VFX News

this is it!

THE  BIG VFX MEETING

7:00pm WEDNESDAY, 22ND JUNE

REGENT HALL, 275 OXFORD STREET, LONDON, W1C 2DJ

click here for more info


 

VFX Union members and non members alike are invited for an opportunity to hear about all our work over the past year, to discuss and to give feedback, and to have your say on where the VFX branch should focus its efforts next.

We’re in the middle of a Visual Effects Industry Revolution! Our membership has exploded by over 500% in the last year and we need you to keep pushing this amazing momentum forward. If you’re not a member, come along and find out what the visual effects union is all about! If you’re already a member, bring a friend or two!

We’ll be talking about all the work that the VFX Branch has done over the past year, and what the coming year might hold. There’ll be an opportunity for questions and feedback from the floor. This will be followed by a talk about the EU Referendum and the likely effects on the vfx industry in the case of a “leave” vote.

Non members can join the union on the night and there will be a special members only voting session at the end of the event to elect branch officers and decide our priorities for 2016-17. Sign up to attend here:

VFX Union Mass Meeting

Visual Effects News and Stories from Around the Web

Pressure on VFX firms to locate in tax havens

Ant-Man Visual effects firms are under continuing pressure from production companies and studios to locate in parts of the world that offer the best tax …

Oscars 2017: Which movies are contenders so far?

The consensus: “It is a lock for visual effects,” AwardsCircuit’s Davis says. “However, with science-fiction films coming out this year like Story of Your …

Afternoon Delight: ‘Every Best Visual Effects Winner. Ever.’

There aren’t any hot trending videos that are doing it for me at the moment, so I’ll pull out this one that I came across not long ago. If you’re a real film …

China’s First CGI Film: LORD It Looks Bad

In response to the barrage of online criticism, a visual effects technician from Original Force, the biggest animation production company in Asia — and …

SIGGRAPH 2016 Production Sessions To Host “Making Of” Hit Motion Pictures, Games, VR Films

Juried and curated content includes outstanding achievements in time-based art, scientific visualization, visual effects, games, real-time graphics, …

 

Posted in BECTU, News

VFX’s Annual General Meeting

The Most Important VFX Meeting of the Year!

  • It’s your time to decide. Come to our Annual General Meeting next Wednesday and hear about what BREXIT could mean for VFX.
  • Vote and decide on next year’s important issues and choose who represents you as committee members.
  • Most importantly help lead the discussion and become one of the committee members yourself!

All VFX employees welcome! All you have to do is sign-up HERE


To nominate yourself or another union member for the committee please email all nominations to Paul Evans <pevans@bectu.org.uk> by 5pm on June 19. All positions open for nominations and vote including: Branch Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Communications or just general committee member.

Posted in BECTU Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

VFX Union Mass Meeting – 22nd June!

MassMeeting

FREE ENTRY!

Regents Hall 275 Oxford Street W1C 2 DJ

7:00pm – Wednesday, 22nd June 2016

http://tinyurl.com/vfxagm2016 

VFX Union members and non members alike are invited for an opportunity to hear about all our work over the past year, to discuss and to give feedback, and to have your say on where the VFX branch should focus its efforts next.

We’re in the middle of a Visual Effects Industry Revolution! Our membership has exploded by over 500% in the last year and we need you to keep pushing this amazing momentum forward. If you’re not a member, come along and find out what the visual effects union is all about! If you’re already a member, bring a friend or two!

We’ll be talking about all the work that the VFX Branch has done over the past year, and what the coming year might hold. There’ll be an opportunity for questions and feedback from the floor. This will be followed by a talk about the EU Referendum and the likely effects on the vfx industry in the case of a “leave” vote.

Non members can join the union on the night and there will be a special members only voting session at the end of the event to elect branch officers and decide our priorities for 2016-17.

Please sign up to attend here:

VFX Union Mass Meeting

jokerQuote4

Posted in BECTU

VFX News

Visual Effects News and Stories from Around the Web

 

Pressure on VFX firms to locate in tax havens

Visual effects firms are under continuing pressure from production companies and studios to locate in parts of the world that offer the best tax credits, according to a panel discussion at last week’s Media Production Show in London.

The Worst Movie Effects Ever Compilation

Cringeworthy fun video! Apologies in advance if some of your work appears on it!

