View Full Version : Article: Why is the VFX business failing at its moment of greatest success

02-13-2013, 02:54 PM
""Visual effects is Art, created in a laboratory, at gunpoint." - Ben Grossmann, VFX Oscar winner, Hugo (2012)
By Mark Christiansen | February 05, 2013

In less than 3 weeks, something like a billion viewers worldwide will look on as Life of Pi wins the award for Best Visual Effects at the 85th edition of the Academy Awards. I don't mean to ruin the surprise for you, but you don't need The Predictanator to tell you this award is a lead-pipe cinch, despite a strong field that includes the number three grossing film of all-time and what is certainly the best talking biped ever committed to 48 fps (and maybe even lower framerates).

2013 will mark the 37th year in which there has been an award given for Visual Effects, a category necessitated by those harbingers of the relationship between high technology and box office Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, competitors for the 1977 statuette. And just yesterday, it emerged that Rhythm & Hues, creator with Ang Lee of Life of Pi and previous Oscar-winner for (otherwise flop) The Golden Compass "is in dire financial straits and will take an emergency $20 million capital infusion from three major Hollywood studios in order to keep its doors open through April," according to a story circulated by Reuters and now reverbarating throughout the twitterverse (one lively set of discussions is spearheaded by @vfxsolider, who has diligently provided "Commentary On The VFX Industry's March To The Bottom."



02-13-2013, 11:29 PM
In the 90's, besides my full time job I was running a bbs and doing animation (mostly product stuff for trade shows and titles/logos for low/no budget movies). Living just down the street from autodesk, all the local schools were given free software, so in a few years a ton of grade school to high school kids were animators. All the local collages and even the adult training centers were pumping out animators. By the early 2000's there were lots of low skilled (and some more skilled ) local people willing to do that kind of work for nearly free.

Now it's just on a larger scale. To many people willing to do work for nearly free. Except now it's a world wide thing. If enough people are willing to do what you do for less then it costs you to do it, you either do something else, work at a loss, figure out how to be much more productive, or wait it out hoping the others quit doing it and the price you can charge goes up. That's business. In the late 90's I was hoping things like the 20min short 'Understanding Chaos' would take off and become a norm. I guess Animusic is doing reasonably well.

02-14-2013, 06:24 PM
Too many kids willing to "Get some great material for their resumes" for free (Of course that line is spouted by the people hiring and their cronies) or almost free.
Those that still subscribe to that notion are living in a dream world. Those days are long gone.
Wake up people.
Sorry forgot the gross mismanagement by the brass of a lot of the companies.