Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Visual Effects Industry Bill of Rights

A few months ago, the Visual Effects Society called for all members of the VFX community, artist and studio executive alike, to send them concerns and wishes about the industry to be used as reference for a Visual Effects Industry Bill of Rights. Today, the VES released that document to the industry.

A few of the finer points:

A Visual Effects Artist or Practitioner has the right to:

• A clear understanding of the work he/she is being hired to perform, including knowing what they are being paid per hour, per week or per job, as well as the duration of the assignment, with strict adherence to all local labor laws and tax codes regarding overtime, sick time, vacation time, working conditions, safety and other aspects of a professional work environment. This would include a minimum of an industry-standard turnaround between work shifts;

• Negotiate a modification in the terms of employment should the realities of the position change in any material way, or decline work that is outside the terms of the employment agreement;

• Quality health care coverage no matter where in the world he/she may be working;

• Be paid on time;

• Work under conditions conducive to the work they are expected to perform and the creative process it entails;

• Be given a reasonable amount of notice when being asked to work overtime. If asked, to be able to turn down such requests without reprisals;

• An appropriate and certifiable credit;

• Show their work after the project is commercially released for the purpose of securing more work.

The Hollywood Reporter quotes VES Chair Eric Roth on how the Bill was created:

We have taken significant steps to make this a collaborative process throughout the industry .. At this time we have engaged in a vigorous dialog with key stakeholders at all levels and believe our Bill of Rights lays out the vital concerns of each segment of the industry. Our next step is to focus on bringing all parties together to seek solutions.

The cries from the industry for positive and lasting change are getting louder and more frequent. The new document from the VES is another step toward preserving the art of Visual Effects while allowing those who call it their profession the ability to lead healthy, productive and satisfying lives.

Of course, the best way any visual effects artist can help with that change, would be to start a conversation with Jim Goodman about organizing the artists at the studio for which you work. Achieving a Collective Bargaining Agreement that offers portable health and pension benefits to the artists of visual effects would be a strong, positive step towards making those changes.


Anonymous said...

Shorter VES "Bill of Rights"

Please employers, be human.

Please employers, follow state, federal and local laws.

el diablo said...

Many times, even directors don't have a clue of how much time a little change/fix will take, and nevertheless, expect the corrections to be turned around in an unreasonable time. Many managers and production assistants also have no clue the time it takes to do the job. I've said in the past, they should open up a scene, load up characters, and do whatever, just as a test, to see how much some easy task will take to do.

The bill of rights seems like the way to go. Took long enough...


Anonymous said...

I applaud this document, but wonder what happens to it now. How does the VES get employers to agree to these things?

Anonymous said...

Seriously. I can write down on a piece of paper that I want a Pony that shits Rainbows and hand it to my employer....
But what sort of weight does it carry?

I mean, who's backing this VES Bill? Does it really mean anything?

Steven Kaplan said...

As mentioned, its a step. Its a declaration of intention. Its been spoken and out there now .. by an organization that claims to have the best interest of the industry as a whole at heart.

Call it what you will, its a good step.

Anonymous said...

It's a good step. Grips, Teamsters, Camera Operators, Costumers, Hair Stylists, and Makeup artists and even Craft Services get their due. It's about time cg workers get take their place along side them and get the same respect.

el diablo said...

'Seriously. I can write down on a piece of paper that I want a Pony that shits Rainbows and hand it to my employer....
But what sort of weight does it carry?'

The Declaration of Independence was a good step too. I wonder what the king's reaction was when he read it.


Anonymous said...

In this case, there isn't ONE king, but MANY (most not wearing any clothes).

Won't work anyway as people don't go to films to see "cg." They go to have a good time and see a fun story.

Anonymous said...

"Union" has become a very dirty word and having guys like Hoffa yelling "Take the SOB's OUT!" does not help the image. I know I am going to catch a lot of flack for posting this but it's the truth.

Anonymous said...

Hoffa's remark referred to taking "the SOBs out" electorally, which was clear in the context of his complete statement.

We'll see how eager the middle class is to cut its own throat next year.

Anonymous said...

I've known proud union members that still go to the ballot box to vote for the crew that has been slitting the throats of the unions since 1980. I'll be honest, I still don't get it. But to each their own.

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