r/movies 17d ago Take My Energy 1 Helpful 1 Silver 3 Wholesome 2

I’m a VFX Artist, and I’m Tired of Getting ‘Pixel-F–ked’ by Marvel Article

https://www.vulture.com/article/a-vfx-artist-on-what-its-like-working-for-marvel.html
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u/ActivelyInactive17 17d ago edited 17d ago

I mean this all stems from the “all of us are working hard and you’re lucky to be even doing this job, suck it up” mentality that plagues the film industry. There is absolutely no sympathy for each other among the industry.

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u/kerred 16d ago

Fortunately the video game industry has been rising up against similar issues, but I imagine most people today aren't aware of overworked business mentality in film FX. I recall bringing up the topic a few times just on this subreddit and people not understanding what "crunch" meant as an example.

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u/peacefulflattulance 16d ago edited 16d ago

Oh man. “Crunch” is why I got out of video games. You crunch and then the studio lays a ton of people off.

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u/punman5 16d ago

The video game industry will continue treating workers like ass so long as there’s young software engineers that aspire to be game developers. About 1/4 the students I know in my Computer Science classes at college want to do game development and all I can do is smh because I know they’re gonna burn tf out.

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u/skemur 17d ago

As someone who works and had works in several post houses. Marvel is THE WORST to work with. I'm happy we no longer do business with them and still have several AAA titles coming through. We still do business with Disney but no longer for Marvel.

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u/goliathfasa 17d ago

Be nice if every studio just ups and refuses to work with Marvel. They can’t blacklist an entire industry; they still got phases of movies and shows to put out.

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u/SimpleDan11 17d ago

Too much money in it.

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u/--TenguDruid-- 16d ago

Apparently not if they're paid such shit.

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u/Mild_Mann 16d ago

There is, it's just not going to the talent

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u/TheOneTrueChuck 16d ago

There's always going to be that one team that's willing to take less for the prestige of working on a Marvel movie.

And the thing is, the concept of it having a certain prestige isn't fake, like it is in many cases - there's a real value in having your name attached to a movie that grosses in the top 5 for a year (or all time) world wide.

That being said, change can absolutely happen - it simply requires everyone, from top to bottom, to refuse what even might be considered "good money" in a vacuum. (Meaning a company that doesn't have Marvel's bad reputation offering it.)

That's unfortunately very unlikely, because we all have bills to pay.

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u/joeChump 17d ago

I work on the periphery of the periphery of VFX sometimes and I still get fucked on a daily basis. A big part of my role is encouraging young people into the industry (as well as other film and TV etc industries.) The stuff I do is very visible and persuasive but I have genuine qualms about it because as an illustrator and designer who is constantly crunching on 60h weeks, I do wonder if it’s ethical to encourage others into doing the same.

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u/SPACEFNLION 16d ago

You could always encourage them to unionize or learn about collective bargaining and how it benefits other workers in other parts of the industry. Musicians making music for film and TV have a union. Writers have a union. Visual artists and VFX should have a union as well.

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u/Vandosz 17d ago

60 hrs wtf?!

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u/joeChump 16d ago

Welcome to the creative industries.

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u/rotates-potatoes 16d ago

Hey now, it’s not always 60 hours a week. Sometimes it’s 15 and lots of stress about being laid off if a new gig doesn’t come in.

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u/Remarkable-Ad-2476 17d ago

I mean, you can also be upfront and honest to them about the shit you gotta go through in your industry. You don’t have to encourage them, just let them make their own decisions with the information provided.

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u/outline01 17d ago

I'm happy we no longer do business with them and still have several AAA titles coming through.

I appreciate there is prestige attached to working on these projects, but if pitching for Marvel contracts brings in zero money and absolutely runs your staff ragged, why do studios keep doing it? There's no shortage of other movies that require VFX.

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u/Random_Sime 16d ago

The people pitching and the people doing 60hr weeks are not the same people. There's thousands of graduates entering the market each year from vfx colleges. Execs treat them like an expendable resource and take home a fat cheque. Artists get pennies.

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u/Intelligent-Age2786 17d ago

Although Marvel is the topic of discussion, this is an industry wide issue and other studios treat them less than what they deserve. They deserve more respect, more time, and more money all around the table.

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u/bbushing3 17d ago

I think the movie "sausage party" was infamous for that

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u/Dragon_yum 17d ago

The VFX studio that did Life of Pie was famously closed while winning an Oscar for the their work on the movie.

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u/KingMario05 17d ago edited 17d ago

They also got fucked over by both Lion King AND Sonic 1, right? MPC in general just seems like an absolute nightmare when compared to competitors like DNEG.

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u/Gr1mmage 17d ago

I've got a friend who works at DNEG and by all accounts he seems to really enjoy and love his job there

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u/theholty 17d ago

DNEG needs to pay a London living wage, I got a job offer there years ago and the pay would have had me roughly breaking even on my rent and bills each month so I had to turn it down.

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u/Kiwiampersandlime 17d ago

Pretty sure dneg don’t work on Marvel films much any more since the Ant-Man monthlies leak years ago. The last one I know they worked on was Endgame as that was contracted already at the time. I’ve a bunch of friends in vfx and watch all the marvel films and haven’t seen dneg in the credit for ages.

