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robertoortiz
02-23-2013, 10:30 AM
Quote:
"A demonstration to raise awareness for Visual Effects Professionals has been scheduled:
o Hollywood Blvd & Vine St.
o 1pm – 4:30pm
o Parking can be found here or you can take the Metro Red Line.
o A plane (yes, a friggin plane!) with a VFX message will circle the Oscars 3:30 – 4:30pm

You can follow vfxunited or hashtag #vfxprotest on twitter.

There’s a Facebook event page also.

Big thanks to everyone getting involved and putting this together. One person who has stood out in their efforts is Dave Rand who not only paid for a plane to circle the Oscars but was also able to get a ton of major media coverage for the event:
o FXGuide: Visual Effects protest at Oscars
o LA Times: Visual effects workers plan Oscar flyover protest
o Deadline Hollywood: VFX Pros To Stage Oscar Protest
o Hollywood Reporter: VFX Community Planning Protest During Oscars

TV News outlets have been notified also.

There is no requirement to bring anything but there have been some excellent and funny ideas for protest signs and imagery you can print out if you are interested (If you have others email me and I’ll post them.):
o #vfxprotestsigns
o https://twitter.com/tvaziri/status/305171406524649472/photo/1
o https://twitter.com/mark_wilkins/status/304468275776073729/photo/1
o https://twitter.com/tvaziri/status/304411144129499138/photo/1

Be safe, be courteous, be concise and on point, and best of all, have fun.
"

http://vfxsoldier.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/vfx-oscars-demonstration-hollywood-vine-1pm-430pm/#comments

cresshead
02-23-2013, 03:33 PM
good luck guys/gals, i hope your point gets some air time in the press and online news outlets

ianr
02-24-2013, 07:26 AM
Solidarity Bros, But the Molach chews all in it's wake,
It's no longer a 'house' in Burbank, it's global buck 4
cheapest CPU sweatshop. The profession eats itself
sadly. Stay cool & follow your own Slate with your
troops on Internet starters if u can!

stiff paper
02-24-2013, 04:33 PM
For those who're interested, the VFX Oscars protest is going on right now:

https://twitter.com/vfxsoldier

cresshead
02-24-2013, 07:38 PM
from BBC live update on the oscars

0218: The special effects winners were cruelly cut off by John Williams' Jaws theme as they paid special thanks to the firm Rhythm and Hues. That's the company that created the 450-pound Bengal tiger in Life of Pi and has now filed for bankruptcy protection.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-21570126


the thing is the oscar's is all to do with make believe not reality...they don't want to hear that a double oscar winning film was made by killing off a studio.

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-e...on-8495685.html

cresshead
02-24-2013, 07:47 PM
protest photo's here

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151530444354772.547731.500084771

Megalodon2.0
02-24-2013, 07:52 PM
This is absolutely disgraceful.

I turned off the Oscars after they did that. They cut off this Oscar award-winner who is probably now out of a job - and he was going to talk about that.

Pathetic!

cresshead
02-24-2013, 08:06 PM
This is absolutely disgraceful.

I turned off the Oscars after they did that. They cut off this Oscar award-winner who is probably now out of a job - and he was going to talk about that.

Pathetic!

thet were always going to do that...Oscars is about who's wearing what dress and lot's of back slapping and groveling speeches...
not reality
not ecconomic issues and
not hard working people being dropped into the unemployment bin.

Megalodon2.0
02-24-2013, 08:09 PM
thet were always going to do that...Oscars is about who's wearing what dress and lot's of back slapping and groveling speeches...not reality, ecconomic issues and hard working people being dropped into the unemployment bin.

Well... I certainly hope that this treatment at the Oscars is a catalyst that will end up blowing up in the faces of the studios.

I feel very bad for the artists that will be forced to make tough decisions soon. I wish I were there with them protesting.

Celshader
02-25-2013, 02:05 AM
Someone put together an edit of today's event. For those who were not able to make it today, here's what it looked like:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAMz0Ppi8tQ

erikals
02-25-2013, 07:11 AM
the best thing VFX artists could do was to join forces, and make their own company.

screw Warner, 20th Century, etc etc...

you don't need them. make your own company, start small, build up.

50one
02-25-2013, 07:24 AM
the best thing VFX artists could do was to join forces, and make their own company.

screw Warner, 20th Century, etc etc...

you don't need them. make your own company, start small, build up.

..and fail again:) i think that when you consider the state of economy and follow market trends, the future belongs to small shops/boutiques, bigger laborious jobs will be outsorced to india, china anyway.

OnlineRender
02-25-2013, 07:30 AM
The thing being a vfx artist in India can make a good wage and live in a mansion ,living in la is damn expensive,industry is fubar...

erikals
02-25-2013, 07:35 AM
start small, and yes, a leader of a company goes bankruptcy an average of 3 times before success.

"bigger laborious jobs will be outsourced to india, china anyway."
true, though no need for giving away the $ to the Warner Bros.

"the Warners are too big, we can't fight them"
i'm not so sure.

though yes, the India / China outsource is a problem that will remain.
you cannot win that one, without the government putting on taxes on that kind of stuff.
to a certain degree they do this in Norway.

50one
02-25-2013, 07:45 AM
The thing being a vfx artist in India can make a good wage and live in a mansion ,living in la is damn expensive,industry is fubar...

