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Visual Effects Society issues bill of rights for the industry

September 21, 2011 |  4:58 pm

inception 
Visual effects artists and technicians still don't have a union, but they can at least claim their own bill of rights.

The Visual Effects Society, a trage group representing visual artists and practitioners, on Wednesday took the unsual step of issuing an "Industry Bill of Rights" to "recognize and address numerous industry wide issues affecting its membership."

Citing concerns of poor working conditions and lack of job security for many who work in the industry, the trade group's board recently approved a document that stipulates, among other things, the right of visual effects workers to be paid on time for their work, receive appropriate credit and collect health insurance benefits.

"Today, visual effects are the 'Movie Stars' of studio tentpole pictures -- visual effects make contemporary movies box office hits in the same way that big name actors ensured the success of films in the past,'' the trade group said in a statement. But the globalization of an industry that used to be concentrated mainly in California has left many visual effects artists behind.

"Though the number of jobs has grown worldwide, job security and working conditions have significantly eroded,'' the trade group added.

It's not clear how its bill of rights will be enforced given that the group does not have any collective bargaining authority. Visual Effects Society Executive Director Eric Roth said the document was intended to highlight the concerns of members and spur further discussion. "Our next step is to focus on bringing all the parties together to seek solutions,'' he said.

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Fade out for visual effects

-- Richard Verrier 

Photo: Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Arthur in Warner Bros.' and Legendary Pictures' "Inception." Credit: Warner Bros. 

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