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
  02 February 2013
I am able to extract a portion of the movement and that is solidarity which is a nice base to start from. But it feels like the premise is displaced and it is to my knowledge not the optimal direction.
 
  02 February 2013
What is the goal really of the green profile pictures?

To raise awareness? And then what?

I don't know, guess I don't see what it will really do. If it's just a show of support then I can respect that. Otherwise I guess I just don't understand it.
__________________
-Michael

www.MichaelSime.com
 
  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by Michael5188: What is the goal really of the green profile pictures?

To raise awareness? And then what?

I don't know, guess I don't see what it will really do. If it's just a show of support then I can respect that. Otherwise I guess I just don't understand it.


To help get it on the news.
__________________
Maestro 2 is out!
 
  02 February 2013
And it seems to be working.
__________________
LW FREE MODELS:FOR REAL Home Anatomy Thread
FXWARS
:Daily Sketch Forum:HCR Modeling
This message does not reflect the opinions of the US Government

 
  02 February 2013
My facebook is half green boxes half people asking what they are about. It shows support and makes people aware of this problem who would've never heard about it.
Honestly I don't even think it can solve the real problems, but the support and awareness it generates is really amazing.
__________________
Passion is the key.
Miysis 3D
 
  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by Zerflag: 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?


It's natural for people to band together for a cause that otherwise couldn't be tackled, it's the underlying idea that gave birth to the idea of co-operations (to name just one example)... now we are saying that people cannot band together for a greater cause that otherwise couldn't be tackled, if it happens to manifest itself as labor union, can we call it a guild then?

Aren't unions just bodies, bodies that give momentum to certain desire to be treated fair and just, similar like co-operations happen to give a body to the desire of opportunity? Both seem to be vital parts that shape an industry, forming negotiation. I don't understand how you intend to tackle industry mechanisms that seem to have been designed for exploitation without becoming organized? Organisation implies giving structure, maybe through participation and democratic process, that everyone can vote on? Really, just cause it's an union, it doesn't have to end up being that union.

Aren't the conditions in these VFX houses part wise the result of an industry that seems to be able to hold a short leash? Why are VFX houses seen as isolated parts of the equation? What else is a VFX house essentially than the sum of its artists and it's aggregated expertise? For an outsider it simply feels like you guys have been conditioned to endure.

Sure, there is a time of transition that certainly puts a certain pressure on everyone and yes, VFX houses might indeed fold, but aren't they folding already just now? So what's the worst thing that can happen?

Let's review again (Sources Wikipedia):

The Screen Writers Guild (SWG) was formed in 1921 by a group of ten screenwriters in Hollywood angered over wage reductions announced by the major film studios.

The Screen Actors Guild was founded in 1933 in an effort to eliminate exploitation of actors in Hollywood who were being forced into oppressive multi-year contracts with the major movie studios that did not include restrictions on work hours or minimum rest periods, and often had clauses that automatically renewed at the studios' discretion. These contracts were notorious for allowing the studios to dictate the public and private lives of the performers who signed them, and most did not have provisions to allow the performer to end the deal.

(DGA) Founded in 1936 when a small group of the best-known directors of the time joined together to protect the economic and creative rights of directors in motion pictures, the DGA is the world’s preeminent organization representing directors and members of the directorial team, including Directors, Assistant Directors, Unit Production Managers, Associate Directors, Stage Managers and Production Associates – 15,000 strong worldwide

If the above people can band together to form ... guilds, why can't artists?

Cheers
S.
__________________
C u r r e n t W I P

The stone had skidded arc'd and bloomed into islands
Kamau Brathwaite

Last edited by Solothores : 02 February 2013 at 10:33 PM.
 
  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by Solothores: It's natural for people to band together for a cause that otherwise couldn't be tackled, it's the underlying idea that gave birth to the idea of co-operations (to name just one example)... now we are saying that people cannot band together for a greater cause that otherwise couldn't be tackled, if it happens to manifest itself as labor union, can we call it a guild then?

Aren't unions just bodies, bodies that give momentum to certain desire to be treated fair and just, similar like co-operations happen to give a body to the desire of opportunity? Both seem to be vital parts that shape an industry, forming negotiation. I don't understand how you intend to tackle industry mechanisms that seem to have been designed for exploitation without becoming organized? Organisation implies giving structure, maybe through participation and democratic process, that everyone can vote on? Really, just cause it's an union, it doesn't have to end up being that union.

