Discussing Gender Equality in VFX

Panel asks 'Why are there so few women working in VFX?'

DNEG President, Global VFX Production, Erika Burton recently joined other industry experts to discuss gender equality in the visual effects industry. Read the interview here.

The LAist interview builds on the recent release of the ‘Invisible in Visual Effects’ report, a quantitative study prepared by the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative and Women in Animation examining women working in visual effects across 60 VFX companies and 400 top-grossing films from 2016 to 2019, focusing on overall prevalence and leadership credits.  The report also included 82 in-depth interviews with women in VFX as well as industry decision-makers.

The study found that women received 21.6% of VFX credits; a ratio of 3.6 men to every one woman working in VFX. Women holding leadership roles in the field was also assessed, with women holding 16.2% of all senior positions. This varied by position, however, as women comprised only 2.9% of VFX supervisors but 46.7% of VFX producers.

Less than one-quarter (23%) of VFX editors were women, while fewer than 10% of other leadership roles were held by women: Animation supervisors (3.7%), Lighting supervisors (2%), Compositing supervisors (7.4%) and CG/3D Supervisors (3.5%).

Representing DNEG as President, Global VFX Production, Erika discussed the findings alongside Marge Dean (President of Women in Animation), Dr. Stacy Smith (Founder of the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative), Leah Beevers (Global Head of Creative at MPC), Michelle Grady (Executive Vice President at Sony Pictures Imageworks), Amy Smith (Head of Talent in Film at Framestore), and Dave Taritero (SVP of Visual Effects at Walt Disney Studios) during a panel at the unveiling of the special report in late 2021.

We know there’s a long way to go for our industry, but we’re pleased to be part of the effort to move towards a more equitable playing field in VFX, where top talent is recognised regardless of gender.

If you’re interested in finding out what the ‘Increasing Inclusion in Animation’ study concluded, you can find an interesting summary and key points at befores and afters, or find the full report here.

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