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Sun Feb 24, 2013, 01:55 PM

Visual effects workers plan Oscar flyover protest

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-visual-effects-oscar-protest-rhythm-hues20130222,0,2940036.story



Ang Lee's acclaimed 3-D movie "Life of Pi" is a front-runner to win a top visual effects award at the Oscars.

But some of the people who worked on the film's dazzling visual effects aren't celebrating. In fact, they're planning to stage a protest to call attention to their own plight -- and that of California visual effects workers in general.

<snip>

The banner will read: "box office + bankrupt = visual effects vfxunion.com." That's a reference to the recent bankruptcy filing by Rhythm & Hues. The El Segundo studio also laid off 250 employees, prompting a class-action lawsuit from one former employee alleging the workers were not given proper notice.

"There's a huge irony happening right now," said Dave Rand, a senior visual effects artist at Rhythm & Hues. " 'Life of Pi' is up for best picture and best visual effects, yet the company that did most of the show is in Chapter 11 and the artists haven't been paid in five weeks."



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Reply Visual effects workers plan Oscar flyover protest (Original post)
Starry Messenger Feb 2013 OP
aePrime Feb 2013 #1
TeamPooka Feb 2013 #3
Cleita Feb 2013 #4
Starry Messenger Feb 2013 #5
Cleita Feb 2013 #6
aePrime Feb 2013 #7
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #2
Starry Messenger Feb 2013 #8
DevonRex Feb 2013 #9
Starry Messenger Feb 2013 #10

Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 03:39 PM

1. Almost took a job there

I got a job offer from R&H about seven months ago, and I almost took it. In retrospect, I'm lucky I didn't take it, but things are tough all over the visual effects industry. I have no great crystal ball, I simply took a different job.

R&H does amazing work, but visual effects are a race to the bottom. They have to bid against their competitors, asking for the lowest price they think they can get away with. Once they're paid, they have no ownership of the property. No matter how much the movie makes, they don't get any portion of the profits.

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Response to aePrime (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 03:50 PM

3. vfx gets screwed just like every other below the line job in town.

edited :That damn typo

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Response to aePrime (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 04:29 PM

4. Sounds like you guys need a union or a guild to represent your interests.

I don't know if you can compete with companies overseas that are doing the same thing though.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #4)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 04:39 PM

5. +1

http://vfx.iatse-intl.org/

"Did you know that organized entertainment industry workers enjoy better benefits and working conditions?

Many of the films, television shows, commercials, awards shows and webisodes produced in the US are union made. Never before has that percentage been higher. On these productions, all the craftspeople working behind the scenes are members of Locals or Guilds, organized according to their particular department. Whether freelance or full-time, entertainment workers have a union to represent them. There is one glaring exception, one group of skilled technicians without the benefits afforded those who work union: the visual effects team."

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #5)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 05:14 PM

6. I used to know a lot of the crews. I used to be a bartender and

many of the stagehands for plays and concerts and TV and movie workers, cameramen, grips etc. drank in my bar. They worked hard but all were represented by unions and they had the money to lead a decent life. Sure they didn't have the millions the stars had, but they had union wages and benefits. I just watched a movie "Chronicle" yesterday. It wasn't a box office hit, but I just couldn't help thinking what a great special effects movie it was. To bad they don't have the representation they need.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #4)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 05:33 PM

7. The artist need the union

I work in research and development. I'm a rendering software developer. It's the artists who are in more trouble than I am.

That's not to say that they can't move my job overseas.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 03:46 PM

2. kr

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 06:04 PM

8. Thank you!

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Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 08:09 PM

9. Good. Artists must be paid for their work.

For some reason the technical artists seem to get the shaft all too often when really horrible camera artists get paid obscene amounts of money. I guess it's because the actors are well known and people would listen to them while nobody knows who works behind the scenes. You know, to actually make the movie. Like the writers. Same thing.

It doesn't help that people watch so much utter crap like reality TV. Those tech companies don't have other projects to keep them afloat if a big production doesn't pay up on time.

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Response to DevonRex (Reply #9)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 09:57 PM

10. I have some family in the tech side of entertainment in LA.

It is shocking how unprotected they are, considering how profitable the projects they work on are. I picked up this story from their FB news feeds. I was wondering why they were posting a lot of union related links lately, and then today this graphic for the Life of Pi situation.

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