‘Dune’ VFX Firm DNEG To Pay Enhanced Overtime To UK Employees In “Transformative Move”

Tenet and Dune VFX firm DNEG has announced plans to pay overtime to its UK employees in what it calls a “transformative move” that is a departure from industry norms.

The award-winning visual effects specialist and animation studio’s previous overtime policy in the UK mirrored the local industry norm of compensating employees for overtime with paid time off after the completion of a project.

Beginning in October, DNEG says it will pay enhanced overtime to its London employees at a 1.5x rate for all staff in non-management positions and for all incremental time that they are asked to work beyond the standard 40-hour week.

The move brings DNEG’s UK overtime policy in line with its studios in North America and applies across its film and episodic visual effects, DNEG Animation and ReDefine operations, including artist, production, technology and support teams.

Chris Burn, General Manager for DNEG’s London studio, said: “I’m immensely proud that DNEG is the first of the big visual effects studios to offer paid overtime to our teams in the UK. As a global leader in the VFX and animation industries and the UK’s largest employer in the sector with approximately 700 staff in our London office, DNEG is constantly evaluating ways to recognize the dedication and loyalty of our teams. The last 18 months have been challenging for all of us, and I am delighted that we are now in a position to make this commitment to our UK employees as we move into a very busy period for the London studio. This is a fair decision for our employees and the right thing to do for the Creative Industries in the UK. Our team in London has a key long-term role in leading DNEG’s visual effects and animation work on feature films such as The Matrix Resurrections, Ron’s Gone Wrong and upcoming DC movies The Flash and Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom.”

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Tom Jacomb, President, DNEG Animation, commented: “DNEG is challenging UK industry norms and conventions by providing overtime for any extra hours that we ask our crews to work. Our supervisory and production teams do what they can to avoid the need for overtime, but sometimes it is an inevitable consequence of the work that we do and the deadlines we meet. While DNEG has always offered our UK crews ‘time off in lieu’ for extra hours worked, I am so very pleased that we are now leading the way and compensating our artists, production and support staff with a properly structured overtime policy that goes a long way to acknowledging their immense contributions.”

DNEG recently announced that Novator Capital Advisers has invested 
$250M in subsidiaries of Prime Focus Limited, its parent company. The Novator investment has allowed DNEG Chairman and CEO Namit Malhotra to position the company for future growth.

Added Malhotra: “This proactive initiative to offer enhanced overtime to our London artists and support teams brings the UK studio in line with our locations in North America. We’re not doing this because we have to. We’re doing this to ensure our London teams are compensated fairly for their work. This is another example of how DNEG is leading from the front, creating long-term sustainability in our industry and rewarding the valued commitment of our crews. Over the last few years we have been transforming the way we work, bringing in some of the best people in our industry and winning many awards along the way; now it is time to come back to where it all started for DNEG and show our ongoing commitment to the London team.”

DNEG’s VFX work has won six (including five of the last seven) Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects. Upcoming DNEG projects on behalf of its Hollywood and global studio and production company partners include Venom: Let There Be Carnage, Dune, No Time To Die, Ron’s Gone Wrong, Last Night In Soho, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, The Matrix Resurrections, Uncharted, Borderlands, Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom, The Flash and Shazam! Fury Of The Gods.

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