Aren't the conditions in these VFX houses part wise the result of an industry that seems to be able to hold a short leash? Why are VFX houses seen as isolated parts of the equation? What else is a VFX house essentially than the sum of its artists and it's aggregated expertise? For an outsider it simply feels like you guys have been conditioned to endure.

Sure, there is a time of transition that certainly puts a certain pressure on everyone and yes, VFX houses might indeed fold, but aren't they folding already just now? So what's the worst thing that can happen?

Let's review again (Sources Wikipedia):

The Screen Writers Guild (SWG) was formed in 1921 by a group of ten screenwriters in Hollywood angered over wage reductions announced by the major film studios.

The Screen Actors Guild was founded in 1933 in an effort to eliminate exploitation of actors in Hollywood who were being forced into oppressive multi-year contracts with the major movie studios that did not include restrictions on work hours or minimum rest periods, and often had clauses that automatically renewed at the studios' discretion. These contracts were notorious for allowing the studios to dictate the public and private lives of the performers who signed them, and most did not have provisions to allow the performer to end the deal.

(DGA) Founded in 1936 when a small group of the best-known directors of the time joined together to protect the economic and creative rights of directors in motion pictures, the DGA is the world’s preeminent organization representing directors and members of the directorial team, including Directors, Assistant Directors, Unit Production Managers, Associate Directors, Stage Managers and Production Associates – 15,000 strong worldwide

If the above people can band together to form ... guilds, why can't artists?

Cheers
S.


of course artists can join together, but i don't really think using SAG and all these unions/guilds as examples to the current situation and challenges that vfx artists are facing is particularly useful.
in those cases, we're talking about individuals who were working directly for an employer who was taking advantage of them, and earning large profits off of it.
in the case of the vfx business, you have individuals who work for a company that is for hire (rather than the individual being for hire). it is the companies that are being impacted by their relationship with film studios, which, of course, results in an impact on the individuals as well.
but forming a vfx union of individual artists is not going to directly put pressure on the film studios. in the case of SAG, etc, you had this, individuals placing pressure directly on the film studios.
a vfx guild forming, with how things are currently structured, will indirectly (maybe) place pressure on film studios, but will definitely directly put pressure on employers (who are already having difficulty turning a profit). sure, the hope is that the employers will then be able to say "hey, our employees are demanding more, so we have to charge more" and then that will mean that film studios will feel pressured.
but it's introducing another point of potential failure: the inability for your employer (the vfx house) to demand more pay.
so, as you say, some houses may fold, and then what of those people who were employees there, they're now unemployed. is the hope then, that if there are enough unemployed people, something will happen?

the direct problem is the inability for vfx studios to get paid enough, not the inability for artists to get paid enough.
so approach it from the other end:
film studios need an audience to see their movies. reduce their audience by making the audience aware of the situation.
i mean, look at other movements: fair trade, living wage, no gmo, organic foods, whatever... some progress has been made in those areas by making the consumer aware of the issue, not by unionizing individuals.
 
  02 February 2013
You know the green avatar signifies. It signifies that people want actually want change in this industry - the other day on this forum I wrote that it was "...complexing why people in this industry are so apathetic towards each other", because it felt like a lot of people just gave a crap about themselves (being in the service industry of me, myself and I).

So I took it as a pleasant surprise to see so many people on my FB changing their profile picture, posting links and talking about the subject more openly. People who normally wouldn't talk about this kind of thing at all or only while drinking at the pub.

You may not agree with the idea of a union or a lot of the suggestions being thrown out there. You may see the green avatar as a passive-aggressive do-nothing approach to the problem. I like to see it differently.

I'm still not entirely sure about a union, but I don't see the vfx studios or the VES changing things here. I think if any change comes now, it's going to come from the artist level.
 
  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by earlyworm: You know the green avatar signifies. It signifies that people want actually want change in this industry - the other day on this forum I wrote that it was "...complexing why people in this industry are so apathetic towards each other", because it felt like a lot of people just gave a crap about themselves (being in the service industry of me, myself and I).


