Agreed Yoss, another thing to remember about the VFX supervisors of today, they started when computer visual effects were in its infancy. If you do an IMDB search on the well known supervisors, you can see where they started, what their first positions were. They range from PAs to Optical Printers to Model Makers to Camera Operators and so forth.
"a small animation studio"
I've noticed that it is pretty common in the animation industry to have relabelled "Effects" to "Visual Effects."
This leads to a lot of confusion so it's important to note what industry an artist works in before assuming that the titles are anything similiar in definition. Specifically the title "Visual Effects Supervisor."
Of course what you're describing is much more what a VFX Supervisor SHOULD be, but I think if that's the description, there may be no more than 10 people in The Netherlands who would fit that description. With an annual output of 15 feature films a year - (only half of which will use any VFX) there's no way to acquire all those skills over here. VFXproducers - virtually non-existent. Shooting extra elements to complete shots? Doesn't happen. We're lucky if someone remembers to shoot a background plate for a bluescreen (seriously)
For all practical purposes, a VFX supervisor over here is someone who tells production in advance that they should 'light their screens evenly' and then hope the best of it. (I'm exagerrating of course) Because getting paid to be on set, will not happen, unless you're on one of those two films a year, that know in advance they will be shooting vfxshots.
Ah...I feel better now. Where's my coffee?
if this goes off topic feel free to delete this I don't want to cause trouble but I feel the need to share some things.
First off, I am not finding any of this degrading or insulting. In fact I am finding it to be very helpful and a excellent source about making my decision. To a degree I feel like a fool but let me explain a little more about myself, my job, and why I feel like a fool for staying sometimes.
My Experience is limited and this started out as an internship opportunity that I got through my school. The reason I've stuck with it for as long as I have at no pay is because it's connected to the series Battlestar Galactica. I wanted something on my demo reel that was broadcast and seen by millions. It just seems like a good opportunity. Well it wasn't what I expected. Apparently all of the staff is Interns. Unpaid interns with the exception of 2 people in the studio. Well after a lot of mistakes that I warned them of that number changed to one person getting paid, and that was because they run it.
So while we are a "small animation studio" it's not traditional hand drawn animation. I don't know what I can say but 70 Percent of what ends up on screen is filmed on a green screen set. So I have to drive to the studio days before the shoot and make sure everything is locked down and ready for the shoot. This includes making sure footage we shot captures correctly onto my computer. Then the day of the shoot I have to make sure everything I talked about into pre production is taken into account. I have to make sure things are lit properly and composed correctly on set. Then the fun part.
Keying, Rotoscoping, Time remapping, Grain removal, etc. Then the frames are sent to a Photoshop team. They do final clean up and add elements I am not responsible for. While they do that I make sure all the comps elements are being made by my team. That includes particles such as fire and various liquids. I then take the dope sheets and all the final elements and put them together in After Effects. Some final color correction and it's ready for broadcast. I also do schedules ...
I also talked with my boss today who put me in a terrible situation. He told me I wasn't being paid 15.50 an hour but that it was a salary based job that added up to 40 hours a week at 15.50. He also said he couldn't pay me more (I asked for 18 at least) and he told me that he couldn't because he wanted to bring on my girlfriend (who he offered 8 dollars an hour) but that together we'd be making 24.00. I told he we don't share a check. He didn't like that. He responded with the only way we could give me more is if he didn't hire her... which is okay because she isn't accepting it. But what I do not get it why he would say this "It's funny how people say they can work for free and then when I start paying them they say it's not enough"... :eek:
Aruna I agree with you as well. I don't have the experience to be a true veteran but I have been running most if not all of the Visual Effects with the help of some really good interns. Together we have made a huge jump for this company in content and quality.It shows with a contract our boos received through our work. So I am proud of my team for all their work and sacrifice but I want better then 8 dollars and hour for them...
But yeah that's what I'd be doing for 15 dollars an hour.
Pretty much everything you said in there just screams "RUN" at me.... If you're working on what is one of the biggest sci-fi tv shows around at the moment, then pretty much everyone should be getting paid. For an intern/work experience person, the reason they usually aren't paid is because it is taking someone else's (who is being paid) time to teach them and keep an eye on them. Ideally, this would balance itself out with the stuff they are doing on their own. Theoretically, the company should be no better or worse off with them around. As soon as they start being an asset to the company that they are working for, they should be paid.
Originally Posted by MarkHawk
For me, the only stuff that I would work on unpaid is the low-budget stuff that nobody is getting paid for. And then only because it gives me more experience at higher-level jobs than I get to do professionally.
Is this kind of thing even legal? I know it isn't over here in the UK....
Mark, well, thanks for another response.. I just have one word for you.. Bail. Seriously. The work that you're doing is more than what you're getting paid (at salary, no less). You'll be much happier if you relocate, to LA, San Francisco, London, Vancouver, hell, almost anywhere else. You have no obligation to the company if they're not going to remunerate you for your time.
