Jeffrey A. Okun Re-elected as VES Board Chair
Jeff Okun has been re-elected for his 4th term as VES Board Chair. For the complete results, the official release is posted below. Okun continues as chairman at a time of ongoing uncertainty in the visual effects community, especially in California, hard hit recently by studio closures and increased competition from studios across the globe. This production shift has meant greater opportunity for more companies to compete internationally for projects, at the same time forcing budgets downward to levels that see many companies taking work inherently unprofitable just to keep their studios running.
2011 saw the VES become more vocal regarding these changes amidst increased globalization of the industry, efferts that included issuing their Open Letter to VFX Artists, Entertainment Industry at Large as well as the Industry Bill of Rights.
Okun was quite candid in an interview with AWN's Publisher Dan Sarto at 2011's FMX Conference. In that interview, he didn't mince words when discussing the industry:
“The visual effects community is in the worst shape it’s ever been in. I think they’re in some kind of freefall. With the failures of unions and trade organizations, with the economic pressure pushing the non-existent profit margins even deeper, with the number of companies you’ve seen go out of business in the last year, two years, three years, I think you’re seeing symptoms of a very sick system. There has to be some way to fix this thing. How to do it, that’s the mystery. There are a lot of issues involved here, about self-respect, about race to the bottom of the barrel, meaning we must value what we do and find a way to communicate to the people that pay us, that hire us, that we’re not equipment and we’re not a dime-a-dozen, that we’re artists, no less an artist than a cinematographer, than an editor, than a writer, than a director. Those groups of people around the world are treated with respect.”
Press release from VES:
The Visual Effects Society (VES) Announces the 2012 Board of Directors Officers
Jeffrey A. Okun Re-elected as Board Chair
Los Angeles, January 26, 2012 – The Visual Effects Society (VES), announced the 2012 Board of Director officers who were elected at the January 18, 2012 board meeting. The list of officials includes Jeffrey A. Okun, head of visual effects for Prana Studios, who was re-elected for a fourth one-year term as Board Chair.
“I could not be more excited to serve again,” states Okun. “I am thrilled to be allowed to focus on our core mission: creating community, promoting visual effects and the artists who create them. And I am equally thrilled to continue to push the VES 2.0 initiative forward – the initiative to reach out and bring all parties to the table to secure rights and benefits for our industry -- across the board – in film, broadcast, special venue, commercials, games and animation!”
“I look forward to continuing the incredible working relationship Jeff and I have,” states Eric Roth, VES Executive Director. “He is an extraordinarily talented gentleman with a bottomless passion for visual effects and the VES while being uniquely suited to be the voice of the entertainment industry’s defining resource for our craft.”
The 2011 Officers of the VES Board of Directors are: