The Union has been accused many times of not reaching out to VFX artists so when an invitation came across this author’s desk about a VES Vancouver chapter’s pub night, I noted not only was it addressed to VES members but also anyone else who had an interest in the VFX community. I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to get out at a low key casual affair, listen to the artists chat about the industry, and put a face to the Union.
I showed up, not too early, and promptly introduced myself to the host, making sure he was aware of my union status. He welcomed me, “we got appies but you have to cover your drinks” and I took a seat at the bar, the social was being held in a open restaurant. As artists began to arrive a few who recognized me said hello, I began to mingle and general conversation ensued. I chatted with a couple of senior professionals, including a discussion with one artist on running his own VFX shop.
I then sparked up a conversation with a production professional whom had been conversing with me over this blog, he had many questions all about clarifying Local 891’s existing VFX jurisdiction in motion picture production.
While engaged in deep conversation, the VES membership committee coordinator interrupted us and told me I was not welcome. We both looked startled and when it was explained that he knew me and we were continuing a conversation she told me this is “a social for working VFX artists only.”
Hmmmm, the invitation said any one with an interest, it wasn’t that specific. Pardon the misunderstanding but talking about VFX artists working conditions is not a relevant conversation? Local 891 has VFX artist members. I thought the VES was an impartial organization. When did the VES start determining whom its members talk to and what they talk about? I am asked daily about the union’s role in VFX. I am requested to reach out and engage the VFX community. However on this night, doing what artists have asked of me was unwelcome, at least for this union representative.
Anyway rather than make a fuss (I have been known to express myself) I bade the production person good night, paid up my bill, and left. You’re dammed if you do and damned if you don’t!
I wonder how the next social’s invite will look?
Union members not welcome?