The Art Directors Guild (ADG) has launched a new informational website, “Artists For Direct Action” (www.directactionartist.com), to provide previs artists with the tools necessary to organize their workplaces and secure membership in the Art Directors Guild, IATSE Local 800.
The 75-year-old guild currently has over 2,000 members. Although previs is often seen as a “VFX job,” the ADG is claiming a long history of visualization synergy with previs artists through its existing crafts professionals: production designers and art directors; scenic and graphic artists; set designers and model makers; illustrators, storyboard and matte artists.
According to the website, “The Art Directors Guild, Local 800 of the IATSE, has jurisdiction over previs, since the work previs artists do mirrors the work of other crafts represented by ADG – notably illustrators – already perform.”
“It’s a natural fit for previs talents to be represented by the Art Directors Guild,” said ADG president Tom Walsh. “Our new site will let them know what they can do to claim for themselves the rights all other ADG members currently enjoy.”
“For some time previs artists have discussed forming a union so that together they can have a voice and win respect for the work they do,” the website explains. “Over the course of these conversations, support for the idea has grown strong, so much so that the managements of the various previs companies have joined together to form a ‘society’ to promote the craft, which they’d hoped would deter artists from pursuing any further the ‘union’ idea.”
“How did they try to accomplish this? By spreading misleading information about the union. This website, maintained by the Previs Artists Organizing Committee and the staff of the Art Directors Guild, aims to counter management’s misinformation, with the truth about unions, this union, and your rightful place in it.”
ADG organizer Peter Koczera noted that the website will be regularly updated and that he personally is available 24/7 to guide previs artists through the procedures they need to follow to assert their rights as artists in the workplace.