VFX Union meeting

Become a member of the CGSociety

Connect, Share, and Learn with our Large Growing CG Art Community. It's Free!

View Poll Results: VFX Union?
Yes 76 59.38%
No 30 23.44%
I'm not sure. 22 17.19%
Voters: 128. You may not vote on this poll

THREAD CLOSED
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 02 February 2013   #16
The problem with unions is that they only protect their own (paying) members interests, even if that means trampling over other workers. For that i'd rather pay an agent or a lawyer than belong to such a type of organization. Don't get me wrong, the early syndicate work was priceless to get better job conditions. Now they look like glorified member's club more interested in getting more associates and thus quotas.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #17
Originally Posted by Shesul: The problem with unions is that they only protect their own (paying) members interests, even if that means trampling over other workers. d rather pay an agent or a lawyer than belong to such a type of organization. Don't get me wrong, the early syndicate work was priceless to get better job conditions. Now they look like glorified member's club more interested in getting more associates and thus quotas.

QFA.
A union may start with good intentions, but eventually you can get group think, peer pressure, intimidation of your fellow union members, and all for what? You've just added another organization between you and your wages.
the problem as someone already mentioned is between studios and houses, you throw a union in there pressuring the houses on one side, studios on the other, vfx houses fold, hooray, problem solved! Or not?
 
Old 02 February 2013   #18
Is there anything to prevent a union from negotiating directly with the studios? If a powerful enough VFX union promised to strike against any production that didn't get enough funding to allow for decent hours and benefits, wouldn't that force the studios to pay more?

Of course, "powerful enough" in this case would probably have to mean "international" which would be tricky to pull off.
__________________
kevinbakercg.com
 
Old 02 February 2013   #19
Originally Posted by LucentDreams: This is a really misleading statement I've seen several times right now. Your stating that artists who worked on Life of Pi have not been paid, which is technically true. The problem with the statement is that it implies they haven't been paid for their work on Life of Pi, which simply isn't true. The pay we missed in Jan/feb is for current productions and nothing more. Everyone on Pi was compensated for their work on Pi.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but did you receive any entitlements? Because that would be considered as pay in my books.
(Healthcare, Superannuation, 401K, Leave, Redundancy etc). So unless you were paid not only the Jan/Feb salary but ALSO all the above (if applicable), then you weren't paid in full.

Considering half the artists I know work overtime, that usually amounts to bonuses "paid on completion of project".
 
Old 02 February 2013   #20
why not start an artist owned coop studio? the profits go to the owners, the artists, and can run the company or hire nonowner management.
__________________
eagerly anticipating 2.5
 
Old 02 February 2013   #21
Originally Posted by h3llbl4z3r: why not start an artist owned coop studio? the profits go to the owners, the artists, and can run the company or hire nonowner management.


+1 to that.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #22
Originally Posted by Syndicate: Correct me if I'm wrong, but did you receive any entitlements? Because that would be considered as pay in my books.
(Healthcare, Superannuation, 401K, Leave, Redundancy etc). So unless you were paid not only the Jan/Feb salary but ALSO all the above (if applicable), then you weren't paid in full.

Considering half the artists I know work overtime, that usually amounts to bonuses "paid on completion of project".


I was wondering this too. My understanding was that the people who suffered most were the long term employees who didn't manage to cash out their overtime early enough.
__________________
Critcal feedback example #62: "Well instead of the Stalinist purges and the divorce and the investigation ... it could be about losing a balloon."
 
Old 02 February 2013   #23
Originally Posted by h3llbl4z3r: why not start an artist owned coop studio? the profits go to the owners, the artists, and can run the company or hire nonowner management.


A great concept in theory, but raising the capital to START the studio is a problem. Part of the issue is that bank lend money to execs, not to struggling artists. A studio of decent size operates at 200K a month.

I've looked into this because it seemed logical. Not saying its not possible, but I found that the best alternative is for artists to join collaborative working environments (shared working spaces). You can scale in size depending on project, but with the ability of everyone to work independently in quiet times, it allows for zero overhead save for cost of rent (usually 8 people, 50 bucks each a week for a small studio).