I know few folks working and living in india, some of them hire a flat, some of them live with their parents, if you're being paid in dollars or pounds an average western pay, then yes, you can afford a mansion, but trust me I know a lot of companies that outsource the work to china and the average pay there is around 1000 dollars if we're talking about the big cities, Vietnam is the next direction for companies here looking to save money on labour etc. as the standards of living in China are increasing all the time and so are the costs...

50one
02-25-2013, 07:50 AM
Anyway, if I think that since 1930 we have this process of economy going upside down at least few times, lesson should be learned, maximise the profitability while cutting the quality, that's the only thing you can do to stay afloat, be competitive and get through the though times.

Example? Look at the car industry, whenever there is a fuel crisis or economy is shrinking, the cars are getting smaller and more efficient while the quality and the accessories list is getting smaller just to maximise the sales.

Nothing lasts forever, eventually china and india labour will be more and more aware of the trends(thanks to the global communication) and sooner or later it won't be that profitable to outsource anything there.

geo_n
02-25-2013, 08:12 AM
The thing being a vfx artist in India can make a good wage and live in a mansion ,living in la is damn expensive,industry is fubar...

Huh? Where did you get that? Because the foreign team leads I know that work in India who relocated from the west are not making good money even in India. The entry level roto artists and compositors who do the bulk of vfx are also not paid well just average.

Kaptive
02-25-2013, 08:14 AM
Without getting deep into politics, which is slightly frowned upon in the LW forum, I just wanted to say that with the way the western economies are headed in the next couple of years, then we should be quite affordable again quite soon. China and India will be outsourcing to us instead... and I'm not really sure if I am joking or not here.

SBowie
02-25-2013, 08:23 AM
further mention from 'the beeb' in this article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-21544910

50one
02-25-2013, 08:23 AM
Without getting deep into politics, which is slightly frowned upon in the LW forum, I just wanted to say that with the way the western economies are headed in the next couple of years, then we should be quite affordable again quite soon. China and India will be outsourcing to us instead... and I'm not really sure if I am joking or not here.

That's why the VfX industry is bad, average pay is getting down each year, same goes for graphic design agencies etc. only a fool would want to work there, with the schools creating more and more people each year willing to work just for food is not helping either.

erikals
02-25-2013, 08:49 AM
A lot of respect will undoubtedly go to Ang Lee for his accomplishment in bringing an "unfilmable" book to the big screen. But Life of Pi's success in the visual effects category was overshadowed by the plight of the effects industry.

Rhythm & Hues, the company behind the effects in Life of Pi, has filed for bankruptcy and there were protests outside the Oscars from visual effects workers who are disgruntled at the state of their industry.

Life of Pi special effects supervisor Bill Westenhofer attempted to address the issue when collecting his team's Oscar, but was drowned out by incidental music.

Backstage, he told reporters: "What I was trying to say up there is that at a time when visual effects movies are dominating the box office… visual effects companies are struggling.

"We've got to figure out how to make this business model work, because there are artists that are struggling right now. It's not just done by anyone pushing buttons. There's artistry involved."

soo... where can we see Bill Westenhofer's full speech...

Kaptive
02-25-2013, 08:58 AM
soo... where can we see Bill Westenhofer's full speech...


Well, I found this in an article HERE (http://www.deadline.com/2013/02/oscars-2013-life-of-pi-vfx-rhythm-hues-bankruptcy/)

Backstage in the winners’ room, Westenhofer got to finish. “What I was trying to say up there”, Westenhofer began, “is that it’s ironic that when visual effects are dominating the box office, visual effects are struggling… we’re artists, and if we don’t fix the business model we may lose something”. Earlier in the day hundreds of VFX professionals including current and former employees of Rhythm & Hues staged a mass protest blocks away from the Dolby Theatre. They wielded homemade signs and chanted slogans hoping to bring Oscar night attention to the plight of the workers who, after contributing to Life Of Pi‘s Oscar-winning effects, were laid off en masse last month before the company filed for Chapter 11. A banner reading “BOXOFFICE + BANKRUPT = VISUAL EFFECTS VFXUNION.COM” flew in the skies over the Oscars red carpet prior to the telecast.

Edit:

This is the only clip I can find of it... sadly it has a foreign language dubbed over the top, so it is very hard to make out what is being said.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i18AwAX0c6U

erikals
02-25-2013, 09:04 AM
hm,.. trying to find the clip, not on youtube, yet anyway...

more at CG Channel >
http://www.cgchannel.com/2013/02/vfx-artists-stage-protests-at-oscar-ceremony/

“It’s bad news that visual effects are too expensive" - Ang Lee
just lost some respect for Ang Lee, he could certainly have phrased that sentence better, guess he doesn't wanna loose face. After all, how much was he paid by the studios? (rhetorical)

more on that >
http://vfxsoldier.wordpress.com/2013/02/24/an-open-letter-to-ang-lee/#more-3389

50one
02-25-2013, 09:06 AM
The clip is on vimeo, someone removed it from yourube.