I'm seeing a lot of selfishness; almost every article and blog post accompanying the green images, including a letter written by the VES, talk about bringing the VFX work back to California. It's clear to me that when people talk about solidarity, they're talking about solidarity between US artists only, and that's unsettling at best, and offensive at worst.
__________________
leighvanderbyl.com
 
  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by leigh: I'm seeing a lot of selfishness; almost every article and blog post accompanying the green images, including a letter written by the VES, talk about bringing the VFX work back to California. It's clear to me that when people talk about solidarity, they're talking about solidarity between US artists only, and that's unsettling at best, and offensive at worst.


boy oh boy. True and rather sad. I'm guessing that its leaned towards the US, mainly because R&H filed for bankruptcy and a lot of employees were laid of. I want to know what the situation of the other studios who worked on Pi is.

Its up to us to keep saying that its not only affecting people in California but across the glove where VFX facilities are located.
__________________
Learn by doing.
 
  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by leigh: I'm seeing a lot of selfishness; almost every article and blog post accompanying the green images, including a letter written by the VES, talk about bringing the VFX work back to California. It's clear to me that when people talk about solidarity, they're talking about solidarity between US artists only, and that's unsettling at best, and offensive at worst.


Odd I'm not seeing this as an US vs the-rest-of-us situation, although there are some loud and idiotic voices out there in twitter land (I'll give you that) - I honestly think this has become about more than just protectionism from the Californians. The Oscars unsettled a lot of people from all over.

I'm pretty sure the only people who agree with the VES's stance on this are the leadership at the VES (Eric Roth and Jeffrey Okun).

Look I'm all for subsidies up to a point, but I think they've gone far beyond what they're designed to do - which is ultimately to simulate growth industries within a local economy. Personally I'd like to see countries (like UK, Oz, Canada, NZ) take some of their subsidies and do two things - put more money into local productions and introduce quotas on local content. I think that governments want to be in the film-making business they need to take the occasional risk with their films beyond the culturally-limited rules that a lot of film commissions require.
 
  02 February 2013
I have been seeing a lot of backlash against the VES because of their statement about getting more incentives for studios here in California.

To me, I think it should be a fair playing field for everyone everywhere. Being in Southern California, of course I want to see the work come back here but I understand that there are talented artists all over that can do the work just as well.
 
  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by leigh: I'm seeing a lot of selfishness; almost every article and blog post accompanying the green images, including a letter written by the VES, talk about bringing the VFX work back to California. It's clear to me that when people talk about solidarity, they're talking about solidarity between US artists only, and that's unsettling at best, and offensive at worst.


A friend and I were talking at work about it, he said he was 'aware of the irony' of making his avatar green while US studios suffer because of outsourcing. It's strange, it seems to be reinforced by both sides a bit. I put it to him that it was more about raising awareness of the value the VFX work delivers and for studios and hence artists to be properly compensated.
__________________
Visual Effects Artist (of sorts)
 
  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by earlyworm: Personally I'd like to see countries (like UK, Oz, Canada, NZ) take some of their subsidies and do two things - put more money into local productions and introduce quotas on local content. I think that governments want to be in the film-making business they need to take the occasional risk with their films beyond the culturally-limited rules that a lot of film commissions require.


I think that would be better than the current situation.
There used to be much more interesting independent film content coming out of countries (UK, Italy, Spain) and in the US-outside of Hollywood, than today.
I am sure Amando de Ossorio would have been happy to have access to a single copy of After Effects.
 
  02 February 2013
Something I'm curious about in the whole "outsourcing is bad" movement is how self centered it is. The people working on these jobs in China and India are the exact same as you and I. They have families and lives they are leading. I deal with a lot of outsourcing in the games industry and have had to travel to some of the outsourcing locations my company uses. Going to India and China, I don't find malnourished slaves working away at their keyboards. Rather, I find my peers from another country. On an adjusted scale, they often make more than I do on an artist's salary. These are the same people you already work with in this industry, they just haven't felt the pressure to immigrate for work. Sure they make a lot less than the cost of living in the US or UK, but often they are making better wages than they would in another industry in their country.

Now, the motives for corporations to outsource sucks because they only see the profit savings. However, that is their karma to bear. For myself, I have made a lot of friends in other countries who I would hate to see lose work just because someone else says they need it more. We can do away with outsourcing with the right set of laws, but then we're just taking work away from someone else. I would like to start seeing people come up with some real discussions and alternatives that lets everyone get some modicum of livelihood.
 
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 09:26 PM.


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