Friday, May 8, 2015

Ilion caught cheating on software companies by PIRATING them instead of paying

Everyone has a story to share, and this one is about a promising opportunity turned into a terrible nightmare for both a community of software developers, animators and visual effects artist, and a very large studio (by way of a smaller studio…) … Unfortunately, this story is becoming all too common in the industry, and this visual effects supervisor felt the need to share his with you so that we can start working together to change it. As so many of you have been forced to do, he recently uprooted his life and moved to a foreign country to pursue his craft.

After 11 years of really hard work – and knowing that it could be risky – a visual effects team member, left Blue Sky Studios to work their way up the ladder supervising the effects team of an entire film with Ilion in Spain. For those who may not know, Ilion won the bid to create the film with Paramount – as Paramount's Animation first feature film.  Exactly a week after arrival, this visual effects supervisor found himself in the middle of a completely unexpected ethical dilemma. Ilion Animation Studios was plagued with pirated software. Not only was it a widespread problem, but it was widely accepted by the teams. Ilion has received tax incentives from the government while producing movies including http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2857458/, and they have been pocketing their difference in license costs. This movie was completed with the help of several pirated licenses of SideFx Software. The list of names goes on … Nuke, Yeti, Speed Tree, etc. They put a good amount of resources into getting all sorts of pirated software to work on their farm.

This visual effects supervisor refused to play along with requests of assets from other departments using pirated software, and clashed with R&D about the legality of the software they gave back. Eventually a handful of licenses were purchased (accomplished by the below e-mail to Tripp Hudson - https://www.linkedin.com/in/tripphudson). The attached e-mail unfortunately sheds more light on the fact that Tripp was well aware of this legal breach regarding rights and licenses for software. Of course, instead of admitting to their crimes and attempting to reconcile the differences by purchasing licenses for the project and saving their name, they fired the effects supervisor. This came along with all sorts of excuses including stating that this effect supervisor was on a “trial period” to begin with and caused problems among teams (what more of a problem can you have beyond the fact that the entire company you work for is one gigantic liability and fraud? Sleeping at night and worrying about the future should be causing enough problems among the teams all on their own).

Every company that this visual effects team member has worked for, both large and small, has always paid for all software. These companies felt that it was either necessary to pay for licenses or to create your own. Teams at Blue Sky developed their own with the Studio renderer, and they are known to be a company that really fosters innovation in the industry. Blue Sky, Disney, Pixar, Reel Fx, and even small shops spend millions developing original content and playing by the rules.

Before they escorted him out they told him they would write some very nice email to the different companies/universities and multiple contacts he have made on their behalf that he was going to go meet at FMX to leave him in "good standing", as though he had done something wrong. And this is where the story loses its anonymity ... my name is Diego Garzon and this one story happens to be mine.

I still went to FMX on my own dime, to get a feel of the job market and to meet the different people at various companies/universities that were expecting to see me.

Production companies and studios should pay for their software. An artist somewhere created something incredibly complicated in order to help you do your job, and they deserve recognition for their innovation and skills just as much as anyone. It is unfortunate that so many people have had knowledge of this issue, and yet they are willing to risk the reputation of a major Studio such as Paramount simply for their own greed in being the ones one to have their stamp on this film. It is apparent that everyone from Tripp Hudson to CTO Gonzalo Rueda, to CEO Jose San Ramon, CCO Ignacio Perez Dolset, Head of HR Evan Moran, R&D Department Supervisor Raquel Morata, and Javier Romero who is VFX Supervisor, knew that this widespread use of pirated software was going on throughout Ilion. 

What Ilion is doing is a slap in the face to the rest of us in the industry. If Paramount Animation is aware, then shame on them … but if they are unaware, then we hope this opens their eyes. Sometimes things can be too good to be true (i.e. drastically different price quotes for similar quality films). It is understood that Paramount Animation requested three tests from three different companies. Two were American (Ilm and Reel Fx) and one foreign (Ilion). They wound up giving the contract to Ilion. There is a very strong chance that if all companies were to play on the same level, things would have turned out much differently (and it would have brought a lot of American jobs along with it).

After some soul searching with my family and several people in the industry, and after Ilion initiated legal action against me for informing the software companies, I decided to make my small part in this story public. The main story here though is that you don’t cheat systems – and you particularly don’t cheat systems created by your own fellow artists, and expect to profit from their hard work without paying them for the honor of using their creations. This field is full of brilliant people who push boundaries and turn flat things into 3D or ideas into reality. It is carefully crafted magic, in it’s own way, and when you start stealing parts to create your own piece you’re going against everything that this industry stands for and the people that hold it together.

I have had the pleasure of working with so many of you after 11 years of really hard work at so many different and amazing places. From my Giant Killer Robot days, to The Orphanage, Pixar, Image Movers Digital, Animal Logic, Blizzard and Blue Sky Studios. Some of the projects were hard and some of the companies are long gone, but we always played by the rules.

