IATSE Launches 2024 VFX Return to Work Survey Amid Significant Momentum

LOS ANGELES, CA — IATSE is set to launch its second annual study into how Visual Effects (VFX) workers’ pay rates and working conditions compare to industry standards, the union announced Tuesday.

“The 2024 VFX Return to Work Survey is part of IATSE’s ongoing effort to create a more sustainable VFX industry where workers are empowered to have a say in their careers and work-life balance,” said IATSE VFX Organizer Mark Patch. “The survey aims to gather vital data on recent work experiences of VFX professionals, providing insights into current industry practices and identifying areas where collective action can lead to meaningful improvements.”

Last year’s survey found the majority did not believe their VFX careers were sustainable in the long term, with 70% reporting unpaid overtime hours, and of the VFX workers employed directly by film productions, only 12% reported having health insurance. Click here to view last year’s results.

This initiative follows a landmark year in which VFX workers courageously stood up for their rights, uniting client and vendor-side professionals for the first time to demand a voice within the industry and a place within IATSE as the union behind entertainment. Specifically, the movement has notched successful unionization drives in just a six month period, including of ‘Avatar’ VFX artists, Marvel / Disney VFX staffers, and DNEG workers in British Columbia and Montreal.

Several VFX Workers who took last year’s survey then went on to successfully unionize their studios were joined by IATSE International Vice President Mike Miller for a virtual survey launch event, a recording of which is available here:

The lineup included:

  • Anna George, Asst. Coordinator, Marvel Studios
  • Summer Benton, Environment Artist on the Avatar sequels
  • Maggie Kraisamutr, VFX In-House Artist
  • James Dornoff, VFX On-Set Supervisor
  • Alex Torres, VFX Coordinator
  • Mark Patch, VFX Worker and IATSE International Representative

While positions like Production Designers/Art Directors, Camera Operators, Sound, Editors, Hair and Makeup Artists, Costumes / Wardrobe, Script Supervisors, Grips, Lighting, Props, and Paint, among others, have historically been represented by IATSE in motion picture and television, workers in VFX classifications historically have not.

IATSE Communications Director Jonas Loeb explained that the Union’s involvement is intended to drive higher participation than ever before, “the more in the VFX community that participate, the more representative the study will be.”

Survey Details:

  • Link to the Survey: https://vfxunion.org/survey/
  • Focus: The survey seeks information on the most recent projects VFX workers have been involved with, either in 2023 or early 2024.
  • Confidentiality: Contact information is required to validate responses, but personal details will remain confidential and will not be published.
  • Previous Results: The results of last year’s survey can be viewed at https://vfxunion.org/2022-survey-results/.

The survey is open to all who work in VFX in the United States, including non-IATSE members. Canadian VFX Workers should use this separate survey: https://canada.iatse.net/vfx-survey

All submissions will be anonymized and tallied with aggregated totals. Submissions will be accepted through at least the end of May, with results slated for release in June.

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The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees or IATSE (full name: International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, Its Territories and Canada), is a labor union representing over 170,000 technicians, artisans and craftspersons in the entertainment industry, including live events, motion picture and television production, broadcast, and trade shows in the United States and Canada.

For more information please contact:
General: comms@iatse.net
Press: press@iatse.net


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