Marvel Studios VFX artists vote to unionize

VFX artists at Marvel Studios vote to unionize and seek to be represented by the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE).

VFX artists at Marvel Studios announced today that they have voted to unionize and say that they want to be represented by the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE).

Over the years, we’ve heard horror stories from Marvel VFX artists about the poor working conditions, where much of the crew are overworked and underpaid, so this move to unionize should come as no surprise. “We are witnessing an unprecedented wave of solidarity that’s breaking down old barriers in the industry and proving we’re all in this fight together,” IATSE President Matthew Loeb said. “That doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Entertainment workers everywhere are sticking up for each other’s rights, that’s what our movement is all about. I congratulate these workers on taking this important step and using their collective voice.

This unionization effort marks the first time that VFX professionals have joined together “to demand the same rights and protections as their unionized colleagues in the film industry.” While positions such as “production designers/art directors, camera operators, sound, editors, hair and makeup artists, costumes/wardrobe, script supervisors, grips, lighting, props and paint, among other have historically been represented by IATSE, workers in VFX classifications historically have not.

For almost half a century, workers in the visual effects industry have been denied the same protections and benefits their coworkers and crewmates have relied upon since the beginning of the Hollywood film industry,” said Mark Patch, VFX organizer for IATSE, in a statement. “This is a historic first step for VFX workers coming together with a collective voice demanding respect for the work we do.

VFX coordinator Bella Huffman added, “Turnaround times don’t apply to us, protected hours don’t apply to us, and pay equity doesn’t apply to us. Visual effects must become a sustainable and safe department for everyone who’s suffered far too long and for all newcomers who need to know they won’t be exploited.” Over the years, the amount of VFX shots in movies have greatly increased, from a few dozen, to hundreds, and even thousands, with some movies including some manner of VFX work in every single shot.

It’s no coincidence that this move to unionize takes place during the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. “We are witnessing an unprecedented wave of solidarity that’s breaking down old barriers in the industry and proving we’re all in this fight together. That doesn’t happen in a vacuum,” Matthew Loeb said. “Entertainment workers everywhere are sticking up for each other’s rights, that’s what our movement is all about. I congratulate these workers on taking this important step and using their collective voice.” The workers are asking for the election to be held as early as August 21st.

Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/marvel-studios-vfx-artists-unionize/

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