Monday, April 23, 2012

If You Were to Create a Bargaining Unit for Visual Effects Artists; What Would You Call It?

If You Were to Create a Bargaining Unit for Visual Effects Artists; What Would You Call It?

Here is a question posed to several visual effects artists and supervisors over the past several months. Their answers reveal there is not real consensus yet. It may be because of the myriad of employment relationships in the industry. Perhaps not enough time and effort had been given to the idea or maybe more artists need to put in their two cents. Here’s your chance.

What could be more important than choosing the right name?

A name projects an image; positive or negative. It’s up to the individual hearing the name to interpret that of course, but this shows why we must take great care when choosing a name that represents everyone in the group. A good name projects confidence, reliability, professionalism, perhaps even tradition or newness. Future as well as existing businesses, individuals, organizations and even politicians will ask themselves:

  • Do I want to align myself with this group?
  • Does the name create a positive image?
  • Is the name marketable?
  • Will it look good on a resume or as a sponsor?
  • Does it dominate an entire category?
  • Is the name easy to remember?
  • Is it easy to pronounce?
  • Is the name original?
  • Is the name clever?
  • Does the name have staying power?
  • Is it distinguishable from the competition?

These are some questions you might consider as you create a name to describe the group.

Here are some traditional terms used in naming groups of workers:

  • Artists
  • Alliance
  • Allied
  • Network
  • Affiliation
  • Employees
  • Media
  • Multimedia
  • Council
  • Guild
  • Union
  • League
  • United
  • Workers
  • General
  • Trade
  • Industry
  • Commonwealth
  • Association
  • Federation
  • Confederation
  • International
  • Independent
  • Amalgamated
  • Committee
  • Organization
  • Professional
  • Society
  • Fraternal

You might try a combination of the previous names with a specific description of the work performed or industry segment. Hopefully this will start the conversation. Reply with your thoughts.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Build Trust in the Workplace

Watch this brief (1:00 min) video on the role of trust in the workplace. Treat coworkers with respect. Share what you know. Take newbies under your wing. Avoid talking behind people's back or they will wonder what you are saying when they are not around. Build trust for a successful, long lasting career.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Communication Skills for Professionals in the VFX Industry

Communication skills will be in high demand as the visual effects industry experiences record growth. The next generation of visual effects leaders are getting prepared for what is to come. Watch this brief video to find out more.

Friday, April 13, 2012

How the Big Six Film Production Companies Put the Squeeze on VFX Artists

Anyone in the industry can tell you, profit margins for visual effects companies are razor thin. Companies go under all the time. You may have had the unfortunate experience of working for one of these here-today-gone-tomorrow houses. Hopefully you were able to collect all money owed, but this is not always the case.

Competition between Companies

Companies are being encouraged to take their work out-of-state or overseas to increase their competitiveness. VFX artist’s; because they are not represented and often don’t think of themselves as employee’s per se settle for being classified as; temps, independent contractors, 1099ers or permalancers a term  used to describe permanent employees cloaked as freelancers. This is a recipe for a disastrous career. Add to this the over 250 job titles used to describe visual effects workers and you can see that the ship is heading for the rocks, but that’s just the start.

Studio Gate Keepers

Now throw in this toxic soup an ingredient of entitlement on behalf of the major studios. They’ve run roughshod over VFX companies for years. There’s not a company around that can afford a bad reputation with a major studio and the studio heads know it! Alienate just one of the six studios and you lose 15% of your opportunities in the future. It’s a small club and so a bad reputation with one studio could kill your chances with the others.

So what have the studios done? They’ve created the perfect situation for themselves; some would call it a monopoly. Now add the best negotiators in the business and put them in position of gate keeper and make VFX Company’s deal with this person.

Hey! There are only six of us! You plan on doing more films in the future right? XYZ Company does this for us! Why can’t you? Lower your bid, throw in extras, make changes faster, do the impossible! Otherwise, we can’t promise you’ll get that next film even if you are the lowest bidder!  Sound familiar?

Who ends up paying for this in the long-run? The VFX worker pays in the form of lower wages and benefits, longer hours and those all too common freebees.

The Big Six and the Mini Majors

Watch this brief video 1:17 min to test your knowledge and memory of the Big Six and Mini Majors that control much of the motion picture industry.

Get Involved! It's Your Future!

Watch this brief 1:20 min video message about the current state of the VFX industry and how you can get involved helping bring about positive change for you and your coworkers.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Yes You Can VFX Industry! Yes You Can!

Watch this brief video to find out how making a conscious effort to avoid negative individuals can lead to career success.  Don't allow nay sayers to rob you of your future! Distance yourself from people heading nowhere and surround yourself with positive upwardly mobile individuals dedicated to self improvement.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Stop Treating VFX Artists Like Crap!

Why do some companies claim their employee's are like family and then treat them like crap? What can managers and business owners in the VFX industry do to increase artist morale? Is it good for a company's bottom line when workers miss important family events and neglect their own health? Watch this brief 1:40 min video to find out how managers and owners can increase employee morale in the workplace. Share this message with your coworkers. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Where Do You Fit In Their Plan?

Watch this brief 1.32 min video for simple career advice that can help save you time and avoid headaches. What's the best career advice you've ever been given? Bob Oedy shares an experience that was a real eye opener for him and may be for you too. Find out what plans the company has for your advancement and growth.

Monday, April 9, 2012

What's Holding Back VFX Workers?

Watch this video to discover the number one obstacle holding back visual effects workers at this time. Hint; it's not overseas competition, cost cutting or state subsidies. Find out how you can get involved in professionalizing the industry.