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

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Old 02 February 2013   #46
And when a "decent" profit is 5-6% you may as well not have bothered at all and just put the money in the bank (well until recently anyway). Meanwhile how much gross profit does a blockbuster movie make?

Originally Posted by DSW: I agree with you. But then where does that leave these VFX houses?

The ONLY other alternative - since they are VFX houses created to produce VFX - is to close up shop. Not an easy decision nor one I would like to make. And how would you go about that? Can you imagine being in that conference room and discussing this problem? "Studio1 wants us to do these VFX for 100x when we need 110x to make a decent profit. If we don't take it, we'll have to close up shop. Maybe we'll be able to make it up on Studio2's project. Let's see what happens."

I would probably bid a "little less" on the next job as well - and so on. I think that most people reading this forum - without knowing the outcome - would do the same. They really had no choice since they were already "a part of something" as they were another link in the chain of movie-making. How would you disconnect being "a part of something"?
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Old 02 February 2013   #47
Originally Posted by BrainFreeze: 1. "I will work for N dollars per hour for X amount of hours" needs to change to:
2. "I will work for M dollars per hour plus Y share of gross profit from this production"

snip


So after providing that #2 info to your prospective employer, I would think that
they would simply say thank you for your interest in the position and let you go on your way and look for more compliant applicants who do not have a similar costly list of
requirements/demands. Or is there something so unique that you alone can bring to the table that will give you leverage in an interview that the next applicant doesn't bring?

I happen to agree with Leigh in that the general public really doesn't care about this issue
esp in the context of the Oscars show. The number of non Oscar events that have taken place during the Oscars broadcast that I can recall is small. The streaker that ran onstage while David Niven was speaking is one, another is the publicity stunt that Brando pulled with his boycott of the Best Actor Oscar for The Godfather.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #48
I am not in the industry, 3D is a hobby. Here is my take on it:

It appears to me the FX pie's are getting bigger, but the slices are getting smaller. To compete the FX companies end up having to buy all the ingredients, mix it together and bake it hoping they made the right pie and recoup some of the cost.

The average movie goer doesn't give a shit about their strike, they just wanna see movies and I'd be willing to bet lunch the average actor doesn't care either (unless the SAG tells them they will).

In the US, when the words "strike" and "union" are used together the general idea is that those on strike just want more money, easier work and more generous benefits. True or not that is the perception of how Americans view unions, in short GREEDY bastards only interested in themselves and squeezing the poor company for more money at a time it could least afford it. read that; UAW, football ref's, professional sports. etc.
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Old 02 February 2013   #49
But lets say you got a person who is;
  • over 40
  • Has lived in at least two countries chasing a job
  • has spcecilized in his carrer as rigger in lets say Maya
  • has a family and his bank is threataning to foreclose their home
  • No health insurance ,
  • and to make things more fun, the person lives hand to mouth so he has no retirement funds.
THIS PERSON HAS NOTHING TO LOSE.

Everytime I am in LA I like to talk to friends in the industry, and frankly it kills me to hear their horror stories.
Even if the general public does not care one bit about this issue, doign a march might at least start a conversation about this. LA is a company town, and if I was a an editor (Who belongs to the Editors Union) I might be wondering if my industry is next.

Two of the films that have a chance to get Oscars on Sunday have some serius issues on how their VFX were done (Beasts and Pi). The irony is that they are both on polar opposited in terms of their budgets, and htey still screwed the artists who made the films possible.


There is a story there.
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Last edited by RobertoOrtiz : 02 February 2013 at 05:10 PM.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #50
Here is the facebook page of the event:
https://www.facebook.com/events/102072926647311/
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Old 02 February 2013   #51
Originally Posted by RobertoOrtiz: There is a story there.


Yes, and all it needs in an interested Press. As the press industry has suffered almost the same way, finding sympathetic journalists willing to take up the torch shouldn't be too hard.
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Old 02 February 2013   #52
Originally Posted by teruchan: I worked in VFX for years. I have been laid off 4 different times. The last time I was laid off, I decided to try something different. I ADAPTED. That's why I am here. Far from being clueless, Mr. BOB, why are my old bosses in Hollywood contacting me trying to get work done over here? Why are my colleagues from before asking what it takes to get here and what kind of work is available? You'd be SURPRISED how many calls, mails, IMs I get saying, "Dude, you got out at the right time." or "You had the right idea. Did you see it coming?"