This is how a lot of the indie game devs have scaled up (and a very successful formula).
It usually starts with boring app creating work, with games being a part-time to eventual full-time transition.

Having skilled artists/tech's around you is awesome because everyone acts as a potential agent for work. You can pass the work along and take a cut for your time in dealing with the client.

Its the closest thing to a level playing ground, but the downside is the difficulty in finding the right team. I'd recommend it to teams that have been let go, but wish to stick together.

Here's a list of pro's/cons to consider for an Independent/Collaborative Studio:

Pro's: Low overhead, Evenly distributed workload, no evil execs, respectful working hours, better choice of projects, less projects killed before seeing the light of day, decisions in best interest of studio, not shareholders.

Con's: Firing people becomes difficult (the one thing execs are excellent at doing), upfront cost of software can be a crapload (unless going open source, or artists own their software) infrastructure can be sub-par (IT/Storage/Maintenance/Backups) Difficult to get bigger projects (track record? or recognised name?) Insurance costs and Security can be problematic, Not having a director means a roadmap or vision turns into what resembles a light dispersion effect.

Thats just a start.

I'm personally loving working with a very small but highly capable team, and see this as the future (especially with the advent of Auteurs and Generalists) and probably would not scale up more than 10-15 people. Its actually better to get to know everyone too.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #24
Originally Posted by AangtheAvatar: Union's only really work when the business is making money hand over fist and cheating workers out of profits and other benefits they could easily afford.

But when folks are broke it will only make other folks broker.

What do you think happened to the car industry and Twinkies?

Union wanted more, Hostess couldn't afford, Union wouldn't budge, Hostess closed down. Now everyone loses except the millionare who gets to keep his millions although losing his steady income.

Unions can be great but be careful where they tread especially when a lot of money is not going around.


I think studios would benefit from this rather than suffer. An artist Union that is. If ALL studios were forced to consider artist wages, over-time, benefits and bonuses etc in fear of meeting the union in a court room, then they wouldn't be able to drop their quotes so much and the playing field would level off because every studio will be under the same pressures. The flip side is you get all studios to agree a bottom end limit but you know that won't work, there's always someone ready to beat the competition. It's a good alternative.
__________________
LinkedIN
VIMEO

- My thoughts are my own and should not be confused with anyone else's.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #25
Originally Posted by LucentDreams: This is a really misleading statement I've seen several times right now. Your stating that artists who worked on Life of Pi have not been paid, which is technically true. The problem with the statement is that it implies they haven't been paid for their work on Life of Pi, which simply isn't true. The pay we missed in Jan/feb is for current productions and nothing more. Everyone on Pi was compensated for their work on Pi.


Thank you for adding some specific facts. Why aren't these details part of the mix of
info that is being pushed in these discussions?

You say that Everyone on Pi was compensated for their work on Pi?

All I keep reading and hearing is that VFX workers did NOT get paid for their work on Pi.

This not so accurate portrayal of the situation appears to be intellectually dishonest.

Last edited by Tama : 02 February 2013 at 04:13 PM.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #26
I don't know if my reasons are the same, but I neither have the appetite to join any union at the current state of the world I live in. Its a good solution to many many people ( your average joe the plummer )

Some of the benefits we have by joining a union here are:
1. You get a check each month which is significally higher than unimployment benefits in case you get sacked and have no work.
2. You got a massive organ/system in your back when problems arise, this could be work conditions, harrazments and worse. They run your case for you.
3. the union will create a good foundament for leveling out peaks and lows and even has the power to confront and make politicians act on specific cases, atleast here. Unions has a word on the everyday discussions around here.


On a recent account, the scandinavian airline company SAS was in a grim situation, the Board presented a plan which included massive sallery cuts, clearly something the unions didnt like, but due to the situation they actually didnt rattle with sabres and call doom. The unions in that case stood and watched a small reform take place in this company. The union played a significant role in the puzzle for the company to have "breathing room" to manage the current danger it was exposed to.