Here’s What Cast and Crew Really Earn on a $200 Million Blockbuster Budget

In the video below, Vanity Fair estimates the breakdown of a $200 million blockbuster. Unsurprisingly, above-the-line talent scores the biggest paycheck; Lead Actors 1, 2, and 3 comprise 9% of the film’s entire budget. But the director, producers, editor, DP, and lead writers don’t fare too badly, either, each earning $1 million or above.

Movie Review: ‘Warcraft’ Will Transport You With Masterful Visual Effects

‘Warcraft’ Movie Review by, Pamela Price – LATF USA From ‘Resident Evil’ to ‘Lara Croft: Tomb Raider,’ video game franchises have seen their fair …

Here’s how the new ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ movie looks without visual effects

Visual effects were used to bring the turtles to life. Paramount Pictures released a featurette Tuesday afternoon showing off exactly how the quad looks …

Will CGI Overkill Doom ‘Warcraft’ at the Box Office?

But the meticulousness of the CGI—Jones created 2,000 visual effects shots and the audience gets to view the orcs’ facial countenances in full …

Stanley Kubrick’s Special Effects Guy Helped Make This Indie Sci-Fi Thriller Possible

How would you describe your approach to the visual effects? I wanted to have a tactile and a visceral experience of space. I didn’t want to use …

Core California FX Companies Find Success Despite Exodus of Many Rivals

It’s hard to think of visual effects without thinking of California. The rise of the modern VFX industry owes a huge debt to the talents of Golden State …

The Women Who are Changing Animation, One of Hollywood’s Most Sexist Industries 

Despite growing numbers of women studying and working in animation, creative leadership is still a man’s world. Women In Animation is going to change that.

Storyboard Artist Accuses ‘Chipmunks’ Maker Bagdasarian Productions Of Unethical Behavior

Johnson said that she’d brought the issue to the attention of the Animation Guild Local 839, but because Bagdasarian Productions is not a signatory facility, the union is powerless to pursue the issue.

Blackmagic Design Announces Fusion 8.1 Update

Fusion Connect for Avid lets editors work on their own visual effects and motion graphics or, when they’re on shared storage, they can collaborate with …

This awesome visual effects breakdown shows all the crazy details that went into making ‘Deadpool’

While the visual effects might not look as flashy as those in, say, “Captain America: Civil War,” it took a lot of work to bring “Deadpool” to life. Rodeo FX …

Preparing Children With Autism For Careers in The Visual Effects & Animation Industries

Since the studio opened less than two years ago, it has completed animation or visual effects and end title projects for more than 50 productions, …

Rising Sun Pictures Extends its Mastery Over Time in “X-Men: Apocalypse”

The visual effects studio contributed to several key sequences in the film, most notably an electrifying scene where Quicksilver (Evan Peters) uses his …

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Come along to our weekly Thursday VFX Lunchmeet

Every Thursday from 1-2pm at the Jurassic Church (St. Anne’s Churchyard, Wardour Street – nr. Shatesbury Avenue) Grab a sandwich or some sushi, sit on the grass, soak up a little sunshine and chat about what’s happening in the world of London VFX – look for the green flag!

1:00-2:00pm every Thursday

The Jurassic Church

(St. Anne’s churchyard, Wardour Street – near Shaftesbury Avenue)

Posted in News

Unions: Raising The Bar

“Unions have a spillover effect that helps the entire middle class. When employers perceive that unions could possibly organize their workforce, they deliberately keep wages and benefits close to union wages and benefits, in order to keep the union out of their workforce. This spillover effect is a clear example of how unions benefit even those who are not covered by a union contract.”

— Lawrence Mishel, President, Economic Policy Institute

via Unions 4 Workers

Posted in BECTU

The UK VFX industry and Brexit

Facts, not appeals to emotion

Tony Lennon, BECTU research officer, recently outlined the implications for the UK entertainment industries of any vote to leave the EU. The recording of that talk is below.

The bottom line is that if the UK votes to leave the EU, this could have a devastating effect on Film, TV and Theatre production – especially VFX. The London Visual Effects workforce relies heavily on people from the EU and the free movement between member states.

Take some time to listen to this, it is important information about Leave vs. Remain for anyone working in the VFX industry here in the the UK.

Posted in Uncategorized

VFX News

Visual Effects News and Stories from Around the Web

Women, are you Game to Work as Animators ?

