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I’d happily work for Weta, and have applied more than once (I’ve even been interviewed by them!) over the last several years. But their hiring process is a complete mystery to me, especially when there are so many folks like myself who have a heart’s desire to work in the industry.
I know someone that did work for Weta, he’s a local and according to the leads and supes did great work, he got let go to the disbelief of co-workers and can’t get back in, all because he’s one of those politically vocal types on the intranet. Weta is more political than they make out. It’s not always about talent with them. Oh well, now he’s in Canada with me and working on awesome films.
This makes me sad.
I studied for 5 years, graduating in 2006. I then applied at Weta and every year since then. I have applied 7 times. With 6+ years of professional experience under my belt I still cannot believe why Weta won’t hire me when all my previous employers consider me a valuable asset.
Looking through Weta’s employees on Linkedin I am saddened to see so many foreign names with education and past employment from foreign countries.
The real kicker is after two years these employees can apply for NZ permanent residence. Then they can stay as long as they like without a visa. What’s going to happen to artists like myself? What’s going to happen to the thousands of graduates from Media Design School, Lifeway College, Freelance Animation School and the likes when NZ studios refuse to hire kiwis.
Hiring NZ artists is substantially cheaper than hiring international artists. Kind of hard to believe that Weta would choose the more expensive option unless it had to.
I’m an overseas worker at Weta. I’m humbled to be here. To hear sensationalist “overseas workers filling a skills gap shocker” crap is quite boring and offensive. It happens in London, Canada, LA in VFX. But because it’s NZ it’s controversial? In order to get a task done, foreigners are brought in who have a specific skill set that doesn’t exist/limited. Together, with Kiwis either entering the industry training or already existing at that role, they gain far better knowledge working/learning from outsiders than being segregated. It’s such a stupid, stupid, Neanderthal argument. NZ studios don’t refuse to hire kiwis. It’d be cheaper and more convenient to hire Kiwis.
Weta’s innovation is a industrial effort from kiwis and foreigners. Without that, it wouldn’t be one of the places to work for or have work on your film.
For the guy that couldn’t get hired at Weta, maybe it’s your reel, maybe it’s your skills. Maybe there just isn’t that much of a calling for you VFX speciality. I don’t know. But don’t blame foreign staff – you’ll probably end up working with them at some point during your VFX career. If your such an asset at these other places you’ve mentioned, I would stay there and enjoy it.
What about the software Weta use? That’s foreign too. Gonna cry about it? Probably not. That’s not solidarity, that’s just xenophobia.
I worked at Weta for a short term contract in a certain department, did my job fine and got great recommendation from my supervisor, contract ended and they ended up extending foreigner contracts that I met working in the same department as myself, and are now currently working there.
Currently unemployed and looking for work / contracts overseas because I can’t get it locally it seems (and with the vfx industry in turmoil its not looking great!)
Helen needs to be reminded that the money Weta uses to pay its contractors is from American companies. Warner Bros, Fox, New Line Cinema ect. So why “SHOULD” these jobs go to only kiwis? Weta has become a world leading VFX company. None of which offer “training”. Workers without experience can’t expect to walk into a leading VFX studio and land a job with out experience. No matter what country you’re in. There’s a hell of a lot of American money being pumped into the NZ economy. Stands to reason you’re going to get some Americans too.
At Weta Digi I paint fur on monkeys’ arses, & detail alien ear-wax, it’s fricking awesome!! not only am i not from NZ, i’m not even from this planet..
They pay me $#!+ loads, bribed the minister of immigration for me to get me residency & keep me up to my eyeballs in amphetamines (oops, i mean espresso coffee) – i only have to work 90 hr weeks & the fruit bowls provided daily keep me from getting constipated due to never leaving my chair.
Some people are missing the point that even locals with the requisite experience are getting snubbed, even after they’ve worked there and gotten great reviews. It ‘s understandable that locals with no feature experience have a hard time getting in, but seasoned artists?
20,000 jobs created on the back of the NZ film industry? Where did she get those numbers? About 1,500 film contractors for a max of 3 years! Now it’s over and most of the contractors are on the dole. There are about 2,000 max. at Weta Digi right now on a wide range of projects. Many were let go at the end of last year. Many are from Europe and the US. They get paid more than kiwis and find it easier to get work than kiwis. I know of several kiwis who were told to get ‘international experience’ before working at Weta. One person was flown to Australia to work at Iloura. Apparently Kiwis are like Mexicans with cellphones.
NZ will benefit from any resolution to the USA’s VFX industries problems. If the price tag for VFX goes up in the States, more Hollywood productions will come here. The downside for us is that they don’t want to hire us, so all you VFX artists can come and work in our jobs, in our country.
Oh yeah and on my previous point there probably isn’t more than 5000 people employed full time in associated industries like tourist attractions so where are the other 10,000 full time jobs at? Jo Coughlan needs a calculator.
If they were that good they would be rehired. Simple.
Kiwis are cheaper and quicker to hire than foreigners.
As for Randy’s comments, they’re all true!!
Jimbo, no. Obviously there are kiwis that have the skills are extremely good and have worked for Weta and been let go in favour of foreigners that are no better and in many cases worse.
In one case it seems politics played a part, he/she annoyed someone with political discussion on the intranet and another person got let go in favour of foreigners.
You’re extremely naive if you don’t think politics plays a role in the industry.
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