European visual effects houses have urged for calm and rationale thinking as the UK and EU work towards Brexit.
“We need to calm down; there’s a lot of rubbish being talked,” Neil Hatton, UK Screen Alliance chief executive told the FMX visual effects conference in Stuttgart. “At the moment the UK film and TV industry is at an all-time high but people are asking if this is the zenith. We may contract a little in the short-term but I don’t think it’s all downhill from here. In fact, I think it will go higher.”
Concerns over the impact of Brexit on the status of European vfx artists working at London-based facilities were raised at the panel session ‘VFX in Europe’.
Michael Coldewey, chief executive of Munich-based vfx shop Trixter believes that German artists working in the UK are concerned.
“Everyone is afraid about whether they can continue to work for vfx facilities in the UK,@ he said. “No-one knows what is going on. There is a lot of talk and we all need to calm down. On the other hand, Brexit may be good for the German vfx industry if all the German artists in London relocate back home.”
Hatton explained that ensuring there are reciprocal agreements between the EU and UK for vfx artists was a top priority of the trade body.
“We need to make sure that all those EU artists already working in the UK can stay,” he said. “We need to make sure there’s a visa policy that works for vfx in the UK and that we don’t get choked up by quotas for EU labour. That’s at the top of my remit.”
He added, “No matter where you are in the world, the shortage of vfx talent is a major issue. We need to make sure we retain the talent we train in the UK so that they don’t all disappear to Canada.”
The chief executive of Paris facility Mikros Image and head of Technicolor post production services France, Gilles Gaillard said, “The workforce is international and the growth of the global vfx industry is in part based on artists being able to collaborate creatively across borders. It is vital to have people move freely between studios.”
Trixter worked on Avengers - Age of Ultron (pictured).