VFX protests at Oscars Master Thread: (VFX Townhall tonight at 7:45PM PST)

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  02 February 2013
VFX protests at Oscars Master Thread: (VFX Townhall tonight at 7:45PM PST)

https://www.facebook.com/VfxSolidarityIntl

FROM: Scott Ross posting last night...
A Piece of the Pi?

I had a vision tonite. The perfect storm had occurred. The VFX industry in turmoil whilst blockbuster movies are making a fortune. LIFE OF PI racks up $577 million whilst R&H files for bankruptcy. Chances are Bill Westenhofer and team will most likely walk away with a statue on Sunday, though they have no job or paycheck on Monday morning. So... given this outrageous situation, what can be done?

Here's where the dream part came.... 500 or more VFX artists demonstrated only blocks away from the Dolby (Kodak) theater on Sunday, Oscar day. Waving signs that say... " I WANT A PIECE OF THE PI TOO".


http://vfxsoldier.wordpress.com/
A number of VFX professionals (even me, skeptically) have thrown around the idea of some sort of gathering. While I can’t guarantee the details I can guarantee you one thing: The media is very interested in covering this. Dave Rand has been working with them and I’ve been contacted about it too.

I have a few concerns given how last minute this request is (I guess we’re used to that in the VFX industry right?). Regardless, no matter what the decision is, I want you all to be as effective as possible so I have some advice.

Where & When?

The Oscars will be closed off for blocks so it may be tough for many to get there. Pick a spot that has plenty of nearby parking and easy access and I’m certain the media will meet you there.

My suggestion was the front of Sony Pictures headquarters on Madison Ave. It’s close to many of the VFX studios like Imageworks, DD, and Rhythm (even though its out of the way for DW and Disney workers) and there is a lot of free parking. Bring warm clothing.

Have a clear and concise message.

The media is going to stick a microphone in your face and they need a few good lines to put on the news. So be clear in what you have to say or it could backfire.*I agree with Scott Ross’s message:

The message is simple: VFX artists create incredible images that translates into huge box office or MONEY… BUT, VFX companies are going out of business.

Stop Subsidies (edit: Hint Hint.)
Stop exporting our industry

Fair business practices.
Fair Labor rules

Start supporting the men and women that create the magic in movies.

If this works out right it could lead to something big. It could also backfire. So gather amongst yourselves and discuss/decide. When you are ready we’ll let the media know.
 
  02 February 2013
Wasted effort. You can't fight the inevitable. There is far more to be gained by going with the tide rather than swimming against it.
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  02 February 2013
ok and if we all took that mentality, what should we think of Ghandi and Mandella etc?
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  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by vfx: ok and if we all took that mentality, what should we think of Ghandi and Mandella etc?

Agreed.

Good luck guys!

-R
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  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by vfx: ok and if we all took that mentality, what should we think of Ghandi and Mandella etc?


Not the same thing. This is more like fighting to save the horse and carriage industry when the automobile is upon us.
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  02 February 2013
I'll pitty those who will demonstrate and I personally actually dont want to be associated with anyone who thinks building walls is a solution.
It's narrow, egoistic and will fail, you cannot control it.

We need internal education on how to teach clients who is the boss regarding vfx.
It is the ONLY proper way to "fight".

You need to keep clients in a chain around the neck and be brutal, and before you start working like they do you will always be a slave.

Last edited by gkmotu : 02 February 2013 at 03:24 PM.
 
  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by teruchan: Not the same thing. This is more like fighting to save the horse and carriage industry when the automobile is upon us.

Hmm ...so what would be this ... automobile... in your opinion?
 
  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by vfx: ok and if we all took that mentality, what should we think of Ghandi and Mandella etc?


Well for starters I think Mandella's wife was pretty nasty with those flaming auto tire necklaces.

umm... more like Norma Rae and btw nobody loves you.

(and yet thousands of the textile worker jobs have gone overseas.)
 
  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by Panupat: Hmm ...so what would be this ... automobile... in your opinion?


