UK VFX execs are on a roll this week:
Speaking during the Unreality Checked panel of the VFX Summit, The Mill chief creative officer Pat Joseph said that although the nature of the work – particularly commercials – called for long hours, “the pay is fairly good and the work is absolutely fantastic”.
Joseph said: “You will always have disgruntled people who feel they have to work long hours, but quite honestly, they should get out of it. We don’t make up the schedules and the budgets for the projects. We live within a commercial environment.”
Pretty irresponsible statement but not surprising information coming from that group. BECTU conducted a survey for VFX artists that should be concerning for employers:
- 77 per cent of people knew someone who had recently left the industry over workloads, overtime and poor working conditions;
- 81 per cent of people had felt pressured or bullied into working overtime for free on films;
- 83 per cent of people said it was difficult, or very difficult, to raise a family whilst working in VFX
Instead of actually acknowledging the problem exists, the UK Screen Association (the UK centric trade organization that represents UK VFX facilities) decided to question the survey itself. It’s pretty common knowledge that people in the UK VFX industry are very unhappy about the day rates and long hours.
In an interview I did with the BBC earlier this Monday I pointed out that VFX is being done in NZ, Canada, US, and Australia also and all of these locations have some form of overtime. The fact that VFX facilities in the UK can’t even respect the EU 48 hour work week limit by having artists opt out is a good example of how irresponsible many of them are. It’s also pretty sad that artists up in the ranks condone these conditions because they personally benefit.
It would be pretty interesting to see how quickly those execs would scream uncle if one day the professionals in the industry just decided to take Pat Joseph’s advice and leave all of them hanging on his next project.