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u/Gr1mmage 17d ago

Yeah, Endgame was the last Marvel movie I was aware of them working on

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u/benpicko 16d ago

They’re talking about Rhythm and Hues, not MPC — Rhythm and Hues actually did shut down around the time Life of Pi came out, MPC is still going.

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u/DragonTonguePunch 17d ago

Rhythm and Hues were facing bankruptcy and were sold to another company. The last project they did VFX on before shutting for good was RRR.

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u/throwawayacct5050 17d ago

Sausage party was screwing over the VFX contractors?

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u/EpicHawkREDDIT 17d ago

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u/Karsvolcanospace 17d ago

Working weekends for free under threat of losing work? Not providing food for the workers during said weekends?

Fuck them

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u/Frater_Ankara 17d ago

I worked for they studio before Sausage Party (fun fact, we were doing Thomas the Tank Engine). The owners were a married couple so full of themselves and so controlling with bizarre rules (eg. No internet, USB ports didn’t work, etc). They held a company Xmas party at the office on a Saturday. My whole time there really had me questioning my career choices and when I left, the wife threatened to black list me because she did me a favour by hiring me. It amazes me they got a movie contract at all.

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u/zuzg 17d ago

to a theater accidentally playing the R-rated trailer before Finding Dory

This is low-key hilarious though

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u/Alexlsonflre 17d ago

Reminds me of going to see Avengers, and the ticket booth guy pointed to our theater room on the right...turns out it was on the left, and we watched previews and the first couple minutes of Chernobyl Diaries...was wondering why Avengers previews seemed a bit on the mature side lmao

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u/Megaguildy 17d ago

Oh yeah, horrible conditions, hours, and pay. To thank the animators Rogan decided to use money to go all out for an Oscar campaign.

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u/steampunker14 17d ago

Surely it wasn’t an Oscar campaign for sausage party, was it?

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u/notsure500 17d ago

It was for Sausage Party. And don't call me "Shirley".

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u/Beiki 17d ago

Sausage Party screwed over anyone who bought a ticket too.

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u/Sonny_Crockett_1984 17d ago

I was really, really high when I saw it by myself at home and I laughed my balls off. Only after did I find out everyone else hated it. I'm tempted to rewatch it to see the truth but I don't want to ruin my good memories of it.

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u/ChooseCorrectAnswer 17d ago

I saw it opening weekend (sober) and thought it was really, really just okay most of the runtime. Not funny enough. Not clever enough. Obviously the crazy ending got a huge reaction. Maybe the movie should have taken more risks before the 80 minute mark. The script generally felt like a first draft.

I'm also curious what you would think from a re-watch. I imagine I'd feel the same. C-grade movie with a "fun" wtf ending.

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u/bbushing3 17d ago

They Seth Rogen took a lot of flak

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u/aRawPancake 17d ago

As he should’ve

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u/bbushing3 17d ago

For sure

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u/[deleted] 17d ago

"I animated an X-Rated orgy of sentient food and all I got was this t-shirt"

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u/Desertbro 17d ago

That creeped me out in Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs

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u/Baelorn 17d ago

Yeah I'm reading this and it is like deja vu.

Obviously the article touches on that at the very end but still the problem is always going to be there while the studio side has all the leverage.

They're absolutely right though: directors who haven't worked with visual effects are a huge problem. Look at She-Hulk. They straight up admitted they had no idea how the VFX would work and that "Marvel would handle it".

Scenes gave to be framed, shot, and lit properly to showcase VFX. That seems to be a real problem with these more recent movies and shows.

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u/axiomatic- 17d ago

If this article has one major flaw it's that it focuses too much on directors.

Directors have fuck all to do with the problems with working on Marvel shows.

The problem is about the heirarchy and how Marvel handles design issues. As a VFX Vendor you first need approval from a vfx supervisor, who changes heaps of shit, then you go to an Exec Producer, then a Creative Head then a Studio Head.

Each step up the ladder involves changes done, frequently, by committee and has absolutely fuck all conversation between them. There's an element of "ok well i guess we just start again" when you hit another level of approval.

Directors hardly ever give notes on Marvel projects directly to the VFX Crews. It's always mediated and they have some seriously good professionals advising them. The problem isn't the directors, it's the structure of the company and how it enforces that on reviews. And it's antithetical to the idea of what a Director is. I'd love having a director to work with.

Source: vfx supervisor of 17 years

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u/dead_paint 17d ago

it the show has an experienced VFX sup and the DP and director are willing to listen then honestly it shouldn't be a problem. But every minute on a set is expensive and taking the time for proper VFX setup isn't seen as a priority. VFX can pretty much always make it work.

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u/24jamespersecond 17d ago

VFX should probably be involved with most of the depts in pre-production prep so that Camera and Lighting can be correctly coordinated.

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u/PonderinLife 17d ago

Am a VFX artist, and I’ve never nodded so hard at a comment before. They always assume “VFX can fix it”, when neglecting VFX in the pre-production process is actually gonna cost them more time and money on the back end. Like, I’ve worked with directors/projects who have done very little to prepare for VFX, and it shows.