It is not just engineering that gives you a job, there are opportunities in visual effectsfor films and advertisements, 3D animation for 3D films and video …

Here’s how visual effects artists turn Jennifer Lawrence into Mystique in the ‘X-Men’ movies

The character’s creation involves a lot of work from the visual effects team. In 2014, Digital Domain, one of the visual effects companies that worked on …

Film Review: ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows’

… visual effects supervisor, Pablo Helman; visual effects producers, Crystal Dowd, Susan Greenhow; visual effects, Industrial Light & Magic, Ghost VFX …

Creative Arts Emmy Visual Effects Contenders Wow Viewers with Mind-Bending Images

As the golden age of television continues, so does an era of spectacular visualeffects for the small screen aimed at creating a theatrical-level …

The art of visual effects

Sloan is in town to participate in a couple of Q&A sessions as part of EffectsMTL 2016, the largest visual effects and animation conference on the East …

Florida to get $5M back from $20M investment in failed visual effects studio

After sinking $20 million in to failed visual effects film studio Digital Domain, Florida will only get back a small portion of their investment.

Top 50 Films That Catapulted Visual Effects Into A New Era

Do visual effects in films today all look the same to you? Is there one movie in recent memory that stands out and says, “That was a visual masterpiece.

‘Taking Earth’: A Sci-fi film with stunning visual effects delivered on a limited budget

In an exclusive interview with International Business Times, Australia Director Grant Humphreys talked about the visual effects and other aspects of the …

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Come along to our weekly Thursday VFX Lunchmeet

Every Thursday from 1-2pm at the Jurassic Church (St. Anne’s Churchyard, Wardour Street – nr. Shatesbury Avenue) Grab a sandwich or some sushi, sit on the grass, soak up a little sunshine and chat about what’s happening in the world of London VFX – look for the green flag!

1:00-2:00pm every Thursday

The Jurassic Church

(St. Anne’s, Wardour Street – nr. Shaftesbury Avenue)

Posted in News

Join MPC and get laid!

…or maybe they meant laid off!

Over at Cartoon Brew, they noticed a bizarre recruitment strategy from MPC:

In a Linkedin update from yesterday [update: it’s been deleted], MPC’s global talent acquisition manager Angela Buhr invited horny digital artists to check out the MPC booth at the vfx/animation conference Effects Montreal and discover why “getting to say you make THE BEST movies gets you friends with benefits.”

Check out the whole story and make sure to have a look at the reaction from the Twitterverse – hilarious!

Posted in Uncategorized

VFX News

Visual Effects News and Stories from Around the Web

16 Directors Redefining the 21st Century Blockbuster

Phil Lord and Chris Miller, Joe and Anthony Russo, JJ Abrams, Jennifer Lee. Jon Favreau, Zack Snyder, David Yates, Matt Reeves, James Gunn, Gareth Edwards, Colin Trevorrow, Patty Jenkins, Joss Whedon, Matthew Vaughn

FXGuide fxpodcast #303: UK Union update

We discuss the latest info about UK visual effects artists who are seeking union representation. Joe Pavlo (artist) and Paul Evans (BECTU) are our guests. Unpaid overtime, fear, social media, how to organize, collusion, opting out of overtime… just a few of the things Joe and Paul discuss with our Jeff Heusser

Ray Harryhausen’s Jason and the Argonauts

With 1963 primitive graphics technology, How was this skeleton animations fights achieved?

First Look At Spiderman Concept Art From Captain America: Civil War 

Check out a batch of concept art for Spider-Man from the Captain America: Civil War Art of the Movie book, which is now available.

Eye candy trumps plot in ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’

A trippy showcase for the latest visual effects wizardry, “Alice Through the Looking Glass” takes us on another adventure that is long on twee but short on story.

Judge Certifies Class in Animators’ Anti-Poaching Scheme Lawsuit

VFX workers claim Disney, Pixar, DreamWorks and others conspired to keep wages low by promising not to poach one another’s employees.

‘X-Men: Apocalypse’: Solid premise can’t uphold the franchise’s ponderous weight

http://www.examiner.com/review/x-men-apocalypse-solid-premise-can-t-uphold-the-franchise-s-ponderous-weight

‘Warcraft’ Featurette Highlights The Technology Called ‘Haircraft’

A featurette was released to showcase how much time and effort went into the making of this film specifically on the visual effects.

‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows’ Clip Features Absolutely Zero Turtles

Humans: the unsung heroes of the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot.

Here’s how the big battle from last night’s ‘Game of Thrones’ looks without visual effects

HBO released a visual effects breakdown of the big cave battle beyond the wall as part of its “Anatomy of a Scene” series. The seven-minute video reveals how the climactic battle, and its haunting final moment with Hodor, came to life. 

Come along to our weekly Thursday VFX Lunchmeet

Every Thursday from 1-2pm at the Jurassic Church (St. Anne’s, Wardour Street – nr. Shatesbury Avenue) Grab a sandwich or some sushi, sit on the grass, soak up a little sunshine and chat about what’s happening in the world of London VFX – look for the green flag!

1:00-2:00pm every Thursday

The Jurassic Church

(St. Anne’s, Wardour Street – nr. Shaftesbury Avenue)

img_1126-1

Posted in News Tagged with: , , ,

The dreaded “crunch-time email”

Work/life-balance has been a hot topic in the games industry in the last month, following publication of a pretty horrendous recruitment guide and rant by well-known games developer Alex St John. The attitudes in his articles have been rightly criticised by much of the games industry, and this critique will feel particularly familiar to anyone who has worked in VFX:

There is an embedded and endemic problem that is rooted in the upper echelons of game development production and management. It is not a new one: unrealistic expectations are set upon shifting sands, time frames are squeezed, deliver at all costs is the mentality. Typically, this will manifest itself as a team meeting or an apologetic email, followed by a “we’re all in this together” rally cry and a promise of free dinner if you work after 9pm (Need to leave at 8.30? Sorry mate, sort yourself out, your time isn’t worth dinner).

Employees are then expected to reorganise their own lives to accommodate their newly produced goalposts. Those who don’t “pull their weight” in this regard are passively ostracised as “not being team players”. But, as the craft of game development matures, so do those who practice it. With that we cease to be a population of devil-may-care 20 somethings with no strings attached. We grow up.

The “dreaded crunch-time email” is a well-known phenomenon in VFX. However nicely-worded the email might be (and they generally are), the core message is the same: “It’s time to put your personal life on hold. Don’t take holidays. Don’t make plans. For the next few months, this project is the only thing that should matter to you. We need everyone to go the extra mile, to put in 110%, to put their foot on the gas, to push harder than ever, to go above-and-beyond. And if everyone could start working extra hours, that would be great”.

Whenever a “crunch-time email” goes out, it’s hard for those affected to avoid asking questions:

  • How did we get into this situation, where the only solution is to ask whole teams to give up their personal time?
  • Is this the first time it has happened, or is it becoming a regular occurrence at the end of each project?
  • Are there changes that could be made to prevent this from happening again?
  • Which is a higher priority for the company I work for – employees’ work/life balance, or keeping the clients happy?

We’re not naïve to the workings of the VFX industry. It’s a challenging industry, and sometimes things go wrong. However, we would assert that crunch-time is almost always a sign of a deeper problem somewhere else – broken technology, poor scheduling, under-resourcing, unrealistic client expectations, and so on. Pressuring people to work extra hours only hides the problem – it doesn’t fix it. If a company is regularly asking you to work extra hours, then we think it’s only fair that they should tell you what lessons they have learned and what changes they plan to make to prevent it from happening again. We believe that it’s in every VFX company’s interests to have workers that feel rested and inspired. We believe that it’s in every VFX company’s interests to have workers that are able to develop a rich variety of personal interests and experiences outside of work all year round.

The VFX branch of BECTU stands together with anyone who wants to see an improvement in VFX working conditions. Since BECTU started pressuring the major VFX companies on working conditions, we’ve seen a number of improvements at MPC & Framestore. These changes have been needed for a long time, and are to be applauded. However, the phenomenon of the crunch-time email endures in the wider VFX industry, with members telling us of one such call for 6- and 7-day weeks being sent out at Double Negative just last week. As long as crunch-time emails continue, we will be here pressing for improvements to VFX working conditions. Over 20% of all VFX workers in Soho are now BECTU members. Do you want to see crunch-time emails become a thing of the past? Then join us. Come along to a Thursday lunchtime gathering, and find out about our efforts in other companies.

What is your spare time worth to you?

Posted in Uncategorized