I reached out to different animators across the industry to figure out how best to voice this story, and after a lot of disheartening “’Don’t do it’ s” “You will be blacklisted!”  " It is not worth it!”, several artist from the same very studios I just mentioned (who wish to remain anonymous) and even artists from South America and Europe pitched-in with their skill sets. In the last 24 hours we came up with a way to voice the story through what we do best … cartoons,

I’ve set up a PayPal account diegogarzon@gmail.com if you would like to contribute to my legal and repatriation expenses, which I would appreciate, but what I really want to ask from all of you is to share and contribute to this story. Please help continue to tell this story by drawing and sharing your designs. Like the many artists who have already contributed to tell so carefully the story through their gifted designs and art, draw how YOU feel about this. It does not have to be a pirate, though drawing pirates is really cool.  Draw and share if you stand for the values I am expressing – that pirating software is unacceptable and we will not tolerate being punished for standing up for our fellow artists in the industry. This is not about me against the studios or us against the studios. The studios have earned their success. This is just us, the artists, programmers, designers, and technical directors standing together to tell the world that no matter where you are based, be it New York, California, London, Vancouver, New Zeland or some other place in the world, we do not agree with this and that this #isNotWhatWeSignedUpFor.
We work hard in everything that we do and each one of us deserves to be paid for our work – whether it is via software, visual effects or animation. Please, I encourage you to draw and share how you feel about this. Do not let this story be just one more that stays in the shadows. Please share and speak up, draw during the weekend at lunch, wherever you can but please express how you feel about this.

If you want to see the facts and proof you find them here
http://imgur.com/0kbc5ze
http://imgur.com/V3BGNT8
http://imgur.com/7obsTWk
http://imgur.com/idAKgzR

Thank you for reading.










‪#‎isNotWhatWeSignedUpFor‬ and the first drawing is in from a fantastic talented artist Juan Rosillo is called "No To abuses"



#‎isNotWhatWeSignedUpFor‬ Another illustration from a great artist who wishes to remain anonymous 

Update May 14, 2015


After hate email, call threats and people commenting all kinds of terrible things about me. I want you to hear my story from me, and make your own conclusions.
This addresses the most important questions about Who am I? What do I stand for? and What I am about? I tried to write it but I felt it just wast enough and I am not the best english writer. I could not write it because it would not show who I really am. I do not need to hide behind words. I have had a great career so far and that could have not been possible with out very key people I've met along the way. People that mentored me, supported me and shaped me into what I am today. I have my share of personal experiences with some of these people and I decided to share them along with how I got here today. There is some Animation and Vfx history in there as well as why is it that I feel so strongly about this.
I hope this will inspire people to not quit just because things are going south for everyone. They are companies and places that do things the right way, and they are always looking for great talent. Maybe some of the people mentioned on my story can corraborate the facts. Some of the stories sound magical and made up, but is all true. Every single one of them.
Please take a time to listen

Update June 12, 2015
Beautiful illustration submitted by anonymous artist

59 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Good on you for calling them out! Buying licenses keeps the whole industry healthy. I can't imagine we'll blacklist one of our own for being honest.

    Good luck, I'll be sharing the post, and if there's anything you need, let me know. All my best,
    :dA:

    (Not sure why the previous comment disappeared, here it is again)

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    1. Be carefull, this boy is not saying the truth, just watch the last official "The Foundry Nuke" demo reel, you can see Ilion shots there, so he is lying. Maybe this is a SCAM or he wants revenge after being fired.

      Delete
    2. That's not necessarily a justification for discounting what it is he says. It is entirely possible that they have a few legitimate Nuke licenses, and that's why The Foundry included their shots on their reel.

      I know nothing about the details of the situation beyond what has been said here, but I can certainly imagine a situation where a company who uses illegitimate Nuke licenses still has shots on The Fiundry's reel.

      Delete
    3. Neither those "proof" images aren't a justification to say what he says in the post. I can only see an email written by HIMSELF talking about pirate software, I can't see anyone else talking about pirate software, clearly you are taking those emails as proof but it's just out of context information.

      Delete
    4. Nowhere in what I posted did I say that I was taking anything as "proof". All I was pointing out was that what you are calling "proof" that it's false (well, "this boy is not saying the truth" and "All this shit is simply FALSE.") is not necessarily true.

      I'm keeping an open mind, although find the fact that he's willing to put his name on the line for it to be a brave thing if he's making it all up.

      In the end, the software companies will be the ones able to say for sure.

      Delete
  3. So how is it possible that several Ilion projects appear in the official demo reel of The Foundry Nuke? All this shit is simply FALSE.

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  4. https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/10agIuomwG77Ko1PcObHSuMxQOc37DSoxywnT7A8GkfI/pub?w=1947&h=920

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  5. https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/10agIuomwG77Ko1PcObHSuMxQOc37DSoxywnT7A8GkfI/pub?w=1947&h=920 This graph explains it all. Is a Trick Hollywood movie Magic

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  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. ilionworker has left a new comment on your post "Ilion caught cheating on software companies by PIR...":

      I know this is going to be deleted but maybe somebody will see it before. If this is deleted I'll put up another blog like he did, and link it from some pages that have a really high pagerank so it'll show for anybody googling its name, so let's see what happens.