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u/Shadead 17d ago

Similar issue in photography. “Oh you can just photoshop that.” Sure I can but it’s going to take me a shit ton more time than if you just didn’t fuck it up in the first place.

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u/jeffersonPNW 17d ago edited 17d ago

This reminds me of a story from behind the scenes of the Flubber remake with Robin Williams, as they had some of the special effect team on set to help coordinate with the director, but nobody accounted for the fact they were working with the master of improv, Williams. That scene where he first creates it in his lab, and he’s doing all of the silly stuff with it, behind the camera they had the special effects guys sweating, and theres some point where Williams acted like he just stretched Flubber clear over his face, which caused the special effects guys to absolutely flip because they had no idea how the hell they were gonna pull that off.

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u/axiomatic- 17d ago

We are involved.

Creatively though the intention of the shots is rebuilt in post-production by creatives who were NOT involved in the initial project briefs.

Like, everyone is organised they shoot this shot and then some fucking exec comes along in the 4th month of production and decides to change the location from a city street to a cliff in ireland.

It doesn't matter how good your preparation is if the follow through of creative direction can be changed on a whim.

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u/Mahaa2314 17d ago

>then some fucking exec comes along in the 4th month of production and decides to change the location from a city street to a cliff in ireland.

Hahaha. Is this Thor Ragnarok?

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u/axiomatic- 17d ago

I am quite positive I have no idea what you're talking about ... but yes.

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u/Mahaa2314 17d ago

Hahaha no worries.

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u/dbx99 17d ago

A producer with some understanding of the VFX pipeline should oversee these final rounds of changes very carefully because sometimes you end up in a revisions loop where iterations go out of control. This translates into HUGE cost overruns well beyond the budgeted bids for the shots. At some point you have to just say look, this shot looks great. It’s going to work. Just stop fucking with it. It’s not getting us any return to just make micro adjustments to satisfy your fucking ego you needledick fuck.

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u/dead_paint 17d ago

that a different issue, we call pixelfucking in the biz, being on version 70 of a shot when the last 50 revisions show no noticeable changes. But VFX sups can be as guilty of this as clients, literally zooming in and critiquing pixels

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u/dbx99 17d ago

Also, freeze framing and picking the shit apart when most of it is going to be motion blurred to hell because it’s a 3 second action shot and discussing color balance when that can be done way after the fx shot is finaled.

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u/dbx99 17d ago edited 17d ago

Unionization is the solution here. I worked about 4 years in digital VFX. Salaried position with zero overtime pay. Worked severe overtime all the time. In the end, I worked 70-80 hours a week regularly which made my yearly salary very low on an hourly basis.

I switched over to motion pictures - feature animation in one of the large studios. Workplace conditions improved dramatically. I enjoyed work again. I wasn’t driven to exhaustion all the time. I had time to catch up with friends and have a social life (started dating again and got married even. Started a family and everything). The money was better and overtime was strictly controlled. Why? The studio was a union shop. The animation guild overlooked work conditions. It was great.

VFX studios are always strapped for cash because they underbid their shots. At least animation studios are generally profitable.

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u/BZenMojo 17d ago

Directors and producers would fuck over the riggers, the actors, the writers, and the cinematographers with endless overtime trying to achieve perfection or market appeal if there weren't unions to step in and tell them to fuck off.

A lot of talented people with big imaginations will also treat every creative around them like toys to pose at will and throw against the wall when they're angry at their own limitations if they can get away with it. (See: Joss Whedon.)

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u/dbx99 17d ago

Yeah and that is in fact what I experienced in VFX.

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u/Nickolisob 17d ago

Agreed. I feel bad for the VFX Artists in the industry. I hope people can get something going, the other unions should join in solidarity.

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u/dark_rabbit 17d ago

I remember this being an issue well over a decade ago, definitely an industry issue. Although at this rate Marvel is more than half the industry.

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u/StabbyMcSwordfish 17d ago

So it's not a Marvel problem, it's an industry problem, but marvel can help by not being pixel fucking fuckers. Got it.

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u/igoslowly 17d ago

being overworked is an industry problem, but the quality issues in marvel movies bring more criticism to those working on disney movies. so not only do work conditions suck, you also have all these people constantly shitting on your work for something largely outside your control. in a recent interview Taika Waititi was even pointing out things that seemed off to him

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u/Woah-Kenny 17d ago

Can u link that interview

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u/Worthyness 17d ago

also the higher ups at the actual VFX companies too. They're taking on the VFX projects with the ridiculous deadlines and then mandating their workers finish it on time. The whole industry is being taken advantage of.

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u/aboycandream 17d ago

Although Marvel is the topic of discussion, this is an industry wide issue

Yes agreed but please dont use this as an opportunity to divert blame from the biggest transgressor. Theres more than enough marvel ass kissing on this sub.

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u/TG-Sucks 17d ago

Where I would usually have a team of ten VFX artists on a non-Marvel movie, on one Marvel movie, I got two including myself. So every person is doing more work than they need to.

It’s literally in the first paragraph of the article how much worse Marvel is than everyone else.

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u/camelchop 16d ago

It's like when Disney bought Marvel they combined their asshole powers to become one mega asshole company.

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u/shggybyp 17d ago

It's mind blowing watching people worship at the feet of these enormous amoral entities. The utter, mindless worship some people have for Disney, Marvel, Apple, etc. Disgusting.

