Be The Change, Break The Cycle

Posted: February 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

Kudos to all the artists and supporters who made it out to the rally on Sunday in the cold rain of Vancouver and the clear skies of Los Angeles. It was a tremendous display of solidarity; vfx artists caring for one another to better their working lives.

The question now is have you reached the tipping point? Or was this a one off and everyone has gone back to work toiling away creating awesome shots, still no security or benefits, no dignity or respect. Are you going to let the cycle repeat itself? Because it will.

As I met with artists on Sunday, I heard comments like:

The studios and shops need to appreciate us.

My company treats me really good I don’t need a union.

It’s not the companies fault it’s the broken business model.

If I join the union I will lose my job.

The artists at Rhythm and Hues didn’t have a union but they still lost their jobs. I bet they aren’t feeling too appreciated now that they are owed their pay checks. It wasn’t their fault they worked for a “broken business model”. What would their situation look like right now if they had lost their job in a unionized shop?

This is how it works for US IATSE members who lose their job when a company or production folds.

It’s similar in Canada, different laws, but overall it’s the portability of benefits and the security of having the union at your back so you don’t have to fight alone for what is owed you. It’s about dignity and respect.

We all need to put food on the table, a roof over our heads, take the kids to daycare, none of this is free. Organized people = organized power aka leverage.

Now ask yourself do you want to be the change that breaks the cycle? You marched on Sunday with your colleagues, have you talked to your co-workers today? How are they feeling? How are your colleagues across town doing? Maybe you weren’t able to get to the rally, that doesn’t stop you from reaching out, getting together to talk to one and another about being the change to break the cycle.

Together We Are Stronger = #vfxunite = #vfxunion

For artists in Canada:


IATSE Local 891

Dusty Kelly



IATSE Local 667

Christian Lemay



Julia Neville


For artists in USA


Vanessa Holtgrewe


The Animation Guild

Steve Kaplan



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