      - Diego wasn't fired from Ilion from what he said. It was fired for serious reasons that didn't have anything to do with piracy like: incompetence, being technically challenged, and most importantly, being a dick with his coworkers and specially with its subordinates. The day Diego was fired, their ex-subordinates were celebrating, something I haven't seen in my whole life. Its elitism was truly incredible. Seriously, if you doubt between what I'm saying and Diego's words, use your personal network to ask ANYBODY from Ilion what happened and what they think about Diego and its time at Ilion. He would always leave meetings after 5 minutes because they were not "worthy of his time" (seriously), he would not reply to greetings by people below him, he would have to have technical meeting repeated because he didn't get things (while everybody else did), etc, etc, etc.

      - In 8 years working in Ilion I've never seen pirated software. All the kinds of work that render machines can do are limited not by the amount of workers but by the amount of software licences, for example. Luckily software licenses are easy to prove on any point in time, while his breach of the confidentiality agreement he signed by publishing internal company emails will also be easy to prove.

      - His emails doesn't prove anything at all, he is the only one that is speaking about pirated software and he shows a reply from Thierry totally out of context. I guess he is not happy about that. If these emails are his "proof" is a pretty shitty proof.

      - He says that the company received tax money for software licenses and then pocketed it. Then how did the company passed two auditories on two years to check how the money was used, one of them in the short time Diego was at Ilion? (he probably didn't even knew about that).

      - And now the icing of the cake. Please note that I've hear this only as a rumor but if it is true and it can be proved it'll be a good laugh for everybody except Diego: I heard, while Diego was in Ilion, that he was caught several times using plugins that he brought from Blue Sky, with bluesky in the plugins names and all. He was told that he couldn't do that for obvious reasons but he still tried.

      Delete
  7. Hello @ilionworker do not worry your message will not be deleted. That will give somewhat of a meaning to the misinformation you are hoping to spread. I have absolutely nothing to hide. I do appreciate you shinning some light on the reason of my firing since is something that I have been wondering too.In most developed countries when you are going to fire someone there needs to be a proveen reason. This is usually communicated to the employees in the form of written memorandums. The main reason is for in cases like this when someone is accusing you of unlawful termination you have proof and people will take your word on it to prevent you from looking like you are making shit up. Which is exactly what you are doing right now.(see attached my firing letter which only says “Disciplinary reasons” but it does not say “What were they”. You can put in question my integrity, my leadership, but you will have a hard time finding some one in this industry that would corroborate on what you have to say about my technical skills.

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  8. @ilionworker To put an end to that what you are referring to is a plugIn I developed called cluster. It started as dgCluster while I was working at Blizzard Entertainment, as a way for me to experiment on how to create data structures that could speed up searches. There is nothing novel nor groundbreaking about it, It was used by Sony ImageWorks to bring out detail in volumes.
    http://library.imageworks.com/pdfs/imageworks-library-Production-Volume-Rendering-Systems.pdf
    Page 157-161

    While I was at Blue Sky I had the idea of using the same concept but to bring out detail out of a low resolution fluid simulation before meshing them. It turns out it worked remarkably well I submitted it for a talk and a paper for Siggraph 2014 but it got rejected. They felt there wasn’t enough for a paper and they put it into the dailies section. What they missed here is that for something to be good and novel it does not necessarily has to be complicated. When I was handing off my development at Blue Sky some suggestions from different team members were made to be able to make connections based on a spline and transfer point attributes to newly created points. When I got to Ilion since we were dealing with a lot of destruction I started implementing those changes and I wanted to see how it will fit to help do constrains connections faster for our rigid body solution. A company does not own your brain, ideas develop over time. They own what you did for them during that period of employment that snapshot of your knowledge that you decided to give up for a mutually agreed price. eventually with time you changed and improved.

    The other tool I could think off is something that was called the SWSVS (smart world space voxel size)
    an extremely talented effects technical director worked on this an publish several talks . Over easter I came up to Amsterdam to meet up with him take a look at the amazing video game studio where he works. Over there we discussed many things among them my concern for the licensing issues that were going on at Ilion that I expressed to him. One of them I mentioned that I was going to bother him later about how to implement the swsvs which I later did over a series of chats where he walked me through the algorithm that I quickly implemented the very same day I was fired.

    This is what we wanted to prevent when we carefully crafted our image. You see the problem with stories like this that had gotten public attention is that it becomes an issue about a person vs a company it quickly turns into an ad hominem war of a big company against an artist and the bigger picture gets lost. I do not want that to happen with our story.

    You are failing to address all the main questions here,
    -where you using pirated software?
    -Is it true?
    -Did paramount knew?
    -Was this reflected on the original bid for the movie?
    -Why would some one put all his name and reputation on the line after 11 years of really hard work.
    -If I had something to hide I would’ve just kept quiet and go work for some one else as fast as possible but I didn’t and I do not have anything to hide.
    -How can these emails be seen as out of context? what could we have been possible talking about that the conversation spend off and ended with Thierry saying “he knew that he tried to fixed before I got there but he could not, and that he also did not signed of for that”, so I thought until all this has evolved

    It seems you realize the mistake of your horrible misguided post and deleted it yourself but I posted it again. People need to know the tactics often knew in situations like these.
    Thank you for reading
    Diego Garzon

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  9. Firing Letter
    http://i.imgur.com/U33FWng.png

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  10. At first, I only read the title and for a second I believed there was something true. We're so used to only read titles nowadays, and I'm no exception...
    But after reading the whole thing, my feeling is that I'm witnessing a professional suicide.
    I might be totally wrong (and it wouldn't be the first time...), but it doesn't look like you thought this through....

