Once again, a number of visual effects artists are going to be taking to the streets, fighting for their right to entertain us! This so called, “March in March” will be to promote awareness of just how many American visual effects artists are losing their jobs to foreign post-production tax subsidies.
These subsidies have decimated the American visual effects field. Many of the recent major and upcoming films such as Guardians of the Galaxy and the new J.J. Abrams Star Wars movie looking to effects houses outside the United States to cover all the work they need. Plans are still tentative, but the protest will most likely take place on Hollywood Boulevard a short distance from the Oscars. Daniel Lay, a prominent blogger and planner of the event had this to say:
“We’re trying to focus on the destructive impact of the subsidies race. We want to broaden it to include musicians and grips and others who are being drastically effected. It’s great that there’s an Oscar party going on, but a lot of us are being hurt by this subsidy.”
Lay and others have taken things one step further with the creation of the Association of Digital Artists, Professionals and Technicians (ADAPT), a group that seeks tariffs and other possible legal actions for films that use these foreign subsidies.
Ultimately I am a capitalist at heart and I understand that it is the entertainment industry’s best interest to seek out the best deal that they can. They deserve to shop around and get the most bang for their buck, just like everyone else. That said, what does make me grind my teeth is America’s apathy towards the matter and lack of willingness to compete. It goes further than simply the visual effects departments, there is a long list of current American shows (Supernatural, Almost Human, Hannibal, etc.) and movies (Pacific Rim, the X-Men film franchise) whose productions are in other countries (primarily Canada). Again, I don’t fault these shows and films for doing what they have to to get made, but I do mind the lack of effort in America to try and create American media in , y’know, America.
Some states get it, New Mexico for instance is doing everything in its power to attract film and television productions including tax incentives. Breaking Bad was set in Albuquerque because of such an incentive structure and any fan of that show can agree that shooting in New Mexico gave the show its own kind of flavor. One of my favorite current shows, Longmire, is shot in New Mexico as well. Indeed, the need for a centralized entertainment industry has all but evaporated and I would love to see more locations across the USA get in on the act and start vying for many of the production needs of modern TV and film.
So what say you gentle folk both stateside and across the globe, what do you think of the protesters and on the subject at large? I know subjects like globalization and outsourcing aren’t normal topics in these parts, but we really do want to hear from you guys! One favor though, let’s keep the discourse civil. These are hot topics to be sure, but let our passion not overpower our reason.
Via The Wrap