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Cosmo Ray

Motion Graphics Artists Union

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http://mgau.org/

 

I know it's been talked about for a while, but it's interesting to see someone taking some sort of action with it. How far it will lead we'll just have to see. The design choices bring a sort of blunt and sobering honesty to their message, but also make it a little difficult to take seriously. I imagine someone just hit the wall after their 50 hour work week and threw it online in a furious rage.

 

What do you guys think?

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If the client grabs your balls, then you grab theirs. They are much less likely to give em a twist if they know you'll do the same.

 

I'd love to say our industry runs on goodwill and trust (SOMETIMES it does)...but on the whole it's the law of the jungle.

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Well I guess there's your answer... being over-worked is how we measure our success now.

Looks like management got exactly what they wanted.

 

*golf clap*

 

-m

 

Indeed. Standing up to NOT work 50 hours is harder.

 

"We are here to perform a task so great that it appeals to our best thought, our united energies, and will enlist our most loyal support; a task in the presence of which weak men might falter and despair, but from which it is impossible to shrink without betraying the working class."

 

Eugene Debs, on establishing the Industrial Workers of the World

 

c

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Well I guess there's your answer... being over-worked is how we measure our success now.

Looks like management got exactly what they wanted.

 

*golf clap*

 

Unfortunately sometimes (more like most of the time) a 40 hour workweek isn't enough to finish a project ... How many projects have you been able to finish in a reasonable amount of time and still make it as good as YOU want it to be. I work on average 50ish hours a week and even though it is extra time it helps get the project done

 

PS thanks for the golf clap monkey :P haha

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Unfortunately sometimes (more like most of the time) a 40 hour workweek isn't enough to finish a project ... How many projects have you been able to finish in a reasonable amount of time and still make it as good as YOU want it to be. I work on average 50ish hours a week and even though it is extra time it helps get the project done

 

PS thanks for the golf clap monkey :P haha

I was actually clapping for the management, florio. ;)

 

If a 40 hour workweek is not enough to finish a project, the management has several options:

 

1) compensate your workers for working more than 40 hrs

2) hire more workers

3) increase the amount of time for the project

4) decrease the amount of work for the project.

 

That's all that website is saying and it ain't fucking rocket science.

 

The current system involves compensating artists for less than what their time is worth by making them feel like it's their duty to make the project succeed. How about this for an idea. Maybe the producer should have told the client how long the gig would *actually* take... and budget resources accordingly.

 

-m

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Unfortunately sometimes (more like most of the time) a 40 hour workweek isn't enough to finish a project ... How many projects have you been able to finish in a reasonable amount of time and still make it as good as YOU want it to be. I work on average 50ish hours a week and even though it is extra time it helps get the project done

 

PS thanks for the golf clap monkey :P haha

 

I presume the client also pays for the 50h that you work on it, right? If you don't, aren't you shooting yourself in the foot?

 

Ofcourse I work a couple more hours myself just to make that project better and the client happier, but that is my own choice and I'm still growing as I'm pretty new compared to the rest.

 

But would you really don't want to get paid that 10 extra hours?

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50 hours has been the standard since i started and it's been pretty much the bare minimum. until we truly learn how much these shops are making on top of their bottom line, there's always going to be that young hungry recent graduate who's willing to put in those hours because he/she is under the presumption that they're getting paid well to do so.

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I was actually clapping for the management, florio. ;)

 

If a 40 hour workweek is not enough to finish a project, the management has several options:

 

1) compensate your workers for working more than 40 hrs

2) hire more workers

3) increase the amount of time for the project

4) decrease the amount of work for the project.

 

That's all that website is saying and it ain't fucking rocket science.

 

The current system involves compensating artists for less than what their time is worth by making them feel like it's their duty to make the project succeed. How about this for an idea. Maybe the producer should have told the client how long the gig would *actually* take... and budget resources accordingly.