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  11. Non Disclosure agreements are invalid if you are not paid or asked to do illegal activities. In fact staying silent while having knowledge of illegal activities is illegal in every civilized nation. As for professional suicide....I've been vocal for many years over injustices and illegalities in the VFX business from helping recover over a million on lost wages for artists to leading them on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in protest of injustices during the Oscar ceremony. Just look at the press tab on my website www.daverand.com.

    .... I've never had trouble finding work.

    If your message is the truth you have nothing to fear. Rationalizing Diego's non payment because he owns an apartment in New York is the same mentality that goes into pirating software. I worked with Diego over a long period in California. Not only is he very competent, but he is very talented and easy to get along with. So far I see attacks on his character that are backed by nothing, and are certainly not my experience or anyone I know. He's standing behind his name and I admire that.

    I'm sure they are scrambling at the company to silence people and squash this story. I'll bet they do nothing to Diego, that will be your tell, they just want it to go away.

    If anyone wants to contact me, my reputation is one of trust and justice, ask anyone who knows me. If you know what is happening here email me in confidence. You can come forward and do the right thing without fear of reprisal. Staying silent just makes you an accomplice. Email me in complete confidence dave@daverand.com

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  12. Querido Diego Garzón (me quedo con muchas ganas de hacerte la rima, que lo sepas):
    Please feel free to delete my post straight away, it will be ok as you won't have to defend yourself against my accusations or spend hours writing a response. I simply want to give you a little bit of advice and help you out.

    I am going to keep if brief, because unlike you, I do have a job and can't afford to spend hours in social media or creating stupid drawings as I used to do when I was 4. I am only going to tell 4 things:

    1. It is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS to believe your own lies, this is because it gets to a point where you don’t know anymore what is true and what is false. We seem to be facing a serious case of this happening with you, it's almost like a disease so you should be careful. Reality check seems to be needed sooner rather than later.

    2. I have nothing to do with Ilion but I know that you were fired because you could not do your job. You seem to be having issues understanding why this was the case but is actually a very simple concept. Let me help you out here: you seem to have missed it but on that letter than you published (btw, have you even heard of the term confidentiality?) it clearly states that you were fired because you were not performing well. It also refers you to the articulo 54.2 del Estatuto de los trabajadores which further explains the reasons why someone can be fired. Link attached FYI, e) seems to explain pretty well to me why they asked to leave.
    http://www.estatutodelostrabajadores.com/a54-despido-disciplinario/

    3. People get fired all the time. Get over it and stop embarrassing yourself and committing a professional suicide. I actually do not need any proof that you were fired because you were incapable of doing your job, you have extensively prove this yourself the last few days. Someone that cannot deal with stressful situations and responds with a knee-jerk reaction when challenges arise cannot hold a senior position, no wonder they fired you. If you are not happy with the dismissal then seek legal action but creating caricatures of people that worked with you and publishing confidential emails is highly unprofessional. I am sorry to break this news to you, but your attitude is childish and only proves that you can’t be trusted to be mature or, let alone, professional. Good luck finding a job dude..

    4. This might the last point but is actually the most important one. STOP BEING DISRESPETFUL TO SPAIN AND SPANISH PEOPLE. If you feel like drawing because you are out of work, then go to a workshop but stop being RUDE towards my beautiful country which I am sure has treated you very well and is full of amazing people. Do not name Spain in your stupid drawings using stereotypes and criticizing Spaniards, this is not cool. If you are going to use the name of Spain, use it to say something good, or at least truthful.

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    1. Professional suicide. That was something that I heard a lot when I consulted with different people in the industry about this issue. The true is that it goes against everything I work for so hard all this 11 years. So many lives of friends and their families where turned upside down after Digital Domain Florida Collapsed. If speaking the truth on something that helps shine some light on an issue that affect us all results in a professional suicide. Then is just a very sad realization that this is not an industry I would like to be part of anymore. Why would I? I would be so unhappy if those are the rules I would have to abide. I'll rather quit which as you say it seems it is what I am doing since this might result in professional suicide.

      Delete
    2. Ilion does use cracked software. Does that mean ALL of their software is illegal? No, but they do have illegal copies, or at least they used to have. How do i know? I worked there and I saw it myself.
      I don't know Diego, never met him. he may be useless as a supervisor, he may not be, but even if he was, the fact that ilion uses cracked software is illegal.
      "You seem to need advise" you claim that you have nothing to do with Ilion but you seem to know a lot about what goes on in there, are you sure you don't have anything at all to do with them?