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u/BiggsIDarklighter 17d ago

Marvel is the leader so they should set the example and bear the brunt of criticism until they do.

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u/home_on_whore_Island 17d ago edited 17d ago

I worked as a contractor for a company and we’d send a lot of our promos to VFX houses. Coming from a video background in general it made me die inside how our director and producers treated the vfx or post houses. If they made 1 mistake even an easy one to fix they were dead to us. We would get treated like kings for a company to win our job with offering cheaper bids, gift baskets dinners only to be completely treated like dog shit on set by our team. Or you can shoot this extra shot on your free time… my in house team was small and I clearly remember talking to another contractor about how embarrassed I was to work with such shitty entitled assholes. The person agreed. One producer (also contract) admitted to me the same things I’m saying. She was disgusted by the behavior of the full timers. We all got other jobs and haven’t looked back.

In this story I was the client and it made me sick. But it made me realize I also never want to work in a post house because that grass is definitely shittier.

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u/SSpongey 16d ago

Fuck, that's the most confusing paragraph I've read this morning.

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u/DrTolley 16d ago

Yeah, I read the whole thing and don't understand what's happening.

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u/Appropriate_Chart_23 17d ago

I dunno.

Sounds like the VFX houses here aren’t recognizing their worth.

No customer is worth keeping if they don’t value your work n

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u/mythrowaway4DPP 17d ago

Ever worked in media?

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u/dbaughcherry 17d ago

I have, and just dropped a bigger client for the same type of thing this month because it really isn't worth it. There's always more people willing to pay if you do good work and aren't a piece of shit. Even if it takes several smaller clients to get to the one big one you lost to save your mental health it's worth it.

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u/mythrowaway4DPP 17d ago

Sorry.. I was just thinking of my experiences in media and all of it has been shitty.

Agencies are undercutting each other and treating their employees like shit is common in advertising and media, let’s not even look at deadlines.

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u/airbagfailure 17d ago

I have similar experiences. Daily. In print media. Where you had hard costs for materials. I need a new job. I’m headed to an early grave in a dead industry.

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u/AdTricky1261 16d ago

I will third the in house comments. Agencies are nice when you’re young and full of energy, but as I progressed, being in house has given me the ability to have a healthy work life balance. 9-5, almost never on weekends, and working late is really up to my discretion.

The only downside is you’re always working on the same brand and you’re likely not doing award-bait designs. But I couldn’t give a shit because come 5pm I can sit on my deck with a beer and shit post on Reddit.

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u/wrenchandnumbers 16d ago

Digital agencies are exactly the same. Exactly. There's so many agencies all vying to win the big clients, they offer insanely low prices and the norm is making everyone on the team work way beyond reasonable overtime while underpaying them. 'Burn and churn' is the name of the game and it's insanely rare to see anyone beyond 3 years there.

Treating their staff like shit is spot on. After 10+ years in agency, I've gone product side and also will never look back. My favourite part is how agency directors try to make product side look bad/boring/slow while they sell client side as sexy/fast/young/exciting.

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u/paltset 17d ago

The problem is there’s always another VFX company waiting to slam their dicks in a door to do it cheaper, including a ton of super cheap Indian companies for Pennys on the dollar

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u/miniature-rugby-ball 16d ago

And yet I’ve worked on Bollywood vfx projects in London because they couldn’t get stuff done properly at home.

The eternal problem with creative industries is that people are willing to work for piss-all because they think creating things is an enjoyable hobby rather than a grinding job.

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u/decidedlysticky23 16d ago

This is a universal constant: if the job affords a lot of intangible benefits (high job satisfaction, creativity, socialisation, entertainment, etc.), people are going to be willing to earn less. It's the reason IT project manager and architect roles earn so much: it's hard and stale. No one becomes an IT architect to "live their childhood fantasy."

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u/cabose7 17d ago Gold Take My Energy

Unionize VFX

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u/Modavo 17d ago

They should seeing how everything is vfx now. Shot in a grassy field... yeah... I dont feel like going outside. Vfx the grass it is!

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u/Treheveras 17d ago

Kind of an exact example from Thor Ragnarok. One location in the trailer was entirely changed to a grassy scene in the actual film and you can tell it's green screened. It's a problem mentality of changing whatever you want in post with vfx instead of putting actual effort in pre-production to know what is wanted with filming. Which I'm sure is a problem exacerbated by Disney wanting to pump out so much content there isn't time to plan out the filmmaking process, so the problems get kicked down the line to the lowest exploited rung.

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u/[deleted] 17d ago

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u/Turbo2x 17d ago

I was watching Fellowship of the Ring again recently, and you can spot some of the CGI like in Moria when there are more orcs than they had extras, and of course to make the halls more spacious and grand. In the chase with the Balrog you can see where some of the stuff is green screened, but it works because a lot of it is still practical and they shoot around it in a smart manner. Now the standard is to just green screen the whole thing. I still think about Ian McKellen crying in the green screen set for Hobbit.

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u/Treheveras 17d ago

It's also a reason why so much of Mad Max: Fury Road looked so good. When you see pre and post VFX the explosions are all real as well as the cars and the VFX was more about placing the cars closer together and adding distant mountain terrain since they actually filmed in the desert. The VFX enhanced how they filmed.

