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Old 09-12-2012, 10:24 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leigh
I can't help but wonder if a lot of this "you can't have kids if you work in CG" notion comes from silly 1950s gender roles that are still rather deeply entrenched in most countries; that is, that because CG is a male-dominated industry, many of these male artists don't consider the fact that their female partners could be working to support their families too. Why is it largely accepted that a man can be a sole bread winner, but not a woman? The fact is that either parent can work full time and manage to support the family, it doesn't have to be the male. Bearing this in mind, it's entirely reasonable to consider that the other parent could be working in a more stable line of work which could sustain the family in the event of the CG artist parent losing their job for any period of time.


Well my animation professor/producer in college was a woman from Dreamworks who told us if we wanted a family we were in the wrong industry. She was divorced with a daughter, so I guess she knew how it was. It disturbed me too at first but then I set out to make my own path and see how it worked for me. She's been at a number of places since she was last my professor so I suppose she is one of those who either through want or circumstance moves around a lot.
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:25 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leigh
I can't help but wonder if a lot of this "you can't have kids if you work in CG" notion comes from silly 1950s gender roles that are still rather deeply entrenched in most countries; that is, that because CG is a male-dominated industry, many of these male artists don't consider the fact that their female partners could be working to support their families too. Why is it largely accepted that a man can be a sole bread winner, but not a woman? The fact is that either parent can work full time and manage to support the family, it doesn't have to be the male. Bearing this in mind, it's entirely reasonable to consider that the other parent could be working in a more stable line of work which could sustain the family in the event of the CG artist parent losing their job for any period of time.


I'd wager that most already have spouses that work fulltime. I know I do.

The last comment about childcare is a valid one as well, I have friends who don't work part-time because it would cost such a significant amount to put their kids in childcare (relative to the salary they'd make) that it isn't really worth it.
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:37 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sentry66
I don't think gender matters, but CG work can take a lot of hours - many times unexpected hour.


Not always. Most people who work loads of overtime are simply not being assertive and saying no. It's a bit tiresome hearing complaints about overtime when the people working those long hours are really just allowing the problem to continue.

Quote:
Someone has to reliably be around for the kids. If the other parent chooses to work, they probably need to make more money than what a babysitter/daycare costs for it to be worthwhile.


But how is CG any different to any other field in this regard? See, that's my point. People keep acting like CG is some special field that prevents you from having a family, when the fact is that having a family is a huge financial commitment that comes at a price to anyone, regardless of what their career is. Millions of people manage to have kids all over the world, and somehow manage to make it work.
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:47 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leigh
Not always. Most people who work loads of overtime are simply not being assertive and saying no. It's a bit tiresome hearing complaints about overtime when the people working those long hours are really just allowing the problem to continue.


I think that fear sets in more into the big studios where people feel they can instantly be replaced. Also at big studios, the work has a layer of disconnect between the client and artist. The client isn't paying you, your employer is. There's a certain amount of responsibility that's removed from the artist and falls on the studio.

For people who do all the work themselves who have their name directly attached to the quality of their work, you might put in the extra time because you don't want your portfolio filled with mediocre crap work. You'd also want the client to be happy and come back.


Quote:
Originally Posted by leigh
But how is CG any different to any other field in this regard? See, that's my point. People keep acting like CG is some special field that prevents you from having a family, when the fact is that having a family is a huge financial commitment that comes at a price to anyone, regardless of what their career is. Millions of people manage to have kids all over the world, and somehow manage to make it work.


I personally don't think CG is different than any other job where someone might put in extra hours. Good planning makes it more predictable, but we all know how reliable computers and software can be...
 
Old 09-12-2012, 10:49 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leigh

Working in an unpredictable and unstable field like VFX means I've always been careful to save money every month when I'm working in case of a problem. I'm currently in the biggest gap between jobs that I've ever had .


The best advice I ever got when I started in this racket was save as much money as you can when you are working. So when there is no work you can scale back pay your bills / rent etc etc. there will be times when there is no work.

The work is in expensive cities that's a fact of life, its the same for other service industry professionals, be it fashion, banking etc etc. You can have kids in vfx but you will want to live outside the city center . You get more space and kids love a garden.

