John Textor Demands Apology From VFX Soldier

After my last post I received two emails from former Digital Domain 2.0 CEO John Textor. The contents of both emails were the same and posted below. The only difference between the two emails was the first one was sent with the subject “Blog” and the second was sent 15 minutes later with the subject “Private and Confidential”. I never agreed to any personal confidentiality with John Textor and given the abrasive nature of the contents I felt a response was merited on my blog:

Daniel…I understand that you are blogging about me again. Wow.

Last time around, while I was borrowing against my home to make your payroll, you did everything you could to attack me and the Florida business that was desperately trying to support the losses of Venice and your way of life. You can thank me anytime by the way.

You created a great deal of discomfort for me and many of your co-workers…and you were stupid enough to actually think you were righting a wrong, understanding nothing about the economics of the company that fed you and the people that risked everything to keep you comfortable. Let me guess, you are one of the geniuses that actually believes the California office of DD was thriving and covering its own payroll while Florida was siphoning off the profits.

Back then, I offered the unidentified Soldier an interview to help you understand the finer points of our business that you clearly did not understand…still do not understand…and you turned me down. You said it was your policy not to conduct interviews…after I was later surprised to learn that you were one of my employees, I realized that your Policy was to hide in the cubicle that I paid for, hope no one would notice and keep taking money from me for as long as you could while you stood strong in protest…anonymously of course. A fine employee you were indeed.

You are a coward Daniel. You didn’t have the courage to speak with your own voice until it felt really safe to do so. You didn’t even have the courage to raise your hand and question our programs during employee meetings…or send me an email as your CEO suggesting your shame in taking a paycheck from such an immoral company. If you had a righteous bone in your body, you would have walked out.

Seriously Daniel, I am looking for that thank you…and my wife and kids would like an apology. If not, maybe just return the money I paid you while you sold your loyalty for the celebrity of an anonymous blog.

One last thing…your recent blog continues to mischaracterize early emails, resulting in materially false and misleading statements. You have also now challenged the integrity of the Pulse team that has accurately portrayed the experience of its artists on the Pulse website. Be careful. Now that you are an accomplished and known publisher, I look forward to holding you responsible for truth and accuracy.
 
Feel free to call me at anytime if you think I am wrong about you…John Textor

Dear John,If anyone owes an apology it probably should be coming from you to the people that were negatively affected at Digital Domain 2.0 and the taxpayers of the State of Florida. Many of my friends and colleagues either lost their jobs or went unpaid as the company plunged into bankruptcy under your watch. During that same time Florida taxpayers we’re paying millions in subsidies for Digital Domain.

Your attempt to direct blame at me for all of that is wrong. If anything, my attempt on this blog was to blow the whistle to prevent what inevitably happened. As you may know I routinely point to subsidies that have led to price distortion to cause many good VFX companies to go out of business and cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. I’ve even gone so far as to hire a law firm in Washington D.C. to help end these subsidies at adaptvfx.org. My last post actually started off in defense of an investigation against you and DD 2.0 which I considered mostly political. Your objection was me pointing to a report that showed a private email from you that warned the Florida deal was going to be a “train wreck”. You sent this email in February 2010 before I worked for Digital Domain and before this blog even existed. Trying to cast blame on me for publicly warning about something even you were warning others privately about is wrong.

I have also pointed out nefarious and potentially illegal business practices that hurt professionals in the industry. Your business plan at the time was to utilize Florida taxpayer subsidies to build a school where students would pay thousands of dollars to Digital Domain to work on VFX projects. You went so far as to famously coin the phrase “free labor is better than cheap labor” as way to sell the idea that not only would you be able to utilize the free work of paying students but the taxpayers of Florida would also be paying your company to help you make millions in profits. This was going to be a huge disaster an I wrote about it on my blog long before many were starting to pay attention to it. You yourself even admitted to the public that your own business partner Michael Bay considered this a “Wacko Textor idea.”

It’s true I refused an interview with you because of my anonymity at the time but what you forgot to mention is that I also offered to post your side of the story on my blog. The last thing I want to say is that Digital Domain was a great place to work for in spite of your bad practices and it’s unfortunate. I can’t stop people from working or investing in your new ventures but I think it’s quite important that we get the facts out. For example, on your blog you said this about when you took over Digital Domain:

John Textor and his team were able to rebuild the reputation of the studio and expand its profits.

That’s pretty surprising when you consider that Digital Domain never needed to rebuild it’s reputation. Former Digital Domain founder Scott Ross points this out in my last post that DD garnered multiple nominations and awards on quite a regular basis. Furthermore, your statement that you expanded on Digital Domain profits are factually incorrect. DDMG’s financial statements are public and while DD suffered for low margins and losses at times that pales in comparison to the amount Digital Domain was losing when you took over:

beforeTextor
afterTextor

164 Responses to John Textor Demands Apology From VFX Soldier

  1. Easy says:

    Dear John,

    Boo-fucking-hoo.

    Signed,

    Regular people who have bigger problems in life than their wounded pride

  2. J in BK says:

    Daniel, think of all the designer handbags and birthday ponies you’ve personally snatched away from his family! How do you sleep at night?

  3. Humble Pie. says:

    “….and keep taking money from me” he was working for your company and as a result was payed by your company.
    “Last time around, while I was borrowing against my home to make your payroll,” Who told you to do so? You did this just to pay his salary?
    What a nice guy…

    And this is the best: “and my wife and kids would like an apology. If not, maybe just return the money I paid you while you sold your loyalty for the celebrity of an anonymous blog.”
    Do you want him to return the money for which he worked hard? HIS MONEY?
    And what’s the issue with your wife. When a studio shuts his door leaving people on the streets, do the CEO talk with people’s wife and kids?

    • Rex Lewis says:

      All extremely valid points. Textor’s attempt at garnering pity from a group of people who have been repeatedly screwed over by him and others like him will require a more Oscar worthy performance, perhaps he can hire some writers next time if he has any loan money left to pay them with. He calls Daniel a coward yet he uses his own wife and children as a weapon in his lame attempt at turning peoples opinion. Hey Textor, your employees were paid to show up and do a job not be your devotee cheerleaders, keeping their mouths shut while you schemed a way to get college kids to pay you to work on your projects. I’m sure the Student Loan people would like to know all about this especially since they are investigating Phoenix for running similar scams on Veterans.

  4. Actually, John’s email is pretty demonstrative of the mentality of the investor class.

    There’s no indication that he is aware that employees are paid the client’s money, to provide a product. If that product is delivered, the company takes a portion for profit.

    At no time is it John Textor’s money. In fact, I’m fairly certain Mr.Textor was getting compensated from that same source of money.

    “trying to support the losses of Venice and your way of life. You can thank me anytime by the way.”

