LOS ANGELES, CA — The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees unveiled its first-ever official study regarding VFX workers’ rates and conditions, Wednesday. The findings paint a picture of an industry in crisis. Some key findings include:
- An overwhelming majority of VFX workers feel that their work is not sustainable in the long term.
- For VFX workers employed directly by film productions, only 12% have health insurance which carries over from job-to-job, and only 15% report any kind of employer contributions to a retirement fund.
- On average, 70% of VFX workers report having worked uncompensated overtime hours for their employer.
- 75% of VFX workers reported being forced to work through legally mandated meal breaks and rest periods without compensation.
- The majority of on-set VFX workers reported working in conditions they felt unsafe in. A further 75% of VFX workers employed by the major film studios had no access to any employer-provided training or educational resources.
- Only about 1 in 10 VFX workers felt able to individually negotiate viable solutions to these challenges with their employer.
IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb said, “These results are alarming, but not surprising. Despite record growth in visual effects as a sector of the motion picture and television production industry and insatiable demand for labor in this field, too many VFX workers are struggling to make ends meet, are working grueling and unrealistic hours, often without overtime pay, and broadly aren’t receiving the benefits and workplace protections they deserve. Benefits and protections their unionized co-workers, in IATSE, already have and depend on.
No one in showbusiness should be treated as a second-class citizen and denied a voice in their workplace simply because they have three magical letters before their job title. These findings underscore not just an urgent need for VFX workers to join together and organize to address longstanding sector-wide issues, but a mandate for IATSE to deploy its resources and support this campaign unwaveringly.”