On an email list I'm on, there was a recent thread about this post: http://blog.juanluis.com/2012/11/270-leave-vfx-please.html
After much discussion, someone made the following comment -
"I'm really getting tired of seeing the super negative rants on this list. Most of the people doing the complaining as far as I can tell are well-paid and consistently employed senior artists at top companies. Reality-check. Appreciate what you have and try to keep some perspective."
I made a response to this, and some people have urged me to make my response public, here it is, with a little cleaning up:
Some of us are vocal not for ourselves, but because our position of seniority and comfort allows is to give voice to those that are not in such a position.
I was lucky enough to have gained somewhat of a public profile in our little world of VFX. I know I'm not everyone's cup if tea, and there are people who disagree or plain don't like me. But the fact is, I get emails, Twitter messages and the like at least once a month ( it's slowed now that I'm not as public ) that would turn your hair white.
I take those stories to heart. I've spent nearly two decades proving myself a capable VFX artist. I'm now in a position where I CAN speak up and it's not someone on Twitter with 10 followers yelling into the Abyss. I don't get why my voice is louder than others, but it's a simple statement of fact that it is.
I have a good job at a good facility that affords me a comfortable quality of life. I don't know if this is due to talent, hard work, or plain dumb luck. Probably a combination of all three. Yet I, and others, have endangered their careers and livelihoods by speaking out against things we see as wrong.
You think I say this things only because I'm a contrarian asshole? Note, I'm not denying my status as a contrarian asshole, simply saying its not the only reason. I need to look at myself in the mirror every day. I hear, and see, what happens to people.
I do not like or endeavour to be, as my mom would say, a Negative Nelly. When I see good, I point it out. If I hear unsubstantiated rumour, I don't just put it out there. But at the same time I can't justify hearing the things I hear, seeing the things I see and then say everything is okay.
It doesn't matter that they aren't happening to me. I see them happening though, and to not give voice to the voiceless when I am afforded the opportunity to do so would be irresponsible on my part.
I do not belittle or have issue with those that act as cheerleaders for our industry. If I saw no hope I might as well put a gun in my mouth. And some of the people who I disagree with on this are the people I respect the most in this industry.
We can, and should, have an open dialog about the problems as we perceive them. Think my perceptions are wrong?
Fine - prove me wrong, and I'm the first to say so.