      Ilionworker. if you have spent the last 8 years over there, probably you are one of the fellas in the drawing and feeling like the finger is pointing at you?

      Delete
    3. At least Diego has the balls to use his real name. I believe in integrity not ghosts.

      Delete
    4. El amigo dice no tener nada que ver con Ilion y sin embargo dice conocer al detalle las razones de su despido. Desde luego "You seem to need advise" tiene unos huevazos como dos camiones, eso es indudable.

      Lo que encuentro realmente ofensivo -mas bien hilarante- es el punto numero 2:

      "you seem to have missed it but on that letter than you published (btw, have you even heard of the term confidentiality?) it clearly states that you were fired because you were not performing well"

      Bien deberia saber el amigo "you seem to need advice" que este es el metodo por el cual la gran mayoria de las empresas justifican el despido improcedente en Hispanistan: "La disminución continuada y voluntaria en el rendimiento de trabajo normal o pactado" , algo que en este caso Ilion deberia probar si Diego Garzon se hubiera negado a firmar la carta de despido. Pero en realidad da igual, tu post es una autentica tomadura de pelo, corporativismo rancio Made in Spain que apesta a la legua.

      Por otro lado, lo de abogar por LA UNIDAD NACIONAL y EL HONOR DE NOSOTROS TODOS LOS ESPANOLES es de un patetismo enternecedor.
      Espana, el pais del Lazarillo de Tormes, de Rinconete y Cortadillo, el pais donde tres de cada dos politicos son corruptos y por supuesto tambien el pais donde, a excepcion de Flame e Inferno por razones obvias -y esto esta por ver- todo ha sido pirateado. Es un mensaje dignos de ser enviado al amigo Arturo Perez Reverte y que haga un featuring en su Patente de Corso porque vaya jeta gastas, colega.

      Dicho todo esto, yo si que no tengo ninguna afiliacion ni con Diego Garzon ni con Ilion, pero lo que si tengo es bastante experiencia en la industria como para creer que lo publicado por Diego Garzon puede ser veridico.

      Que esto es una pataleta de hombre despechado ? Que Diego Garzon es un vago y un despota ? Puede ser. Quien sabe. Lo que parece claro es que que la suya es una pataleta que esta escociendo lo suficiente como para que "gente que no tiene nada que ver con Ilion" malgaste su preciadisimo tiempo en escribir diatribas cargadas de argumentos infantiles y chascarrillos de tres al cuarto como el que ocupa el primer parrafo.
      Raro favor os estais haciendo.

      Delete
    5. ¡Qué verguenza! ....Shame on you..... "I have nothing to do with Illion but I know" everything?

      Delete
  13. Having opened this blog really proves that The Laws of Human Stupidity really exist and this is an exceptional example of law number three (the golden law).

    A stupid person is someone who causes damage to another person, or a group of people, without any advantage accruing to himself (or herself) — or even with some resultant self-damage.
    (http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/The_basic_laws_of_human_stupidity)

    Making people think that Ilion pretends to create a partnership with one of the MAJOR distribution film companies in the planet using ilegal software is even stupidier that opening this blog in the first place.

    I have no idea about laws (except about the ones related to the human stupidity) but it seems to me that in any case vendors should be the ones sueing Ilion if your statements are true. No sueing, no case and that is what is going to happen once everything clears out. Instead you have been breaking your NDA, revealing personal information and dishonoring people and companies. I don't know how many Paypal account you are going to need to cover for all that damage.

    As the previous entry mentioned you are making a fool of yourself and all this crap does nothing but reinforce why you were layed off.

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    1. At least Diego has the balls to use his real name. I believe in integrity not ghosts.

      Delete
  14. There are several points here that I'd like to talk about:

    - For those who fell identified with the term 'Spanish pirate', please don't be so sensitive to it. Diego already explained the reason behind this expression, and one cannot invalidate his whole argumentation based on this. I'm Spanish and I don't feel that disrespect you talk about.

    Also, it would be nice that you stop attacking the guy and sticking to the facts. I feel really embarrassed by things like 'me quedo con muchas ganas de hacerte la rima, que lo sepas'. Or, if you decide to go that way, make yourself a favour and don't hide behind a nickname. Otherwise, you appear as another fifteen year old teenager trolling on the internet.

    - Dave, it seems it's really easy to pull the trigger against a studio. If what Diego says is true, there are legal ways to prove it. One, for example, by writing to Autodesk, Adobe, Side Effects or whichever company to let them know. But I'm pretty sure that if there were irregularities regarding this matter, a multimillion company like any of those would know for sure.
    For me, asking for drawings to help spreading the word is really naive and it's completely useless on this matter. Like all those 'like if you want to end the hunger in Africa' Facebook posts. And a Paypal account? For what? Has he been sued? It's not like he was not being paid for his work, right? He claims this is a bigger crusade, that is not a personal matter, yet every statement seems to point in that direction.

    In addition to that, we don't know the conditions of Diego's contract: accepting moving to Spain without any relocation package was his decision. One cannot use that as an argument against a studio when he accepted those terms. Not in a conversation like this one. Same goes for those 3 months were an employee could be fired. I did sign that in my contract at the time. Do you know if Diego signed the same thing? Are you aware of the current Spanish legislation?

