Vfx bizzers debate union

CG supervisor says artists don't need a union

Veteran visual effects artist Dave Rand appears to have started an industry-wide conversation with his open letter criticizing IATSE’s slow pace to unionize the vfx industry.

CG supervisor Joe Harkins, who works with Santa Monica-based vfx house Uncharted Territory, responded to Rand’s April 10 letter in his own missive to Variety and other media outlets April 19.

Where Rand and others insist union representation for vfx artists is essential, Harkins dismisses the idea, saying the visual effects industry needs to be protected from itself and not from the studios or its own employers.

Though Rand levied harsh complaints against IATSE, he thinks union representation will help secure critical benefits, including health insurance and retirement funds.

Harkins acknowledges in his letter that not all vfx workers now have such benefits, but he writes that a union could never work for the visual effects industry’s business model. “Our industry is international, and includes thousands of artists spread throughout the world. To come together, as one, with a common voice, would be near impossible.”

Rand argues the industry needs unionization precisely so workers travelling abroad can expect fair, prompt payment.

Harkins says that in lieu of a union, vfx artists need to brand themselves better to remain competitive, though he acknowledges that many are earning “whatever they can negotiate for themselves,” regardless of how cleverly they might advertise their services.

He argues the vfx industry created the paradigm in which it works, and that only the industry itself can solve these problems.

More Digital

  • Dwayne Johnson President

    Alibaba's Youku Signs Deals With NBCUniversal, Sony Television

    Veteran visual effects artist Dave Rand appears to have started an industry-wide conversation with his open letter criticizing IATSE’s slow pace to unionize the vfx industry. CG supervisor Joe Harkins, who works with Santa Monica-based vfx house Uncharted Territory, responded to Rand’s April 10 letter in his own missive to Variety and other media outlets […]

  • Andrea Russett

    YouTube Star Andrea Russett Signs TV, Film Development Deal With Fullscreen

    Veteran visual effects artist Dave Rand appears to have started an industry-wide conversation with his open letter criticizing IATSE’s slow pace to unionize the vfx industry. CG supervisor Joe Harkins, who works with Santa Monica-based vfx house Uncharted Territory, responded to Rand’s April 10 letter in his own missive to Variety and other media outlets […]

  • Redbox On Demand - Roku

    Redbox Launches Digital Movie and TV Service, Without Disney Titles

    Veteran visual effects artist Dave Rand appears to have started an industry-wide conversation with his open letter criticizing IATSE’s slow pace to unionize the vfx industry. CG supervisor Joe Harkins, who works with Santa Monica-based vfx house Uncharted Territory, responded to Rand’s April 10 letter in his own missive to Variety and other media outlets […]

  • apple_amf_finisar_gear_20171214

    Apple Invests $390 Million in iPhone X Chips From Finisair

    Veteran visual effects artist Dave Rand appears to have started an industry-wide conversation with his open letter criticizing IATSE’s slow pace to unionize the vfx industry. CG supervisor Joe Harkins, who works with Santa Monica-based vfx house Uncharted Territory, responded to Rand’s April 10 letter in his own missive to Variety and other media outlets […]

  • T-Mobile and Layer3 TV

    T-Mobile Jumps Into Internet TV Arena With Layer3 TV Acquisition

    Veteran visual effects artist Dave Rand appears to have started an industry-wide conversation with his open letter criticizing IATSE’s slow pace to unionize the vfx industry. CG supervisor Joe Harkins, who works with Santa Monica-based vfx house Uncharted Territory, responded to Rand’s April 10 letter in his own missive to Variety and other media outlets […]

  • Mediapro, IMG, Film45 Producing Amazon Manchester

    Mediapro, IMG, Film45 Producing Amazon Prime Video Manchester City Series

    Veteran visual effects artist Dave Rand appears to have started an industry-wide conversation with his open letter criticizing IATSE’s slow pace to unionize the vfx industry. CG supervisor Joe Harkins, who works with Santa Monica-based vfx house Uncharted Territory, responded to Rand’s April 10 letter in his own missive to Variety and other media outlets […]

  • Dreamscape_Logo

    Dreamscape Immersive Partners With Nickelodeon for Location-Based VR Experience

    Veteran visual effects artist Dave Rand appears to have started an industry-wide conversation with his open letter criticizing IATSE’s slow pace to unionize the vfx industry. CG supervisor Joe Harkins, who works with Santa Monica-based vfx house Uncharted Territory, responded to Rand’s April 10 letter in his own missive to Variety and other media outlets […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content