Joe Dull just posted this, so I thought I would throw a few more links out there. Here is an fxguide article covering the vfx artists protesting at the Oscars. Below are a few must-read articles from Scott Squires, who is a senior visual effects supervisor and helped lead the protest yesterday.
Also check out VFX Soldier for other news on the mess (VFX Soldier is linked in Joe’s blog too)
And Stu’s post
Another update at fxguide regarding a letter from the Visual Effects Society
A response to the open letter on VFX Soldier
I’m not gonna lie – one of the biggest reasons I chose not to go into high-end visual effects years ago was this crap. At least 13 years ago you were paid 6 figures to work like a slave. Nowadays, finding steady work is nearly impossible and the pay is not as good. Even if you like the pay you see there is the fact that an artist is most-likely hired as an in-house freelancer so benefits and taxes are passed on to the worker directly. Benefits, such as health insurance and retirement, are not there so the artist has to be proactive and seek those plans out himself. That may be fine, but for individuals it is terribly expensive compared to bargained benefits through a more conventional employer.
I tell my students that visual effects are great and it is a great field, but not at the very high-end. Effects for regional television, indie film, and corporate video is much more stable even though it can be less sexy.
I updated this post due to network issues happening when I originally wrote this. Also updated with more links to articles