The Ninth Annual VES Awards held at the Beverly Hilton this year was a wonderful evening. The men were dressed in fineries ranging from the most formal to interpretations of Edwardian garb all the way to elegant Goth. The women were all pretty and covered, sometimes barely, in shimmering golds and soft greens. Fresh faces sat at each table woven in among the time-tested faces of the pioneers and near-pioneers of our business. If the VES performed no other role other than to bring us all together as a family once a year then they would have had reason enough to exist.
We are now engaged in a great change that has swept our old notions of our business out the door along with a fair number of ourselves. While the volume of visual effects work worldwide has increased a very large portion of the work is done overseas and unless we can find some way to stop electricity from being produced in China we can expect to face a continuing drain of the work - certainly out of California and largely out of the U.S. in general. Unionizing will not help unless the state and local governments put into place a large and sustained incentive program to keep the work here, mirroring what our competitors are doing.
Certainly we must do what we can to adapt but realistically, only a certain number of us will be able to make the transition successfully. Others will drop into the visual effects past uncertain as to whether they jumped, were pushed or simply let go.