What happens now?
Awareness has increased, artists have spoken out, but what does the VFX industry plan to do moving forward?
Treviño told EW, “It’s definitely encouraging that awareness is building. We just have to be smart about how to work with our own companies and the studios from here.”
Though he is no longer working in the film industry, Oberdorfer plans to “talk to the Visual Effects Society and try to get them in front of this issue because we have an organization that already exists for this industry…. But at the same time I think it’d be great if there was a grassroots effort to organize labor around a union.”
Rand contends that real change will have to come from leaders in VFX companies taking a stand on various issues and changing how they do business with studios.
Kaplan told EW that IATSE will continue holding info sessions about unionization and releasing statements encouraging visual effects houses to unionize, but the next step has to be taken by those VFX artists and companies; they have to “band together,” Kaplan said, and sign union cards and contracts for unionization to happen. Emmerich, like Kaplan, believes that VFX artists should unionize but also points out, “They have to do it for themselves.”
VES is also currently organizing a VFX Congress to address issues facing the visual effects industry.
As for Rhythm & Hues, the latest news is that South Korean media company JS Communications Co. has submitted a bid for the struggling effects house, according to The Wall Street Journal. The deadline for all bids is Friday, March 22.
Following its bankruptcy filing, Rhythm & Hues secured $20 million in loans from Legendary Pictures, Universal and 20th Century Fox so it could continue work on those studios’ film projects. Production is expected to be completed on-schedule for Fox’s Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (due Aug. 16), Universal’s R.I.P.D (July 19) and Legendary’s The Seventh Son (pictured above, due Oct. 18). Warner Bros. has pulled two of their films from R&H, 300: Rise of an Empire (due Aug. 2) and Black Sky (no release date set), a source close to the two projects told EW.
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