Marvel’s VFX workers explain unionisation request

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Marvel’s in-house VFX workers are moving to unionise, and one or two have been chatting about why they’re doing so.

We heard earlier this week that around 50 or so VFX workers from Marvel Studios’ own in-house VFX team have banded together to seek unionisation. It’s a big moment for the VFX industry, especially in the United States where a lack of organised labour prevents people in this industry from obtaining g healthcare benefits or even claiming overtime.
The VFX sector is an overworked industry that is crucial to the successes that line the pockets of Hollywood studios. Mark Patch, a VFX organiser for the industry union IATSE has spoken about the need for unionisation, saying that these workers are just: “asking just to be put on the same deal as the people working alongside of us and be given access to health care and a pension fund and the basic protections of work – we feel that this is one of the most reasonable demands that anyone’s ever made.”
Part of the problem the industry has faced over recent years is that spike in demand for VFX work. Marvel Studios’ Phase 4 contained more hours of film and TV programming than its previous three Phases combined, meaning more work  than the VFX industry can handle without resorting to unhealthy labour practices such as unpaid overtime and worker crunch.
In the piece at IGN, Gabrielle Levesque, another VFX artist that has worked for Disney, adds “it definitely feels more like a conveyor belt nowadays than necessarily each project being given its own thought and time… It really becomes like the McDonald’s of content.”
That’s certainly an issue that critics of the MCU have picked up on, and decreasing quality of VFX serves nobody. Hopefully, the pending unionisation of Marvel’s in-house VFX team will lead to further positive changes across the US industry and beyond.

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