VES Issues Open Letter, Call To Action
Additionally, for the benefit of our membership and visual effects professionals worldwide, we will work with our global VES Sections and others to promote a healthy and vibrant visual effects industry in every country where visual effects are created. It is for all of our worldwide colleagues – here in California and everywhere else – that we hope a VFX Congress can bring us all together in a truly meaningful way. Details of when and where the Congress will take place will be forthcoming. Together we can make amazing things happen.
As always, feel free to send us your comments at email@example.com.
Visual Effects Society
-----------------------SAMPLE LETTER TO GOVERNOR BROWN AND THE CA STATE LEGISLATURE
Snail Mail is Strongly Recommended – It Gets Noticed Much More
(All have the same address at the State Capitol in Sacramento)
Governor Jerry Brown
Assembly Speaker John Pérez
Senate President Pro-Tem Darrell Steinberg
Senator Ron Calderon, Chair
Select Committee on California's Film and Television Industries
Assembly Member Ian C. Calderon, Chair
Committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media
To Find Your Own Assembly member and State Senator, go to: http://www.legislature.ca.gov/legislators_and_districts/legislators/your_legislator.html
Sacramento, CA 95814
As has become all too apparent over the past few years, and especially in the past few months with the bankruptcy and dislocations of highly respected visual effects houses, the future for professionals who work in the visual effects industry – and the entertainment industry at large in California – is in serious jeopardy. This is particularly ironic in light of the great success of Ang Lee’s Life of Pi, this year’s Oscar winner for visual effects whose work was primarily created at Rhythm & Hues, a visual effects company that just declared bankruptcy.
With the above in mind, I am calling upon you to immediately expand the tax incentive program for the entertainment industry, and to create a more focused approach concentrated on the visual effects and post-production sectors of the industry.
Because we live in a global economy, many foreign countries and other US states are trying to lure visual effects work to their communities by offering incentives in a much more aggressive way than California does. While California created a tax incentive program in 2009 (AB1069, Chapter 731, which was recently extended it to 2017), we need to do much more to meet the needs of today’s entertainment industry here in California.
Thousands of amazing visual effects artists are becoming “migrant film workers” who either join the unemployment lines or get on airplanes to chase work outside our borders because that’s where the jobs are going. The most amazing irony is that while 47 of the top 50 films of all time are visual effects driven (http://www.imdb.com/boxoffice/alltimegross), and billions of dollars of profits are generated yearly, the real people who actually create the work are becoming an endangered species in California.
If all the tax incentives everywhere around the nation and the world were eliminated tomorrow, California could compete with – and beat - anyone, anywhere if there’s a level playing field. California’s economy is not reaching its full potential because thousands of good paying jobs are leaving our state which winds up buttressing the economies of states and countries elsewhere.
California leaders need to take action – right now – or we’ll lose many thousands more jobs, and Hollywood will soon be the equivalent of an empty storefront, all green screens and no magic left to film in front of it. I therefore urge you to expand California’s entertainment incentive program to keep our work here in our home state. Thank you for your time and kind consideration.