Playstation 4 Deep Down presentation should tell you what is next for this industry. Maybe not everything will be made with a help of new engines but I think that next HappyFeet or ToyStory could be easily produced with a help of RealTime engine like this used in DeepDown. No need for massive renderfarms and big VFX houses. It will start from animated movies and later move to all those LOTR etc. shows.
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  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by gkmotu: I'll pitty those who will demonstrate and I personally actually dont want to be associated with anyone who thinks building walls is a solution.
It's narrow, egoistic and will fail, you cannot control it.

We need internal education on how to teach clients who is the boss regarding vfx.
It is the ONLY proper way to "fight".

You need to keep clients in a chain around the neck and be brutal, and before you start working like they do you will always be a slave.


Internal education? Seriously? You are the boss?

The golden rule says that he who has the gold makes the rules and calls the shots.

Another gem, detail men are a dime a dozen and idea men are not.
Connect the dots and maybe you need to reassess the line of work that you have chosen to work within if you truly believe that you are working as a slave..
 
  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by Tama: Internal education? Seriously? You are the boss?

The golden rule says that he who has the gold makes the rules and calls the shots.

Another gem, detail men are a dime a dozen and idea men are not.
Connect the dots and maybe you need to reassess the line of work that you have chosen to work within if you truly believe that you are working as a slave..


I dont live by this golden rule. I live by argumentation will win, that means communication and that means confrontations.

Education within our industry, ofcourse. Artists are not pr deffinition hardboiled businessmen just because they open a shop making pixels move, quite the contrary after my experience. This is partially what some get to feel these times with saturation in various segments.
 
  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by mantragora: Playstation 4 Deep Down presentation should tell you what is next for this industry. Maybe not everything will be made with a help of new engines but I think that next HappyFeet or ToyStory could be easily produced with a help of RealTime engine like this used in DeepDown. No need for massive renderfarms and big VFX houses. It will start from animated movies and later move to all those LOTR etc. shows.


When I visited Crytek, their film engine hadn't been released to the public yet, but some major studios had signed on and were already testing it. They showed me clips of live actors composited into CryEngine scenes, or even fighting a ton of CryEngine soldiers. Still, that is only part of the picture.

There is no one specific automobile coming. We are however seeing an industry change that is just as big.

Originally Posted by Tama: Internal education? Seriously? You are the boss?

The golden rule says that he who has the gold makes the rules and calls the shots.

Another gem, detail men are a dime a dozen and idea men are not.
Connect the dots and maybe you need to reassess the line of work that you have chosen to work within if you truly believe that you are working as a slave..


People like gkmotu are not working as a slave, nor does he have reason to concern himself with working as one, but the people who want to go and protest ARE or will be, and apparently they desire to continue doing so, just with slightly better wages.

There's always more gold out there.
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Studio ArtFX
Learn How to Make Your Own Animated Projects!
You don't need millions of dollars or major studio backing!!
 
  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by teruchan: snip

People like gkmotu are not working as a slave, nor does he have reason to concern himself with working as one, but the people who want to go and protest ARE or will be,

snip
.


Will be? Will be working as a slave?
Nonsense.
I think using the term slave is silly and makes the case look silly as well.
Powerless is probably a better word.
And if you are truly powerless then you have no juice and without juice you
have a weak hand to play if any at all.
So you want to rely on the media for that special juice?
 
  02 February 2013
Well this might help make some peoples minds:


WSJ: Oscar nominee (Beasts) had 85 of its 120 VFX shots created with free labor
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  02 February 2013
"I may be an artist but I do this for a living" or "I'm an artist but my work isn't free." or some sentiment along those lines. How many people have seen that message posted on online forums, Facebook, Twitter, or other social media?

I bring this up because easily since 2000, there's been a significant increase in studio/client expectations paired with voracious VFX studio/Private 3D/Fx artists low balling each other. The whole I'm an artist, I don't work for free is moot when VFX studios themselves are willing to quote work to barely break even, or worse at significant loss in order to procure another project. Really!?

The problem is not the movie studios or private clients themselves but the VFX Studios and Independent artists supporting unrealistic/unsustainable business models. You can't charge a deep discount now with the idea of securing the next project - that's some foolhardy expectation to bridge operating losses on the next project bid. That's a vicious cycle no amount of protesting can fix.
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