Last edited by gkmotu : 02 February 2013 at 05:28 PM.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #27
I this day and age the internet and social media could slap the big six around a bit.
If a massive international VFX work stoppage could be coordinated on *everything* in post-production funded by the big six right at that very moment they would take notice.
Even if they were to pull out and find someone else 'somebody' would have to start over...from scratch...costing time...costing money. And the VFX community can brow-beat that start-up as well.

Probably a million things wrong with that idea-but hey its brain storming right?! Lets hear your idea.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #28
Originally Posted by Tama: Thank you for adding some specific facts. Why aren't these details part of the mix of
info that is being pushed in these discussions?

You say that Everyone on Pi was compensated for their work on Pi?

All I keep reading and hearing is that VFX workers did NOT get paid for their work on Pi.

This not so accurate portrayal of the situation appears to be intellectually dishonest.


Main reason would be those who are currently screwed are angry and those still working would like to focus on getting the job done and doing what they can to keep the studio alive. I'm not sure if I perhaps said a little too much about things either, its a touchy subject.

As for what your reading, its not that I've seen any actual artist say a lie, but the wording is typically not clear enough, as with what I was pointing out with Roberto's post. To say that people working on life of Pi have gone unpaid isn't technically wrong. There are artists who worked on that film, and have started on other projects, some of which, if they were let go, then depending on what show they were currently working on, they may may not have been compensated for their pay from mid January on that specific show. Which people have or have not been paid is entirely based on which production they were on as only some film companies gave Rhythm loans, specific to their specific shows. Shows that pulled out obviously leave rhythm with no money to reimburse those people and therefore have to be a claim on Rhythm's Bankruptcy.

I agree that unionizing isn't going to solve the issue as the issue is the step above us. The issue is between the VFS studios and the big 6 film companies. For those that are against the subsidies too, consider that having a union in the US for VFX professionals does not affect the labor force in any other country. If you currently can't compete with the wages that other countries can offer how do you think a union restricting work hours and demanding better wages etc is going to compete? This is a global economy and unlike a lot of older industries that had a much longer US run before gradually moving out, this is a young industry that started and globalization had already taken place and has really only been hampered by the limits in our data management and data transfer capabilities which are no longer an issue. I don't have a green profile on facebook for the very reason that I can't support VFX solidarities goal of keeping it in Hollywood because Hollywood has to be a global business, it's selfish and really, impossible. It's tough because I do want change, but unlike a lot of others, I can't half heatedly support such a cause with exceptions to what I support.
__________________
Quote: "Until you do what you believe in, how do you know whether you believe in it or not?" -Leo Tolstoy
Kai Pedersen
 
Old 02 February 2013   #29
kai I dont know if you have seen my posts, I am very bad at formulating, but I agree with you and much of what you say is my thinking, especially the green box on facebook.
I completly understand your argumentation why its "silly" but lack the words to back you up in details.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #30
Originally Posted by gkmotu: kai I dont know if you have seen my posts, I am very bad at formulating, but I agree with you and much of what you say is my thinking, especially the green box on facebook.
I completly understand your argumentation why its "silly" but lack the words to back you up in details.


The green box is a tough one, I appreciate a lot of the people I know adding it as they are showing support, but in talking and seeing the posts by several, the message VFX solidarity kind of had for it isn't exactly what it means to people. So I am not upset by anyone that chooses to use it, but I'm still more interested in hearing their opinion on the matter. It does feel goo to see my facebook be primarily green, but then talking to students of which I have a lot, they often don't have the foggiest clue of what the issues all are.
__________________
Quote: "Until you do what you believe in, how do you know whether you believe in it or not?" -Leo Tolstoy
Kai Pedersen
 
Thread Closed share thread



Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
CGSociety
Society of Digital Artists
www.cgsociety.org

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2006,
Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Minimize Ads
Forum Jump
Miscellaneous

All times are GMT. The time now is 12:13 PM.


Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.