[Sidefx-houdini-list] VFX article

Andrew D Lyons tstexture at gmail.com
Thu Jun 7 19:48:26 EDT 2007

On 07/06/07, Lucio Flores <dogboy_l at yahoo.com> wrote:
> How would a union work in the context of all the outsourcing going on?? If studios don't want to deal with unions, wouldn't they will make a harder push to take on talent from overseas?

This is always a concern, but you kind of present the barrier to this
happening in the question. The best talent generally want to work on
the best productions, under the best conditions in whatever country in
the world offers that combination. As long as that is the case, then
all us foreign imports in the USA are going to help perpetuate a
situation where getting top quality work out of any other country is
going to be difficult. Certainly people trying to break into the
industry in any country have to compete in a way that makes good
conditions an impossibility at that level, but the best always peel
off somewhere where they get looked after as soon as possible.

> Also, since our techniques are evolving rapidly, the unions and their payscales and classifications would have to evolve as well. Who will be making those decisions??

The Animation Guild at least is run by people (volunteers) who work in
the industry. They are your co-workers - your rigging lead, your lead
animator, the lighter/compositor over there etc.

> Unions work work well with (relatively) blue collar jobs, but I'm not certain it would work with an industry that's as dynamic as this one.

I'd suggest that the nature of unions in different industries varies
dramatically in some ways, although not in others. I would agree
though that I can't see it working in live action effects. It's too
glamorous, and with the increasing application of divide and conquer
tactics, there is no hope that things will improve. There's way too
much supply.

> And finally, the biggest problem is merit based promotion. Does the studio or the union control promotions? Do you have to put in 5 years to get promoted, while someone with less drive and talent makes more money just because they've been around longer?

I don't think the union has anything to do with that. Merit is decided
by the company. In my experience people still negotiated their own
pay, title and other extended conditions just like at any non-union

> Adrian Lee <dryrainstudios at gmail.com> wrote: man thats a dodgy beard
> A 3d union is a great idea but wouldn't it just start price artists out of
> the market? Its ok trying to  set miniumum wages and all but if the big
> studios wont pay any more  wont the fx houses suffer?
> Mind you the unions did work for the coal workers, the steel workers, the
> post workers and got votes for women.!
> -------------------------------------------
>      He saw everything real too clearly
>      So close that the bones would show
>      And to see everything so clearly
>      Isn't always the best thing you know
>                                 - L n R
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Andrew D Lyons | Digital Artist | http://www.tstex.com

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