 

-m

 

I cant agree more. The big problem we are all facing in this industry is that we do what we love and more often than not we let that out weigh what is right. It is this mentality that leads to lower wages and not being fully compensated for our hard work. There needs to be a big shift in the motion design industry and our mentalities if we ever want this industry to grow and prosper. Times are tough and budgets are getting cut but that doesn't have to mean we have to get taken advantage of.

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You see, what bothers me is being judged for leaving at 5:00 even when I've managed my time well and worked quickly and efficiently. Mind you, I find that judgement comes from other designers even more often than it comes from the employers.

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You see, what bothers me is being judged for leaving at 5:00 even when I've managed my time well and worked quickly and efficiently. Mind you, I find that judgement comes from other designers even more often than it comes from the employers.

 

not me. i applaud anyone willing to stand up against the shop. it's probably not spite you're sensing, but rather you're seeing them wrestle with themselves to get up and leave too.

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I gave it a like. I am salary base though. Therefore, it's completely up to me what hours I choose and how long I stay. I usually will slip out early on the slow days to make up for the 12 hour ones. Its really up to you on how you want to manage your time and how hard you want to drive yourself into the ground. Although, it is a lot easier to say that if your not a fresh out college student. My first year in the industry, I actually asked my Boss if I could get something to eat around 3pmish. I neglected lunch because I was slammed with a shit ton of little projects. We were so busy that it seemed impossible to eat a meal. She scolded me for asking that question. She told me you should never have to do something like that again. I may not be in the commercial industry standard here but there is a line that needs to be drawn where you are doing your job well or just killing yourself.

 

We all want to be reliable, dependable and go getting. You just need to be honest with yourself sometimes and say "this shit isnt getting done today".

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There are too many facets to this issue to be tackled in a concise statement, esp while working : )

 

But I will say this, on a lot of these thread posts, I've noticed something.

Amongst all the inconsistent beliefs regarding work standards, etc, there have been some

pretty consistent attitudes that are troubling to me.

 

It's this macho bullshit about how long you can work, for less money.

What do you have at the end of the day to show for it? Bags under your eyes as a badge of honor?

A well worn path to the coffee machine? Your lax attitude about the true fiscal and temporal worth of your labor

betrays an ignorance and a lack of experience.

 

This is a young and burgeoning industry, but that's no guarantee it will always be there for you.

Outsourcing and competitive markets are very real things that threaten all workers, in all fields.

 

I'm not sure unions are the answer, and I don't necessarily know what is, but the divisions between us stem from

our attitudes toward our work.

 

Just 'working on cool stuff for cool people' is useless as a standard. It means nothing.

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I presume the client also pays for the 50h that you work on it, right? If you don't, aren't you shooting yourself in the foot?

 

Sometimes (lately btw 25%-50%) of the time I get comped for my OT but I know that being a staffer I'll never get fully comped for all fo my time ... Also realistically some of that 50 hours is me sitting on mograph.net or vimeo fartin around until my renders finish. Now to address the_Monkey's point of PROPERLY MANAGING the clients expectations ... He couldn't be more right. Alot of the OT that most artist work is due to someone not knowing how much time goes into making a project.

 

Realistically I don't ever see my job being a 40 hour workweek but one could dream.

 

I like this thread ... everyones making solid points :)

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There are too many facets to this issue to be tackled in a concise statement, esp while working : )

 

But I will say this, on a lot of these thread posts, I've noticed something.

Amongst all the inconsistent beliefs regarding work standards, etc, there have been some

pretty consistent attitudes that are troubling to me.

 

It's this macho bullshit about how long you can work, for less money.

What do you have at the end of the day to show for it? Bags under your eyes as a badge of honor?

A well worn path to the coffee machine? Your lax attitude about the true fiscal and temporal worth of your labor

betrays an ignorance and a lack of experience.

 

This is a young and burgeoning industry, but that's no guarantee it will always be there for you.

Outsourcing and competitive markets are very real things that threaten all workers, in all fields.

 

I'm not sure unions are the answer, and I don't necessarily know what is, but the divisions between us stem from

our attitudes toward our work.