Kaptive
02-25-2013, 09:13 AM
Aha, you can watch it HERE (http://www.cartoonbrew.com/ideas-commentary/an-uninterrupted-statement-from-life-of-pi-vfx-winner-bill-westenhofer-78395.html)

erikals
02-25-2013, 09:25 AM
the VFX guys get cut off early i see >

The R&H and MPC guys - 44 seconds
Anne Hathaway 2 minutes
Ben Affleck - 5 minutes

Dexter2999
02-25-2013, 09:31 AM
Huh? Where did you get that? Because the foreign team leads I know that work in India who relocated from the west are not making good money even in India. The entry level roto artists and compositors who do the bulk of vfx are also not paid well just average.

"Average" being defined by the level of their native country? Or "average" relative to the country in which they are currently working?

India's per capita income (nominal) is $1219, ranked 142nd in the world, whereas you are in Japan with a per capita income of $34,314, ranked 24th in the world.

So, $20,000 to someone in India is "good money" while to someone from Japan (or US) it would be seen as in the poverty level.

Which is sort of the root of the whole outsourcing issue. Educated but poverty stricken areas work for less attracting foreign business. As the level of jobs/pay increase with the influx of wealth raises the level of poverty until it has drained enough wealth from foreign markets until their job market reaches a point to where they are no longer attractive to foreign investment.

Much like the movie OUTSOURCED. The US call center guy is moved to India to train their people. SPOILER ALERT: In the end the call center is moved to China where it is even cheaper. All motivated through a corporate desire to save money. Not because corporations are motivated to bring wealth to poverty stricken areas and raise the standard of living. Because corporations do not have a conscience. Because corporations are not people. They are what happens when people divest themselves of personal responsibility in the name of "business." And film makers are taking a cue in this and stressing the "business" in "Show business". (The "Show" portion is reserved for "above-the-line".)

Titus
02-25-2013, 09:31 AM
http://www.cartoonbrew.com/ideas-commentary/an-uninterrupted-statement-from-life-of-pi-vfx-winner-bill-westenhofer-78395.html

Here's the video. They cut the speech with Jaws music. Classy.

Netvudu
02-25-2013, 09:41 AM
as much as I like conspiracy theories, after watching the awards ceremony I´m not so sure they cut Westenhofer because of what he was saying. Jaws music started to sound while he still was thanking people. If anything he´s the one to blame for starting the critical subject matter after a LOT of nonsense thanking.

SBowie
02-25-2013, 09:48 AM
Jaws music started to sound while he still was thanking people.While he was listing his kids, or thereabouts ...

geo_n
02-25-2013, 09:49 AM
"Average" being defined by the level of their native country? Or "average" relative to the country in which they are currently working?



Foreign imports can't demand the same pay that they would get back home in the west. Why would a locally based company pay them that when they can hire someone local(indian in this case) who speaks local, who works longer hours and not complain of working conditions. This is true for japan. hire a local, its better, cheaper.
Expats in other fields may get good money working and living in india but in vfx its rare.
The indian worker in vfx also doesn't get good money in comparison to tech support jobs over there so how can they live in mansions? I heard there is no benefits at all for vfx workers while ts jobs have insurance, medical and incentives.

ianr
02-25-2013, 10:47 AM
VFX awards are always pruned, see other years, like they edited 'best make-up'
It is such a shame that their voice was taken by the edit! But it's viewed as Trades.

Like I said in ma 1st post
"the Molach chews all in it's wake."

Sadly if you think that they had the plug pulled, then so be it.
But O-nite is never a night to stomach any left field.
It ,( the complaints)should have been said by BiG-Ups(director may-be)
who they couldn't pull the plug on if they did robustly speak out?

Also, it's all about DISTRIBUTION & how that Pie works.
You must court the Devil for distribution globally.
Ask our heroes behind 'IRoN Sky' how that Faustian pact works.

Having said that i hope there are more 'IRoN Skies' kicking outta this!

BeeVee
02-25-2013, 02:17 PM
http://vfxsoldier.wordpress.com/2013/02/24/an-open-letter-to-ang-lee/

B

Dexter2999
02-25-2013, 02:53 PM
So many people diminish that which they don't understand.

"Amazing what computers can do nowdays? Just push a button."

A simple phrase like that obliterates the efforts artists using the computers as tools. It draws the image that the computer does all the work. The artists has minimal input.

"Movie magic"

The very word "magic" dispells the hundreds of man hours of effort into the mental image of a simple twinkling wand like something from a fairy tale.

"How can these people who just sit in front of computers pushing buttons think they deserve so much money? I can get anyone in the world to push buttons on computers for much less."

This last isn't probably said as much as thought. This is the kind of thinking that makes me despise the word "just". "Just" is a word most often used to diminish the efforts of others or, it is used to describe a process a person has no firm understanding of. To describe the efforts of hundreds of people who work long hours largely unseen by the director. The fruits of their labor arrives without any real effort from the film maker, much like their meal would arrive at a restraunt. Since you don't see their toil it is easy to dismiss the efforts needed to produce the end result. Let's take the word "just" and turn that around a bit.
A writer "just" sits at a computer plopping words on a page.
An actor "just" plays pretend like an overgrown child.
A director "just" sits around telling other people what they want them to do, they don't actually do anything .

"Just" is a four letter word. I think we would be much better off if it were used far less.

Spinland
02-25-2013, 03:08 PM
Bravo, Dexter. So very well said.

