Disney might have to wait just a little bit longer for its live action Bambi movie. Its VFX workers are filing for unionization.
On August 28th, the VFX, or Visual Effects Crew, filed to be a union, just a few weeks after Marvel’s VFX team did the same thing, according to IATSE (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) and summarized by CNN.
Over 80% of Disney’s team voted for it, and the official count is set for September 12th. In the words of VFX organizer Mark Patch, “With an overwhelming supermajority of these crews demanding an end to ‘the way VFX has always been,’ this is a clear sign that our campaign is not about one studio or corporation.” Patch continued, “It’s about VFX workers across the industry using the tools at our disposal to uplift ourselves and forge a better path forward.”
VFX means, to put it simply, using CGI to make computer-added content to movies look good. They’re the ones who make Caesar in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) look like an ape and not like a guy playing an ape. Without them, Marvel and Disney movies would be in trouble.
If they succeed in becoming a union, and it’s looking that way, that could mean doing what the Writer’s Guild did in May. Going on strike.
After all, Disney, according to a report from way back in March, doesn’t have the best history with treating its VFX team nicely. Victoria Alonso, the former president of physical and post-production, visual effects, and animation at Marvel Studios, apparently kept a blacklist of VFX workers that didn’t meet her demanding standards. “The main one that everyone’s quite scared of is Victoria Alonso…” said Chris Lee, a VFX worker who worked with the company in the past. “If she likes you, you’re going to get work and you’re going to move up in the industry. If you have pissed her off in any way, you’re going to get frozen out.”
The thing is, it doesn’t have to come to a strike. If Disney and Marvel negotiate fairly not just with their VFX workers, but also their writers and actors, there won’t be any need for a strike at all.
What do you think? Is the fact that VFX workers are trying to unionize a sign of a strike in the future? Let me know!
By Inti Navia, Freshman, Columbia College Chicago
All Platforms: @intinavia
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