    “I realized that your Policy was to hide in the cubicle that I paid for”

    “maybe just return the money I paid you”

    No, John. It’s not your money. You’re not doing us a favor by paying us for our labor.

    We’re making money for people like you, by providing an in demand product that you don’t know how to make yourself. You just skim off the top.

    If you and your management were unable to maintain the business model, even while collecting millions in taxpayer funding, then I think it’s pretty obvious where the flaw lies.

    And it wasn’t wages, or “our way of life.”

    (There’s nothing funnier than a guy who loses millions of other people’s dollars complaining about the luxurious lifestyle of migrant VFX workers.)

    • In this case not only were the employees paid by the clients money, John Textor was paid very very handsomely by FLA taxpayers, public investors as well as the clients money. At least the clients got something in return, the great work of DD’s artists… the FLA taxpayer got nada… instead of hiring teachers, repairing public works or highway infrastructure… they got ripped off and continue to get ripped off as they service the debt of the studio in Pt. St. Lucie.

      • John Textor says:

        Matt. I think your email somewhat highlights the problem that I had with Daniel. There is a problem when the employees of the company see the owners of the company as a separate class and they choose to work against ownership in the wrong way. Daniel had many options as an employee that would have been more productive and helpful to the company in trying to establish a sustainable model. He and I can agree to disagree on his approach….but this theme of me, or any CEO, as part of a different class…that makes me really uncomfortable. It’s case by case, really depends on the individual. I don’t actually spend any time with the kind of company owners or CEOs that think they way you have accused me of thinking…and I also do not know how it’s possible not to care deeply for the people that work within the company. The people that personally know me well from the company know this about me. Others are just taking shots at the ‘investor class’ as if I am from a different race of people. I try to be a builder. Someone has to be. This time I failed…and, yes, it was with all of my own money that I failed…many investors made money on the way up and many lost money on the way down. More importantly, my attempt to reverse the cycle of contract labor and regular industry lay-offs failed and the people that were part of the Florida company were devastated. As the story was told and spun by the DD 3.0 message, Venice was ‘performing’ and Florida was taking all of the cash flow. That’s crazy. The math was clearly the other way around. I am sorry, but it’s true. I was struggling to keep open a Venice operation as I was being advised by everyone to downsize it. If I were a better businessman, I would have listened and reduced Venice sooner. I am not the guy for that. I never have been. The VFX industry is a cut throat industry where layoffs are very casually implemented with little regard for personal impact. That part is not for me.

        Listen, if you really think this way, just show up and hit me with these questions if and when I can organize a group sit down. Maybe coot will help. There are too many lessons to be learned from what happened and taking the easy path of shooting the guy in charge would leave too many questions unanswered.

        As I said before, all I can do to own up to past mistakes is to re-build. The people that know me well have been supportive. Those that don’t will have their opinions. In the end, if we can create entertainment and non-enteratinment applications for the skills of VFX artists, then we can be part of the solution, not the problem.

        I hope Scott will follow the lead. He has the skills to do more than just talk and tweet about the industry. He can build something and hire people. It’s a lot more productive.

        Thanks,
        John

      • Devin Fairbairn says:

        John,

        I think you have a lot to answer to before you helm a “collective pow wow” that you are suggesting. What I am reading from you are some rather large delusions of grandeur.

        Especially after reading that threatening response to Daniel, you proved why anonymity is so important in such a small industry.

      • Nic D. says:

        Hi John, since you seem to be following the conversation, I’ll try to ask you a few questions.

        – Did you really write this email to Daniel? Publicly you seem almost (gasp) remorseful but that email seemed so filled with misplaced anger and contempt. Care to comment?

        – In your comments you also seem to (gasp) care about the lives of the people you hire/work with. What do you have to say about the disruption in the lives of the people who lost everything in the move to Port St. Lucie? What have you done to help them?

        This is as good a platform for you to set the record straight, I’m sure your PR person would agree.

      • Ivan DeWolf says:

        personally, I don’t see owners as specifically a different “class”, but they absolutely serve a different function. As a guy in the trenches, my duty was to keep the wheel turning, and those in upper management were in charge of steering. But that doesn’t mean I had no right to an opinion on the drivers choices when I wasn’t steering, and commenting on those choices is not class warfare. I have been both employee and CEO.

        and as to the failure being “all of my own money”, that would only be possible if there were no back pay owed to former employees. Yes, Mr. Textor, you may have risked a considerable percentage of your net worth, but you ALSO risked a considerable percentage of many other peoples net worth, too. you aren’t the only one to be devastated by the fall of DD.

        Implying that you personally gave your employees (or even just Mr Lay) their jobs is a falsehood. You didn’t “create” these jobs, you found the available jobs and offered them up. If you hadn’t been there to take the work the studio offered, then I would have. or someone else would have.

        The content of the letter you sent does indicate some odd world views, and I think Mr Kochinski perfectly pointed these out.

        All of us want to make great effects films, from CEO down to intern. and we all want the facilities we work for to succeed by all measures.

      • vfxmafia says:

        John did you really get the job because you were the collage roommate of Micheal Bay?

      • chasVFX says:

        “…and I also do not know how it’s possible not to care deeply for the people that work within the company.”

        So ironic that this statement was preceded by Textor NOT EVEN BOTHERING TO GET THE OP’s NAME RIGHT.

      • Ross deYoung says:

        John,

        Or should I say Jack? I have been black listed for standing up and saying what I wanted to say, how I wanted to say it, when and where I wanted, in public, not on the internet. I went homeless because of it. Why wouldn’t anyone in their right mind use a pseudonym and disguise when speaking out against their local plantation owner? I dont dare post this on LiknedIn for fear of retaliation, but I am out of your corporate box, so I no longer need fear your retribution.

    • spinsider says:

      BRAVO!

    • Mark Hennessy-Barrett says:

      Well, you smacked that one well out of the park.

    • Mark Kochinski says:

      John, your reply covers a lot of ground that has little or nothing to do with my observation.

      It has nothing to do with how much you care, or how sincere you are.

      Your original email indicates an interesting perspective, that the money that paid for labor and overhead was somehow yours.

      And that the people who actually created the work that generated that revenue should be grateful that you were kind enough to share it – or they should pay it back.

      It’s that perspective that I refer to, when I mention “class.”

      It’s a perspective that few get to share. Most of us trade our labor and skills directly for wages. We don’t get to handle millions of dollars of other people’s money, and think of it as our own.

      (Disclosure – my time at DD was before your tenure.)

      • Mark Hennessy-Barrett says:

        Saying “I’m uncomfortable with being seen as investor class” would probably carry more freight if you got people’s names right.

  5. vfx dude says:

    TEXTOR ASKING FOR AN APOLOGY?!!! BUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! I’m sorry this is too funny. If this was posted around April I would call April fools joke.

