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!

VFX Pub Night

7:00 pm on the first Wednesday of the month.

We meet regularly on the first Wednesday of the month, hosted in the private upstairs bar at the Nellie Dean in Soho. ( 89 Dean St, Soho, London W1D 3SU )

It’s a chance to talk to the VFX Union members and other colleagues about issues in London VFX.

This is open to non-union members who might have questions about the union and for current members to bring along guests who might be interested in joining.

Keep up to date by following us on our Facebook or Twitter page for venue or date changes.

As always look for the green flag!

 

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)

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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?

UK VFX Union featured on fxguide podcast!

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Paul Evans, the BECTU national official for the vfx branch and Joe Pavlo, the vfx branch chair had a chat with Jeff Heuser from the fxguide podcast to talk about their work in the UK to establish a Visual Effects Union. A lot of ground was covered from the explosive growth of the vfx union in the UK over the last year, to some of the issues facing people working in the visual effects industry and a look ahead at the future of the union in the visual effects industry.

listen to the episode here:

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

also available to download in iTunes

Inspired? Why not come along to the Thursday VFX LunchMeet every week from 1-2pm in the courtyard at St. Anne’s Church, Wardour Street (nr. Shaftesbury Avenue) and find our more about the vfx union – or just cut to the chase and join the union right now!

VFX Branch wins award!

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At the BECTU National Conference over the weekend, the Visual Effects Branch was honoured with the Roger Bolton Memorial Award. It’s basically the unions “branch of the year” award and it was presented to members of the committee at the conference in recognition of our record breaking recruitment over the last year and our recognition campaigns at MPC and Framestore!

Come along to our Thursday VFX Lunchmeet today from 1-2pm at Jurassic Church (St. Anne’s, Wardour Street – nr. Shatesbury Avenue) so we can give each other high fives and pats on the back! 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!

1:00-2:00pm Thursday

The Jurassic Church

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

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