BeeVee
02-25-2013, 03:19 PM
One of the commenters on that Ang Lee letter said that back in the 80s and 90s VFX artists were referred to as "wizards" or "artists" and now they have been demoted to "technicians"... :(

B

Davewriter
02-25-2013, 04:26 PM
I wish I could find where I first saw it... but it seems that even talent is now being affected by innovation.
In an articale on Hollywood no longer using film as much - moving in favor of digital, some of the first to complain about the change are the actors. Because digital allows for longer takes and does not demand changing film every few minutes... actors have to spend more time on the set. Instead of spending time in their trailers, they actually have to "work"
The articale quoted Robert Downey Jr complaining that he couldn't work like this. That he had no "down time" in his trailer or time to "prepare" himself.
That he actually had to work for 10 hours a day!

Poor baby...

So maybe there needs to be some other outsourcing considered :)

Megalodon2.0
02-25-2013, 05:26 PM
the best thing VFX artists could do was to join forces, and make their own company.

screw Warner, 20th Century, etc etc...

you don't need them. make your own company, start small, build up.

Not to put to fine a point on it, but..

- what do these VFX artists (and their families) live on during the making of this company/movie?

- what do they do if the movie they work on ends up being... UNsuccessful?

- what do they do for distribution? Youtube is nice, but not quite the same as the movie theater.

prometheus
02-25-2013, 05:48 PM
competition is the core soul of the west world capitalism that strives to destroy competitors for their own benifit, sometimes you might be in the benifiting family, but the harder the times are..some will
be shunned or equal to be laid off simply put.
It is the nature of things...unfortunatly.

To bad the vfx team was cut off during speaches, I first really thought it was due to the long speach in fact, but..then again even so..they should probably only played the music and direct them off, in this
case a clear cut when they started to speak of rythm and hues, seems like the producers must have known something and beeing told to cut it off ...if they by any chance were to mention something about the crises.

erikals
02-25-2013, 05:56 PM
the producer$ and actor$ are running that show, so no wonder vfx got cut off... :\

jeric_synergy
02-25-2013, 06:44 PM
I still don't understand how this isn't the case of VFX companies underbidding, and then not holding the production company to the contract. Aren't there completion bonds and whatnot to cover 'couldn't quit dithering' situations?

The abuse of employees is a separate issue from the bankrupting of companies: why Americans seem to think you MUST put in ridiculous hours without compensation because some exec or 'creative' somewhere couldn't make up their effin' mind has always baffled me. It's a JOB, not a holy crusade.

I was happy to hear the animators on Iron Sky went home and got on with their lives after eight hours instead of pulling 20 hour shifts. That's bullshrite.

Snosrap
02-25-2013, 06:56 PM
It's hopeless. There will always be someone that will do it cheaper/free.

cresshead
02-25-2013, 06:57 PM
I still don't understand how this isn't the case of VFX companies underbidding, and then not holding the production company to the contract. Aren't there completion bonds and whatnot to cover 'couldn't quit dithering' situations?

The abuse of employees is a separate issue from the bankrupting of companies: why Americans seem to think you MUST put in ridiculous hours without compensation because some exec or 'creative' somewhere couldn't make up their effin' mind has always baffled me. It's a JOB, not a holy crusade.

I was happy to hear the animators on Iron Sky went home and got on with their lives after eight hours instead of pulling 20 hour shifts. That's bullshrite.

not everybody did that, i remember Kat saying he'd just pulled another 24hr day nursing the puters for rendering during iron sky....artists do care and will go the extra mile as it's "their baby" as well as a means to and end (paid job)

studio bosses appear to take unfair advantage of that just as the producers take advanatage of the vfx studios knowing they want to work on cool films and will go in low with a bid just to get the high profile gig.

VFX studios appear to be run by terrible businessmen generally.

Dexter2999
02-25-2013, 07:04 PM
I still don't understand how this isn't the case of VFX companies underbidding, and then not holding the production company to the contract. Aren't there completion bonds and whatnot to cover 'couldn't quit dithering' situations?

I'm sure the companies could kick up a fuss. How much return business do you think that creates? That world is very much about "who you know" and you could easily amend that to "who you are on good terms with."

Underbidding? Very possibly. What do you think is the response when they are trying to compete with outsourcing to countries with subsidies or cheaper labor? Do you expect them to put out top end quotes, filled with the contingency hours of work needed for all of the changes that productions demand (and seldom are willing to pay extra for)?

If your options are try to bid your lowest or go ahead and lay off employees because you can't get contracts? What would your choice be? I don't envy the shop owners. They get kind of a squeeze being in the middle of customers who want a deal, employees who want good pay, and an industry that demands huge cash layout for equipment that seems to almost perpetually need to be updated to stay competitive.

