Today fxguide attended the VFX March rally in Hollywood – which took place before the Oscars – to support the visual effects industry and protest the prevalence of subsidies. In this special fxpodcast, we report directly from the 500 strong person march itself.


 

For more images and information from the march, check out our coverage.


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2 Responses to fxpodcast #271: VFX Oscars March

  1. I think the message needs to be structured before anything can be done. You have the one side, Those saying the industry needs to come back to LA and on the other hand saying they need to come back to the US and those who just dont know saying “no subsidies” with no backing.

    What no one seems to understand and the ones that do wont bring it up because it will expose the real truth, is that the subsidies is just the string. Lets take away subsidies and lets act, not as artist, but for a second lets just assume we know alittle bit about life and governing policies.

    For sake of example, lets use Austin and LA, Austin has no state taxes for those making less than $500k which means artist save more money, LA you pay state taxes at a very high rate.
    Lower federal taxes in Texas and lower cost of living which means the artist can keep more of their money contributing to a better life and the city is not nearly as crowded which means you have a clearer frame of mind. Its so much easier to maintain. Companies aren’t pressured to overpay their artist to keep up with state demands and are able to higher junior artists and give them a fighting chance to grow. Land use and land building is cheaper and you are able to do twice as much. ALL of this without even considering subsidies. Subsidies just turns that crack into a canyon. You want to talk about why the VFX industry is not coming back to LA? Look alittle closer. You wanna wear green go ahead, you cant paint a place like Austin Green? I think you can and other like it, since most, if not all VFX shots start from a screen slate no matter the location. No one is saying you cant film in LA. but simply blaming subsidies will not solve the issue. even if you gave LA 40% subsidies, you’ll still have to deal with everything i listed above to make them competitive. Companies lose junior artist the market is swallowed by artist aggressively moving there. At least in Vancouver you need to have a Bach degree or higher coming from the states which is a mandatory line item from the state to even cross the border to get a work permit. In the US we dont have those rules and those that do are criticized. There is no structure. its like a mom of 100 asking for help but wont stop having babies. Now she has more babies then she can take care of. You want all these artist to come back to LA but you have not considered the living condition and aggressive high paying market you want it to come back to. Is it about the company? those who are fighting for the company to come back, are they fighting for you? are they fighting for your interests? If they come back will they still have your interest at heart? What clauses in the subsidies act show that the artist will gain anything?

    Fighting without thinking will always end up in a loss.

    But we cant do anything. I say think tactical, play the game and then turn the game.
    Yes we shall consider subsidies because lets face it we cant escape it. I am currently working in Vancouver because of them. But i love my job so i’m not mad. but I also miss my wife more. So lets agree to subsidies first. lets make the US attractive to those who want to be back. because no, not all companies are or were ever located in LA, but they may have been somewhere in the US so lets just get the companies back.

    Right now I pay high taxes, and because i have a home in the US i lose about 300 a month in transfer and conversion fees which i cant claim in taxes, im not paid enough to move my wife here , I am a military Vet at 30 years of age, so its easier for us to hold the tears back when we need to, and my travel was not covered to be located here, I live on ramen noodles and can soup and the occasional sushi to treat myself. so being back in the US I can at least save that 300 and have extra money to live with my wife and is the reason why we dont have kids after 10 years of marriage because i dont wanna be away from my wife for our first child..

    So once we have the companies back in the US then we can try working on a solution to rebuild your hollywood and for other states give them the ability to survive without the need to run away again. But if you start putting locks on the companies to keep them in the US before they get a chance to come back, you the artist will lose because your interest were never in play from the get go.

    Now dont get me wrong i love working in Vancouver because of the city and the people, I want to work in those other countries, but I want to be happy doing it. I just wish i was paid a hell of a lot more. i’m from houston one of the lowest cost of living cities and i could easily make more being there. but i’m working in the most expensive cost of living cities.. and getting paid less, you see the problem? these are the issues we need to fight for. fight for fairness and better pay for the ARTIST and then fight a better US solution for the COMPANIES, and then state level solution, while still preserving our international relationships, so those artist can get fair wages and nice jobs.

    But if you keep fighting the way you are without looking at the underlining situation, you might as well tune it all out and get ready to pack your bags for London, new Zealand, Australia, and for me, continue say goodbye to my wife who i’ll be away from for years. I often feel i should just let her go and move on to someone who can be there for her.. but she sticks around.. so i’m grateful..

    Posted by Jamiel Boling on
    • I am sorry but most of what you said is simply not true. Vancouver is more expensive than Los Angeles
      It wins the price war from what can amount to 60 percent labor credit to the studio. Austin may be cheaper and may attract some film work there…and thats is all fair in love and war. But America, Los Angeles, and Austin all loose work to Vancouver, BC, and other cities and provinces of Canada because they intentionaly violate trade laws, and ethical boundries, to buy the major studios work by funneling tax money from the common folk in Canada into the profit margins of major corporate studios. Subsities may help n the short term here but once again, they are unethical manipulation of game. Participating in that type of unfair system does not cure it , but makes it worse. Its like feeding a heroine addict more drugs, with the argument “well at least they won’t steal to get them” Maybe the short term outcome seems positive, but in the end everyone loses. Imposing leveling tarifs IS the bottom line, and the central issue that most VFX artists agree on. Here a link to a list of some of the credits in Canada I found. And ask yourself if this is fair and would it be ethical for us to pay this in Los Angeles or anywhere else in the United States http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mediadesk-vlaanderen.eu%2Ffiles%2Ffilm_tax_credits_Canada_20091.pdf&h=5AQEn4n4f&enc=AZOSynXXdwmrf8KR1HeJ7mxCiRCwsx5yLPZ98BGyIDCbS5Jw4U7BqoWiARfj0ot-gItyvldyTCAjQYR0ifu00XadlwMMXLK2tsUzzJDAZE8gPURG3mNnUk_HINYSlTynk1K4npHXXnZ1UU3kcyEAMOOj&s=1

      Posted by nick d on

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