The biggest issue by far is the fact there are few if any full time jobs offered certainly in my sector of film vfx. This means it will be nearly impossible to get a home loan with the tighter lending restrictions in place since the GFC. The solution means often having a partner with fulltime work.
Once you buy that house and your kids are at school the last thing you want to do is move. That's why I have career rule number one. Live near the center of your industry so if things go wrong at your company you have options with other firms nearby. If you live and work for a firm in the ass end of nowhere you are at their mercy. That means you will have to move and moving costs money !.

Pay wise:- The general pay on offer for seniors is still a wild west of negotiation. I see people with senior job titles and mid level pay all the time or people paying there own costs to relocate for a short term contract and not even getting accommodation covered.
My best advice here is never ever reply to an offer immediately think about it and like any good King seek advice and opinion from your friends.

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Old 09-12-2012, 10:51 PM   #36
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Quote:
Is that before or after taxes?

Also, it always seems to me that it is the unexpected things that aren't regular bills that get you. Car and home repairs being the biggest culprits.


Tax was taken into account when making that list. What I list as monthly income is after Tax is taken. What I list as monthly cost such as groceries; includes tax.

Dave
 
Old 09-12-2012, 11:21 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by razorbjc
I'm surprised that there are people who have kids and are still working on a contractual/freelance basis. Having an uncertain long-term financial future while having other mouths to feed would drive me insane.


Full time positions are often hard to come by. I had a full time position at DNA and started my family with the expectation of staying there for a very, very long time. But then the company folded. Framestore promised additional contracts after The Tale of Despereaux, but when the next film fell through most of the film production staff was let go. Even though I wanted to continue living in London and work for another studio, my visa ran out and I couldn't legally search for work on a tourist visa, so I couldn't just hang out living off of savings until a new job came available. (This is as an American... if you are from a European or a Commonwealth country the rules are different.) In practice, all of the production artists at DreamWorks are on 1 year contracts. My friends who have worked at ILM told me that ILM only hires based on short contracts.

If you are in one of the expensive cities where multiple studios are located (L.A., Vancouver, London) then you can move from contract to contract and not have to move.

In my career I have tried to actively look for positions that seemed to offer more stability, but even so I have had to move my family around every few years. What I've learned is that you cannot trust companies to provide you with any sort of secure income stream, even if you work your ass off for them.

Cheers,
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:27 PM   #38
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EDIT: What I typed had already been said. So... an anecdote.

I knew a guy who said "no" to working late. He got fired, married, had kids, and lives a happy life at another studio. His life changed drastically for the better by putting his foot down.

Last edited by Diffus3d : 09-12-2012 at 11:51 PM.
 
Old 09-12-2012, 11:38 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x24BitVoxel
I've been in situations where I had to work 22 out of 24 hours for 9 days straight, with a cot in the back for 2 hour naps. And that was a no name studio. (Yes, I did quit after that...)


We've all had some crazy deadlines and all-nighters, but honestly, if a studio put that much work on my plate in that short amount of time, I'd either quit before putting myself through that, or (and I'm serious) put out a crap-ass product in protest and tell the studio to deal with it and that it's their fault for their piss-poor time management. 2 hours of sleep for 9 days each can get you killed.

There are insane deadlines and then there are unreasonable ones.

Now if you said you'd do that unreasonable amount of work for a price and the studio agreed to pay you for it - that's different.

That's my take on things anyway
 
Old 09-13-2012, 12:04 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sentry66
We've all had some crazy deadlines and all-nighters, but honestly, if a studio put that much work on my plate in that short amount of time, I'd either quit before putting myself through that, or (and I'm serious) put out a crap-ass product in protest and tell the studio to deal with it and that it's their fault for their piss-poor time management. 2 hours of sleep for 9 days each can get you killed.

There are insane deadlines and then there are unreasonable ones.

Now if you said you'd do that unreasonable amount of work for a price and the studio agreed to pay you for it - that's different.

That's my take on things anyway



I edited it all out of my post because someone else made that point earlier in the thread, so I apologize to those who are confused about this quote here.

For the record, I never thought they would take my offer. I told them, first 8 hours are X price. Second 8 hours are 2X price. After midnight is 3X price (6X if that was my second 8.) I figured, showed I was willing to be a team player but that they would balk. They didn't. I did leave and I'm glad I did, but I did finish because well I said I would.

Yeah, it was awful. But I made a mint. Nice too because I slept for almost a week, being up only a few hours a day to recover. And I learned a good lesson. That lesson was: Other peoples' priorities are not my priorities. You'd think I would have learned that a long time before, but no.
 