  6. Ira Shain says:

    John Textor, bringing new meaning to the word delusional.

  7. tonybarraza says:

    thanks daniel. this is fantastic.

    • Andreas Jablonka says:

      agreed!

      • Ross deYoung says:

        That’s funny Andreas, I remember the time you called me a coward for using a pseudonym, and not having the “courage” to use my real name. You flip flop like a politician. Maybe you suffer Stockholm Syndrome and no longer have an opinion of your own?

      • Andreas jablonka says:

        @ross
        I’m confused what are you talking about? I believe people’s opinion only count if they back em up with their name. Not sure what else there is to that.

      • Ross deYoung says:

        I believe if we pull up the archives, we will see that you called me a coward for using a pseudonym, and said much of what john has said to Daniel, to me. I imagine Stockholm Syndrome would be a confusing condition; I understand.

  8. Unbelievable says:

    Well this just shows what he thinks of employees – we are takers and he is the benevolent overlord who gives and gives such a comfortable lifestyle. I have a lot of friends who got screwed royally by the Florida debacle after putting their families, livelihoods and life savings on the line. You can stop your giving anytime Mr Textor – you seem to be the only one benefitting.

  9. Tembo crew says:

    I don’t want an apology, John. I want my 60 days WARN payment.

  10. jo says:

    that was the most satisfying read of the day! thanks, brilliant job.

  11. Easy says:

    Daniel,

    You should forward that letter to the local papers down in Florida.

    I wonder what the tax payers would say about this kind of attitude from a man who has apparently cost them millions?

    Bonus, it would make John’s head explode in impotent fury.

  12. tazzman says:

    Wow. What an arrogant letter. Clearly delusional.

  13. Gimmemy$$DD says:

    Mr Textor, if you’re such a philanthropic guy, can I have the $14K owed me for my storyboarding services on Tembo.

    • Ivan DeWolf says:

      the several million of his own personal wealth that Mr. Textor lost is probably a smaller percentage of his net worth that that $14k is to you; when he says the money he lost was “all my own money” he must have forgotten you.

  14. ExVFX says:

    John,

    I’d like to be the first to say, THANK YOU! You are an inspiration to so many of us. All we want is to be respected and appreciated for all that we do for people. We are tired of being made out to be evil, when all we do is help, buy hiring people to, wash our fleet of cars, or, build our new 3,000sqft pool house, or clean the bottoms of our yachts, or baby site our kids.

    Untra White Guy,

    CRWGA
    Concerned Rich White Guys of AMerica

  15. Rob says:

    Is there really nothing Textor can be charged with?
    I wonder because he expresses such passionate yearning for punishment. A wish which I really think should be fulfilled.

    • The funny thing is, one feels that, even if JT were to plead absolute guilt, and beg to be dealt whatever punishment necessary to fully attone for his corporate ‘shortcomings’, the authorities would likely be unable to come up with a just sentence.

      This is the problem with entrusting the management of so much capital to one person. The consequences are just so big that there literally is no reasonable/proportionate punishment for that fallible individual – nothing to make up for the scale of the losses to the victims.

      • Rob says:

        Still – the risk of punishment is what causes at least some people not to commit a crime.
        Textor is obviously one of those who aren’t kept in check by a moral compass. And if others like him would see that the punishment isn’t worth the risk, maybe it would occur less frequently.

  16. Yay, capitalism. What could go wrong?

  17. $11K-UNPAIDD says:

    ..still waiting for the cheque..2 years on.

  18. Mark Viniello says:

    The same John Texter who lauded “free labor”. Is better than “cheap labor”

    Asshat.

  19. son of bitch says:

    fuck fuck fuck fuck , this is dirty . now stupid people around world learnt vfx because of the people who hack and stea learning dvds from schools . so fuck you Barak Obama . you are the one who destroyed this industry

  20. Nic D. says:

    Well, Daniel, we’re all waiting for your apology.
    You TOOK money from Mr Textor’s FAMILY, you traitor, you leech.
    The man who fed you and made your way of life possible, how could you? We’re all very disappointed.

    /s

  21. Not a Lawyer says:

    So… any basic business class will tell you that you need to separate personal finances from business finances. Money can not flow in between accounts freely. If he is making the argument that he actually paid for your work out of his pocket, then it erodes any protections that his personal finances have. As I know it (not a lawyer here), because he is now claiming that DD’s money was actually his money, he would be personally liable for any damages against DD 2.0.

    This is important because anyone suing DD 2.0 for damages would now be eligible to do DIRECTLY AFTER TEXTOR’S ASSETS.

    His letter to Daniel, could actually work against him greatly in court.

    Any Florida folks care to sue him directly…. heres your in. Also, Small claims court would make force him to appear without a lawyer (they are not allowed).

    • actually, this brings up another important issue. If, as Textor said, DD Venice was losing gobs of money, then he must have been using FLA subsidies to offset the losses in Venice. I wonder if there was any language in the agreement between DDMG and FLA that stipulated what FLA taxpayers money could be used for? I’m certain that the FLA taxpayer, the Governor’s office and the FLA economic development group would not be thrilled that their cash was used to bail out a CA company.

      • Andreas Jablonka says:

        I am certain he did. I had asked that in the conference call and he evaded the question.

      • Johnny says:

        I worked there, as far as I know from people higher up and who saw the books, DD Venice only lived on because Florida money was being pumped into Venice, which was ironic being Venice LOATHED us in Florida. Literally telling us we will never get work from them. Venice was making Florida bid to get work from them, that was the level of hatred to Florida.Now those guys are either out of the industry because they cannot do nomadic lives with a family or enjoying Canada…until those subsidies get pulled then god knows where.

        Was also informed of other things DD had to pay for for ummm “questionable” things that happened, a payoff from what I was told a year later meeting an executive friend.

        I was telling my team to brace for impact though Textor was authorizing purchases of like 12 giant palm trees to be planted out front when Payroll mentioned they were concerned about how to make payments. And months before closure services stopped as they had not been paid. Then no cleaning crew at all. I feel for those who invest in his new company Pulse, that is such a pump and dump scheme.

        At what point can we simply all sue Textor to get our money owed to us? We got a letter saying we would be paid all vacation time we had (never happened) Plus WARN act. He could have told us, he knew it was going under, but was buying $10,000 palm trees (each) and a stupid Pro level soccer goals for a little league team. Knew it was stupid to build the buildings. Take 2 seconds to google, the biggest studios for film were in crap holes for almost a decade to MAKE CONTENT AND MONEY before paying for state of the art facilities in a horrific margin VFX industry.

        The only thing I will ever agree with him on is to make money, you need to make and own the content. Hell the Stereo team who made money for them? Textor traded Enders Game work to get Stereo on The Last Emperor simply to be able to say they are working on something NOW during the last investor conference call.

  22. D says:

    This is a perfect example of the disconnection between the “executives” and the vfx workers (artists, technicians, engineers, etc).

    They think they are smarter than we “geeks”. They might even believe that they are making us a favor, allowing us to work for them.

    The reality is that we are making them very rich, and we are being exploited. There is no other (very) profitable industry where the top actors of the main subcontracted field struggle to have a good and decent life.

    The reality about Textor is that he had rich parents and an easy life. If he was born in a different environment under different circumstances, he would had a more accurate vision of the world.

    100% support, vfxsoldier. We are stronger every day.

  23. Andreas Jablonka says:

    @John

    Hello.
    I applaud you for showing your neck on this blog. Your letter to Daniel is really whats wrong with this industry but lets go through a couple questions and statements shall we?

    1) You are right that DD Venice was hemorrhaging money and the taxpayers of Florida pumped subsidies into your Florida office which you used to keep Venice afloat. Im sure they dont see that as good use of their money.

    2) You ask Daniel to email his ceo with questions. I remember you doing a q&a at DD venice after your InvestorVideo surfaced. You literally said” I said stupid things and will continue to say stupid things? You wanted to address employee questions. Yet when confronted with them you ditched most of them in Eloquent speeches. I know because you and me had a conversation over the skype/conference call to Vancouver and you evaded every question.
    What did you think employees would do when you assured them “everything is fine” 3 days before florida closed?

    3) It was never your money as covered above but if you feel you are seen as wronged so much, how come you have so many law suits pending against you that you should not be able to sleep at night.

    4) Do you wanna talk about the 15$mio share package that as part of your salary package and even though they turned out to be worthless you still hat DDMG buy back a huge chunk afterwards?
    I cannot feel sorry for your loses when you got paid 300k+ by a company that NEVER MADE PROFIT.

    5) Your bankruptcy did cost me weekly donut donation money….just saying dont mess with my food man !

    5.5) DD 3.0 and chinese owners at least restored that so they are already better than your leadership…

  24. It's still going says:

    Wait DD? they’re still around? I think outing yourself was the worst thing you could do Daniel. Should have kept it all anonymous in my opinion. I know you had your reasons, but it just leaves people the greater option to judge. I’m willing to believe some of Textor’s info is true. Honestly I think there’s tons going on behind doors that we don’t know and probably shouldn’t know or have to know. We’re just artists after all, or employees. The fact that a “tycoon” so to speak or someone of that financial stature has the time to come on a blog and join this “who’s right or wrong” banter that’s been going on for years though, shows me that you’re more inclined to drama as opposed to running a company. It’s just weird.. and kind of makes me think this guy has some other motive.

    One thing I’ve learned over the last 2 years though (still surviving in LA, and doing pretty well, or as well as I can) is if you get hit up for a job and it’s a feature film….run away. If the company has survived the last couple years and they’re still going for films…something is up. They under bid like crazy, checks will most likely be late here and there, something might get sent to Vancouver last min, or vice versa. All and all, it will be a shit show and just move onto something else. If your specific dept doesn’t offer a lot of positions in LA anymore, then it might be time to move onto something else or just move to another country if you want to keep on doing it.

    my 2 cents.

  25. suztv says:

    Fraud perhaps – but you would need to gather enough evidence to indite plus you would also need to be the DA. And the DA won’t prosecute because he’s controlled to some extend by politics which is probably why no one has been prosecuted for fraud, or other crimes relating to employee abuse.

  26. DarkEnergy says:

    The trail of evidence Textor left in his wake is filled with heartbreak, shattered hopes to make a decent living, and outright lies yet he makes us feel we have it all wrong and he is right. Each time he destroys his latest endeavor, he simply scoots out with no shame.

    Karma waits for him in the shadows, quietly.

  27. bob says:

    I love how his opinion is so clear that the world of vfx is a leech on his pocket book and artists were paid our of entitlement not their contributions. Pretty much highlights the vfx studio\producer mentality. We’re not providing content for those features to make millions if billions were luck useless peasants that are fortunate to be included in their accounting, I mean major motion pictures. So typical, this is the problem with vfx and is getting worse.

    Thank you so much accountant, I mean producer for allowing me to be a useless cog in the wheel of your incredibly artistic vision! I don’t need a decent wage or my health please just allow me to be a part of your awesomeness. Because clearly all the visuals in any film are just your numbers not anyone talent.

  28. Michael E says:

    There’s nothing new about workers — especially when the employer is non-union — who have reason to fear retribution for exercising their First Ammendment rights. The mid 90’s I was lighting Visual Effects for Greg McMurray at Visual Image, one of the two best employers I’ve ever worked for in my 35 years in the biz. Around that time I discovered that Warner’s Visual Effects unit for “Mars Attacks” was set up in the Valley and you could see it from the street, and they were non-union. That’s when I began discovering most VFX was working without IA and Teamster contracts, which put good employers like Visual Image at a price disadvantage. I phoned my Local about “Mars Attacks”, but for whatever reasons (probably studio pressure on the IA) they failed to act. A bit later, I got a call to Gaff one of Sony’s motion-control units on “Starship Troopers”. The IA had come in to organize prior to my employment, but had screwed it up and failed to organize. I lit the fuse for another attempt, we passed out the cards, and Sony VFX went union. Next I took on the massive “Dantes Peak” Digital Effects VFX unit at Van Nuys Airport. A crew member got me in, and I obtained a crew list for the IA and the VFX unit went union. At the time I expected the IA had cut a deal with DD to not attempt to organize them, in exchange for a union contract for their Mexican first unit. Some VFX were farmed out to ILM and Video Image including their fantastic miniature of the flooding engine room, and I gaffed one minor “Titanic” visual effect. I continued to publicly rail against against DD for remaining non-union, but it firmly maintained it’s anti-union position, and I don’t recall any efforts by the IA to organize them.

    No one is more aware than I of the lA’s dark history and it’s many limitations, but it’s all we’ve got. At the 1995 IATSE International Convention to which I was an elected delegate, then-President Tom Short had his goons distribute a wanted flier with my picture on it, and a Camera Assistant insisted he would serve as my bodyguard for the convention week, which he did. I promptly forwarded the wanted flier to the LA Times, which wrote a front-page story, and eventually led to Short’s resignation a year or two later, saying he wanted to just relax and go fishing. He was replaced with a kinder, gentler President, who brought in a breath of fresh air, but the IA is still the IA in most respects. Some time later, I was tipped to the fact that the late, great Robert Altman’s “Cookies Fortune” shot in Mississippi, was starting up non-union. I got a crew list from a crew-member, and sent it to the IA. They immediately sent in an organizer, but the Teamsters who take a stronger line than the IA, beat them to it and organized the drivers which tells you which union is more proactive. The IA then quickly organized the show for their workers.