Sitting around and complaining never accomplished anything.


The problem with adapting is some people cannot. They have families, kids in school, spouses with their own carriers etc. They can't just pick up and move for a job that is going to disappear after the project is over anyway. Other than a few key people in a studio everyone else is playing musical chairs with jobs now.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #53
Originally Posted by Dillster: Yes, and all it needs in an interested Press. As the press industry has suffered almost the same way, finding sympathetic journalists willing to take up the torch shouldn't be too hard.


True:

The Facebook "Piece of the Pi Protest" event so far has 180 attending and 105 "Maybes."
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Old 02 February 2013   #54
All Visual Effects Academy Awards Nominees: Make a stand for our industry on the Academy Awards stage this weekend

https://www.change.org/petitions/al...s-weekend#share
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Old 02 February 2013   #55
Originally Posted by unclebob: The average movie goer doesn't give a shit about their strike, they just wanna see movies...


They'll care when the amount and quality of VFX in movies goes down. Hollywood wants more and more for less and less, and it's hurting VFX artists and shops around the world.
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Old 02 February 2013   #56
Originally Posted by RobertoOrtiz: But lets say you got a person who is;
  • over 40
  • Has lived in at least two countries chasing a job
  • has spcecilized in his carrer as rigger in lets say Maya
  • has a family and his bank is threataning to foreclose their home
  • No health insurance ,
  • and to make things more fun, the person lives hand to mouth so he has no retirement funds.
THIS PERSON HAS NOTHING TO LOSE.

Everytime I am in LA I like to talk to friends in the industry, and frankly it kills me to hear their horror stories.
Even if the general public does not care one bit about this issue, doign a march might at least start a conversation about this. LA is a company town, and if I was a an editor (Who belongs to the Editors Union) I might be wondering if my industry is next.

Two of the films that have a chance to get Oscars on Sunday have some serius issues on how their VFX were done (Beasts and Pi). The irony is that they are both on polar opposited in terms of their budgets, and htey still screwed the artists who made the films possible.


There is a story there.


all true but if the media just shows them on strike and/or glosses over why they are on strike then the general population won't know the whole back story of the "why" and garner sympathy for the artist. The population would see a movie which grossed $500 million dollars and can't grasp the fact the FX studio didn't make a dime on it. Their sentiment would be . . . "OH come on what a bunch of BS, that movie made $500 million dollars!! how could they NOT make any money on it to pay the FX artist? sounds like a bunch of sour grapes to me" They just see movie X made $500 million, without knowing all which goes into making it; all the people involved in getting to the theater, all the behind the scenes costs, they just see that huge figure. I know it is a bit over the top but that is how things (in many industries) is viewed, the bottom line without knowledge of what it took to get there.
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Old 02 February 2013   #57
Few people will actually notice lower quality.
For people not involved in this industry Clone Wars looks alright.
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Old 02 February 2013   #58
I think one of the core underlying issues here is that VFX is treated as a commodity, not as art, and I think a protest that gets a bit of media attention well help, at least a little bit, to combat that.
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Old 02 February 2013   #59
Originally Posted by katisss: Few people will actually notice lower quality.
For people not involved in this industry Clone Wars looks alright.

Yes they will.

The Clone Wars look okay because that is what is expected. You can't take "Clone Wars" and place those FX in a photo realistic movie. You can't tell me (or anyone else) that audiences wouldn't notice.

I can't say how many times a family member would look at something on the screen and say "that looked fake." When you start hearing that more and more - and you will - reviewers of movies will state it plainly how low the bar seems for so-called "block-buster VFX" and the public and the movie studios WILL take notice. Try to take your average SyFy movie VFX (again a SUPER low budget) and expect audiences NOT to notice.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #60
good luck to everyone trying to raise this story in the press around the oscars.
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