Dear VFX Soldier:
I will be out at the Art Galley in Vancouver today joining VFX artists who are rallying in support of bringing awareness to the working conditions for VFX artists.
But I have to question your recent post. So this protest is all about film subsidies in British Columbia? I thought it was about rising up in solidarity for workers who are given no dignity or respect and are left without a pension and a paycheque, no health plan no support services for themselves and their families, working on product that generates billions of box-office dollars for the Studios (Warner Bros., Sony, etc) worldwide?
Abolishing film subsidies or even the leveling of the subsidy playing field will not result in shorter work days, overtime pay, health and retirement benefits.
Your film subsidy talking points are exaggerated and grossly oversimplify a complex issue. You continue to disproportionally target British Columbia thereby stirring up cross border animosity. Not everyone wants to work in Southern California. Its a global business.
- US domestic box office is routinely outstripped by foreign box office numbers.
- The $437 million dollar figure is not what it seems. Production companies have up to 30 months to claim a tax credit. At which time they may be claimed at anytime during that period. This budget figure is a guestimate based on what was booked, not claimed, and projected claims. I suggest you call the Finance Ministry for the analysis of the figures. Its not black and white, which is why it doesn’t fit nicely into a soundbite.
- VFX workers are not at a 60% subsidy rate. Labour performed by nonresident VFX artists is not eligible. If you live in Toronto or LA and come to Vancouver to work on a project your salary is not tax creditable.
- A WTO challenge will do nothing about tax incentives stateside
- A WTO challenge will take years in the courts and untold dollars lining the pockets of lawyers all for an unforeseeable outcome, a risky gambit.
- Columbia Tristar is owned by a giant Japanese corporation.
But I digress.
What is doable today tomorrow and next month is taking control of what you want your job to look like. Do you want healthcare, do you want overtime pay, do you want an indexed raise, do you want a credit? The WTO will not give you these. Only you can take action and organize yourselves to demand through collective bargaining what every other motion picture production worker, artist, technician, craftsperson has, a collective agreement.
Have fun today but bear in mind the public cares more about you as a person getting screwed out of healthcare and proper pay and the expensive movie tickets than tax credits in Louisiana, New York, London, Australia and yes British Columbia.
Together We Are Stronger