    Florida is a right-to-work state. So DD is not only getting a tax subsidy from Florida taxpayers, but an involuntary subsidy in terms of wages, benefits, and conditions from their workers. It would be instructive to know what sort of deal their non-union workers in Florida are getting.

    I’ll close with what I consider the nuclear option for outfits like DD which I’ve considered for years — boycott: a time-tested tactic in other industries, now even more potent with the Internet. We would select a target movie that outsourced their VFX preferably overseas, so we could use the flag and appeal to their patriotism. We might even find an anonymous IA publicist to advise us, as well as a progressive film reviewer (LA Weekly) to tell us about about advance press screenings. We can’t hurt films like “Titanic” or the “Life of Pi”, but I’m convinced we can cut into the revenue stream of a carefully selected movie. We would do exactly what the studios do to promote it, but in reverse, with negative reviewer blurbs, and giving away the plot. We would also divide up key Internet sites to bombard them with posts undermining word-of-mouth. On opening weekend, scattered around the country with a focused media campaign we would leaflet theaters, with our reverse publicity leaflets urging them to see a better film instead. In modern times this tactic has been used without effect by religious groups, but no one’s ever tried it for our purposes. If we could even take 3% out of their revenue stream, we might hope it would put the fear of god into into other producers regarding their anti-American and anti-worker stance. If the movie fell on it’s own lack of merits, we would of course take credit for that as well.

    Soldier on, brother!

    Michael Everett IATSE 728

    On Mon, Aug 18, 2014 at 9:29 AM, VFX Soldier

  29. vfxsupporter says:

    How was this guy ever put in charge of a business like this let alone any previous one’s? I don’t even know the man but reading his comments shows a man in over his head who clearly doesn’t have the skills necessary. He is clearly still trying to recover his name and return to high level investments and that means showing he cares for employees and is a tyrant who badly managed large sums of money. John of there’s one free bit of advice for you… No one gets something for free! Leave the vfx industry, no one will touch you or believe you. Go screw up some other industry instead just hope they don’t do their research.

  30. Whois says:

    I’m not in the business,but it seems rather fucked up, DD does some of the best work I’ve seen but the economics don’t seem to work.

    But if DD were to close up shop and go away, would the other houses be able to absorb the artists?

    It seems to an outsider here that the whole industry is to blame, not Traxtor or DD.

    Unions? That would be a great first step.

  31. Someone says:

    Mr. Texter. For someone so eager to set the record straight and have a public forum. You seem awfully quiet right now. This does not bold well for you and your explanations. With the abrasive email your wrote Daniel and the fact your blog contains false information (as mention in the post), which you say is written by someone else (which is worse, you are hiring someone to blog false information for you.. Lies on top of lies). How can you expect anyone to believe in anything you say. But here is your chance. Really. (Not being sarcastic) We are all eagerly waiting to hear your response to the questions and people here.

  32. JusticeForAll says:

    Why isn’t John Textor in prison or at least under investigation? I thought it is clear that he funneled money from the Fla state fund directly in his pockets. Isn’t that a crime?

  33. One Life to Live Fan says:

    This post and the comments is way more entertaining than most of the juvenile crap you guys all work on. You should all get together and make this into a feature, get Fincher to direct it.

  34. SoldiersFriend says:

    In my view Mr Textor not only insulted Daniel but pretty much everyone who earns money by working in any kind of business.
    Dear Mr Textor: cleaners,fruit pickets,supermarket staff, miners, factory workers, pilots, nurses, teachers etc etc etc are getting paid for work they do. Why vfx artists should be different? There is a lot of debate these days about modern slave labour and It is clear that need to say that you and people like you are responsible for that. In the end “free labour is better than cheap labour” isn’t it mr Textor? No morality, no values in your life I am guessing? What matters is MONEY?

  35. d3d says:

    I’m just curious, but wouldn’t the current management of DD be curious about what tools and technology this new Pulse studio is using? It seems like they’re using the same tools to do the same work.

    http://johntextor.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/john-textor-pulse-and-digital-domain.html

  36. Chris says:

    Mr. Textor, I’d never do business with you…

    You whine and whimper like a petulant child. Grow up. No-one likes a cry baby.

  37. AnsAlmighty says:

    John Textor CEO ego incorporated, no soul ltd and Managing Director of Vicious Scum Sucking Pond Life Co.

    If I ever have the opportunity to be offered a position with an organisation that you have anything to do with John Textor I will categorically tell them to shove the opportunity up your self obsessed, uncaring, misanthropic arse!

  38. jona says:

    This is counter productive childish bullshit that achieves nothing.

  39. VFXRefugee says:

    I worked at DD 2.0 Venice. At the same Q&A that Andreas described, John asked us to email him any additional questions, so I did. And…wait for it…I never got a reply.

  40. Han Solo says:

    Let me all express our true feelings…

    Fuck you John Textor, shit is more colorful then you. Craul in a hole and never come into the vfx light again, basically you have been done for a while, buddy.

    Hoping never to hear your name again

  41. Humble Pie. says:

    milkman might be John Textor. I think…

  42. $$big sexxy$$ says:

    Here’s a secret why most VFX studios don’t make any money:

    The CEO and owners pay whatever profit the company has to themselves as personal salary.

    They then don’t have enough cash left over to pay their workforce. Then they declare bankruptcy and are absolvent from any (or most) legal wrong doing and can walk away free and clear.

    This is exactly what is happening in Montreal. A bunch of no-names with connections start a VFX studio, work on a couple films, don’t pay their staff all while recieving subsidies, and then declare bankruptcy.

    If you wanna get rich, start a VFX studio In Canada.

    • William C. says:

      Mokko, Lumiere, Modus, Newbreeds, SolidFx and so on…they are all gone. Once the studio is down, CEO and owners spread like cockroaches.
      Write down the names of those who were in charge, and be careful not to work for them anymore…If you can.
      Canada is made for bankruptcy.
      I was told that Vision Globale is next.

      • $$big sexxy$$ says:

        Why do you think Textor is starting another company?

        If VFX is so fragile, volatile, and unprofitable why do people such as the notorious gang in Montreal and others keep starting these VFX studios?

        It’s because the Hollywood studio money is like crack. Millions given to them to complete work at a substandard quality (have you SEEN some of the crap in some of the features coming out)?

      • William C. says:

        I know a guy ex Modus who is very proud that every recruiter is calling him asking for references. How can you be asked for references when you ruin a company?
        But Montreal is a Mafia ruled town. VFX cannot escape since there is money involved (big money) and this is the reason why, despite the fact that nothing is changing.
        The mayor is against reducing subsidies. I hope this is not going to happen, and the free money will be cut.
        Why such a poor place like Montreal has so many vfx companies from outside sponsored with taxpayers money? Why?
        Normally will be that Toronto gets them. No sir, they are in a cheap place, cold as hell, and the only reason why these crooks are here is – taxpayers money and big corruption.