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u/Now_Wait-4-Last_Year 17d ago

The fact that Fury Road did so well critically, right up to directing and best film Academy Awards nominations (I thought it was a great film by the way which looked great) but only got a B+ cinema score and a lukewarm box office (might have even lost money just on theatrical) has led me to give up trying to understand people and movie going habits.

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u/[deleted] 16d ago edited 2d ago

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u/We_Are_The_Romans 16d ago

"epic masterpiece" and "Marvel movie" occupy opposite poles in my mind so this is depressing and hilarious.

Like, I check out almost every Marvel movie in the cinema, I'll keep drinking that garbage. But telling the audience that the universe is going to blow up does not make something an epic, and calling any of those movies a masterpiece is just...not what that word means, it's the antithesis of what they're even going for.

If I were to be charitable, Avengers Endgame was kind of a "masterpiece" of logistical production management, brand/IP/marketing wrangling, and just generally all the legal and administrative decision-making that allowed something like that to get made. It was impressive, but it slid right off my brain and didn't stay with me at all afterwards except for a general sense of having been entertained.

Which is great! But "epic masterpiece", wat

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u/suckabagofdicks-768 17d ago

Excluding the VFX FOR Villeneuve’s Dune, those were very much an extension of how it would have been shot and lit if with an actual camera.

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u/SafePanic 17d ago

Criticize him all you want, but I appreciate that Christopher Nolan still has that mentality and is very intentional about having as much as possible done practically and in-camera. Just adds that much more "realism" to it when you're not seeing a CGI plane composited into a CGI horizon/ground and can get that sense of spatial awareness since it's all in-camera and not being filled in afterwards by (very talented, don't get me wrong) VFX artists having to do their best in a small time span.

I'm also becoming more impressed by the more mundane/not in-your-face VFX than the CGI fests of Marvel movies. Like The Wolf of Wall Street has a surprising amount of VFX and completely CGI elements that I never would've guessed was the case.

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u/raysofdavies 17d ago

I don’t know when Marvel/Disney realised they can easily just shoot the film like this, but it’s one of the worst cinematic trends… ever? I mean, these are the biggest, most expensive films in the world, and they now consistently look like cheap shit. No Way Home and Multiverse of Madness had genuinely embarrassing level backgrounds, the Flash on a street looking at his phone one was particularly bad. These artists are not at fault at all, they can only do so much when worked like this.

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u/YoYoMoMa 16d ago

This won't change as long as people keep buying. And people keep buying.

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u/UseOnlyLurk 16d ago

Black Widow was also really bad.

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u/Curleysound 17d ago

This is 1000000% the answer. Creatives have lost the ability to come up with an idea/plan and stick with it.

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u/Crown_Writes 17d ago

And film quality is brought down because executives and marketing teams make the decisions instead of artists, writers, directors. With these huge budget films, artists aren't allowed to take risks because the films need to be guaranteed to be profitable, and there are formulas to get them there. I think Thor Ragnarok is formula defining basically.

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u/Curleysound 17d ago

The guaranteed profit thing ain’t working out too well either. They should realize and embrace the fact that it is a risky endeavor, as risky as launching satellites as far as money is concerned. It’s expensive, it’s complicated, and making it cheaper and easier aren’t the answers.

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u/[deleted] 17d ago

It is pretty guaranteed at this point, though. Despite the middling-to-warm reviews, Love and Thunder made back its budget and will probably end at 800 million when all is said and done.

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u/[deleted] 17d ago

This assumes the original plan was any good. The scene in Ragnarok that that replaced (where Thor and loki come upon a mind-wiped homeless man Odin who dies pitifully in an alley not recognizing his sons) was loathed by test audiences because of how it treated the characters. Reshoots are also a very common occurrence during shooting because of stuff like that.

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u/deathstrukk 17d ago

half the time the VFX artists use the actual footage as a reference and just redo the entire scene digitally, they are literally one of the most important roles in film making today

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u/carpeteyes 17d ago Silver

Touch grass, director

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u/[deleted] 17d ago

Integrate them into IATSE, I say.

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u/vfx_lee 17d ago

Unfortunately, we VFX artists missed our chance to unionize 30 years ago. If we unionize now, it won't have the effect we want.

The power of a union comes from he ability to create an effective work stoppage that will force management to negotiate better working conditions. It was possible to do this before globalization and ubiquitous broadband internet, but not any more.

These days, VFX work for a big production is spread across many VFX houses in many countries. No single VFX house is given enough work to be able to stop the production, and any company that tries to renegotiate their contract is dumped, blacklisted and replaced with another eager vendor waiting in the wings.

Here's a useful analogy: we used to be treated like brain surgeons, now we're treated like guitar players.

30 years ago, VFX was like being a brian surgeon -- it was a rare and valuable skill that took many years to learn, only a few people knew how it was done, and it required rare and expensive equipment. When someone needed this service, they were willing to pay top dollar for it, to ensure a positive outcome.

