Thursday, March 22, 2012

The VFX Divide

When I worked a college summer job in a factory making paint, half the workers were hired by the factory the other half by Manpower. The factory workers made more than double the manpower employees even tho you couldn’t tell them apart for work produced/position. This kept the lower wage workers from revolting b/c they couldn’t create a consensus among all workers to present their case/improve their situation. This divide was crafted perfectly to get the factory to work at 75% the cost it used to.
VFX is similar. There are many voices by people in difficult situations trying to bring people together. At the same time there are a large group of well paid, relatively normal hours (for much of the year) artists who have it good and aren't going to lift a pen to change anything. In the factory it was a purposeful, prefabricated situation, in vfx its not but the same dichotomy exists.
VES 2.0 is/was our best hope. The unions, for whatever reason, haven’t got a foothold.
I don’t know another way to rectify the situation, until it gets worse for more artist. As long as the comfort level is palpable for the majority of artists, its going to be an uphill battle for change...  not unlike the peak oil, global warming, I guess that’s humanity in 201X.

3 comments:

Bran DJ said...

I would also say that freelancing itself is part of the problem. If half of the workers in a given studio are not considered (or don't consider themselves) employees, they can't be 'organized' in the traditional sense.

David Schoneveld said...

thats a good point. I felt like that when I was freelancing.

3dimentia said...

The same happens in games. Studios don't pay as well as they should for the folks that do the majority of the work.