    • Vfxminion says:

      Right. Because somehow Canada breeds low margin, poorly run vfx studios. I love this site. All I can think of reading it is the South Park song, “Blame Canada.”

      That’s right guys. Let’s continue to ignore the real issues in the industry and target Canada. Cuz that’s going to fix everything right!!? Singapore, India, China. Poor bidding models. No leverage with studios. Bad working conditions. No health care, unions, or global pensions. It’s all Canada’s fault!! Ya, that’s the ticket…

      • $$Big Sexxy$$ says:

        Its not just Canada, its nearly every privately owned VFX that has gone out of business.

        Its EASIER in Canada because the politicians want the VFX studios there so they will turn a blind eye to whatever the owners of these studios are doing, irrespective of how shady their dealings are. On top of that the work is subsidized.

        How many VFX studio owners have been prosecuted in Montreal?

        None?

      • William C. says:

        Again, it is not only Canada and however, Montreal sucks. it is totally different and just cannot serve as a valid vfx model.
        Once the subsidies will die (and it will) Montreal will be a ghost vfx town.

      • It’s not Canada, it’s any country/state/province that is using taxpayer funds to artificially subsidize the very profitable motion picture industry.

        If you need subsidies to draw the industry, then you’re obviously not the natural market.

      • Vfxminion says:

        I hate to point out the obvious, but a lot of you on here have your heads in the sand. Subsidies are not going away. In fact they’re increasing. In the uk they’re booming with the increased and easier to receive subsidies. There is not even a glimmer of real talk about them going away in Canada, New Zealand or elsewhere. They’re on the verge of increasing subsidies IN California. Any of you waiting for this “level playing field” where subsidies are taxed or go away are going to be waiting a long time. The train is going full speed in the Other direction.

      • Devin Fairbairn says:

        And you are ok with this?

      • minoton says:

        Meanwhile, tax payers’ money is being diverted away from what it is intended to do, and sent to American studios, for the privilege of saying ‘Godzilla’ was filmed here. Movies that reap hundreds of millions of dollars in profits, are being funded by your tax dollars. Meanwhile, teachers strike in Vancouver for better wages. Once the general populace actually realizes how much of their money is being given away for something as ‘important’ as a movie production, they will demand subsidies be halted, if the CVDs hasn’t taken effect already.

      • Keep kidding yourself into thinking taxpayers are going to keep funding the motion picture industry. The vast majority don’t even know that they are doing it.

        Most people I know are shocked when they learn the facts.

        Once they realize that the money they think is going to infrastructure & education is actually going to feather the nests of very rich corporations, the subsidies will peter out.

      • vfxmafia says:

        @ mark

        Unfortunately….subsidies over a long period of time become the natural market.Because places like los angeles whither and die with lack there of or lack of tarriffs. Los Angeles is not the pool of talent any more……id say 70% of the vet talent is gone.

      • William C. says:

        “The cuts will reach nearly $ 500 million per year when fully in force in 2016 CGI, IBM, Ubisoft, the Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Desjardins Capital régional et co. Wounded are many. Some lose 20% of their benefits.” This was in June when the new liberal party came on power in Quebec. The subsidies will end sooner or later.
        But you can enjoy while it last…

  43. fixed bid says:

    Governments do it because it is an easy way to create jobs in a new sector of industry. Every day governments spend money on creating jobs often in lower income industries like manufacturing which whilst creates jobs they are much lower paid.

    Film creates jobs that are generally far higher paid that creates a knock on effect in the GDP of any government.

    In 2011 here are some numbers across canada

    Generated 20.4 billion in GDP
    Returned 5.5 billion in tax revenue

    So if we like them or not some people they believe that supporting certain industries are overall beneficial to a country.

    http://www.mpa-canada.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/MPA-Canada_Nordicity-Report_July-2013_English.pdf

    • minoton says:

      They don’t create jobs. They just relocate them. The large majority of VFX jobs are filled by non-Canadians from Europe and the USA.

    • Actually, most studies, when they’re not paid for by the MPAA, show that the subsidies lose money.

      Only the MPAAA studies show that the subsidies make money, and somehow their numbers show that the subsidies are more profitable than Apple & Microsoft combined.

      Kind of similar to the numbers John Textor showed to Florida.

      Go figure.

      • Economics says:

        Its not always about making money but what as the least negative effect on a countries economy. These sector provides 20 billion in GDP. That GDP is more important on the country for overall financial stability.

        If they took the subsidy money and used it else where they are not guaranteed to contribute that much to the overall GDP and therefore be worse off as a country.

      • The study, from the MPA of Canada, CLAIMS 20 billion.

        The MPAA studies claim that there’s nothing but rainbows and profits as long as you keep giving money to the studios.

        An independent study from Louisiana determined that the state got something like 7 cents back in revenue from every dollar spent on subsidies.

        BTW, there’s a bridge in Brooklyn the studios would love to sell you…

  44. Idiot says:

    I would say they are becoming more Canadian by the year whether Canadian born or as I am seeing landed pr immigrants who are staying.

    • minoton says:

      But how does that help local Canadians who wanted jobs? How long do you think they’ll stay when the work goes elsewhere? Or the subsidies dry up? Why do you think Canada is tightening up it’s immigration worker laws? They’re there for as long as the work is, and they will pick up and move as soon as things change.

      • murica says:

        THey are tigtening up there immigration laws because of low cost workers in food chains like McDonalds. Sadly that is the same path we used to get in Temp Foreign Workers. They are already addressing this with the Minister of Immigration directly.

      • William C. says:

        Canadians will never work for peanuts.
        Companies like Framestore/Mpc they know this, so together with tax incentives hiring poor immigrants is the path for success.
        The government is trying to save jobs for Canadians, but as you can see, these guys are finding always ways to avoid the law.
        Crooks and charlatans!

      • One Life to Live Fan says:

        William C., that is complete BS. Poor immigrants? My ass.

      • William C. says:

        …are they rich?

      • vfxmafia says:

        @ williamc

        Actually i see alot of canadians in VFX working for peanuts….i also see alot foreign low wage workers like the Chinese up here working for less than canadians..

      • William C. says:

        I know…seems like if you don’t work for peanuts, you are out.
        Seems like more and more people enjoy less and less money.
        Don’t wanna think in 10 years from now…

  45. William C. says:

    Who are the winner in the subsidized game? Not the taxpayers, not the workers, I wonder who the winners are?

  46. The motion picture studios are the winners.

  47. exVfx says:

    I think the be all an end is the john textor is a full on cunt… There’s not much else to be said really.

