For the second year in a row, Hollywood's visual effects artists picketed the Oscars to protest the negative trends in the industry. Over five hundred artists and industry supporters met this afternoon to draw attention to the way movie studios are moving their jobs overseas to countries offering higher subsidies, according to Variety. In a statement, the Association of Digital Artists, Professionals, & Technicians called these foreign tax credits "a form of corporate welfare used by Hollywood producers to game various governments against each other." More importantly, they noted these practices have led to lost jobs and shuttered businesses.
Visual-effects artist Daniel Lay told NPR on Saturday that studios have been firing employees or asking them to move out of the country. After reducing its staff from 1,000 to "probably less than 200," Sony has told its remaining visual-effects artists to move to British Columbia if they want to keep their jobs.
Last year, while accepted the Best Visual Effects Oscar for Life of Pi, Bill Westenhofer brought attention to the protests when he thanked Rhythm and Hues for their work on the film. "Sadly, Rhythm and Hues is suffering severe financial difficulties right now," he said. The company filed for bankruptcy and laid off over a quarter of its staff, which prompted last year's picketing. This year the visual-effects community is working to get taxes imposed on visual effects that are imported in from other countries. The key now is to prove that effects are a "good" and not a service.
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