 

Just 'working on cool stuff for cool people' is useless as a standard. It means nothing.

 

I wont deny that there are some like that here. At the same time, I think that attitude may stem from the fact that technology has allowed us to do things easier that were a lot more complicated in the past. Meaning. The veterans are looking at fresh faces that whipped something up in a matter of hours which took days for them a few years ago. I think its about paying your dues vs working yourself to death in some instances.

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<div>

I'm not sure unions are the answer, and I don't necessarily know what is, but the divisions between us stem from<br />

our attitudes toward our work.

</div>

<div> </div>

<div>One simple solution we should see more of IMO is hourly rates with a minimum call, like you see for some people working in film production. E.g. no matter the length of the job you are garaunteed to be paid for 4 or 8 hours and then it's hourly after that. Even setting aside the issue of time and a half if people could straight up just get paid for every hour they work it would be a start. Lots of graphic designers bill hourly why not for motion...</div>

 

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I freelance at an hourly rate with built in OT and DT and find it to be more than fair. If the project is on a tight budget you get reasonable hours and if it's a tight deadline you get compensated.

 

I think this should be the standard.

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Its obvious that people are being taken advantage of in this industry, and those of us who are more strict with how we bill for our time are losing gigs to people with flat daily rates, which is really the only problem I have with the stsus quo. But those are the ones who get angry and over-reaching / over-reacting, pissing off the client. I say everyone is responsible for their own billing practices. If you believe your being compensated unfairly, leave after the current project is done and move on to the next client. Pretty fuckin simple if you ask me.

 

I don't believe in contractors charging overtime, because that legally crosses an employee vs contractor line, but do practice using an unvariable hourly rate with no cap. I also don't like the notion of some entity telling me how I should bill my clients. Like most on here, I AM NOT AN EMPLOYEE, which means I don't fall into labor laws etc and should act as such. Potential clients who gawk at my rate when they first hear it almost always come back around for at least a time estimate after the person they went with practicing an 8-10 hour based day rate started copping an attitude after a couple long days, resulting in sub-par or incomplete work.

 

Sorry to be a party pooper, but to everyone on this bandwagon, its your own damned faults in my book. (Directed to independent contractors ie: "freelancers" only. )

Edited by AromaKat

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You have no choice, except to not let yourself be over-worked.

This is something that cannot be gamed.

You'll just crash and burn or become so obnoxious they'll can you.

Computer graphics is unusually hard on the system - the constant micro motions

and decisions, not to mention eyeball burn.

 

Think of yourself as a fine instrument - which you are. Protect yourself, and don't

let idiot producers abuse you.

 

I get my very fastest, and best work done in 8 hour a day, union shops. When you

only have 8 hours, you stay focused. You come to work relaxed and ready to go.

When I briefly work in the 10-hour a day shops, it feels draggy and drawn out.

Nature protects you by slowing you down. Otherwise you'd just keel over

dead.

 

It's hard to tell producers that the more they over-work you, the less they get all around.

But the real professional shops understand this. Producers get a little jealous because

of the shorter hours, but their jobs are far less physically stressful.

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You have no choice, except to not let yourself be over-worked.

This is something that cannot be gamed.

You'll just crash and burn or become so obnoxious they'll can you.

Computer graphics is unusually hard on the system - the constant micro motions

and decisions, not to mention eyeball burn.

 

Think of yourself as a fine instrument - which you are. Protect yourself, and don't

let idiot producers abuse you.

 

I get my very fastest, and best work done in 8 hour a day, union shops. When you

only have 8 hours, you stay focused. You come to work relaxed and ready to go.

When I briefly work in the 10-hour a day shops, it feels draggy and drawn out.

Nature protects you by slowing you down. Otherwise you'd just keel over

dead.

 

It's hard to tell producers that the more they over-work you, the less they get all around.

But the real professional shops understand this. Producers get a little jealous because

of the shorter hours, but their jobs are far less physically stressful.

 

 

Totally agree.

Gotta take care of your instrument, and charge appropriately for unboxing

and using it.

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