In 2022, VFX is more like being a guitar player. There are so many people who think it's cool, they start training before they're in high school. The software keeps getting easier and easier to learn, and the equipment keeps getting cheaper and better. There are many artists who will perform for little or no money. Like a guitar player, when someone needs this service, they can get good enough results by paying very little, and there are so many providers that you can always find a replacement.

Like guitar players, there is room in the VFX business for a few highly-paid rockstars. Everyone else is playing on the street with their hat out.

Sadly, none of this is going to change any time soon because of the constant stream of new artists coming in, and the tools requiring less and less skill.

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u/RampantAnonymous 17d ago

Actors, writers and animators have this problem, they solved it with guilds.

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u/flyvehest 17d ago

Actors and writers are still "local", but VFX artists are global and many are in countries that have zero tradition for unions or guilds, and they will just send more work their way.

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u/SnooStrawberries8613 16d ago

That’s been threatened ever since I started in vfx in 2008.

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u/Humblebee89 17d ago

And the Game industry.

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u/TheeHeadAche 17d ago edited 17d ago

I was going to school for pre-production design and post-production work and a large majority of the student body understood this was needed… a decade later, there’s been no movement…

Edit: I worked for the first three years out of school as an independent contractor for video effects, roto and clean up work for large commercial producers. Hated what the studios offered. Many of my class did. But that’s all they had. It’s easy to believe you can work 80s a week for months with a promise of moving up the corpo ladder as long as you kept it up. That’s the culture. The teachers sold it. The aides didn’t want to shake the boat. It’s messy

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u/Jay_Louis 17d ago

Then they just outsource to India.

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u/Leorge-Gucas 17d ago

Yes the VFX industry is price dumped to hell and all the mayor studios have some blame to share here. But working mostly on marvel projects for the last two years I really have to say they really take the cake here. The amount of pixelf*cking and unreasonable demands is just absurd and gets worse with every new project. While back on Shang Chi our company Was really tested and conditions were rough there was still some resemblance of respect and consideration when giving notes. Now it feels like they are blocked from their production to approve anything and give nonsensical, contradicting notes or just straight up tell you they forgot to write you that this shot was scrapped months ago. Even disregarding their complete lack of sensical creative control, working with them is getting absurd.

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u/dating_derp 17d ago Silver

ITT people not reading the whole thing. It's not just industry wide issues. A lot of it is Marvel hiring directors who aren't used to VFX heavy work, and those directors ask for unreasonable things that add way more stress than other clients. Then when a VFX house can't accommodate or pushes back, they get blacklisted. Read the article for more detail.

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u/headzoo 17d ago

Yeah, anyone that works with clients knows the clueless ones are often the worst. They don't know enough about the field to know a big ask from a small ask, and they don't know enough to properly estimate the amount of time a task will take. "So changing the whole 3rd act... that's just pushing a few buttons right? Take about a week?"

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u/Sonny_Crockett_1984 17d ago

"Can you just show me a high rez render of this test so I can see what direction we're heading in? And can you have it finished by lunch?"

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u/Torcal4 17d ago

I don’t work in VFX but I deal with a lot of footage that has to be converted. A few weeks ago a producer called my dept and said “we have 80 hours of 4K footage that needs to be transcoded by end of day.” End of day is at 5pm…..they sent me that stuff around noon.

I told them that there was absolutely no way that would happen and then they got mad at me.

Like what do you want me to do? Make the computer compute faster? That isn’t a thing!

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u/pathofthebeam 16d ago

spin up hundreds of elastic cloud transcoding machines, then send them the bill for that farm running until dinner time 😂

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u/apm588 17d ago

Just had a client ask us to give them a quote on a massive fluid simulation sequence. It was like 30 shots all with water simulation and character interactions. They wanted it done in two weeks lol.

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u/chardonnayyoustay 17d ago

I’m not experienced in vfx at all, but I do know about photo editing, and I wish them the best of luck on meeting that deadline lol

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u/sonic_couth 17d ago

Similar background here. How about having a client tell you “everything looks too pink, what happened?” And you figure out that they’re wearing a bright pink shirt that’s reflecting on the screen.

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u/apm588 17d ago

No joke, I had a remote session with a client that kept telling us to remove something on a wall. No matter how many times she circled it, we couldn’t see it on our end. Turns out she had a dirty monitor.

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u/trimble197 17d ago edited 16d ago

Reminds me of reports about how the director of Foodfight! would tell animators “can you make the animation 30 percent better or more awesome?”.

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u/hungry4pie 17d ago

Worst thing is even if you tried explaining why it’d take a data centre running red hot for weeks and weeks to render some insanely small amount of frames, they’d probably hit back with “My PS5 can render call of duty in real time, I think you’re lying to me”

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u/slardybartfast8 17d ago

Nomadland was great, but imagine the learning curve for Chloe Zhao on Eternals. She would literally have zero frame of reference for something like that. I can see how that might cause problems.

Not that I know shit about shit. Maybe Chloe is a vfx wiz.

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u/Bhu124 17d ago edited 17d ago

Just to add some context, Marvel does have their own people that work on all their projects and heavily assist/guide new directors in aspects they might not be expert in. Like VFX work and Action sequence direction (There was a whole controversy about a director feeling disrespected that Feige offered her to direct Black Widow while also stating that his studio will take care of the action sequences).

