• Visual Effects Society encourages remote working for VFX artists
  • VFX artists sign petition calling on employers to allow remote working
  • VES: “Right now is the time for the utmost flexibility towards VFX artists and all practitioners”

Good Omens David Tennant doing VFX

VES: Issues statement imploring employers to allow VFX artists to work from home

Source: Good Omens

The Visual Effects Society has issued a formal statement urging support for all VFX artists to work remotely during the ongoing Covid-9 crisis. 

The industry’s professional global honorary society (VES) has called on employers of any size to grant permission for their employees to work remotely during the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic impacting the world.

In its statement it said: “At this time of crisis, supporting the health and safety of our global visual effects workforce is of vital importance.

“Many visual effects practitioners are still hard at work at studios and facilities around the world, when they might prefer to work remotely in this difficult time.

“Municipalities worldwide have been enacting stringent public health protocols to help curb the spread of Covid-19, and that includes strong guidance for employees to work from home, whenever possible.”

The Society acknowledged the concerns around security to protect proprietary work products. However, it stated that “right now is the time for the utmost flexibility towards VFX artists and all practitioners” as the globe manages the crisis.

While many companies are trying to take action, VES said it is optimistic that studios and vendors can find and enact workable solutions.

It added: “To aid this transition to remote work, the VES Technology Committee has issued best practices and guidance for working from home, culled from studios, vendors and facilities.

“The recommendations are designed to help the VFX community by providing technical solutions to common problems practitioners may encounter in preparing and adapting to work from home workflows, acknowledging the security and technical issues involved.”

The full list of guidelines to remotely work are here.

VES has more than 4,000 members in over 40 countries worldwide that contribute to all areas of entertainment – film, television, commercials, animation, music videos, games, new media and special venues.

Vancouver-based VFX professional and colour supervisor at Double Negative Mario Rokicki has started a petition questioning the people holding power over freelancer artists.

His open letter to the Motion Pictures Association has implored the industry to allow VFX artists to work remotely.

At the time of publication, the petition had 9,235 signed with the aim of gaining 10,000 signatures.

Rokicki said: “Many high technology companies sent their staff home and provide remote working capabilities. Unfortunately, VFX Studios around the globe that work on projects for the Hollywood Studios and Streaming Companies are prevented from providing remote working solutions to their staff.

“NDAs (Non-Disclosure Agreements) pushed on VFX studios don’t allow artists, production, tech and support staff to work from home. With often overcrowded facilities and artists that sit elbow to elbow pushing long hour days with overtime puts not only me but also my loved ones at risk of catching the virus.

“The NDAs that are forced on VFX Studios put artists and stuff at the peril. What was minor inconvenience before is the major life risk situation with coronavirus outbreak.

“VFX houses have or can quickly deploy secure technology solutions to allow work from home on the projects that with the magnitude of the pandemic will probably be delayed.”

His final call is “to put aside often legal misguided IP protection measures and harsh NDAs” to enable tens of thousands of dedicated artists to work from home and prevent layoffs.