Megalodon2.0
02-25-2013, 08:05 PM
If your options are try to bid your lowest or go ahead and lay off employees because you can't get contracts? What would your choice be? I don't envy the shop owners. They get kind of a squeeze being in the middle of customers who want a deal, employees who want good pay, and an industry that demands huge cash layout for equipment that seems to almost perpetually need to be updated to stay competitive.
I agree. Many of these VFX studio owners I'm sure were just trying to keep their heads above water and hoping beyond all hope that things would begin to improve. I feel bad for them (no not all, but those like R&H) because some of them apparently treated their employees well and were highly regarded. It's ALWAYS sad to see this happen to good people. As much as I hope the industry changes, I don't think those changes will come soon enough to help the most here in the US.

jeric_synergy
02-25-2013, 08:36 PM
not everybody did that, i remember Kat saying he'd just pulled another 24hr day nursing the puters for rendering during iron sky
I'm sorry, all respect to Kat, but it's just silly. Movie's are not an emergency. No tragedy will happen if that shot gets delayed 24 hours, or 48, or a week.

A sustainable JOB is 40 hours a week with occasional paid overtime. Not months of backbreaking labor, and ESPECIALLY not if there's no profit sharing.

In a civilized society, that is.

Megalodon2.0
02-25-2013, 08:50 PM
I'm sorry, all respect to Kat, but it's just silly. Movie's are not an emergency. No tragedy will happen if that shot gets delayed 24 hours, or 48, or a week.

A sustainable JOB is 40 hours a week with occasional paid overtime. Not months of backbreaking labor, and ESPECIALLY not if there's no profit sharing.

In a civilized society, that is.
I think that you may be quite shocked at what people put up with in the VFX industry then.

It's not easy work and more times than not it's not 9 to 5. I've seen way too many stories where a shot is promised for the director to see and it turns out to be more involved than originally thought and/or hardware problems arise and crunch time happens. This is not retail where you have a 40 hour workweek. VFX is apparently VERY competitive and people often jump through hoops just to stay in the game. I would think Celshader could provide more first-hand information.

geo_n
02-25-2013, 10:13 PM
I'm sorry, all respect to Kat, but it's just silly. Movie's are not an emergency. No tragedy will happen if that shot gets delayed 24 hours, or 48, or a week.

A sustainable JOB is 40 hours a week with occasional paid overtime. Not months of backbreaking labor, and ESPECIALLY not if there's no profit sharing.

In a civilized society, that is.

Most if not all studios are working with "flextime". This kind of work is not per hour work.
There's two things that happen in a studio, sometimes when there are multiple projects an artist will be handling 3-4 projects and doing ot for free. Sometimes there are days where there are only a few projects and some artists don't do anything at all but stare on the monitor or surf the net. Its unavoidable.
No tragedy will happen if a project gets delayed but where I come from time of delivery is extremely important.
The client who is not happy with the studio could just go to another one with better service. Service is key.

Just watched the oscars with the avengers actors intro to vfx awardees. That was disgrafeful to make fun of vfx guys or did I miss something.

Dexter2999
02-25-2013, 10:24 PM
Just watched the oscars with the avengers actors intro to vfx awardees. That was disgrafeful to make fun of vfx guys or did I miss something.

I felt similarly at first. I watched and thought "What?" Then I thought a little more about it and became less sure.

I almost feel like the used the comedy to be able to mention the artists at all. I think they knew that the producers intended to cut them off the minute they tried to talk about it, but the producers couldn't cut off the stars doing the intro. So, I feel like it was possible to use comedy to sneak the point in.

If they wanted to be rude about it, they could have done worse. Like made a skit with computers and monkeys doing all the graphics. If they were trying to be funny, I feel like they could have made better jokes. ( I myself wondered why a strike made up of artists didn't have better looking signs....outsource that too?)

I don't consider myself an optimist (more of a realist with pessimist leanings) so I don't think I'm off base here.

djwaterman
02-25-2013, 10:50 PM
No one likes political statements during the Oscars, think Marlon Brando or Micheal Moore, awwwwkward...and lots of speakers get cut off if they talk too long. If they cut out all those stupid musical numbers and unfunny jokes, then the whole thing would run half the time and everyone could speak there turn. Who was that idiot that was hosting? Did anyone really need to see him singing so many times. I was watching to see what would be said when the FX award went out, and I knew it would piss people off when the guy never got to finish his sentence, but really, say it straight up instead of trying to sneak in in at the end as the music is telling you it's time to get off.

By the way, the biggest and best special effect in something like an Iron Man is a Robert Downey Junior, if he needs trailer time let him have it.

Matt
02-26-2013, 01:29 AM
Cody and I went down, but didn't know where people were protesting, so we were there in spirit, if not at the actual protest location. I really hope some good comes of this, it's needed, and it's about time.

stiff paper
02-26-2013, 04:51 AM
I'm sorry, all respect to Kat, but it's just silly. Movie's are not an emergency. No tragedy will rehappen if that shot gets delayed 24 hours, or 48, or a week.

I think that you may be quite shocked at what people put up with in the VFX industry then.

Yes, in the VFX business many artists put up with far too much. In the Ang Lee thread over at VFXSoldier, one of the commenters has a post that neatly sums up something important. I'm going to quote a couple of paragraphs from his comment:



But – there´s another side to it. Have you noticed those suit guys with all the money often feel empty, they dont know what to do with the resources and all that powers – they feel empty – with pockets actually empty of what really matters.

The artist might look poor when you give him a quick look. But secretly – he walks away with the truth. He did it. He did what the the guy in the exploiters seat couldnt even dream of.

