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Where's the VFX Union?

Share your views on the state of the Animation Industry.

Where's the VFX Union?

Postby Charles » Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:50 am

Just wondering.

You know, the Animation Guild's organizer is registered on our forums. In fact, in his very first post a couple of years ago he accused me of being a union hater. Since then we haven't seen very much of him. We haven't seen anything from anyone from the animation union in a long time. They used to be a big part of AN. Now they're non-existent.

Just like the VFX union they've been trying to get started.

Guess it's just too much trouble to reach out to people in the industry.

That's a big reason why the animation union sucks. They really don't care and people know that. That's why I think they're getting nowhere with the VFX union. Way too little too late in an area of the industry that has been dealing with severe abuse for a very long time. The reputation of this organization precedes it.

I learned my lesson last October 21, 2011 when I was engaged in a debate with them. There's little hope of change. They do things their way and that's that cuz they will always get their money no matter what.

But they've lost the future.

Good luck union execs. I hope you prove me wrong.
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Re: Where's the VFX Union?

Postby Charles » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:09 pm

I've been lying low on a major story that's in the news recently. That is the closing of Digital Domain's studio in Florida. If you do a Google search you can find info on it. I've avoided posting a topic mostly because of the way that other animation sites were handling the subject. Something along the lines of a grade school playground and a circus act. If you've been following the Digital Domain situation this tear you'll know what I'm referring to. Some animation critics who run news sites are at times unbearable and unreadable in their journalistic style.

One site that is of interest in all of this is a blog maintained by an anonymous personage who goes by VFX Soldier. You can see the blog here.

The url is: http://vfxsoldier.wordpress.com/

As a longtime veteran of trying to make things better in animation for animation artists, and dealing with the consequences of it by using my actual identity instead of hiding behind an anonymous moniker and thinking this will do something to change things in the the biz, I ask the question...

Where's the VFX Union?

Don't see one do ya?

You've got a union organizer at The Animation Guild who misguidedly calls longtime supporters of his organization "union haters", you've got a union of animation artists (the Guild) that feels they should boycott movements and events in the industry to unify artists, you've got an anonymous activist who sponsors a popular blog subtitled "Commentary On The Visual Effects Industry's March To The Bottom"...

There's a 21% turnout of Animation Guild members last month voting on their latest contract, a major VFX house run by inept executive management that's led to the unemployment of 300 artists...

... and still no VFX Union?

Is something wrong in animation? Is something wrong with us, the creative community of the animation industry? Is something wrong with our leadership? Why are we so chronically dysfunctional? Why can't the community of animation artists and technicians get it together enough to benefit from the highest grossing sector in all of entertainment? Hit after hit, animation growing worldwide, and yet we continually struggle to find our footing as a unified community.

The problem isn't necessarily the executives my friends.
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Re: Where's the VFX Union?

Postby Charles » Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:53 pm

Looking here and there, looking everywhere... Still can't find that elusive VFX union. Keep trying guys! You'll get it done someday!

Maybe.
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Re: Where's the VFX Union?

Postby Charles » Sat Oct 06, 2012 11:25 am

I have students who work professionally as VFX artists / animators. I spoke with one of them this past week concerning a problem he had with a recent employer. He is of course aware of the effort to form a VFX union. I asked him why there isn't one already. He said most artists are afraid of being blacklisted.

That's why I doubt we'll see an effective VFX union. Along with the ease of sending projects off to a global market for the industry.

Attitudes from union organizers haven't helped the cause much either. Along with a weak animation union and pervasive apathy among its members and the artists of the industry in general.

Everybody is on their own. That's the way of the modern industry.

In that sense I guess there's some sort of unity.

I hope that the efforts of the AnimationNation Movement will be remembered in a positive light by future generations for initiating something positive at a time when nobody else did.
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Re: Where's the VFX Union?

Postby Rob Lamb » Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:18 am

Digital Domain follow-up ...

Digital Domain's John Textor: "I Lost My Job, Too"

http://blogs.browardpalmbeach.com/pulp/2012/10/john_textor_after_digital_domain.php
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Re: Where's the VFX Union?

Postby Charles » Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:07 pm

See a VFX union anywhere around here lately?

Nope.

But...

In what will very likely be an effort in futility we may be seeing a crowdfunding campaign to legally challenge the subsidies that other countries offer to entice production work away from California.

http://vfxsoldier.wordpress.com/2012/11 ... -december/

My questions is...

If the VFX artists of California can't get together and form a union, if the Animation Guild can't form a union of VFX artists, if an anonymous blogger can't get his own followers to form a union, what makes anyone think they can get other countries to stop subsidizing VFX production?

Looking everywhere else except at yourselves guys and keep dreaming that will solve your problem.

The caravan left a long time ago.

If you want to use crowdfunding to make a difference start thinking in terms of developing your own creative content.
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Re: Where's the VFX Union?

Postby Charles » Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:16 am

Well looky here! There's video of a panel discussion concerning the subject of... a VFX union!

From last Saturday morning in LA at the Visual Effects Society.

If ya got a couple of hours to waste, watch what the experts have to say. I'd take this seriously except for the fact that AN has been supporting the local union since we started in February 1999 and we learned our lesson as a result!

Personally I think this is an exercise in futility. You guys had a chance 20 years ago and you missed it but keep at it! Prove me wrong.

Part 1
http://vimeo.com/54898430

Part 2
http://vimeo.com/54957963
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Re: Where's the VFX Union?

Postby Charles » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:09 am

Even with the Digital Domain debacle, the bankruptcy of Rhythm and Hues, the demonstrations at the 2013 Oscars, the disrespect shown to the VFX winners last month...

Anybody see a VFX Union lately? Nope? Me neither.

Keep trying guys!
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Re: Where's the VFX Union?

Postby Charles » Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:42 pm

Any VFX union yet? Not yet? Keep trying guys. Maybe someday you'll see one in this lifetime.

I checked in to see what was happening on a site called VFX Soldier which is eerily similar to AN in it's early days except the guy (or perhaps guys) who run it are anonymous. Good thing too cuz ya wouldn't want to be blacklisted by your friends.

There is a movement to get VFX artists organized worldwide. Here's a link to it...

http://www.vfxunion.info/

If there are indeed unions that form out of this, I hope they don't wind up with something better than The Animation Guild. Quality leadership helps but that's a big order at least here in the LA market.
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Re: Where's the VFX Union?

Postby Charles » Thu May 23, 2013 4:11 pm

Any VFX union yet? A trade association? Nope? Didn't think so.

Keep trying guys! Anonymous bloggers might do it! Blacklisting friends and supporters might get you somewhere too won't it? You've been at it for years and have gone nowhere so keep trying!

Start your own studios and develop original content. Might work better than work for hire and perpetual bitching.

Catch up on all the latest news as VFX artists continue to chase their tails...

http://vfxsoldier.wordpress.com/
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