Old 09-13-2012, 12:26 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankIowa

Compare living in a large city to a different lifestyle. What if you lived on a 2.5 acre tract of land with lots of woods and your neighbors have 2.5 to 5 acre tracts with no public road. You live on a cul-de-sac street with hardly any traffic. You cannot see another house from your backyard (only woods, hills, and a river). You can go out at night at actually see the wonders of the heavens. Light pollution is so bad in cities that you could never view the heavens even with a telescope (yet imagine seeing all the stars of the Little Dipper and much more from your backyard with just your eyes).




Damn you, you just rekindled some sweet memories that I have buried deep inside of me. I come from a place where the whole country is essentially what you described. Ever since I came to LA my wild side subsided. Man I really can't remember the last time I gazed upon the stars with full clarity. I feel lonely now.
 
Old 09-13-2012, 12:47 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leigh
I can't help but wonder if a lot of this "you can't have kids if you work in CG" notion comes from silly 1950s gender roles that are still rather deeply entrenched in most countries; that is, that because CG is a male-dominated industry, many of these male artists don't consider the fact that their female partners could be working to support their families too. Why is it largely accepted that a man can be a sole bread winner, but not a woman? The fact is that either parent can work full time and manage to support the family, it doesn't have to be the male. Bearing this in mind, it's entirely reasonable to consider that the other parent could be working in a more stable line of work which could sustain the family in the event of the CG artist parent losing their job for any period of time.


The female in our house is the sole bread winner for the family of four. The rest are males. I don't know why I posted that, but I don't get the feeling that it is the 1950s any longer.

Last edited by Tamagoo : 09-13-2012 at 12:57 AM.
 
Old 09-13-2012, 01:17 AM   #43
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I'm sorry for having to say this, but the whining and complains are really annoying.
The cost of living in big cities, expensive health insurance, cost of raising family, etc, applies to everyone, no matter which field they are working, and probably, many get paid less than cg, more overtime, worse working condition, and they complain less than people in the cg/vfx(again, probably).
I read somewhere someone comparing vfx artist like slave or workers in 3rd world countries, really?? Well definitely those people know nothing about real world.
 
Old 09-13-2012, 03:54 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reynold
The cost of living in big cities, expensive health insurance, cost of raising family, etc, applies to everyone, no matter which field they are working, and probably, many get paid less than cg, more overtime, worse working condition, and they complain less than people in the cg/vfx(again, probably).

Hmmm.... I'm not sure how to answer this.

On the one hand, you're absolutely right. Many people do more with a lot less. I don't deny that we should pay our educators more. It sucks that waitresses have to sometimes work double shifts just to barely survive. There's no reason why some newbie police officers should have to also collect public assistance because their base salaries are so low. In that respect, it does seem insane that somebody making 5x the minimum wage should moan and groan. Your point, at least in that sense, is fair.

However, let's not simply label these complaints as whining. Let's also not ignore some of inexorable and unfortunate truths.

You say that long hours are common in other industries and you're right. I won't deny that. However, this being a CG board, we have to restrict the discussion to this context. Is it wrong to complain about salary when the risks can outweigh the gains? That being said, the topics of burnout or CG related health problems have been covered here endlessly. I've leave that up to you to dig through those old posts

More over, if you're a cop, teacher, or waitress, you can get a job just about anywhere. You may only have an earning potential of $26k a year, but that money could be worth a lot more somewhere other than a big city. You might not live la dolce vita, but you could survive just fine. Somehow, people actually do live on minimum wage.

However, if you're a CG artist, you have to go where the work is. You can't just say, "Yeah. I think I'm moving to Juno Alaska. I think I'll get a VFX job there." No. It really doesn't work that way. Unfortunately, the various CG related industries can very easily restrict your options where you can work or live. As has already been stated, the work is in some very pricey locales.

Yeah. You can live outside of those expensive cities and squeeze more value out of your paycheck. Nobody's forcing you to move to the heart of Manhattan or Los Angeles. We all know that, to get the most bang for the buck, you'll often have to move a bit further out. Do you really want to commute 90 minutes each morning? Probably not. That's fine. So, you move a little closer to where you work. That's fine too. Consequently, you're getting a bit less for a bit more though. And the closer you go.... Well, we've covered this already. It's a juggling act.

Nobody's saying that you can't survive on what you make as a CG artist. You can. I don't see any CG artists hanging out in alleyways with signs that read: "Will texture for food."

