It’s official. Star Trek’s opening weekend Box Office pulled in around $182 million coinciding with the franchise’s 50th anniversary. One of the heaviest Visual Effects films of the summer, it’s no surprise that the VFX community here in London pulled off awe-inspiring visuals for this blockbuster, but artists expecting a bit of starlight and Hollywood spectacle are likely to be disappointed. We’ve heard that two-thirds of the hardworking individuals for this film didn’t get the opportunity to see their name on the big screen.
It is rumored that Paramount originally only initially wanted to give 100 credits, and Double Negative, the lead VFX house on this, pegged them up to a little over 300 names to split between London, Vancouver, Singapore and Mumbai. For a team of nearly 900 artists, it’s just another notch on the growing divide felt between the treatment of the rest of Hollywood and the visual effects industry.
Double Negative’s valiant efforts still leave a crushing blow for the artists left out. As one of the few non unionized Hollywood workforces we are often at the bottom of the credit list, almost tacked on as an afterthought, while assistants to the assistants and catering names come up ahead of us. It is the power of the Hollywood unions that has ensured their members don’t get left out.
The union negotiations with Hollywood studios are the reason why other film industries get higher billing and a long credit list.Why are we being left out? With digital reels, it would cost no extra money to add extra lines to include VFX crew in the credits. It’s another slap in the face, showing how under-represented and under-appreciated we VFX artists are in an industry when it’s often OUR shots that brings in an audience and profits to Hollywood Studios.