Race to the bottom?

Mon 26 January 2015

I’m notorious for issuing gloomy pronouncements at GDC and elsewhere about the long term decline in artist pay. I often point out that my starting salary in 1995 was about what an 6-year veteran makes today. Maybe I’m just trying to scare the fainthearted out of the business and drive prices back up.

Still, my complaints are nothing compared to what’s been going in the VFX industry. The latest victim is PDI, which will be laying off 500 people. While games has had it’s ups and downs the last few years, VFX has had a brutal time with lots of closures and disruptions.

In that connection I came across VFXSoldier , a site which has been fighting for more unionization in the VFX world. While I’m deeply ambivalent about unionizing in CG — I don’t know if it’s really possible, much less if it’s a good idea — but it’s certainly not something to dismiss without thinking about and it is hard to see how it could make life worse for the poor VFX folks. It’s a worthwhile read just to see how the other half lives. I’m curious to hear what others think.

tags: industry