Wednesday, February 27th, 2013 Posted by Jim Thacker

VES calls for increased Californian VFX subsidies

The Visual Effects Society has issued an open letter to Californian Governor Jerry Brown calling for the state legislature to expand tax subsidies to local VFX studios.

According to the VES: “While California finally created a tax incentive program in 2009, it is woefully inadequate to the needs of today’s entertainment industry.

“In effect, thousands of talented visual effects artists are joining the unemployment lines or becoming ‘migrant film workers’, chasing the work outside our borders because that’s where the jobs have been going.”

The letter comes in the wake of Sunday’s Oscar demonstration, which saw around 400 visual effects artists take to the streets near the Academy Award ceremony to protest at conditions in the industry.

Mixed reactions from other campaigners
The open letter has received a mixed response from other campaigners. VFX Soldier commented: “I disagree with this idea and I’m very disappointed. Subsidies … have only added fuel to the volatility in the VFX industry.”

“More subsidies don’t lead to more jobs … It’s pretty obvious that US studios are looking to pit governments against each other in the hopes of fueling a subsidy war for their films where only they end up the winner.”

A call to action
The VES has issued open letters before – notably in 2011, calling for better benefits and working conditions for VFX artists – and, arguably, to little effect.

However, today’s announcement goes a step further in providing a standard protest letter to the Californian State Legislature, and contact details for relevant assembly members to which anyone interested can mail it.

Read the full text of the Visual Effects Society’s open letter

Read VFX Soldier’s full response