Angelina Jolie Visits California VFX Industry Refugees

Bob Lincoln June 28, 2012 7

Angelina Jolie leaves a meeting on Los Angeles’ west side. UN relief aid so far has not reached areas of devastation in Southern California because of bureaucratic red tape and traffic on the 405.

Oscar-winning movie star and UN Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie arrived in Los Angeles Tuesday to meet with refugees displaced by recent upheavals in the economically devastated California visual effects industry.

This was Jolie’s first trip to the Golden State’s globalization-ravaged areas since she was named a special UN envoy this past April.  Her three day mission included a fast DreamWorks voice recording session for Kung Fu Panda game promos followed by a lunch of New York dogs at Pinks with a group of former Santa Monica-based lighting TDs, sandwiched between several stops in devastated areas of Southern and Northern California.

During the day-long Southern California leg of her tour, Jolie met with the heads of the Visual Effects Society, the Animation Guild Local 839 and ASIFA Hollywood, who described the plights of displaced workers struggling to find jobs, affordable health care and low cost high-speed disk arrays they could setup at home as they continued their heroic struggle to try and compete against low-cost vfx studios located all across the globe.

She was visibly moved when assembled leaders explained that ongoing efforts to help refugees get desperately needed training were hampered by the fact that digital art education usually costs more than most artists earn in a couple years and UN relief aid so far had not reached the area because of bureaucratic red tape and traffic on the 405.

Jolie told the assembled group of reporters that she’d met with numerous former studio heads whose businesses had been lost or seriously damaged by flooding from newly established international production pipelines in places like Vancouver, London, Mumbai and Singapore.  “I am very moved by their stories and it is my hope I can help bring attention to the terrible plight of all the visual effects artists in need in California,” the Salt star said. She continued, “It’s clear that these proud, talented and mostly clean shaven people have handled this ongoing crisis with dignity and grace. But they desperately need our help. Buying millions of $16 3-D movie tickets is not enough.  $30 billion a year in international box office receipts won’t help those truly in need.  No one chooses to become a refugee.  These people have nowhere else to go.”

Image credit: Berlinale 12: Angelina Jolie by Sorkin | CC-BY-3.0



  1. Anonymous September 17, 2012 at 12:38 am - Reply

    I call BS. Most compositors aren’t old enough to shave.

  2. david October 10, 2012 at 3:40 pm - Reply

    This site is pure genius. Thank you so much for your insightful, well researched, and (FINALLY) factual information about this mysterious industry!

  3. vfx_dude February 11, 2014 at 7:02 pm - Reply

    kinda funny. But vfx artist and vfx studios receive none of the box office proceeds. So the joke misses.

  4. Andreas Toth November 4, 2014 at 11:36 pm - Reply

    I have insider information from a person who has had the “pleasure” to work for Angelina Jolie and she certainly isn’t a saint, she’s one of the worst offenders of the abuse that takes place in the VFX industry. Then she has the audacity to join in the fight! She is a wolf in sheep’s clothing!

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