The Visual Effects Society (VES), the industry’s global professional honorary society, has announced the release of first-of-its-kind Demo Material Guidelines.  The Guidelines are a set of recommendations for the usage and release of work-for-hire materials presented as part of a demo reel portfolio by VFX facilities and practitioners.  Its purpose is to provide a fair and consistent framework that provides reasonable access for artists to showcase their work, while protecting the ownership rights of studios and producers.  The Demo Material Guidelines were developed under the leadership of the VES Business, Labor & Law Committee (co-chaired by Bob Coleman and Ray Scalice) and with the collaboration of leading VFX companies and studio executives.

From the earliest beginnings of the visual effects industry, compilation or “demo” reels have been the standard vehicle that artists and facilities use to promote and market their skills and services.  With the proliferation of online distribution and digital media formats, and concerns for security, this industry standard practice has been challenged for a myriad of legitimate reasons. However, the practices and policies implemented to date have become inconsistent among producers, studios and production companies.  This, in turn, has negatively impacted visual effects practitioners who are increasingly denied access to their work while trying to survive in a highly competitive and global marketplace.  As such, the VES identified a compelling need and opportunity to address this vital issue.

“Befitting our commitment to advancing the visual effects profession, we recognize the right of artists and facilities to show work that they have contributed to in order to seek and gain employment in the field, while being respectful of everyone’s rights,” said Mike Chambers, VES Board Chair.  “Working in partnership with artists, facility and studio leadership, we have strived to create a new win-win scenario where the livelihood of all parties is supported and protected.”

The Demo Material Guidelines outline specific recommendations for VFX Facilities and Artists including suggested protocols for upfront contracting, timing and usage terms, choice of images, required approvals, credits, viewing format and security and use of publicity and social media channels.  The document is being shared widely with stakeholders across the globe to help garner maximum visibility and adoption.

“From a business perspective, it is important that we acknowledge that this is an arena fraught with complexity, that can have serious consequences if mishandled,” said Bob Coleman, Co-Chair of the VES Business, Labor & Law Committee.  “One of the most valuable services we can offer to our members and the industry-at-large is the development of smart standards and practices that help them navigate our complex business environment to the ultimate benefit of artists, facilities and studios alike – and the industry we all love.”

The VES Demo Material Guidelines is available here: 

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About the Visual Effects Society
The Visual Effects Society is a professional honorary society dedicated to advancing the arts, sciences and applications of visual effects and to upholding the highest standards and procedures for the visual effects profession. It is the entertainment industry's only official organization representing the extended global community of visual effects practitioners, including supervisors, artists, producers, technology developers, educators and studio executives.  VES’ more than 3,000 members in 33 countries worldwide contribute to all areas of entertainment – film, television, commercials, animation, music videos, games and new media.   To learn more about the VES, visit