Maxon homepage


#1

Nice move by Maxon on their homepage:

Maxon.net

Although, strictly speaking it should say “This is what your movie looks like without VFX” But the sentiment is a good one!


#2

Agree, nice!
Life of Pi was not great movie but nice VFX.


#3

I’m just seeing the standard homepage… must be a Europe thing?


#4

@gruvDOne --the first image (greencreen). Maxon is onboard with the vfx solidarity movement in response to Rhythm and Hues’ demise and the Life of Pi winning an OScar for best director and cinematography.


#5

Some background info for those who do not know

http://vfxsoldier.wordpress.com

http://www.fxguide.com/quicktakes/ves-responds-to-vfx-protest/

http://prolost.com/blog/2013/2/25/a-night-to-remember.html


#6

Must be a cache issue, for I don’t see it at all.

Edit - yup, just opened in a new browser, and saw the tribute.


#7

Surprised that a german software company would support an opposition to globalization of the industry and keeping the jobs in LA only.

I’m sure like many of the people on the forums and facebook they missed that part of VFX Solidarity’s message.


#8

Why? Maxon isn’t exporting its tech department to India (not yet, at least).
I don’t see anything wrong with them offering a bit of support in this case, especially since it can impact their bottom line directly.
If people and studios can’t afford their software anymore, do you think these clients will be replaced by the low wages exploited mass?

We are all in the same bucket here, it’s affecting the industry as a whole.


#9

Keeping jobs in LA is really only a tendril of the much larger issue which is these movies that make millions of dollars in profit, while the artists whose work is instrumental to achieving that success see themselves struggling and their businesses closing because they are given mere peanuts in the big picture.

Rhythm and Hues had it’s corporate office in the LA area, but most of the artists worked out of their international satellite offices, from what I understand… and all of those artists, not just R&H’s LA-based staff are feeling the effect of this bankruptcy. And even though that is the headline that started the firestorm, even that is only 10 pixels of the big picture.


#10

From what I understand, the main thrust of the #vfxprotest is about recognition, respect and a proper understanding of the cost of making these movies, and making the rewards proportionate to the contribution, or at least enough to keep the doors open.

There’s one or two people who come across as scared protectionists - that slimy post from the (California based) VES guy is pretty dire - but the main message is still valid, and it’s been bubbling around for a while before this storm.

If they’re really just trying to keep more work in LA, and don’t think people in India/China/Canada/UK/anywhere else are as deserving or capable of doing these jobs – then sorry boys you’re on your own!


#11

My understanding of the situation is that some countries outside the US don’t have things like health care, overtime pay and/or offer tax breaks and subsidies which bring the cost down relative to US-based studios. It’s not unlike the phenomenon that took the US from producing 80% of the world’s goods in the 1940’s, but saw that number drop to single digits by the 80’s as manufacturing jobs moved overseas for those very same reasons, reducing the US to the consumerist society it is today.

At the end of the day, it’s the same old story… those with all (or most) of the money tend to horde and amass, trying to spend as little as possible while increasing profit margins as much as they can. This is great - for them - but too often leaves those whose backs those fortunes are built upon working for peanuts until they are ground to a fine powder physically and emotionally from year upon year of thankless work.

I’m not saying that the folks who take all the upfront risk aren’t entitled to profit and grow wealthy from their success, but I think there sa better solution than what is essentially a 90/10 split.


#12

If you like to discuss this topic, please contribute to one of the threads in CG News and General Discussions.
It’s already a bit all over the place.


#13

You guys should read VFX soldier and the VFX solidarity pages, have a look at the gallery and read their signs. The group has some good goals, but their main drives and a focus of a lot of the people their is a selfish one, but maybe I’m reading into things

VFX solidarity is not looking out for the whole. Yes some of their concerns affect us all and need to be addressed, but in supporting their cause you are supporting unionization, and your also pushing a California first agenda, simple as that.

And Willie, please educate me on the situation at R&H and especially the non US locations.How many days did they go without pay, starting when to when, what films were affected, what benefits if any were lost? I’d be interested to know more of what those people are going through.


#14

It is unfortunate then that these folks have taken a problem that effects everyone and micro-cosomed it. Doing so can only serve to fragment and dilute. That’s a shame.

Well, given that you work for their Vancouver office, I’ll just assume that bit as uncharacteristic and unwarranted sarcasm. However, I do have two on my team who were with R&H US until about mid last year, so I am not as ignorant about their situation as you seem to think.

All I did was say that there is a larger issue at play, that R&H’s situation is only the tip of the iceberg, and that the root cause is the corporate-run profit hungry monster that is the US.


#15

Funny how UK, Canada and New Zealand are treated like sweatshops with no health insurance and stuff like that. Good grace, please don’t send me to countries with gun regulation and free hospital…

Anyway on topic : Maxon’s supporting the VFX industry as a whole. I think it’s fair game. Isn’t Pixomondo german and also closing offices ? Plus, they clearly want to be seen as a major VFX package (which they are slowly becoming), so it makes sense to get involved.


#16

Quite a limited way to see this. VFX artists and animators instead of being considered expendable material, just because their face or voice is not shown or heard in the film, and should be entitled to a fair share of the profits they helped to produce.

Even though I am in a part of the industry yet unaffected by this trend, if VFX artists are kept being treated like machines it will eventually affect everyone. It doesn’t matter where we are, we should unite and support this internationally, instead of trying to find semantics to make fun of.


