What I tell myself everyday.

To all the people watching, I can never ever thank you enough for the kindness to me, I'll think about it for the rest of my life. All I ask is one thing, and this is.. I'm asking this particularily of young people that watch: Please do not be cynical. I hate cynicism - for the record it's my least favorite quality, it doesn't lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen. I'm telling you, amazing things will happen." - Conan 'O'Brien

November 7, 2012

Thoughts about Lucasfilm Employee Terminated After Tending To Pregnant Wife

There have been lots of comments over at VFX Soldier about the termination of an employee at Lucasfilm Singapore after tending to his pregnant wife who suffered from a medical condition.

I like reading VFX Soldier. Its informative and while highlighting a lot of the negative aspects of working in the industry. But its always with the constructive purpose for the rest of us. To understand the rules of the game that we are in. But in this instance I feel that is unfair to write an article like this merely from listening to one side of the story. Its very easy to paint this as a big evil corporate company against the little helpless CG artist.

I not disputing that there might be a legitimate case happening but I feel that there is always 2 sides to the story. I do not know this individual but I wonder if there is something that he might have done that contradicts with the terms of the contract? Or perhaps that the level of work performed in the eyes of the management does not justify his pay package? Are these issues made aware by that individual for the article?

I think that I am going to get flamed for this but prior experiences with working with people have lead me to understand that there is a difference in management of expectations. Many come expecting the pipeline to be in perfect working order or that they will get good shots. Maybe the recruitment who are desperate for the head count sold them a rosier picture than expected and when they arrived, it's a shock. Some are just too trusting of companies to think that they will want to grow the individual. Obviously there are some that have egos bigger than the fucking death star but none of the talent to back it up.

Others come here with a sense of entitlement, that they are the top dogs in a outsource facilities and that they should get the best shots or assets because they have the big movies under their belts etc... They happen in any facility, any industry whether in US or overseas. There are a few who just plain suck but because of good ass-kissing or office politics what not... managed to move up in management... you get the point.
Again I must iterate that not all are like these. A good majority of CG artists whom I had the pleasure of working with locally and overseas are genuinely nice, decent and capable people. All I am saying is that there are always two sides to the same coin.

It is unfortunate that this happened and I empathize with the situation that Luis is in, I genuinely do. It sucks big time to be in that situation. And I wish him and his family all the best. I just hope to know the some truth in what actually happened that resulted in this so that everyone else who wants to work overseas can be prepared.


  1. I agree with what you're saying about two sides of the coin. But what if one side keeps it all tightly under lid and doesn't defend their behaviour? Then you have no choice but to get facts from the other side...

  2. That is why I am very glad that vfx soldier raised the issues and people from lucasfilm contributing. They need to realise that they cannot just cover everything up.

  3. Give Singapore ILM the 'benefit of the doubt'? This is a criminal company prosecuted for colluding with other companies to artificially reduce wages
    who runs a company in Singapore, a country renowned for it's awful working conditions and high cost of living run by a dictatorship known to subsidize and influence local company policy
    I don't think it's a coincidence that the VFX Soldier in question is Russian who would obviously prefer a temporary working visa anywhere rather than returning home to reduced job opportunities and working conditions therefore insidious HR staff know they have the upper hand in any negotiation