Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Gender Thing. Again.

Kind of a recurring theme.

... The lack of gender parity seen in both film and tech fields overall is also evident in VFX (VFX: visual effects. Green screen, animation, drawing tigers into the middle of the ocean, stuff like that), where the struggles of many women go unnoticed. Companies like Google and Facebook are making a lot of (good) noise about this gender inequality. They’re trying to even it out. So why are VFX women so easily overlooked? Simple. Nobody thinks about it. ...

Then you have “Porn Fridays.” Sonya Teich and Raqi Syed, VFX artists writing for TechCrunch, explain:

Those who have not worked in visual effects may find themselves appalled by a casual anti-corporate culture in which company-wide mailing lists devoted to ‘Porn Fridays,’ conferences featuring “booth babes” in skin-tight motion-capture suits and crass gynecology jokes. ...

Yesterday a young, female CG surfacer, freshly minted from a Southern California college, came into the office asking about tips for finding steady work. She's been freelancing, picking up odd jobs, living hand to mouth, but she can't seem to find that steady gig that can catapult a twenty-somethings into a meaningful career orbit.

Steve Kaplan and I gave her tips on the job market, how to improve her on-line presence, what studios to approach and how. (Mr. Kaplan did most of the talking; he's the tech expert, I'm just the ex-cartoon writer who still remembers Selectric typewriters.)

We both told her it's a tough market out there, but that it should improve a bit when state tax breaks kick in for visual effects in a few months. She's still got that other hurdle to leap over: she's a woman in her mid-twenties.

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