  48. vfxmafia says:

    Forgive me if i am missing something in this article…

    http://variety.com/2014/artisans/news/california-incentives-bill-urges-trade-action-to-curb-flight-of-vfx-jobs-1201288478/

    Mike Gatto, (D-Los Angeles) “Authors a bill with no force of law. Nor does the legislation, AB 1839, include any funding for a legal effort being launched by visual effects artists to pursue trade action.”

    Another words the bill does JACK SHIT…but good old Mike Gatto gets his name in the paper and does absolutely nothing for my ass or a tariff….and then further more gives away California Subsidy tax dollars (more money to the corpotate studios)……but the subsidiys are so small and insignificant…..that it changes nothing in the industry.

    An article about nothing….
    A bill about nothing….
    A politician doing nothing……

    and studios get even more free money. Thanks for making my day.

    • Mark Kochinski says:

      The bill extends and funds the incentives. It does not fund the ADAPT legal actions. But it DOES bring the subject up, calling federal attention to the subject.

      • vfxmafia says:

        again it does nothing!

        no legal funding = nothing happens

      • Mark Kochinski says:

        It funds the incentives. It will extend and increase California incentives to $400 million.

        The article is referring to no funding for the legal effort being launched by ADAPT to assign countervailing duties on VFX.

      • vfxmafia says:

        @ mark

        most of the money doesn’t apply to VFX (if im not mistaken). Not that i am a fan of giving more tax payer money away to the big 6 corporate CEOs.

      • Mark Kochinski says:

        Well,I believe, VFX gets a stand alone 25% credit in the new incentives, not tied to principle photography. It’s the first time VFX is treated as its own thing.

        The comments about the feds & tariffs are added to the bill, but there’s little the CA state legislature can do about that, except call attention to it.

        So it’s a minor victory, and it knocks the ball into the Federal Trade Commission’s court.

      • Mark Kochinski says:

        And believe me, I’m against incentives in general, but having watched nearly every company I’ve worked for go out of business, we need to salvage what we can here before it’s all gone.

      • William C. says:

        …better all will be gone. Movies are crap big time ever!

      • vfxmafia says:

        @ mark

        How does iAB 1839 kick anything into the Federal Trade commissions court….???

      • Mark Kochinski says:

        It brings it up into the legal arena. It becomes part of a law, and brings attention to the issue.

        It gets in the news and the media, and could get the attention of the public.

        It makes it just a little harder for the trade commission to whistle and look the other way while studios line their pockets.

      • vfxmafia says:

        @ Marc

        hate to break it to you……the only thing that will change anything is the massive lawyer bill for the CVD case

      • What is so hard about spelling my name? It’s Mark.

        And your legal expertise is based on what, exactly?

        (Before you ask, I spent a good 8 years in the legal industry, as an expert in demonstrative evidence, and have some experience in that arena.)

        From what I can tell, the MPAA pretty much made the case for us, arguing in a Google case that digital files are products, and subject to all legal protections.

      • vfxmafia says:

        @ Mark or Marc

        Ok mr…lawyer….how is this breakdown for you? Lawsuits cost money……

        The lawyers from Picard, Kentz & Rowe need to get paid. (The lawywers that we commissioned to do the CVD evaluation)….

        …until ADAPT comes up with $200-300 K to actually pay for Picard, Kentz & Rowe to bring the case to the Dept of LAbor…NOTHING will be done. (that was my point)

        The CVD case will ring up a substantial amount of lawyer fees over the coarse of a year and a half that it will take to get a ruling by the dept of labor.

        the CVD case and Law firm has been in place for a year and a half….and poised to move forward…….well before the MPAA ever even made comments on the case. (we just lack the money)

        So unless you and your “good 8 years in the legal industry” experience has a 1/4 of million dollars…..nothing will be done.

        The problem is economics. 2000-3000 vfx workers in Los Angeles can’t raise enough money for the stinking lawyers. Especially after 2,000 vfx workers got laid off and moved to Canada.

        does that answer your legal question Marc?

      • Andreas jablonka says:

        @mafia

        Please calm down a bit my friend. Mark is a good guy, I met him, we walked the oscars. I understand where you are coming from. Lawer fees are high.
        But we managed the last time and will manage again. Sure a ca injection if a hundred grand would be nice. Daniel has lobbied for a 5% off subsidies to fees thing.

        Rather than accusing an ex lawyer that can help our cause why don’t we use marks expertise to find new solutions? Maybe a fundraiser in Hollywood?

        We’re all on the same team!

      • Ross deYoung says:

        @andreas you know you’re opinion is just that… an opinion. Just because you think Hitler is cool, doesn’t mean the rest of us have to agree. Check your ego at the Oscars. I’ve been there having dinner, you weren’t there.

      • Andreas jablonka says:

        @ross you an idiot🙂
        All the pics of me at the oscar protest are probably fake and photoshopped then….also hitler? Wtf?

        I think you made your own posts obsolete…I won’t reply anymore as it’s of topic anyway.

      • vfxmafia says:

        @Mark and Andreas

        not trying to be disrespectful….its just I see alot of Ra-Ra-Sis-Boom-Ba cheering going on……and no one is discussing a few basic things….

        1. The longer the subsidies continue the larger and heavier the anchor gets in London and Vancouver. More jobs leave LA which means more and more the top and most experienced and up to date VFX artists are the migrating International VFX workers (Not the LA guys)……..

        2. No one is discussing the cost of the law suit? Its been a year and a half since the CVD paper. 2 years since the $15 k fundraiser….3 years since the original marches….I see alot of news articles….but the real thing we need money and lots of it.

        If that lawsuit hasn’t happened by now…..when will it? Why can’t we have an open discussion about it?

      • Andreas jablonka says:

        @mafia
        I do understand your frustration.
        Adapt needed to be formed and legally engage. Things are moving. Just not slow. The donation is live now, so is the membership option. This is starting to fund the coast. I cannot speak for daniel or the lawyers so we gotta wait for official updates.

      • Mark Kochinski says:

        Well, Mafia, I didn’t say I was a lawyer. I merely spent some years as an expert in demonstrative evidence.

        And it’s Mark.

        And it appears you’re being quite disrespectful, actually.

        Here’s what I do know.

        Gene Warren Jr. spent many years trying to bring attention to the (suspected illegal) incentives. He would go to the government directly and plead his case.

        During this time, things were still going fairly well, and no one wanted to rock the boat, so no one here really supported his efforts. There were naysayers back then, too.

        The politicians were very sympathetic to his case.

        Until the studios would follow up his efforts by wining and dining the politicians, and the politicians would suddenly forget everything Gene told them.

        And everyone here stayed quiet. Because, hey, why rock the boat?

        This is what I DO know. When you do nothing, like everyone here has done for 20 years (except Gene) – nothing changes.

