|sent from: Esher, Surrey, UK. destination: Long Beach, California, USA|
Yesterday was the VFX Town Hall, bringing together hundred of VFX workers throughout the world, though because of the timings Western Europe [largely] missed out, but that’s ok. Last night I met with a few VFX people and a representative from BECTU in a London pub to discuss UK VFX unionisation efforts. Anytime you gather people around to discuss anything, even something on which there’s broad consensus, people are people so there will be a lot of differences as we, like the blind men touching the elephant, come to different conclusions about the big picture.
The anger and frustration, however, is shared; at the poor project management, the vast amounts of ruinous unpaid overtime that everyone is expected to work, the destructive effects of such hours on the ability to have good health, a family, how it saps the passion from an industry that has otherwise been a labour of love. We have allowed this to happen, we have allowed the downward pressure exerted by the studios to push us further – because of course we will never allow anything to stop us from putting out our best – not schedule, not budget, nothing.
Individually, if one of us says “no”, we are replaceable; together, we have power, we have leverage.
“You can blow out a candle, but you can’t blow out a fire.”