vfxAssemble – What Happened

vfxAssemble Wraps

The vfxAssemble campaign finished on 10th November and we’d like to give a big shout out to all those who took part in it. Thanks to all of you out there who believed in it!

Also, a very special thanks to everyone in the VFX branch committee, our VFX branch chair Joe Pavlo, and the BECTU Branch rep Paul Evans and everyone else who worked on vfxAssemble for their tireless efforts to make our industry a better place for every one of us.

While we didn’t reach 50% membership at any of the four big London VFX facilities: (Double Negative, Framestore, ILM and MPC), hundreds and hundreds of you did believe in a better vfx industry and did sign up for vfxAssemble.

What Have We Achieved?

Because of all of you, vfxAssemble has started conversations and raised awareness and we are now a stronger VFX union than before. The VFX branch of BECTU is now the biggest and most active visual effects union anywhere in the world!

Building a movement isn’t easy and it doesn’t happen overnight and it certainly takes a lot of work. We’re hoping that a whole bunch of you that got inspired by the vfxAssemble campaign will join the union now and become active in helping to grow this movement.

Even when the progress is in small steps, it’s plain for all to see that what we are doing is moving things forward, changing attitudes and changing our industry for the better. One movement at a time, one campaign at a time, we are creating a space for the VFX union.

Going Forward

What we who have joined the union envisage in the not too distant future is an industry where VFX workers don’t have to lead unsociable and unhealthy lives. Where women working in the industry are not victims of geek sexism and an equal voice and equal pay isn’t left to chance. Where a juniors pay doesn’t average out to below the living wage because of unlimited unpaid overtime. Where film credits are guaranteed for those who work on the visual effects. Where more experienced artists do not have to fear being singled out and blacklisted for wanting a better and fairer industry. Where vfx workers can feel confident that their skills and experience are valued by the London visual effects industry. Where they can all feel that the industry they work for is also working for them.

We Want To Hear From You

The revolutionary vfxAssemble crowdsourcing model for union recruitment has been a huge leap forward for unionisation in our industry. We think the idea that people can pledge to join the union without signing up until enough of their colleagues pledge to join too is a brilliant strategy and we are going to keep working at it and refining it until we are successful. The light bulb is a great idea  In fact, it’s become symbolic of all great ideas, but Thomas Edison made a lot of light bulbs that didn’t work before he got it right. We’re going to keep working at this until we get it right too! Help us make it even better next time around by taking the survey.

We don’t know how long it will take but full unionisation of visual effects is inevitable. The truth is, in the short time that the VFX union has been active we have seen marked improvements in the workplace and the London VFX industry has never been busier. There’s no need to fear unionisation. We are already making things better and it will be only be a matter of time before VFX workers across London collectively choose to assemble a majority to take our industry to the next level and help make it better and stronger for everyone.

Until then, and beyond, it’s never too late to sign up!

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vfxAssemble Facebook Live

We will be talking about vfxAssemble and answering your questions live on Facebook on Monday, 23rd October from 21:00 GMT.

www.facebook.com/VFXunionUK/

vfxAssemble is a way to realise the vfx union we’ve always wanted. Here’s how it works: You pledge to join the union, but you pay nothing and no one’s membership is made active unless we achieve over 50% of the vfx workforce by the deadline. It’s a sort of Kickstarter/crowdsourcing thing. It’s anonymous, it’s risk free and we will only charge you if we are successful in achieving our numbers.

Don’t wait – join today at vfxAssemble.com!

 

 

 

 

London VFX Industry’s Last Chance

Last week we launched vfxAssemble, a new call for unionisation in the London VFX industry. It’s designed so that you won’t have to commit to anything until over 50% of the London VFX workforce is unionised.

Why is the 50% threshold important?

Because it will allow you to have an elected representative inside your workplace, so that if you feel you are being treated unfairly, harassed or made suddenly redundant, you will actually be able to do something about it.