Now, what that commenter is summing up is not at all what he thinks he is. He essentially delivers a paean to the notion that "Oh, they're soulless suits while we are beings of pure expression, taking joy from the ineffable thrill of bringing forth new creations of our very own making... they can treat us as serfs but they can never take our expressive freeeedooom..." He's saying those things thinking that he's saying something great and true and honest and unbreakable. He thinks it's awesome that no matter how badly vfx treats him and his comrades they can't be broken because... you know... art. Brothers in arms, ground into the dirt, spat upon and left to rot... but, still... look at what we made. Look at what we can do.

I've spent years wanting to throttle those guys every time they open their mouths.

It's an attitude that's too common in vfx workers; it doesn't matter how badly they treat me, because I'm a creative soul and they can't touch me where it counts, where I know I'm contributing to something fantastic. The problem is that people who think like that are specifically the ones who give companies and studios the ability to keep on squeezing the vfx business. There's literally nothing that you can do to those people that will cause them to turn around and say "Enough!" Lower wages? Fine. 20 hour days? Fine. Seven days a week? Fine. No more health benefits? Fine. No more 401K? Fine. Relocate to another country? Fine. Relocate again? Fine. Again? Fine. Work all day at a facility where there's no running water and no TP in the restroom? Fine. (Yes, that happened.)

Because of this, and this makes me very sad, I can't see any of the current noise and activity leading to anything being fixed. I feel like I should apologize just for thinking that. I'd like things to be fixed, oh yes, that would be great, but I think too high a percentage of vfx people think like the guy posting on VFXSoldier. They seem to have the same mindset as the put-upon heroine in a novel written for twelve year old girls.

So I'll say this: if you're going to go into the vfx business, first of all good luck, but you should never lose sight of the fact that it's a job. It's an exchange of money for services delivered. Make sure you never fall into the trap of thinking you're involved in some sort of romanticized ideal. I know that's difficult stance to take right now because vfx artists don't have any leverage at all, but if enough people go into vfx with the mindset that yes, it is a fantastic job but in the end it is just a job and you do not get to treat me like dirt, then at some point down the line things really might get fixed.

prometheus
02-26-2013, 09:49 AM
Note to Newtek:)

Do not make this lovely software Lightwave too easy to use and with buildt in AI creation system, in such case ..company bosses just push a button and the vfx is all done within an hour or so...
I guess someday it will turn up that way, hopefully this transcends to all working fields so no one needs to work for food or basic living or to retrieve energy or pay bills, I can just be lazy and zip
my Ice tea one sunny day:) why not ..let the machine´s do the job, I can even imagine having a number 7 cylon rubbing my back at the same time.
Wait...I do want Lightwave to be as easy to use as possible...ah..this doesnt add up:)

All systems employed to make things cheaper, more effective will of course be employed if they can, it has been and is being employed like that all over the world with cheaper labour from youngsters to
foreign countries and machines doing the job, one day I think we all have to realize that working can not be the main goal of our lives, living in harmony and symbiotic within our civilization will be.
Unfortunatly we haven´t reached that level of independece from those needs that we can just lay back, the ekvations doesn´t add up, the population grows drasticly while we live in civilization that
are decreasing job´s, and at the same time politicans say we need to create more jobs which is conflicting with the employed make things cheaper and effective idea.

It just doesn´t add up, and it never has...some of us will live rich and some of us will live in poverty and some between.

Isn´t there some good unions for graphic workers in the states? If the companies doesn´t take you in under the " family" some of you vfx guys need to create it by yourself if there isn´t any union.
Michael

rcallicotte
02-26-2013, 10:07 AM
I noticed. If he really wanted to make a statement, use the time accordingly. That was not enough and it questions why he was cut off. He went longer than most people.


I was watching to see what would be said when the FX award went out, and I knew it would piss people off when the guy never got to finish his sentence, but really, say it straight up instead of trying to sneak in in at the end as the music is telling you it's time to get off.

Dexter2999
02-26-2013, 10:53 AM
Okay people. At an awards ceremony, the first thing you do is thank the people who voted for you, the people who gave you the work, and the people who signed the checks and gave you any money.

Nothing was "drug out". He spoke for less than a minute. (I believe someone clocked it at 40 seconds?) Less than half the time of several other award winners. They cut him off because they didn't want him to use the stage as a platform to deliver his message. If he had started with the message, they very likely would have just cut to a commercial. They didn't want him to talk about it. They weren't going to let him talk about it. It's just that simple.

Critisizing because he tried to talk about it but didn't make it his TOP priority is pointless and rediculous. Your top priority at an awards show is to accept the award and be gracious. The top priority of the show is not to turn it into a political platform. But, I will agree that if you have the spotlight and a platform it would be negligent to not send a warning message about the plight of the industry.

Some people are claiming time was an issue because the show ran over. I think they would have been better off with one less song and let the man get the message out. It isn't like he was going to be preaching about politics in the Congo, or human rights in Syria. The message was relevant to the industry. I think the producers cutting him off was akin to acting like an ostrich and poking their heads in the sand (and by extention taking everyone elses heads with them.)

Celshader
02-26-2013, 11:01 AM
Isn´t there some good unions for graphic workers in the states?