#17

Nobody is assimilating these countries with sweatshops. The issue here is that they provide unfair competition by attracting foreign companies with local subsidies paid for by their taxpayers.

This violates international trade agreements, and is hard to compete with, especially when it comes to the US because it will only subsidize big corporations with their taxpayer monies, not the little/medium guy. That said, protectionism is also bankrupting the governments that run them, so not really fair to the people of these countries/states either (because this also happens within the US).

When you bid on a job and the competitor gets an automatic 30% price leg up on you, you can probably see where it leads to problems. The sector is running thin margins (5% on a good year, for R&H), so hard to lower your prices to match that from the get go.

Add to that sweatshops in growing markets, which once again is hard to fight against (unless you think people should work for $2/hour) and you get a better picture of what people are gripping about.

I don’t necessarily agree with unionizing the sector (heck, unions can be horrible too), but studios should be able to reap proportional rewards for their hard work, and skilled workers should be fairly compensated and protected (in any country).


#18

Despite the unfavorable way in which Hollywood is treating artists, I’m of the opinion that this effects driven age has had a negative impact on film.

No disrespect to the talented people who work on CGI films, but I find myself longing for something with context, a half decent story and character I give two sh*ts about. That’s sadly missing from a lot of stuff we’re seeing today, it’s just all eye candy and filler.

The industry needs to mature, the artists need to ask themselves why they longed to work in movies in the first place, if not to make masterful, thought provoking film.

So if I were in this position (sadly I don’t work on films, yet), this would be the perfect time to do that. In the absence of movies to work on, there’s an opportunity to break away from the Hollywood formula and to create something unique.

Film is supposed to be a continuously evolving art form and the CGI/VFX should be a visual aid in the telling of a unique story. But more often we’re finding CGI is the story, it’s the center of attention and to be honest, I find that to be particularly boring and represents a sad future for moviegoers.

The vfx community has my support, kudos to Maxon for acknowledging the failures that have taken place in recent months. It’s a mess and I don’t have a solution, but I do hope that people see that good can come of this situation, with a little (well probably a lot) of effort.


#19

Trouble is the first sort of film is very tricky to come up with - and sell I’d imagine - whereas the second sort, although technically challenging of course, is not. When Transformers3 makes $1.5Bn, Transformers4 will come along sooner or later.

The best example I can think of for a vfx/performance film is Black Swan - there were plenty of shots but they weren’t the meat of the story, they were the wrapping. And the film did very well.

Anyway, keeping it vaguely on topic as a Cinema/Maxon thread… perhaps a move to more freelance-based talent would be a good solution. Crew up for big productions, block bookings are every freelancers friend, then when the production’s over they all go out and get drunk and move onto the next studio. The freelancers decide what rate is acceptable, the vfx studios don’t have to pay hundreds of staff to sit around twiddling their thumbs between gigs - and the talented cream of the crop rise naturally to the top to take on the staff positions. Freelancers are notoriously more adventurous with their choice of applications, so C4D gets a bigger slice of the Pi that it’s been looking for as talent drifts out of the Mograph space and into VFX.

See, everyone’s happy :wink:


#20

I’m all for change in the industry, particularly how the big six and VFX studios relationship works. But the specific group that started the greenscreen profile pic movement stand for a lot of things. You can’t simply join the cause but pick and choose which part of their movement it represents. I listed the three main things VFX solidarity stands for. You choose a greenscreen profile pic and you say you support all three which I think the vast majority, especially those outside the US, do not. As Leigh said in another thread, this VFX solidarity movement is clearly a US solidarity, not a global one.

The other disappointing thing about the Maxon one, is that being on a corporate site it really should have at least linked to an article or something else explaining the reasoning behind it. If I went to their site a month ago, I’d assumed it was simply a marketing message saying that without C4D you’d have just a green screen, but c4d make the worlds you put in that green screen. I’d not associate it with a political cause.

And unwarranted, really, do you claim that your first post wasn’t educating me on the plight of R&H’s non US studios?

R&H Vancouver, 140 employees at it’s prime before the bankruptcy. Maybe, and this is stretching it, 20 Fulltime Staff employees more likely around 12, and very few of those non admin. The industry is already primarily freelance. R&H LA was different, closer to 50% staff, but that’s because of legacy being a 25 year old company with a lot of people who’ve been working for 10+ years there. VFX artists rarely if ever are fulltime staff. They work show to show and if the work keeps coming in they sign a new contract and move immediately onto another show instead of being let go when the contract ends. Companies get a lot of bad flack when they let a large group go, without coverage of the fact that the applicable show ended and thus most contracts did too. The challenges start when you have someone really talented who really understands your pipeline.

Despite being freelance you don’t wanna lose them when a show ends and being freelance, not staff you are very likely to lost them, so when their contract ends they renegotiate and you keep them on with no work and sometimes pay them more while waiting for the next project. Worse yet, you hire a bunch of freelancers for a set time, and then the show your working on chooses to reshoot, or change things up and you now have tonnes of employees who are on contract, but have no work to do. Then, when they get working again, their contract was for a set date but obviously with delays the schedule now goes beyond that date. So you’ve paid an artist for a bunch of time while they work on nothing, and then have to try and hold onto them to finish the project. Have three of these films at the same time and you go form a company that had one of it’s most profitable jobs one year, to bankruptcy 18 months later. It’s not the sole reason, but it was a major factor. So freelance is already in place and therefore not a solution.