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Artist RightsBusiness

Will Obama Be Greeted by a Sea of Green at DreamWorks?

Tomorrow, President Obama will deliver a speech about the economy at DreamWorks Animation. It is, as far as we know, the first speech ever given by an American President inside of an animation studio.

Artists at the studio have been receiving invites to attend his speech, and some employees have posted their invites online:

Outside of the studio, members of the visual effects community will be demonstrating in green to draw attention to the tax breaks and foreign subsidies that have decimated the U.S. visual effects industry. The organizers of the demonstration, who are other artists working in the industry, have also paid thousands of dollars to obtain green T-shirts for DreamWorks employees. The goal is that hundreds of artists and technical crew will greet Obama with a sea of green.

“Our intent is to get the message to President Obama that our jobs have left the country, and VFX shops have gone bankrupt due to tax incentives,” artist Dave Rand told the Hollywood Reporter. “There is hardly any VFX work left in Los Angeles.”

For artists inside of the studio, contact DreamWorks employee (and Animation Guild President-elect) Nathan Loofbourrow to obtain a shirt. Visit VFX Soldier for demonstration details and a message to DreamWorks employees. Additional coverage in the LA Times.

  • Karl Hungus

    Here’s to hoping that he is greeted with a sea of green. The VFX artists have gotten the dirty end of the stick for far too long.

    Also worth noting: the massive irony (lets be honest – hypocrisy) that the progressive Hollywood movie studios who open their checkbooks to contribute to Obama’s policies of “everyone having some skin in the game” are the same entities that ship work overseas and screw over the american workforce.

  • Just to clarify, VFX artists and DW employees are going to picket Obama’s photo op wearing EASILY ERASABLE GREEN SHIRTS?!

    Uh, guys? A word, if you will. While I totally get the significance
    of the green shirts, I fear it’s a gesture destined for deletion. Where
    most political protests push Big Brother to pull out the big guns
    (tanks, tear gas, talk radio), your uprising can be quelled with

    A couple of quick examples:

    Example #1: You fill the first few rows of the crowd with folks
    wearing green shirts. Obama’s publicists take a picture of you. The
    publicists run the pic through the greenscreenwizard app, swapping out
    your green shirts for reds, whites and blues. Boom. In the time it takes
    to upload the photo to Instagram, you’ve gone from intelligent
    dissidents to brainless boosters.

    Example #2: You fill the front row with folks wearing green tees.
    Your corporate overlords — the same overlords you’re protesting for
    exporting the VFX jobs — have one of their PR firms take a photo of you.
    Your corporate overlords then send the photo to whichever country
    they’re currently outsourcing to with the note, “Erase everything from
    the green tees down. Replace with bloody stakes.” In the time it takes
    to render (okay, so this is NEVER as quick as it should be), you’ve gone
    from a strong showing of solidarity to a bunch of decapitated heads
    impaled on blood-stained stakes — a grim warning to any other employees
    considering entering the political arena.

    Hell, YOU KNOW the limitless options available to anyone with a half-way decent desktop. YOU DO THIS FOR A LIVING!!!

    Paranoid conspiracy theories aside, I am 100% on your side. Let’s
    give the VFX work to the homies back home! I am also a vocal supporter
    of peaceful protests — especially during privately funded acts of
    political preening. Still, maybe a few of you green-shirts could whip up
    some colorful, cartoony picket signs. The fact that folks are still re-blogging pics of the 1941 Disney Studios strike is a testament to the effectiveness of a beautifully illustrated image.

    (Hell, you ALSO know this. After all, you make beautiful images for a living!)

    • Chad Dombrova

      the fact that you think there is a greenscreenwizard app is a huge part of the problem.

      • experiment626

        read the whole comment. he’s on your side :)

  • B

    How is wearing a color going to communicate all that has gone wrong if the audience doesn’t know what the color stands for, it seems so indirect. I just hope it’s not like those facebook charity pages or irritating roadside picketers that rally people together but don’t actually help anything or offer clear diplomatic ways on how to improve things for local workers. Maybe companies should be required to have a higher percentage of non-foreign artists and the foreign companies should just start their own studios. But what do I know..

    • Barrett

      It seems these days the way to get politicians to listen to you is to form a PAC and throw money at them. Who knows if Obama is even aware of the whole “green block avatar=protest against VFX exploitation” meme. There are still many regular people to this day I see post things on Facebook, wondering what the green box signifies in other people’s profiles. I hope lots of people do it, though I would worry about retaliation from disgruntled bosses.

    • Before any politician arrives to a scheduled appearance, he or she is briefed on what protesters will be present, and what their concerns are. President Obama will know exactly what those green shirts are about long before he speaks. Whether or not he chooses to recognize them in his speech is another question.

  • Gil

    You have to see the total irony of his coming to DW after he’s manifested the praise of how Hollywood and Television have made so many jobs for people and is a growing industry, yet this year we’ve heard and experienced the reality of layoffs from many companies within the industry for a cornucopia of reasons. Perhaps this is another {great reason} to spend money we don’t have, in order to take a trip and stay away from doing the job is was {elected} to do. I’m sure what the President means by growing industry is actually growing industry outside of the United States.