    I don't know if the studio is putting pressure on workers to not comment. But I do think it's very unprofessional to write messages like the one from 'ilionworker' (and coward too), or this last one where the poster says he does not work at the company but knows that Diego was fired for the right reasons. If I were the head of the studio, yeah, I'd tell my workers to stop writing that nonsense, because attacks like that only damage the company.

    We work in the same building, Dave, so if you'd like to chat about ask this, drop me a line ;-)

    - I was fired from Ilion 8 years ago, with a letter very very similar to Diego's (signed by the same HHRR person, by the way), but that written reason did not have anything to do with the reality. In fact, that HHRR director tried to come with some reasons that were not solid at all (performance issues? When I just had a conversation with my supervisor regarding my improvements?). Like me, 9 more people were fired that day. But I hold no grudge at all: it's their company and they can do whatever they want as long as everything is legal. They are a company, not a charity house.

    I hope by stating this you realize I am not one of those that is trying to defend the studio/attacking Diego. Nor I'm attacking it, as I don't know the facts Diego is yielding.

    So, to sum up, my point is that having a letter like that does not mean AT ALL those are the true reasons Diego was fired.

    - Confidential emails? Now, thanks to an Ilion worker that wrote before we all know the company went through two auditings, so all the software should be legal. Talk about breaking confidentiality...

    - iker j. de los mozos

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    1. I know more about this case than what has been posted so far.

      Don't assume other steps have not been taken.

      I don't take pot shots at companies. I have a history of better thinking than that.

      People thought I was crazy, naive, foolish to hire a plane with a banner to fly over the Oscars, but 600 people showed up and it made every paper and news service. Not everyone's or every media outlet's methods or ideas are the same either.

      During the Meteor case the Quebec labor dept told us we had no case, they are bankrupt and even though the owners are worth well over a billion and the picture will probably make 100's of millions or more, we should just shut up and take our punches and move on. I called Brendan Fraser, the star, he felt the same way I did...the rest is history.

      What I admire in Diego is the fight, something the average artist lacks or dose not care about. We are creative and passionate about our creations. Adversarial action is hard for us...but without it our industry has suffered from a mountain of abuse.

      I may not have made a pirate poster, but that's me, you never know what will take.....at least he has the balls to take a stand and put his name on the line to take it. More than I can say about the majority of his critics.

      He is not a liar or a forger of stories. Others are seeing his courage and coming forward.

      Delete
    2. Iker-- I felt your post was thoughtful and helpful and showed courage in the use of your photo and name. I was in now way pointing a finger at you...sorry if my tone seemed that...i'm noticing now after re reading my words.

      My critique was at the anonymous hecklers.

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    3. No worries at all, Dave. Even if you were pointing a finger at me it would be still OK ;-)

      And thanks for hinting that further action might be being taken. If it was not the case, this could be another internet rant like those many we all have already witnessed.

      - iker j. de los mozos

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  15. Hi Diego.

    I respect and admire what you did. I wholeheartedly wish you would have no problem landing a new job and that no studio in their right mind would flag you with negativity because of this. It's a noble and sincere act.

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  16. I admire that Diego stood up and took the noble path. Working under circumstances that put your morality in jeopardy is not worth any amount of money. And, studios that would be worth working for would never put anyone in that predicament. When you follow your heart, good things will come to you. There are much bigger things planned for Diego, I'm sure!

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  17. I applaud Diego's courage in this matter. The attacks on his character are atrocious. I can not imagine a scenario where Diego would make up the allegations of piracy. To have worked as hard as he has in his career only to jeopardize it and his reputation on a lie is unimaginable. He has taken a stand not only for himself but for an entire industry when most would remain silent and complacent. Diego is a well respected hard working professional of high moral character and he has the right to expect the same of those he works with and for.

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  18. After hate email, call threats and people commenting all kinds of terrible things about me. I want you to hear my story from me, and make your own conclusions.
    This addresses the most important questions about Who am I? What do I stand for? and What I am about?
    I tried to write it but I felt it just wast enough and I am not the best english writer. I could not write it because it would not show who I really am. I do not need to hide behind words. I have had a great career so far and that could have not been possible with out very key people I've met along the way. People that mentored me, supported me and shaped me into what I am today. I have my share of personal experiences with some of these people and I decided to share them along with how I got here today. There is some Animation and Vfx history in there as well as why is it that I feel so strongly about this.

    I hope this will inspire people to not quit just because things are going south for everyone. They are companies and places that do things the right way, and they are always looking for great talent.
    maybe some of the people mentioned on my story can corraborate the facts. Some of the stories sound magical and made up, but is all true. Every single one of them. https://soundcloud.com/dgarzonmylife/mylifestory?utm_source=soundcloud&utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=twitter

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  19. This is not professional suicide, this is unprofessional suicide at best.

    Diego has made this personal from day one, yet when confronted with it he always claims he's doing this for the industry's sake as a honorable martyr, well that's not really working out.

