Tuesday 9 August 2022

Marvel and the VFX houses

That looks like... a lot of work.

This article is an especially appropriate follow up to my last post about Exposure Crypto Currency. 

It details the exploitation of artists at VFX houses. What's happening is appalling and unsustainable for any one set of people. Like the gaming industry, it depends on a constant stream of new artists coming in to replace the ones they burn out and throw away. 

I experienced burnout in 2013-14 (in an entirely different industry) and it takes a long time to recover. 

David describes Guardians of the Galaxy as being one of the favorite projects that he’s ever worked on. But even he agrees that Marvel’s process is inconsistent. “The worst was when Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame were coming out. They actually bumped up that release by a month but they hadn’t told us. I remember being on the floor with my team and one of my artists comes to me and says, ‘Hey, you see this?’ and he shows me the article saying Marvel bumped the release date up a month.”


Another artist quote:

“I didn’t have a day off for five weeks. And those were not eight-hour days. They were ten-plus-hour days,” recalled Sam, speaking about his experience working on a Marvel show. “And that was because they did a reshoot a month before the show was due. So we literally got shots in at the end of December for a show that was due at the end of January.”

...Sources also stated that this constant vision shift feels driven by the egomaniacal ability to demand changes and see them acquiesced to, rather than considering the kind of changes that will actually affect the story. “Nobody is holding Marvel accountable,” H said. “So they don’t care. They’re like, ‘Fuck you guys. We can make as many changes as we want and you just have to deliver it.’” These changes can be major: Sam described an incident where an actor was filmed in a practical suit and the studio decided it was the wrong suit. “And you have to replace their entire body and just leave their head in every shot.”

It sounds like a gruelling industry. 

Give it a read.

Claiming it is all the fault of the VFX houses for entering into such contracts seems like a facile response to me. Marvel may posture as being socially responsible, but how they treat their subcontractors says something. 

And while it may sound like there is an easy breezy solution ("Just pay them more!"), I don't think it will be.

No comments:

Post a Comment