        When Daniel finally suggested actually finding out if we have a case, I happily donated to the cause, and guess what? We have a strong case. So we’re going to attempt to make it.

        Yes, it will take time and money. Pity we didn’t support Gene 15 years ago, when money was still pretty good and we still had time.

        We are having an open discussion. I just don’t see any advantage in claiming there’s nothing to be done.

        I’ve been hearing that song for 20 years.

        Those of us working on it have supported and helped pass local incentives. Now we’re working on the international ones. Get behind us or don’t – that’s up to you.

        But I know what doing nothing gets you.

      • vfxmafia says:

        Mark

        I can’t plan my life and economic future on bump sticker slogans

        I too have marched and given money…..so have alot of people…..we all have skin in the game.

        I might argue that the industy has simply changed along with time and the subsidies.

        Larger workforce, standardization of VFX pipelines, remote workstations….out of the box vray….death of renderman….gnomon schools…..and the industry has gone international….with countries that vary in OT and labor laws.

        All these things that are happening along side the subsidies……

        all of which, MIXED with subsidies is changing the industry….we are not living the day of Gene Warren Jr.

        Beating your head against the wall…saying “this is positive”…..”We are doing something”….and “this makes a difference” ………..and still nothing changes…I would have to diagnose that as delusional….

        another way to explain it is that ….Los Angeles is gone as an economically viable city for VFX.

      • Mark Kochinski says:

        “Los Angeles is gone as an economically viable city for VFX.”

        You can believe that if you want to.
        It’s funny, because we’re in the process of directly competing now with equal subsidies.

        No one is asking you to plan your life around anything. Do what you want.

        Me, I’m going to fight for something.

      • Mark Kochinski says:

        It’s funny. People complain. You’d think they’d want a solution.

        But when you suggest a trade organization, they say “no.”

        When you suggest a union, they say “no.”

        When you say push for CVDs, they say “it won’t work..”

        When you suggest matching subsidies, they say “it’s too late..”

        I think some people just like to complain.

      • vfxmafia says:

        @ Marc

        I never said CVDs dont work……I just said we can’t pay the lawyers for the CVD case….thats all….

      • Mark Kochinski says:

        What is it with the “c”?

        CVDs won’t come for free, that’s for sure.

      • Ross deYoung says:

        @andreas yes i am quite irrelevant I assure you. I believe this is the part of the debate where you start calling me names and insulting my ability to maintain reality… avoidance is always a safe fallback. Stay ignorant my friend, it has served you well…

  49. vfxmafia says:

    I believe we had a discussion on the forums about India VFX failing when SPI closed its Indian office.

    The real India failure gauge would be Sin City 2 with IP and VFX funded by Prime Focus.

    Sin 2 originally boasted to have 85% of the VFX done in India….soon PF did a massive hiring in PF Vancouver to complete the film with international talent from Vancouver. Shortly there after Indian owned Prime Focus merged with Double Negative to expand the company with non Indian talent.

    This would be the second desperate attempt for VFX companies to own IP content for a piece of the movie back end to compete with monopoly hold on filmaking by the big 6 studios. Sin 2 joins DD’s failed “Enders Game” which ridiculously tried to make one movie as opposed to the 10 movie calendar year the Big 6 studios enjoy.

    And the verdict on the movie is??????

    Box Office Mojo’s headline reads…….”‘If I Stay’ Ascends to First Ahead of ‘Sin City’ Debacle”

    http://www.boxofficemojo.com/news/?id=3895&p=.htm

    SS2 debuts at 6 place friday night sales

  50. chexmix says:

    Funny alot of people bitch about Canadian subsidies…..but guess what US tax dollars do get spent on???

    Armored vehicles for shitty redneck towns in Missouri……so they can tear gas their own people…..

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2014/08/23/obama-orders-review-arming-police-with-military-grade-tools/2fdn3Vf4LpQg8NVHi7zZjM/story.html

  51. Gisele says:

    Keep doing what you’re doing, Soldier! Some B.O.D. types need to understand that when they put themselves out in the public eye (especially with a blog), everything they say and do is under scrutiny whether they like it or not.

  52. SoldiersFriend says:

    Can anyone correct me if i’m wrong. I though we are all in the same boat etc. but of this conversation (somewhat off topic in places to the conversation about the thief in topic) it appears to me that this is a legal effort to get vfx ‘back’ to the US. Why back? what does it mean back? Is it written anywhere that vfx is anyhow ‘owned’ by the US and should be handled ny there based houses only? If I am a vfx worker anywhere in the world, why should I be working in the US and nowhere else? subsidies – wrong no doubt. work in the uk, canada, china, whereever – whats wrong with that?

    • minoton says:

      When you look at the number of (formerly) US-based fx facilities that have either opened satellite branches, or flat out relocated to other cities chasing subsidies, I suppose there is that aspect of getting work ‘back’. Yes, L.A./CA based artists who have seen work ‘leave’ because of chasing subsidies would like to see that work ‘back’. What the California subsidies are attempting to do is to bring California back to the table to play in the same stupid game everybody else is playing and seems to be unwilling to voluntarily walk away from.
      Is it written anywhere that the rest of the world should ‘own’ vfx? Obviously they think so because they are paying enough for it. What a CVD will do, at least on an international level, is take off the chains and allow work to go where the best companies and best talent and best business practices can sustain them. VFX sustainability. If a company can keep the doors open and operate in a remote or expensive environment, then more power to them. But they should be doing it on their own merits as a company in their chosen locale, not because of how much their government is willing to chip in.

      http://www.theonion.com/articles/top-of-mt-everest-pulling-away-majority-of-hollywo,35706/

  53. and yes VFXmafia… it’s the good old USA, and to get anything done legally costs money. ADAPT’s CVD effort will cost $$$, and lawyers unfortunately don’t work for free nor will they do it without billing hours( they don’t care about their credits on StarWars nor will they work for beer and pizza)… there for, ADAPT needs to raise the funds to pay for the lawyers who believe that ADAPT has a VERY good chance of implementing the CVD case… which IMHO, since no one was willing to form a Trade Association nor form a Guild or Union, is the only chance the VFX industry has to stop the race to the bottom.

    Or, if you like, you can just throw up your hands and say ” I give up”.

    My hope is that other more enlightened VFX folks will want to fight for what’s fair.

  54. […] raises an eyebrow for many of us in the VFX industry and this isn’t the first time. You know I never agree with John Textor but I couldn’t help see his point when Alonso publicly called for studios to be more […]

  55. Amusing display of pathological narcissism.

    Dude says there are no classes, and then doesn´t get the names right. LOLOLOL

    But seriously, how is this guy not blacklisted at banks, investors, clients etc? How is it possible for someone after (or more accurately, “in the middle of”) such a debacle to repeat his shyte in such a public industry?

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