An Open Letter To VFX Artists And The Entertainment Industry At Large Visual Effects Society: 2.0

As an Honorary Society, VES has led the way in promoting the incredible work of VFX artists but so far no one has stood up to lead the way on the business side of our business. No one has been able to speak out for unrepresented artists and facilities – or the craft as a whole – in any meaningful way.

It should not come as a surprise to anyone that the state of the visual effects industry is unsettled. Artists and visual effects companies are working longer hours for less income, delivering more amazing VFX under ever diminishing schedules, carrying larger financial burdens while others are profiting greatly from our work. As a result, there has been a lot of discussion recently about visual effects and its role in the entertainment industry. Many feel VFX artists are being taken advantage of and many others feel that VFX facilities are operating under unsustainable competitive restraints and profit margins. There have been calls for the creation of a VFX union to represent artists’ interests while others have pushed to create a trade organization for VFX facilities to better navigate today’s economic complexities.

(Variety) The Visual Effects Society is morphing from milquetoast to militant.

The VES, founded as an honorary society, announced in an open letter Tuesday afternoon that it is changing its mission to focus on problem solving and advocacy for the visual effects industry.

The letter, titled “Visual Effects Society 2.0,” declares: “In the coming weeks and months, VES will shine a spotlight on the issues facing the artists, facilities and studios by way of editorial pieces in the trades and vfx blogs, virtual Town Hall meetings, a vfx Artists’ Bill of Rights and a vfx CEO’s Forum.”

(Variety) The visual effects budget for Warner Bros.’ “Green Lantern” has risen by $9 million, with new vfx houses recruited to bolster the team that’s been working overtime to meet the film’s June 17 launch.

The Warner Bros. pic will no doubt meet its date, but other effects-heavy films continue to scramble. In fact, the kind of sturm and drang that’s swirled around “Green Lantern” is actually par for the course on most visual effects-heavy tentpoles these days — and the problem’s growing.

Such pics now routinely fit the description of a “troubled” project, with “troubled” the new normal. And key players in the f/x biz say that with crunches mounting, it’s only a matter of time before some f/x-heavy tentpole can’t meet its delivery date — a nightmare no studio has faced since “Titanic.” Should a tentpole be forced to change dates, the ripple effects on a studio, its rivals, exhibitors and tie-ins will be widespread and injurious to bottom lines.

    
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