Still, given the circumstances, it's not a question of if you can live on what you're paid. It's how well. The police chief earning $70k in the middle of Nebraska will certainly live far more comfortably than the CG artist living and working in LA for the same $70k. There's a serious disparity there when it comes to standard of living.

To drive my point home, I went to CNN's Cost of Living Calculator.

Let's say you are earning $70k and live/work in Manhattan, New York. Suppose that you're moving out to Hastings, Nebraska. How much would you have to make to live the same lifestyle? Answer: $30k. That's it. Housing costs 79% less. Transportation costs 27% less. Food, utilities, and health care all cost in the neighborhood of 30% less too. Moving from NYC to Nebraska, you can take a 56% cut in salary and still live the same.

Flip the equation. Suppose that you're already earning $70k in Hastings, Nebraska. You decide that you want to move to Manhattan. How much money are you going to have to make then? Shocker..... $161k. Housing alone in Manhattan is going to cost you 369% more. That means, if you're paying $800 rent over in Nebraska, you'd have to pay about $3,750 in Manhattan for the same living conditions.

The world isn't always so fair though is it? If you were earning $70k at your job in Nebraska, it's VERY unlikely that your next employer is going to pay you $161k to do the same job here in NYC. They'll more than likely offer you a comparable package because that's what they feel that you're worth. Again, consequently, your standard of living is going to shift. In this case, earning the same in an environment that requires more, you're going to be living a bit worse off.

Tell me something. If you're getting paid the same, but have effectively taken a 56% cut in your buying power, how likely are you to actually have any savings tucked away? Not likely, at least imo. That $70k you used to live high off of in Nebraska won't allow you to live quite as comfortably here in NYC. If what it costs for you to live in NY is more than what it cost for you to live in Nebraska, how easy will it be for you to pay your preexisting bills like student loans? If you used to support a family of 5 on that money in Nebraska, they'll have to live on a lot less here in NYC.

Just for one second, pretend you're a guy who just relocated your family out to NYC from Nebraska. Now, pretend that the studio shut down the same week you got there. You're in a predicament for the obvious reason, that being that you're now unemployed. However, you're also in a bind because you're now in a city that demands that you earn more just to exist. It's not a great situation to be in really.

Again.... Location. Location. Location. Where you live and work can GREATLY affect your quality of life, relative to your salary. When you're a CG artist of some sort, your playground isn't exactly the entire world. Just parts of it. It's not like you're a Walmart checkout clerk.

Quote:
I read somewhere someone comparing vfx artist like slave or workers in 3rd world countries, really?? Well definitely those people know nothing about real world.

Maybe comparing it to slave labor is a little extreme, but.... well.... Read the threads on this forum. Crunch schedules that effectively widow the employees' families. Health issues resulting from the long hours, demands, and working conditions. A pay rate to work week ratio that's sometimes so far off balance that you might as well be working in McDonalds, as you'd effectively be earning the same pay. Workers that get chewed up and spat out because they no longer have it in them to work in that specific field.

The stories are very real. I'm not making them up. I'm not saying that they're representative of the norm, but you really can't hide your head in the sand and pretend that they don't exist. The thing is, nobody wants to be "that guy". The moment you complain about what everybody else takes for granted, out of necessity,you're no longer a team player. You're a liability. So, as a matter of self-preservation, you swallow it. Just like the guy to your right. Just like the guy to your left. Again, not representative of the norm, but you no doubt know guys in this situation. Maybe some of you ARE guys in this situation.

Not slave labor, but CG/VFX guys aren't exactly playing golf for a living either.
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Last edited by cookepuss : 09-13-2012 at 04:23 AM.
 
Old 09-13-2012, 06:14 AM   #45
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One last thing and I'll let y'all duke it out on the cost of living issue. I simply love that Nebraska VS New York comparison. The disparity makes me laugh & cry at the same time. I had to check out what housing would look like and what you could get for your buying dollar. For about $250k...

In Brooklyn: http://cdn1.static-homes.com/cgi-bi...mage/1476377370
In Nebraska: http://cdn5.static-homes.com/cgi-bi...mage/1564034169

Okay, so maybe I aimed too low for the price. How about $400k?

In Brooklyn: http://cdn5.static-homes.com/cgi-bi...mage/1595128459
In Nebraska: http://cdn4.static-homes.com/cgi-bi...mage/1474463426

Talk about bang for the buck.
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Last edited by cookepuss : 09-13-2012 at 06:19 AM.
 
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