VFX pro to testify for trade action on VFX subsidies in NAFTA renegotiations

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Update: You can donate to Eric here:

https://www.gofundme.com/s5hw7-send-eric-to-dc

Huge thanks to all of you who helped contribute to comments on NAFTA renegotiations. VFX professional Eric Rosenthal left a comment in the previous post that he might be able to go to Washington D.C. to speak out in support of trade action on VFX subsidies during NAFTA renegotiations. Great news to hear this week that he has been invited to speak!

I met Eric when he volunteered to testify at Los Angeles City Hall during hearings about the lost of VFX work in California and against giving subsidies to the US studios. He did great and I’m incredibly grateful for him to devote his time and effort to the issue. Eric said he doesn’t need any money for his trip but I think we should pitch in to help pay for his $850 flight.

Perhaps someone could setup a GoFundMe page with a $850 limit to send money to Eric? I believe he’s on his way out to Washington D.C. and I know many of you contacted me to help get him paid for his trip.

Thanks Eric! Looking forward to your testimony.

Soldier On.

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21 Responses to VFX pro to testify for trade action on VFX subsidies in NAFTA renegotiations

  1. Cool Thanks for posting Daniel, and I appreciate your work on this even though you don’t have skin in the game! My folks live in DC so this trip is a bit easier for me than most people…

  2. contessa12 says:

    Good luck, may the force be with you!!!

  3. JD Cowles says:

    This is great! Many of us in the VFX industry in LA were given a choice of Vancouver or nothing. As a 25+ year veteran in this industry I’ve experienced the highs and lows of a great industry, worked on some amazing films and met even more amazing people. For me personally, the years from 2010 – 2014 were the low point. I wasn’t interested at the time of moving to Vancouver. Today, I find myself working for a VFX company in Beijing. Amazing city with some very talented international artists. I’d love to find myself back in LA one day, fingers crossed!

    Best of luck Eric!

    JD

  4. Howie says:

    Hoping his words at the microphone will cause some action in DC. The scales are currently so tipped by tax incentives abroad that this US born VFX industry is on it’s last legs. I’d hate to see it go away completely, and have to uproot my family out of the country to keep a roof over our head. Hoping we get a report back after the talk. I would really like to hear what went down. Cheers

  5. merman888 says:

    Good stuff!

  6. minoton says:

    I don’t mean to put any extra pressure on Eric (and thank him profusely for doing this), but this is freaking HUGE! Look who is right before him, the United Auto Workers, and Aerospace workers. To be in the same company as them is fantastic. I’d been told a number of times we’re just a small part of the economy, we’re not important. Well, if other countries want the film/VFX/animation industry bad enough to subsidize and cover labor, then it’s important enough to protect as well. It’s just a matter of getting our story heard by people who can take action. Good luck, Eric! Thank you!

  7. VFX_man says:

    Some of us like being in someplace other than California. Sorry, he does not speak for all of us.

    23 years in the field, Vancouver provided more opportunities in the past 5 years for me and others — more than California ever did.

    One of the shows I worked is headed back to California for their Tax Credits. So is anyone protesting that? Two sides to every coin.

    VFX_man

    • minoton says:

      Actually, this blog has supported getting rid of ALL subsidies.

    • vfxer says:

      The fellow testifying specifically argued against all subsidies including California’s subsidies in his federal register comment.
      The California subsidies were increased in response to obscene subsidies in Canada that drained California’s film industry. And still they do not match Canada’s.

      If the Canadian government pays companies 53% of salaries to work there, of course that area provides more opportunities. But that market distortion comes at the expense of families and jobs everywhere else. Hence the rules against subsidies in free trade agreements.

    • VFX Soldier says:

      As others mentioned, both Eric and I are against all subsidies. On two occasions we testified against subsidies in California at LA city hall:

      https://vfxsoldier.wordpress.com/2014/02/25/vfx-soldier-speaks-to-la-city-council/

    • Bob says:

      What exactly makes it plausible that Canada or anywhere else is entitled to U..so innovation or jobs? The game is rigged against all artists without tariff thus industry like some many others will and curently is, end up in slave labour countries like China, end of story. If you prefer Canada you can get a job at the CBC.

  8. К says:

    Hi Daniel,

    The fund raising seem to be going well with some $480 raised on this first day (!)

    Can you put me in touch with Eric so when this campaign is over I can transfer the funds into his bank?

    ​Cheers,​ ┌──┐ ▓▒░ Dani └──┘

  9. eric30202002 says:

    Thanks for the support everyone; it means a lot and reminds me how awesome the people in our industry can be! As a posted on Daniels page I will save half the money from the go find me for an La vfx artists event; maybe we can make it an annual tradition like the Vfx solidarity BBQs a while back… right now it’s 8:36 am and I’m waiting outside the department of commerce in DC!

  10. Anone says:

    In this past year I have gotten three job offers at three different studios who have locations both in BC and LA. I live in LA but would need to relocate to BC if I want the jobs. Having my family in LA, I am unable to relocate. When I have asked each studio why I can’t take the position at there location here, they all tell me the same thing: the studios require their film
    work to be done in BC because of the subsidies. I believe subsidies are beneficial when put towards education, healthcare and infrastructure but it makes no sense to be renting jobs from a profitable industry.

  11. mark haden says:

    The subsidies of Vancouver (and Toronto) vfx is disgusting since its mostly funded by taxes raised from their fantasy real estate markets, which in turn is funded by hot money and laundered money trying to escape china, russia and the middle east. Oh yeah, FBI also identified Vancouver port as the central entry point for heroin importation into North America, so throw in some drug money laundering as well. The real estate laundering generates enough tax to subsidise a mostly european and asian workforce that generates a good supply of renters to occupy the appartments of the real estate speculators and launderes.

    It isnt conjecture, many commentators have identified this economic model in Canada, based on real estate speculation funded by laundered money. Hence why most vfx workers in Vancouver are paying large rents to live in propertites they could never, ever afford, facilitated by dirty money, corrupt regional politicians and cynical corporations. Who wants to live in that climate of filth and corruption? Is this what the vfx industry came to? A once professional industry where people raised a family and paid the bills to now this, a couple of corporation towns in Canada that treat desperate Europeans and Asians like serfs. It isnt capitalism, its cronyism.

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