James Hattin (pictured below) is the co-founder of Burbank, CA-based VFX Legion, a provider of visual effects services for the film and television industry. Hattin’s career as an artist and VFX professional includes time at Luma Pictures, Zoic Studios and Industrial Light & Magic. When he launched VFX Legion in May of 2013, he rejected the traditional VFX vendor-meets-sweatshop setup, opting instead for a forward-thinking approach that prized one thing above all else: the artist.
Today VFX Legion operates a global remote workforce, with creatives contributing from one side of the world to the other. Legion artists can be found all over the globe, working on projects such as How To Get Away With Murder and El Chapo from the comfort of their own homes.
Why did you choose to set up VFX Legion and what was it a reaction to?
“We built Legion to attract the artists that were senior, experienced and tired of running around the world for jobs. Nothing says ‘burnout’ like moving across the country, chasing tax credits, and trying to raise a family – all while working 16 hours a day.
“There’s a whole group of very talented mid- and senior-level artists that want to contribute to the VFX industry, but also want work/life balance, and that’s unfortunately so rare. Legion was established to tip the balance of scales in their favor. Over the years, we have built a community of incredibly talented artists, from all over the world, who can work from the comfort of their own locations while still contributing to amazing VFX projects. It’s been an incredible journey and we’re still going, bringing the experience to more and more talented people.”