Friday, February 22, 2013


The visual effects community is getting fed up (big surprise, what with the shutdowns and reduced pay and no pay at all.)

Therefore ...

The visual-effects community is planning a demonstration during Sunday's Academy Awards ...

Many in that VFX world argue that effects houses are struggling because of a business model that doesn't work, and they point to Rhythm & Hues Studios -- the VFX house behind the CG tiger in Oscar-nominated Life of Pi -- and the fact that it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Feb. 13 as the latest evidence.

A small plane with a banner that reads "Box Office + Bankrupt = Visual Effects" will fly over the red carpet on Sunday, according to the demonstration's organizers. ...

Dave Rand, an artist at Rhythm & Hues, said the aim of the effort is “awareness. We are not disrespecting Life of Pi or Rhythm & Hues. We are trying to enlighten the studios that they are taking their racehorse and beating it to death.” ...

Respect, of late, flows only one way. And it isn't in the direction of the people who create the images and do the animation that undergird studio blockbusters.

I'm in total sympathy and alignment for what VFX artists are doing. They work long hours, their pay ain't going up, and pension and comprehensive health benefits are (more and more) abstract concepts.

And our fine, entertainment conglomerates don't particularly care. In fact, most are too busy chasing government subsidies north of the Canadian border to give the problem much thought or attention.

As one exec once said of a similar group: "They're our lettuce pickers, our wrists."

You don't get respect until you demand respect.


paul said...

Perfect opportunity for the guild to be there and hand out rep cards and sound bites in the event of media coverage...this is a needed groundwell in our industry and I look forward to more and more artists saying they have had enough.

Celshader said...

More protest details here:

VFX Oscars Demonstration: Hollywood & Vine – 1pm – 4:30pm

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