The Local 839 is wonderful. I worked at an 839 shop in 2004 and the benefits were fantastic. Those who work decades at 839 shops have a better outcome than those who work for decades outside of 839 shops, as shown in this essay:

Two 50-Year Careers. Two Different Stories. (http://animationguildblog.blogspot.com/2007/07/two-50-year-careers-two-different.html)

However, the Local 839 only covers workers in Los Angeles. It cannot protect artists in London, Vancouver or Montreal from brutal working conditions.

Dexter2999
02-26-2013, 11:11 AM
However, the Local 839 only covers workers in Los Angeles. It cannot protect artists in London, Vancouver or Montreal from brutal working conditions.

Ahem...yeah.

But seriously, it falls to the workers in those areas to create their own Locals. It would be nice to see IATSE reach out to workers in other areas to facilitate the process.

SBowie
02-26-2013, 11:45 AM
They cut him off because they didn't want him to use the stage as a platform to deliver his message. If he had started with the message, they very likely would have just cut to a commercial. They didn't want him to talk about it. They weren't going to let him talk about it. It's just that simple.I've got no axe to grind, but sorry - that's really not clear at all. I just double-checked to confirm my recollection: He spent 40 seconds on thanks to the 'usual suspects'. Then he started to thank his wife and kids, by name. The Jaws theme began at exactly that point, a few moments before he took the hint and jumped to the ostensibly more contentious point.

This is not to say he got as much time as was richly deserved, but that can easily and probably fairly be attributed to the fact that he didn't constitute a major 'face' to either viewers or sponsors. In some other scenarios (had the production been ahead of time, or if his preliminaries had taken less time ... if he'd risked insulting some others) he might have gotten away with it - or not. We'll never know, unless someone inside the production blabs. You win some, you lose some ... but the available evidence doesn't really demonstrate a conspiracy to shut him down any more than is common when the person with the mic isn't a major celebrity.

Dexter2999
02-26-2013, 12:02 PM
I took that the music didn't exactly do a slow fade up but rather a rather fast increase right as he began to speak about the strike (and the clip I saw it was VERY LOUD) as the clue they didn't want it to be heard. Even when they cut away, Nicole Kidman was seen to mouth pity at the way he was cut off. It was obviously "impolite".

But as you say, we will never know.

jeric_synergy
02-26-2013, 12:09 PM
I've spent years wanting to throttle those guys every time they open their mouths.

It's an attitude that's too common in vfx workers; it doesn't matter how badly they treat me, because I'm a creative soul and they can't touch me where it counts, where I know I'm contributing to something fantastic.
Spot on, Cardboard. Thanks.

People seem to think that unions are just an attempt to get paid more. They are not. Unions are attempts to stop employee abuse. If you think management wouldn't be HAPPY to grind every artist into a bloody paste, you are sadly mistaken. People forget there's a reason lunch breaks and coffee breaks even exist: unions FOUGHT for them. Sometimes literally, with broken heads and bloody noses. (And in the rougher businesses of mining and transport, often with their lives.)

Unions are an attempt to redress the power imbalance between the individual artist and the employer.

That some artists are willing to offer themselves up as burnt offerings on the alter of someone else's income is neither here nor there.

Megalodon2.0
02-26-2013, 12:22 PM
Spot on, Cardboard. Thanks.

People seem to think that unions are just an attempt to get paid more. They are not. Unions are attempts to stop employee abuse. If you think management wouldn't be HAPPY to grind every artist into a bloody paste, you are sadly mistaken. People forget there's a reason lunch breaks and coffee breaks even exist: unions FOUGHT for them. Sometimes literally, with broken heads and bloody noses. (And in the rougher businesses of mining and transport, often with their lives.)

Unions are an attempt to redress the power imbalance between the individual artist and the employer.

That some artists are willing to offer themselves up as burnt offerings on the alter of someone else's income is neither here nor there.
Quoted for COMPLETE agreement.:thumbsup:

SBowie
02-26-2013, 12:39 PM
I took that the music didn't exactly do a slow fade up but rather a rather fast increase right as he began to speak about the strike (and the clip I saw it was VERY LOUD) as the clue they didn't want it to be heard. You'd have to allow, I think, that this could as well have been a knee-jerk response along the lines of 'Oh no, he's starting another new topic. Bring out the hook!' Might have been different if one of the big names had the temerity to raise the issue in sympathy. I didn't see them chopping Ang Lee or Ben Affleck off. That said, it seems like it would take a major disruption to get more than perfunctory polite notice - if then.

rcallicotte
02-26-2013, 02:38 PM
Anyone see this yet?

https://www.facebook.com/VfxSolidarityIntl

Kaptive
02-26-2013, 03:28 PM
Nice to see the sci fi website io9 doing a piece on the Demonstration. io9 has a readership of around a million a month, so good exposure.

Why the visual effects industry protested, and how the academy insulted them in return... (http://io9.com/5987131/why-the-visual-effects-industry-protested-the-oscars-and-how-the-academy-insulted-them-in-return)

OnlineRender
02-26-2013, 07:59 PM
http://youtu.be/EzBAQ897pRI I find this funny

roboman
02-26-2013, 10:23 PM
I still don't understand how this isn't the case of VFX companies underbidding, and then not holding the production company to the contract....

This has always been a hobby for me and a side job where I make a few bucks from time to time. Around 2000 the local schools had dumped way more people into the market then the market could support (they are still dong that and advertising about all the great high paying jobs out there). I would be contacted by a past client, give them a quote and get asked to lower the price. The basic line was "we have 3 other quotes at $xxx. Doing it for $xxx would have in most cases made me $1 to $2 dollars an hour. That and remarks like, all you did was play around on your computer a little in your spare time, why should we even pay you $xxx. So for the last 10 years it's been a couple of emergency things, because the 12 year old they hired did a horrific job and the deadline was very close and a few quick changes to something old I did because a product was updated.

Realistically for a company that size, they can't turn it into a hobby, they shut down or take really crappy paying contracts and hope to figure out how to do it for at least a break even price or try to do it for not to much of a loss and wait for better days. Not taking any jobs just means shutting down. Working at a loss is still some money flow. It hurts the bank account, but extends the time before you have to let every one go. The hope is you can get a better contract later, if you are still in business.

prometheus
02-27-2013, 09:37 PM
Spot on, Cardboard. Thanks.

People seem to think that unions are just an attempt to get paid more. They are not. Unions are attempts to stop employee abuse. If you think management wouldn't be HAPPY to grind every artist into a bloody paste, you are sadly mistaken. People forget there's a reason lunch breaks and coffee breaks even exist: unions FOUGHT for them. Sometimes literally, with broken heads and bloody noses. (And in the rougher businesses of mining and transport, often with their lives.)

Unions are an attempt to redress the power imbalance between the individual artist and the employer.

That some artists are willing to offer themselves up as burnt offerings on the alter of someone else's income is neither here nor there.


Well..why would people think that?..they seem to think it´s all about money? I find it strange if people wouldn´t be more aware of what unions could do, but I don´t know really, the views
on unions over there in us, might and probably are quite different compared to an old socialist country (sweden not anymore) with very strong union since long time ago.
unions here is about everything on the working conditions from working hours, vacation, salery, health issues, working environment and what rules are valid for
cutting people of, and what rights you have to protect your employment.
Just sayin that people must be very narrow minded if they think it´s all about raising salery.

Sadly but for other reasons, I myself didn´t join the union.. and after being laid of for lack of work some time ago, I learned the lesson that I would have been better of having joined them for that extra cost of membership
each month, at the time I didn´t see any warning signs or hints from my employe that this would/could change, they were doing fine, but it is hard to argue against a company
about such given reasons or change in company structure etc, from the union you could get help in trials letting them covering the costs if there is a strong doubt about the true reasons etc.

But..as Ben affleck said in he´s end speach, It doesn´t matter if youré knocked down..because you most certainly will at some point, what matter´s is that you got to get up..and that is what I intend to do and I alway´s have set my mind to that vision, kind of
a visual of a bowling pin with the mass and weight at the bottom, so when it get hits..it just sways back up again.:)

Michael

jeric_synergy
02-27-2013, 10:10 PM
a visual of a bowling pin with the mass and weight at the bottom, so when it get hits..it just sways back up again.:)
Michael
An unfortunate image, as to moi that just calls up an image of the inflatable clown toy who only sways back up in order to be punched again.

As to why people might be ignorant of what unions do, A) my fellow citizens are notoriously ignorant off history, and B) there's been a concerted effort by reactionary (read: the rich and powerful) forces to paint unions as a bunch of thugs. Since the R&P used to employ their own thugs (e.g., the Pinkertons and various freelancers) to fight labor organizers, they were dismayed when people finally got desperate enough to out-fight the hired goons.

Remember, they only call it class warfare when we fight back.

prometheus
02-27-2013, 10:44 PM
An unfortunate image, as to moi that just calls up an image of the inflatable clown toy who only sways back up in order to be punched again.
.

Haha...that "punchline" makes it easier to face eventual punches of the day with a laugh, thanks for that:)

Michael

sandman300
03-04-2013, 12:16 AM
I have no doubt that the unions would be able to protect artists within the framework of the VFX houses but it is really up to the VFX houses themselves to not undercut themselves when making contracts with a studio. The way I see it, the best thing to do right now, would be the formation of an organization or an association of all the VFX houses worldwide (at least all the big ones). Some sort of forum that the houses themselves can establish standard business practices. It is the only way that I can see that a workable business model can be created. I'm sure there will be a bit of egoism to get over, but if they don't then it's only a matter of time...

Megalodon2.0
03-04-2013, 12:59 AM
I think (unfortunately) that we've gone well past the point of unions. Right now something system-wide has to happen - perhaps a Trade Association for ALL VFX companies around the world - for things to be set right. And that is going to take quite some time.

And jeric-synergy - I agree with you about unions and the pathetic understanding the people in this country seem to have about them. But then again, most of these people are followers and find it FAR easier to be led than to lead. They believe that unions are bad because they WANT to believe that they're bad. And truth be told, some unions are not good - not every one can be good.

jeric_synergy
03-04-2013, 01:23 AM
Indeed. However, I'm admittedly biased, as my mom was a shop steward for 35 years with the Aero-Machinists.

BUT, I do think the moneyed interests literally made a strategic decision to methodically, at every opportunity over the decades, bias coverage to favor management. And in Ahmurika (FY!), where every schmo thinks they can get rich, this slanted coverage has fallen on welcoming ears. (Which is an odd image-- modeling challenge!)