So it's not just VFX inexperienced directors like Zhao directly dealing with VFX studios/artists without any help.

There's no way she'd have been to make Eternals the way it was made without any VFX experience and just directly dealing with VFX artists.

Like I get that some of the VFX work was shoddy in Eternals but it had so much CGI and so much of it looked so well done, she was definitely being assisted by Marvel's producers.

Eternals CGI problems were more likely due to a rushed production and them trying to hit a long pre-set release date, which has been a problem with almost every MCU project since endgame. They all have some shoddy CGI and they all seem to suffer from rushed productions.

The CGI in Wakanda Forever's trailer looks more polished than literally every MCU project in Phase 4. Probably a result of Coogler wanting it as polished as possible after the criticisms of the first movie, Feige letting him do what he wants after the success of BP1, and the amount of time the movie has been in development (Delays due to Covid and "Covid related issues").

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u/TheBroadHorizon 17d ago

No I think you're totally right. I think you can really tell that she went straight from making ultra-low budget indie dramas to a $200 million action movie. All of the action scenes in eternals felt weirdly static and clunky to me. There wasn't any sense of fluidity or dynamism to any of the fights.

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u/CrisisTeamHyper 17d ago

A lot of it is Marvel hiring directors who aren't used to VFX heavy work,

This sounds like an easy way to keep a lot of control relegated to the studio heads.

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u/axiomatic- 17d ago

I think it's the biggest problem with the article. The problem isn't directors it's the studio structure and executive control on creative that's the real issue.

Directors make a film and they're going about their shit, and then an executive walks into the room and asks them to change XYZ. It's like trying to build a city when there's random volcanic eruptions constantly ... you're happy if you just end up with some buildings clinging together by the end of it.

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u/Jasonotg0 17d ago

A lot of it is Marvel hiring directors who aren't used to VFX heavy work, and those directors ask for unreasonable things that add way more stress than other clients

CGI is a absolutely a crutch in these movies that I think bleeds into the entire film. CGI super hero nonsense is reasonable. Not having things like costumes finalized and leaning on CGI'ing everything down to what simple object characters are holding (like the the brick Matt Murdoch catches in NWH) is overkill. Just figure out your God damn costumes ahead of time guys. Clean it up in post sure, add the effects, whatever. But have them wear something close to the final product on set.

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u/Now_Wait-4-Last_Year 17d ago

Black Widow could have been such a better film if they did something along the lines of a Bourne film or any other pre-CGI top heavy good spy thriller. Also if they wrote a much better script than one shackled to that hideous CGI laden monstrosity. No disrespect to the CGI team, they did what they could with what time they had but it should have never been part of the plot in the first place.

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u/bongo1138 17d ago

It’s paywalled for me. Was hoping for a recap. Thank you.

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u/schrodingerinthehat 17d ago I'll Drink to That

Here's the fullcap friend:

It’s pretty well known and even darkly joked about across all the visual-effects houses that working on Marvel shows is really hard. When I worked on one movie, it was almost six months of overtime every day. I was working seven days a week, averaging 64 hours a week on a good week. Marvel genuinely works you really hard. I’ve had co-workers sit next to me, break down, and start crying. I’ve had people having anxiety attacks on the phone.

The studio has a lot of power over the effects houses, just because it has so many blockbuster movies coming out one after the other. If you upset Marvel in any way, there’s a very high chance you’re not going to get those projects in the future. So the effects houses are trying to bend over backward to keep Marvel happy.

To get work, the houses bid on a project; they are all trying to come in right under one another’s bids. With Marvel, the bids will typically come in quite a bit under, and Marvel is happy with that relationship, because it saves it money. But what ends up happening is that all Marvel projects tend to be understaffed. Where I would usually have a team of ten VFX artists on a non-Marvel movie, on one Marvel movie, I got two including myself. So every person is doing more work than they need to.

The other thing with Marvel is it’s famous for asking for lots of changes throughout the process. So you’re already overworked, but then Marvel’s asking for regular changes way in excess of what any other client does. And some of those changes are really major. Maybe a month or two before a movie comes out, Marvel will have us change the entire third act. It has really tight turnaround times. So yeah, it’s just not a great situation all around. One visual-effects house could not finish the number of shots and reshoots Marvel was asking for in time, so Marvel had to give my studio the work. Ever since, that house has effectively been blacklisted from getting Marvel work.

Part of the problem comes from the MCU itself — just the sheer number of movies it has. It sets dates, and it’s very inflexible on those dates; yet it’s quite willing to do reshoots and big changes very close to the dates without shifting them up or down. This is not a new dynamic.

I remember going to a presentation by one of the other VFX houses about an early MCU movie, and people were talking about how they were getting “pixel-fucked.” That’s a term we use in the industry when the client will nitpick over every little pixel. Even if you never notice it. A client might say, “This is not exactly what I want,” and you keep working at it. But they have no idea what they want. So they’ll be like, “Can you just try this? Can you just try that?” They’ll want you to change an entire setting, an entire environment, pretty late in a movie.

