If you work in the visual effects industry, you’re probably already aware of the Visual Effects Industry Bill of Rights recently drafted by the Visual Effects Society. (LOVE the logo, guys. Pure class.) With VFX artists increasingly complaining about their working conditions, the VES is trying to define a set of expectations that will make a better working experience for VFX personnel, the facilities they work for, and their studio clients.
Of course it’s relatively easy to agree on principles of fair treatment, but it’s harder to figure out ways to enforce the kind of rules that would ensure those standards are maintained. One seemingly obvious answer to the problem would be unionizing the VFX industry. But that idea has its detractors. Some say that any unionizing effort would be futile because the overseas counterparts to American VFX workers wouldn’t be within its domain. (Blogger VFX Soldier suspects VFX workers overseas actually aren’t much happier than those in the U.S.) Others express skepticism about the worth of labor unions in general.
At any rate, IATSE, the labor union representing workers in the film industry, announced late in 2010 that it wanted to represent VFX workers, and nothing has yet come of that. Meanwhile, the Art Directors Guild is making overtures toward previs artists.
These discussions are gaining currency with the upcoming VES membership meeting set for October 20 in Los Angeles. Accordingly, VFX supervisor Scott Squires (pictured at right) dedicated a recent post at his blog, Effects Corner, to summarizing the current situation, including his rebuttals to some of the arguments that have been made against unionization.
But the main gist of his post is that artists need to provide ideas and feedback by emailing VES leadership at email@example.com. If you have good ideas on how to get the VFX business out of the fix it’s in, let them know!
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