    It would be extremely stupid to make up such charges, so I can believe there might some sort of usage of illegal software at Ilion, but according to people there, that's not the rule by any chance, so this doesn't really seem like the right way to go about it.

    Also, this feels like an opportunity for Diego to present himself as a supervisor (and he uses that title every chance he can), but he was never one. Ilion is known to hire under-qualified people as supervisors just because they worked in large American studios, even if never in the role of supervisors, and obviously not always with good results, so in a way this suits them, and it's their fault too, but hopefully they will learn from this.

    Now Diego, piracy is a serious issue that deserves tackling, but if you wanna be taken seriously at all, drop the personal vendetta side of the story, get rid of the ridiculously silly cartoons where you even include people you're not sure are involved with the "scam", stop generalizing and offending an entire nation when some of those people aren't even Spanish, and take a look at what you could possibly gain from such idiotic behavior.

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    Replies
    1. ¡Qué verguenza! ....Shame on you.....

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  20. Real artistic talent is very rare. Artistic talent combined with technical talent is even more rare. Artistic talent, technical talent, and courage are almost nonexistent in our industry.

    Anonymous hecklers, however, are very very common.

    Given the history of our industry, If I had to pick I'd say More Diego and less "?????"

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  21. Dave, you keep saying that but there's plenty of reasons why some people would prefer to post anonymously, and that doesn't make their posts any less relevant or informed.

    There's more useful things you could be doing. Have you tried listening to the other side of the story from the people at Ilion? Have you contacted Diego's Blue Sky ex-colleagues to find out whether or not he will be missed?

    Because seriously, I have and I still can't see what's so courageous about this whole mess.

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    Replies
    1. I can tell you what's not courageous or relevant ....acting as anonymous judge and jury for Diego citing research you can neither back up or verify. It's actual hypocritical and defeats there very arguement you are trying to float.

      Delete
    2. Dude, you keep going at it, you're getting boring...

      I don't have to back up or verify anything at all. This is a blog post, what do you think will be proven here? That's my whole point, this is not only a dubious case, it's presented in a totally wrong and inappropriate way, so what the hell did you expect? Who would want to have their identities associated with it?

      I actually invited you to verify the facts for yourself, so you wouldn't have to take my word for it, but all you've done so far (and will probably remain doing) is attack anonymous posters, regardless of their posts' content or relevance.

      Delete
    3. So boring you published a couple hundred more words of strawman arguments and began some name calling, but that is the point of political and corporate or political cartoons, it gets attention and stirs the imagination. Even your country abounds with political and corporate satire. Thanks for the opportunity to repost my email address, request more people contact me confidentially, and again explain that not all of the cards are being shown. This allows Illion a way out that won't hurt the artists they employ or their contracts. Firing a foreign VFX artist without warning, back pay, or a way home is wrong in and of itself. Come clean, apologize, and move on with the work. I understand why you are afraid to use yourr real name. I always use mine, my belief is that it dispels the fear rather than supplies it. Our industry is so loaded with fear it hurts even the product we all rely on.
      Anonymously calling him un-courageous is hypocrytical. I mean really man....come on! Anyway, please continue to email me if you have information that can help this case. dave@daverand.com

      Delete
    4. Dave, if his arguments were to be 'straw man arguments', so would be yours since you seem to focus only on Diego not posting anonimously, rather than talking about the ultimate subject (piracy, which we do not have any prove to be happening or not). He made this a personal thing since he's going all over the internet (already saw the same replies in a couple of forums, including The Foundry ones) with the exact same words: 'this is the story of my life'.

      [...] Firing a foreign VFX artist without warning, back pay, or a way home is wrong in and of itself [...]

      When you say this, what are you really defending? The moral fact or the legal one? How can we know it's not morally right if he was hurting and damaging the company with his actions?

      And, on the legal side, are you aware that the laws of a country are not the same for the citizens than for the resident workers with a visa, regarding labour? Are you aware that if the company I work for in Los Angeles were to let me go tomorrow, I have several weeks before having to leave the country? And that they would not provide me a way to come home, nor a back pay? Why would I complain about that if I knew that behore I landed on the country?

      If Diego's bravery and your belief of him being prosecuted and fired are the main arguments you have to support his history, yet you do not have anything to criticize about the audio he posted or the way he has been spreading this (without real FACTS) and damaging the company he used to work for, maybe you are not as unbiased as I think you were.

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    6. I posted a reply days ago on his audio and reminded you of it below yesterday. I posted repeatedly that not all the proof is online. Diego's firing is not a straw man argument, it is actually what happened. Nor is my attention to anonymous posters bashing his courageousness a straw man argument. A straw man argument is a fake or falsified representation of an opponent's argument and forbiddin in any high school debate. I believe based on what I've seen and told that he was fired AFTER reporting pirated software (as any artist should) and was fired being owed money for actual weeks worked, and was fired without any warnings and i believe him for reasons I'm not posting here at this time . I've worked with him, know him, and know more about the situation than I'm posting here, as do many other people. What I'm hoping for is Ilion takes the high road out and we can all go back to work with less fear. That is being offered to them through different channels. The main purpose of my posts here have been to get my contact information out so people can contact me confidentially, which they have. I see you think differently with the evidence you have, that is fine. I have strong feelings about anonymous posters bashing the integrity and courageousness of a VFX artist who has put himself up as a target for a worthy cause. I believe that is a cowardly act...but that's just me. I have a history of that. I did not side with him lightly or with no evidence. I've sided with many other artists being abused in the past as you may know, and never on blind faith. I thought we worked for the same company ....because, as you know, they would never treat an artist poorly or cast him our without warning or owing them money for work done. Maybe you have me mixed up with some one else?

