Yesterday the Visual Effects Society (“VES”), a member-driven organization of visual effects artists and practitioners, released a Bill of Rights designed to recognize and address numerous industry-wide issues affecting its membership and the visual effects industry as a whole. The release of the document comes on the heels of an Open Letter to the entertainment industry by the VES, which raised issues about downward spiral of visual effects artist working conditions and benefits as well as facility profit margins around the globe. In a strong showing of unity, the VES Board of Directors unanimously voted to approve the visual effects Bill of Rights at its Board meeting this month.
“In the VES Open Letter, we said it was time to step up as the voice of the visual effects industry by talking to all parties regarding their concerns,” said Eric Roth, Executive Director of VES. “At this time we have engaged in a vigorous dialog with key stakeholders at all levels and believe our Bill of Rights lays out the vital concerns of each segment of the industry Our next step is to focus on bringing all parties together to seek solutions.”
According to BoxofficeMojo, 43 of the top 50 films of all time are visual effects driven – 6 of the remaining 7 films are animated films such as Toy Story. Despite this fact, the Bill of Rights recognizes that issues related to job security and working conditions dominate the concerns for artists and practitioners, while facilities and studios want better business practices and a more even playing field in a changing global economic environment.
To address these concerns, the VES Bill of Rights states that visual effects artists and practitioners, facilities, and studios all have basic rights that need to be upheld in order to recognize the contributions of each group while improving the quality of life and work for artists, practitioners, facilities and studios.
“We have taken significant steps to make this a collaborative process throughout the industry,” said Roth. “The VES is committed to working with its members as well as facilities, unions, guilds, studios and leaders of the entertainment industry to find meaningful, realizable remedies to the concerns we have raised.”
Input on the visual effects Bill of Rights was solicited by VES in numerous meetings, blogs, and forums with entertainment industry representatives from across the industry.
The VES Bill of Rights can be accessed here