Movement Started by 'VFX Soldier' Daniel Lay Aims to Levy Customs Duties Against VFX Work Imported by Hollywood

The blogger known as VFX Soldier (aka industry veteran Daniel Lay) been crusading for years on behalf of rank-and-file VFX artists — and against the tax subsidies that have undermined the VFX foundation in L.A., turning it into a nomadic industry. His campaign heated up following the well-publicized demise of Rhythm & Hues last year and has coalesced with the formation of the Association of Digital Artists, Professionals and Technicians (ADAPT), a non-profit organization standing in opposition to tax subsidies both in the U.S. and abroad. 

One of the first ADAPT-organized events was this year's 500-strong March in March demonstration (see Variety's coverage), which took place in Hollywood on the day of the Academy Awards to draw attention to the industry's obsession with chasing tax incentives as well as to the ongoing campaign to impose penalties known as countervailing duties, or CVDs, on VFX work for U.S. studios that was subsidized by other countries. ADAPT is being advised in its efforts by law firm Picard Kentz & Rowe, a specialist in CVDs. 

ADAPT is hoping to launch its membership and fundraising drive next week, on the eve of SIGGRAPH. During the conference itself, ADAPT is presenting a Q&A on its anti-subsidy efforts as a Birds of a Feather session led by ADAPT's primary organizers: Lay, Digital Domain founder Scott Ross, and former Rhythm & Hues VFX artist David Rand. The Q&A takes place Wednesday, August 13, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in Room 2 of the East Building of the Vancouver Convention Centre.