I have another question as well, but what exactly are you doing on BSG, and what company in AZ would be working on it (you can PM me if you'd like)? From my intimate knowledge, only Zoic here in LA and Atmosphere in Vancouver have done work on it, and I know that Atmosphere doesn't farm out their work, and it's filmed in Canada. So how does a small studio in Arizona fit into this? I know that this last season will be done in house as well (so maybe they're getting cheaper work done in Az?). Questions, questions.
Yes, the plot thickens...
The in-house VFX Team on BSG stirred up alot of emotions in the Vancouver industry when it was announced that they had decided to become Unionized. (A first for Vancouver.)
I wonder if this is a way around the union issue? I can garauntee that Mark is getting paid waaay less than the in-house team.
This could get very interesting! (And messy...)
Good luck Mark and keep us in the loop.
Aruna I sent you a PM with more information about the company. Since I do plan on finishing up our current set of episodes I rather not name the company publicly but I did send you a little more information so that you could get a better understanding of why the hell I'm working in a desert rather then chilling in Vancouver.
So I am not Zoic, though a friend and myself have attempted to get into Zoic through connections we have but were told a little over a month ago that they aren't currently hiring. A shame but we'd love to end up working for Zoic.
You'll see my contribution at the end of every episode in season 4.
and again I really appreciate all you guys are doing to help me out. Thanks for looking out for me. I think I may be turning down this job offer just based on morals. I don't want to be scamming interns for free work.
Very interesting read, thanks for posting your story Mark. It sounds like you've really run with the ball and to your credit made the best of the situation.
Without being privy to the finer details it sounds like your boss is fleecing you and the interns big time. Flee to someone who respects your time and skills. Or get fixed pay raises at regular intervals IN WRITING.
Well, while there's absolutely no question that you're delivering far more work that anyone would expect from your pay grade ... there are a few other thoughts to consider for a bit... given your level of experience prior to taking this job, (and the various posts here about general entry-level expectations) ...
What kind of job do you think you would have been able to get somewhere else?
At what pay?
At what cost to move if it hadn't already been near you like this opportunity?
What direct experience would you be gaining?
How broad of a pipeline would you actively been able to participate in?
For what it's worth ... I know many people that would pay for admission to the experience you're getting right now right out of the gate. My own personal path was to work for volunteer and relatively low rates on indie projects and TV commercials for three years to build up the reel and experience needed to get into the features division at dd where I work now (one room over from Aruna :) ) .
Your initial instinct to work on BSG is right on mark.
The reason this experience is so valuable is NOT for the pay or even "seen by millions". The value is having something to show that directly addresses the concerns voiced by Aruna in Post #15..
You will have broad experience within the pipeline and have shown you can perform under the pressure of a major network production.
Next year ... how many other 22 year old artists from your class will have this experience? How many other 22 year olds from ANY class will have experience and a track record like this?
How will they stack up in comparison to your work in a stack of resumes and reels if you finish this project ... vs how will you stack up against them if you walk out?
Yes ... this company is taking advantage of your talents and situation .... now the question for you is ... can you make the most by taking advantage of the situation for your own long-term goals ... ?
Not advice .... just thoughts and questions to consider.
Good luck ... with whatever path you choose.
what i wonder is how interns can afford it!
loans? that will cost A LOT in the long run!
rich parents? dont complain, youre freaking lucky!
i remember working as a car salesman (50+ hrs) or full time as a diner manager (40hrs) and attended school fulltime. i had NO time, NO money, and couldnt afford to just not show up to work! now how could you time for or afford interning for free, school, and bills?
i would LOVE to know! lol
I am an After Effects tutor for the Art Institute of Phoenix. Flexible enough to bend for my schedule. Decent-ish pay... :p
Originally Posted by lens_3000
Loans. Ive saved up some money from overages on loans and some money when I worked for a local library before leaving to focus on school.
Im actually trying to send my back to my parents. My younger brother is going in for spinal
surgery and my parents aren't the best financially right now because of various reason. Both full time employees and they try but they are stretched thin. They need some down time before the work themselfs to death. I was hoping to send maybe 25% of what I make home but I don't really like talking about this. I don't like people assuming I am trying to hit the guilt card. So I am by no means spoiled.
Your right, I just don't want to strool down the wrong path so early. Your all pretty understanding of why I am hesitant but reluctant to give it up.
i wasnt aiming anything at you man! im just amazed how people can do it thats all. a friend of mine will be going into the medical field and when she needs to go to internt/residency, who knows how thats going to happen!
Originally Posted by MarkHawk
you are definately talented and i believe i know who you work(ed) for. i heard about that project.
anyways, im trully sorry for your family situation. i have similar things going on as well. i sometimes wish i guilty for choosing this career. i wouldve stuck with a medical field so i could help mine too! :/
I'm amazed as well. I have interns who drive 25 minutes 5 days a week right after 9 hour days at other jobs just to be here. I envy them and there commitment.
Hi guys, sorry to change the topic, but since I have a similar query thought I'll just post it in this thread. I'll be moving to London in a few months' time. I have been working in motion graphics and editing for about five years now, but mainly for corporate productions and some TV work. However I would like to gradually move into visual effects and compositing for TV and film. So my question is how much can I expect as a reasonable salary for a junior compositor in London, with quite a number of years of post production experience behind me. Thanks in advance!