[Sidefx-houdini-list] Re: Interviewing Candidates
CraigLeeHoffman at aol.com
CraigLeeHoffman at aol.com
Tue Jun 12 22:23:38 EDT 2007
I figured I should chime in on this since I have lived through much of what
you guys have been discussing.
I was a TD at Disney before they were Unionized (way back in the PRISMs
days!..). We did longer hours than the Union artists and were salaried so we
didn't get overtime after 40 hours like they did, even though we worked side by
side and did much of the same work. We eventually got Unionized (long story
here but we banded together ourselves to make sure we got treated right in
this deal since they were trying to give us 50 hour work weeks instead of 40
like everyone else at Disney) and it was a good thing. Hours were better, we
got overtime, benefits were good, etc. Nothing like the "Unions are Evil"
thing that many people try to get you to believe. The main thing is the
Management was forced to plan better and schedule more realistically instead of just
dumping tons of work on folks with little time to do it because they were
unable to manage things properly. That is all the Union really achieves- it
makes management do their job.
Now on to EA. When the Disney Studio shut down in Orlando, I decided I
didn't have faith in the schizophrenic film world any more (start a new studio,
make a film, shut it down, repeat) and decided to try Video Games. I worked
long hours, but not much worse than I did in film (and not as bad as what I
have heard at some VFX facilities) and then the EA Spouse thing happened. The
lawsuit was real and it had an effect, but other things were happening too.
EA was losing good people, and they realized that they had not done a good
job transitioning to larger more complex Next Gen Projects. A whole slew of
things have gone into play in the last two years, and guess what? Things got
better. Entry level folks now have 40 hour weeks with paid overtime. I am
salaried (with bonus) and work between 40 and 50 hours a week. There are
crunches where hours are longer, but I haven't had one in a while.
Anyway, we have to realize that we are valuable and stop killing ourselves
because of bad management and planning. We have the talent and the means to
get the job done right. Sure they can outsource to some far away land, but
that has it's own costs and difficulties. We need to stick together and
support each other. I know that sounds like "Union Talk", but what is going on
right now (and has been for a while) in "CG-Land" is pretty much what got Unions
started in the first place, and nothing is going to change if we keep
standing idly and quietly by while Studios keep undercutting each other to win bids
and then kill their folks to get the work done.
That's my 2 cents.
Visual Effects Director
In a message dated 6/12/2007 12:56:08 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
lisa at red3d.com writes:
The VFX industry needs to pay attention to the lessons learned in the
game industry. Making insane hours the norm not only burns out your
employees at an alarming rate, it also opens you up to lawsuits. See
what happened to EA
This all came from a blog posting of an EA spouse
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