I flew to Siggraph in Vancouver to attend an ADAPT Q&A with Scott Ross. While I didn’t count the exact number of people there about half of the 100-seat room was filled. I gave an overview of the anti-subsidy duty legal effort we were pursuing and then we answered everyone’s questions.
Throughout the trip and at the meeting, I had a chance to meet all kinds of people across the spectrum of visual effects. Given how critical I have been of Vancouver’s VFX subsidies, I was a bit surprised to see how receptive people were to what we were trying to do. I also had a chance to people’s stories which you might be interested in reading about.
At the meeting one participant was an artist visiting from Australia and said that while he enjoys living in Australia, he considered the subsidy race as having a negative impact on the industry. I also met a software engineer from Pixar who became concerned and supportive of our effort after attending a Life After Pi screening at work.
Later on that night as I stood in line at a bar for a Siggraph party, a few BC artists recognized me and wanted to shake hands. They also had a few questions about the legal effort. One artist was working in Vancouver but originally from London. He said he was trying to get out of the industry so he could go back to London. I asked why since there seemed to be a lot of work there. He told me he had a child he wanted to take care of.
That night I got into a cab and the driver asked why so much VFX was being done in Vancouver. “The government pays 60% of the (resident) salaries to producers in the US” I explained. “That’s ridiculous. They don’t do anything like that for the IT industry here.”, he responded.
The next day on the subway I ran into a senior US VFX artist of 25 years. I asked how he was doing as he was looking for work. He said while he never made big commitments like owning a home and was relatively mobile, it was tough having to find homes that he could give his two dogs away to.
At the airport I got an email from an artist who CC’ed me on an email from the VES. Apparently his membership was due and replied to inform them he was taking a break from VES membership so he can give to ADAPT.