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

June 11, 2013

Sad state of the Visual Effects Industry and VFX in Los Angeles – 100 hour weeks & homeless

This post below from Scott Squires makes for sobering read of the state of the industry over in the States.

"For profit schools are multiplying at an incredible rate and being funded by money machines such as Goldman Sachs to sell dreams to people, young and old. The problem is those dream don't exist. These schools are churning out thousands of graduates to an industry without jobs. The only selection process at these types of schools is can you pay or can you sign this student loan from the government.  Your aptitude and your potential talent is never evaluated. Guidance counselors never reveal the reality of the industry you're getting into or your odds. In most cases these diploma mill types of schools teach very little of value and even those that do now have cranked out so many others it doesn't matter. It's hard to stand out and even when you do it's hard to get a job. When you do get a job you will likely be working long hours and then have to move to find your next project.

and connected to that story by Jeff Hauser
"Victor has been unable to find other work because he’s often working so many hours, frequently reaching 80 to 100 hours a week. The stress is so intense that he feels it is affecting his mental health and mild dyslexia is getting worse. He worries about legal remedies or going public because he needs to work and fears the company he works at the most would be put out of business. Victor concludes, “There would be a scandal if it was ever found out that the worlds largest recording artists used a sweat shop/borderline slave labor in Los Angeles for their own personal gain in digital cosmetics/beauty.”"
"Are the schools doing enough to prepare graduates for the real world? How can artists deal with abuses and labor law violations? How can we fix an industry where a sort of Stockholm Syndrome exists where artists love the work so much that don’t seek available remedies because they worry the company they work for would go out of business if they had to pay properly or on time as required by law?
All I can try to do here in terms of wrapping up this story is to reiterate some common labor issues. These issues are common to all crafts  - visual effects, previs, games, motion graphics… and cross all borders."

These sad state of affairs is coming to be the norm in the industry. And with so many private schools world wide popping up feeding the dreams of the young people. If you are reading this and or know someone who is thinking of entering into the visual effects industry or related fields, please get them to read about the scams that these art for profit schools pull. Do not get into debt trying to get into the industry. Especially to get student loans to get into VFX. Animation is still something doable because it is flexible enough to branch out but even then, you got to have some artistic talent.

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