fxpodcast #267: I AM VFX Soldier

A recent appearance in Los Angeles by US President Barack Obama led to the unmasking of anonymous blogger VFX Soldier. We sit down for an exclusive, in-depth interview with formerly anonymous blogger Daniel Lay. We’ll discuss a wide range of topics that are important to visual effect artists everywhere plus find out why he decided to start the VFX Soldier blog and why he decided to go public now. You may have a perception of Soldier now, we’re willing to bet you will have a different one by the end of the interview.

VFX Soldier blog
VFX Soldier: Commentary On The Visual Effects Industry’s March To The Bottom

Mentioned in the podcast is the Countervailing Duty (CVD) study that vfxsoldier supporters commissioned. We did an interview with the lead counsel from that effort, David Yocis from the Washington DC law firm Picard Kentz & Rowe.
fxpodcast #253: Feasibility Study on Subsidies

7 thoughts on “fxpodcast #267: I AM VFX Soldier”

  1. Thing is. These large studios do not pay 100 percent out of pocket for production costs. They rely on credit from lenders in order to get funding to produce the films. They have no other option than to go after the tax incentives in order to get a film bonded. They could pay more out of pocket and release less films while taking in more risk. Eitherway, The VFX industry is mostly a service business. It doesn’t have the best business model. You really need to have IP in order to stay afloat.

    Here is a good read that goes into detail:


    I don’t think there was any talk about this in the interview. It just sounded like a witch hunt blaming everything on the studios chasing after any tax incentive that would get them more money. If anything be pissed at the Banks. Blame the other people with lots of money. The lenders!!

  2. I’m not sure about absolutely right. While it seems sound in principle, I’m not quick to shed a tear for the production companies and their financial burdens for making films.

    While the production studios have been forced to find alternate means of securing their “risk” for financing films, the use of public municipal tax coffers is not only distasteful but leaves the market distorting effects we’re seeing today.

    I’ll concede the point that the studios are now working in an environment where their risk isn’t as secure as it was in days gone by. But by agreeing with the use of tax incentive, you are in effect saying that you feel the public should be shouldering the risk of the Big Six’s pursuit for profit.

    The film industry, like any, faces risk for doing business. I believe that risk is well mitigated from the profits of their successful endeavors. With the demise of the regular profits DVDs offered, the risks are greater, but I feel that’s the cost of business, and not our responsibility to bear.

    Does that mean the studios will make less films? It can, but it can also mean they’ll start focusing on *better* films .. mitigating their risk by striving for a superior product to which the market will pay handsomely to see. Either way, using public money to offset their risk isn’t the answer and is destructive to the lives of the workers.

  3. I’m always curious about the DVD profits – the demise is always thrown out like one day everyone stopped buying DVDs but I know I watch far more content via iTunes than I ever bought DVDs. Then there are additional new revenue streams like on demand, Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc.

Leave a Reply