the various lobbying groups that write the checks: MPAA and Hollywood labor organizations. In fact, I’ve heard some of the “experts” advising the politicians think VFX is all going to New York because of subsidies. Little do they know that the NY subsidies are capped at $7 million a year for VFX.
First off, the current film subsidies and ones potentially going forward do not exclude VFX. Currently if you have a film that is budgeted less than $75 million and you are awarded the film subsidies which are capped at $100 million a year you could use them for VFX in your budget. Even if the law is changed to include bigger budget films, it won’t even come close to places like British Columbia which offers to pay 60% of resident VFX salaries. Secondly, this new law being discussed can’t go into effect until 2016!
Furthermore, if someone, I dunno, anyone, or let’s say someone who sort of looks like Charlie Brown tells you that a provision is being considered by the state to give subsidies to VFX if you end support for ADAPT and the anti-subsidy duty legal effort, you should probably be suspicious of the motive. The CA film subsidy and the anti-subsidy duties are not mutually exclusive. In my situation, one deserves my undivided attention and that’s the legal effort for anti-subsidy duties.
That being said, I’m amazed people are actually falling for the idea that some contingency plan exists for CA VFX subsidies if the anti-subsidy duty effort is defeated. That’s a suckers bet but then again I’m not surprised.