If you watched Seth MacFarlane kick ass at the Oscars last night, you may not have been aware of a huge protest of more than 200 VFX artists right outside the Dolby Theater in Hollywood. You didn’t know about this because the Oscars telecast was more concerned about that the celebrities were wearing than the fact that the VFX artists who helped make the movies are in a lot of trouble, with some out of work. This is due to many factors, the most of which have to do with the Hollywood studios screwing over the VFX houses with shitty deals that can cause some, such as Academy Award winners Rhythm and Hues, to file for Chapter 11.
This cover-up of the issue became apparent when Rhythm and Hues won the Oscar for their work making that impressive CG tiger in Life of Pi. Most of Life of Pi’s effects were crap, but that Tiger and their reel for the voters was impressive enough to win over the Academy. During their acceptance speech, they began to bring up the subject of VFX houses suffering because of how Hollywood treats them. The telecast immediately cut their mic mid-speech. In comparison, the Documentary feature winner was allowed to give a speech about supporting poor artists on the streets. He was given 53 seconds. Rhythm and Hues had their mic cut after only 43 seconds.
Ang Lee’s comments on the matter just made him look like a giant asshole, which sparked this open letter to him.
Hollywood wants impressive VFX in their movies, hell they need VFX. But the way the VFX artists were treated last night is proof that unless more awareness is brought to their plight, before long there will only be ILM and WETA making effects for movies.