      Delete
  22. I find it really strange that no one commented on the 'this-is-my-life-one-hour-and-a-half' audio that Diego shared. The more I listen to it the more reasons I find not to believe his crusade (and again, I am nobody, but since he's asking opinions...).

    Specially with those longer dramatic pauses, followed by sniffs when touching delicate subjects, like companies closing, make me think there is some subtle machiavelic plan to bend the listener opinions towards his cause (also known as 'manipulation'). Those things, in addition to 'the only thing I do not like about Pixar is they not giving me a t-shirt when I deserved it', and being very serious about it, in my opinion, make you look worse than if you hadn't upload that audio.

    You know what we say in Spain: it's better to remain silent and to look dumb than speaking and showing it. Right?

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  23. I am just shocked that anybody could have listen to that audio without loosing the will to live!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ¡Qué verguenza! ....Shame on you.....

      Delete
  24. If you have information about this case please email me in confidence dave@daverand.com There will be no other posts or replies here.

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  25. Yes, because the only information we have on this topic so far, is the LACKof real information.

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  26. Si haces público todo esto, das permiso a la gente para opinar y juzgar por si mismos.... ¡Luego no te puedes enfadar si no te gusta la conclusión que saca la gente!

    Lo que no sé es si Diego ha denunciado esto por la vía legal. Si quieres resolver algo en términos legales te vas a un juzgado. Si quieres que lo juzgue y castigue la gente (cada uno a su manera) te vas a la Tv (o a internet).

    *Es la 3ª vez que intento publicar, a ver si esta vez funciona....

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  28. I can no agree more on how fast anonymous posters bash their fellow artists, no wonder your industry is in the turmoil. A bunch of cowards will live in the bed they make. Don't u understand that this hurts everybody and not just the one ....u are next one, consider this. Espana is more brave than this! Stop acting afraid and alone....help this amigo...for God sake.

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  29. I've known Diego since we were roommates in college. He was then, and still is now, dedicated and passionate towards what he does in this industry. He is also principled, honest, and straightforward. While I don't have specific insight into the events in discussion, I have no hesitation about standing with Diego here.

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  30. Diego please, stop creating fake profiles to defend yourself..#thisisjustpathetic

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    Replies
    1. Lisa I really like your hashtag #thisisjustpathetic is very strong. I really wish you were posting with your real name like most of the people engaging in the topic. I take it you have a relationship with Ilion Animation. When you voice up misinformation such as "suggest stop creating fake profiles to defend yourself" the first thing that comes to mind is your hashtag #thisisjustpathetic. I have nothing to defend myself from, I did nothing wrong. Did it ever occurred to you that Jay Goodman could've indeed been my college roommate along with a great guy named Jhon Neely in Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco? We all went our separate ways after college and they had amazing careers in the fields of Computer Graphics and Engineering. You might also want to say that I am creating fake linked profiles of people such as Jay GoodMan https://cn.linkedin.com/pub/jay-goodman/2/aa/7b9 with amazing careers for which again the first thing that come to mind is #thisisjustpathetic.

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    2. Wow. LinkedIn puts my profile on the China web address now. Aw come on!

      Delete
    3. I can assure you that Diego is not creating fake profiles to defend himself, as he has no need. There are people that support him and what he is standing up for. He does not need to stoop to the low level of creating profiles with fake names (as you apparently opted to do).

      Like Diego mentioned, he, Jay, and I all lived together in college. And I wholeheartedly agree with Jay when he says Diego is "principled, honest, and straightforward."

      I'll kindly ask you to stop attacking someone who is rightfully standing up for something he believes in. Go back to wherever you came from, and stop being such an ignorant asshole.

      Delete
    4. Hey man, be careful with those insults, I didn't call any of you an asshole so watch that mouth of you, you sounds just like those filthy pirates!!! Congratulations to you and Diego for being friends and thanks Diego for letting us all know about your friends career path, this is great but highly irrelevant and I literally could not give a damn about it. We all have friends with great careers and this means SFA.. Also, last time I checked I had the freedom of speech to write whatever I think or feel so if you don't like it go and fuck yourself GILIPOLLAS! I am not coming back to this stupid blog about a 5 year old having a tantrum because he cant get over the fact that he is just not as good as he thought he was so do not bother to reply please. Also my real name is Lisa Verity, I went to school with Pepito Juan and he is a very successful astronaut that thinks highly of me, so please be respectful..

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  31. I'm glad you like my hashtag Diego, but don't steal it or use it, or else you will be just like those filthy Spanish pirates..

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