Have you ever had to work unreasonable hours for months on end to meet unreasonable client demands? Have you ever been worried that if you don’t do that you won’t last long in the industry? Are your children growing up without you because you are always at work? Are you not able to start a family because of your job? Have you witnessed or experienced first-hand discrimination, sexism or bullying? Are you worried that the work will move elsewhere and you will be forced to relocate to another continent? Is your physical and mental health suffering as a result of your job?

Whatever your worries might be, there is not a single instance where you wouldn’t benefit from being part of a collective voice.

If together we can’t make things better, you certainly won’t be able to on your own.

November 10th is the deadline to sign up. If we don’t meet our goal by then you won’t be a member, you won’t be charged anything, and London VFX will remain an industry of mostly isolated migrant workers at the mercy of company bosses, tax breaks and weak employment laws.

vfxAssemble is a campaign put together by volunteer VFX workers in their very little spare time. The website might not be sleek, and we don’t have the budget for marketing and advertising. But we want to be part of a better industry, and we think vfxAssemble is the last chance we’ve got to achieve that.

Now it’s up to YOU! Two things happening right away that you can participate in to find out more:

First, there is a big BECTU meeting tonight called “Eyes Half Shut” where we will talk about vfxAssemble, A new research report into long hours in film production followed up with a discussion on Brexit and how it impacts our industry. It’s free to attend and all are welcome

Wed 18 October 2017, 19:30 – 21:00 BST – Regent Hall, 275 Oxford Street, London, W1C 2DJ

Second, there is a Facebook Live session on Monday, 23rd October at 9:00 pm where we will talk about vfxAssemble and you can ask questions live.

facebook.com/vfxunionuk

We hope to see you there.

VFX Assemble!

Today London, tomorrow the world!

Something really huge regarding the VFX union here in London has just happened.

It’s a campaign we’ve been working on for months called vfxAssemble that is a completely revolutionary approach to building our union that, if it works the way we think it will, we could see the majority of people here in London joining by the end of the month!

The number one obstacle to unionisation of VFX has been fear that becoming a member will compromise ones career. Everybody says they’ll join once everyone else does. It’s a catch 22.

So here’s the deal: We have created a way for everyone to join together at the same time with no risk. If successful here in London, it will change the VFX industry around the world overnight!

If you work in VFX, recognise the problems and have always wanted to change our industry for the better then this is for you!If you always thought unionisation was out of reach… that’s all changed. Now is your chance to anonymously and safely show what you think.

vfxAssemble.com is a crowdsourcing idea – sort of like Kickstarter. Basically, you pledge to join the union, but nobody’s membership is activated until we reach our target of over 50%. That way, we all join the union together, overnight!

The Visual Effects industry can’t go on the way it has. We need to fix it and getting organised is the only way to save this industry we all love.

It only takes a few minutes and you only become a member if we achieve our target of over 50% of the VFX workforce here in London. Sign up today.

If we do this, we will make history and we will make VFX a stronger, more sustainable and happier industry. Let’s do this! After all, what have we got to lose?

vfxAssemble.com

VFX – Credit where Credit’s Due!

The VFX Branch of BECTU have launched a Visual Effects Credits Petition to raise the issue with the major studios of uncredited VFX work in their films.

The online petition can be signed and shared here.

Here at VFXforum.org, we’ve been shouting about the credits problem in VFX on specific shows in London like Star Trek Beyond and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them for some time now- but it goes without saying that those are not unusual.

Continue reading “VFX – Credit where Credit’s Due!”

MPC to offer absolute minimum redundancy payments?

Statutory redundancy. Only statutory redundancy.

Last week, we posted our astonishment at MPC’s general attitude as a company to talent and quality. Readers will remember that they’re largely closing down the Compositing Department that won them the Oscar for Jungle Book a few short months ago – and they’re replacing them with the sort of low wage “trainees” that they can get (thanks to Apprenticeship subsidies) to mind the shop until they need to crew up again for a big job.

It couldn’t stink any more than it does, right?

Continue reading “MPC to offer absolute minimum redundancy payments?”