Thursday, October 01, 2020


The current state of VFX in Hollywood

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Category: Blog


I have a feeling this will ostracize me but I have been considering it long and hard and it needs to be addressed ... the current state of VFX in Hollywood ...this is also one of the reasons i left and  I DO care about friends classmates and former co-workers that is why  I caution against unionizing. It's not all peaches and cream if the underlying cause of the problem isn't addressed..

This goes deeper then something a union will fix..

It is a problem at the state level.. I just reran the numbers. before taxes , 16-25 $ hour( take home ) is enough to be a living wage in so-cal at a 40 hour work week. BUT you lose 30-50% of that to taxes, ( ie: because of taxes the real living wage is actually  $30-$50 hour which is not something a company can afford to pay in the current climate).

Between what the government steals from your employers thru payroll taxes and they you loose thru locality, taxes state and federal.Take this to Sacramento demand that the state and US government stop taxing people into oblivion. Demand a more unrestricted environment to be able to start , run , and GROW businesses.  This is a bigger issue then JUST VFX, this is a state and country issue . Tax breaks for start-ups are fine . Subsidiaries, or money stolen from tax the payer  are not.  

A union will NOT fix that problem if anything they will take MORE of your money, which is what you need to avoid..

First off, the VFX industry needs to stop bidding each other out of business, the initial problem is studios so aggressively underbidding each other that approach only  devalues the work to the point that a studio  can't keep the lights on.

bid higher your artistry has value.

as far as hours go , the Visial Effects community in compromise with the studios  need to first establish in accordance to the current laws on the books. Through mediation avenues already present , to establish  expected  work hours in a day, mandatory overtime pay for hours worked over X, and establish guidelines for breaks and days off , ie , everyone MUST have at least 1 full day off in every 7 days.


I choose Option two, Leave CA for a more business friendly state .

I'm not going to deny this is part of the reason I left Hollywood ,  the Climate for a start up in CA is SO hostile that it is near impossible to get anything going . One reason I"m now attempting a start up in the midwest.  cost of everything is lower and more feesable to get something going from the ground up. I feel bad larger companies have tumbled Heck I was digital Domain Alum, I know a LOT of the people who lost their jobs at Rhythum and Hues. I pains me to see them suffering , and knowing that I am in many ways even here in the same boat , it very hard ot get any work when you are out side the boys club , so i'm starting small, and doing projects with people who are also start ups other who just want to try to keep work as close to home as possible. I HATE it when work goes over seas. If Hollywood is going to cannibalized them selves I'd rather the work move elsewhere in the US then across the globe.

Failure does one thing though , it  opens the way for  a new beginning, and allows for us to hopefully learn from those mistakes . .