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‘Oppenheimer’ VFX House DNEG Responds to Pay Cuts

Days after the lead visual effects house behind Oppenheimer and Dune was reported to be undergoing cost-cutting measures that included pay cuts as high as 25 percent, DNEG is elaborating on those plans.

“As we continue to proactively review this difficult situation, we have been consulting closely with our employees and teams across the globe,” the statement to The Hollywood Reporter reads, with the company saying that these measures include options such as reduced hours for reduced pay, compensation for lost wages in the form of additional paid leave, and a choice to spread the effect of the salary reduction over a longer period of time. Continued the statement: “We continue to work with our teams to determine the best course of action for all, with the overall aim of avoiding the need to significantly reduce our global workforce, so that we’re ready once productions resume.”

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The report of pay cuts published in Deadline on Friday sparked concern, with the U.K.’s Broadcasting, Entertainment, Communications and Theatre Union (Bectu) announcing that it would hold an “urgent meeting” on Monday about the cuts.

DNEG, whose artists have won Oscars for movies including Dune, Tenet and Interstellar, is London-headquartered and employs thousands of people in countries including England, Canada, Australia, India and the U.S.

“We are continuously and proactively reviewing all areas of our business to ensure that we can continue to deliver the highest quality work while protecting as many of our employees’ positions as possible,” continued the statement. “In order to do that, we’ve asked employees and team members earning above certain salary thresholds, including the most senior executives and creative leaders, to assume short-term pay cuts that will enable us to maintain the maximum number of jobs through this period.”

The cuts come amid the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes that have led to industrywide layoffs, furloughs and salary reductions.

Concluded the statement: “We’re proposing solutions that are designed to sustain jobs and keep as much money as possible in our employees’ pockets during this difficult period, while positioning the company to meet the current economic challenges, and be ready to get straight back to work on new projects for our clients once this disruption passes.”

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