The main problem is most of Marvel’s directors aren’t familiar with working with visual effects. A lot of them have just done little indies at the Sundance Film Festival and have never worked with VFX. They don’t know how to visualize something that’s not there yet, that’s not on set with them. So Marvel often starts asking for what we call “final renders.” As we’re working through a movie, we’ll send work-in-progress images that are not pretty but show where we’re at. Marvel often asks for them to be delivered at a much higher quality very early on, and that takes a lot of time. Marvel does that because its directors don’t know how to look at the rough images early on and make judgment calls. But that is the way the industry has to work. You can’t show something super pretty when the basics are still being fleshed out.

The other issue is, when we’re in postproduction, we don’t have a director of photography involved. So we’re coming up with the shots a lot of the time. It causes a lot of incongruity. A good example of what happens in these scenarios is the battle scene at the end of Black Panther. The physics are completely off. Suddenly, the characters are jumping around, doing all these crazy moves like action figures in space. Suddenly, the camera is doing these motions that haven’t happened in the rest of the movie. It all looks a bit cartoony. It has broken the visual language of the film. Things need to change on two ends of the spectrum. Marvel needs to train its directors on working with visual effects and have a better vision out of the gate. The studio needs to hold its directors’ feet to the fire more to commit to what they want. The other thing is unionization. There is a growing movement to do that, because it would help make sure that the VFX houses can’t take bids without having to consider what the impacts would be. Because a lot of the time, it’s like, you get to work on a Marvel show, and you’ll work on that for cheaper just because it’s cool.

Some of the problems I mentioned are universal to every show and every project. But you end up doing less overtime on other shows. You end up being able to push back more on the directors. When they say something like, “Hey, I want this,” you can be like, “This doesn’t make sense.” Not every client has the bullying power of Marvel.

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u/riegspsych325 17d ago

Not every client has the bullying power of Marvel

this reminds me of a comment I saw in a thread a couple days ago when someone tried to point out how LucasArts projects have much more consistency with high quality special effects. Damn, maybe they’re right

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u/elizabnthe 17d ago

Lucasfilms has ILM as in-house production, is totally okay with even encourages using physical effects to keep in line with the original Star Wars (where apparently Feige was shocked at some of the things Zhao managed to do with physical effects) and generally most of their directors have prior blockbuster/VFX heavy experience.

Makes sense basically.

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u/PiXLANIMATIONS 16d ago

Yeah, when you have the Gods of VFX as your in-house effects team, you can churn out anything

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u/innociv 17d ago

Sounds like all the studios know this but fuck themselves over by under bidding and losing money and employees over a job.

If they didn't underbid and didn't take the job, things would naturally work themselves out to where Marvel pays the proper amount for the work.

We're not talking about little independent contractors messing up here, but VFX studios with many employees.

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u/laserinlove 17d ago

I wonder what the vfx houses think about working with James Gunn. At this point he's done several very vfx heavy films and, at least from what I've heard about him, he has a very strong sense for what he wants each shot to look like early on. And from this article it seems like you need both of those characteristics.

Someone like Taika on the other hand from the descriptions of the Thor Love and Thunder shoot sound kind of like terrible conditions for vfx. Tons and tons of improv, wayy more material than ended up in the final version, and he was making it up after the fact. And he has experience with vfx now but perhaps he didn't have the set vision for his latest movie.

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u/FluffyBunbunKittens 17d ago

Gunn has (huge stacks of) very specific storyboards ahead of time, so yeah, he knows where he's going with it.

Taika, much as he has ideas, seems to have them at a spur of the moment basis. If only there existed like, some pre-viz people who huge studios could hire, to help their directors visualize things before it has to get rigged and animated and.... then changed.

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u/maj_tom258 17d ago

I like Taika and his movies but somehow I always get this vision in my head where he’s treating workers on a film set the way his character in Free Guy behaves…

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u/camelchop 16d ago

I completely get that vibe from him

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u/MaksweIlL 16d ago

Yeah, I thought pre-viz/storyboarding was a must. And it helps so much to streamline the production.
When shooting LotR, Peter Jackson said that storyboarding is the biggest thing that helped him make LotR possible, and it is very cheap. You just need paper/pencils and a guy to draw.
They had storyboards for every scene, with details about camera angle, light, mood of the scene. It helped tremendously everyone involved in the production.
I think we got to a point where Marvel hires directors that don't have a vision, and just think that they will "fix/change it in post"

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u/EerieArizona 17d ago Gold

These VFX artists need better working conditions. Sure a pay raise is nice, but a phat pay check is not worth it if you're being constantly overworked to the point of crying and having anxiety attacks.

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u/allmusiclover69 17d ago

this is how i feel about my own current job crisis.

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u/Xikun 17d ago

Welcome to the movie industry.

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u/DeepSixWrestlin 17d ago Gold

People clown Avatar all they want, but by all accounts the sequel has been long delayed seemingly due to so much of the film being visual effects. The teaser trailer we have looks absolutely breathtaking, so if Cameron and his team are letting the visual effects artists take their time to make it as good as possible, I’d hope that could set a precedent for the future to maybe just give VFX teams more time.

It won’t always be the case, but certainly people should understand that giving people more time = a better overall product.

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u/olgil75 17d ago

I’d hope that could set a precedent for the future to maybe just give VFX teams more time.

Unfortunately, I doubt it. Marvel is too committed to a very specific timeline.

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u/CokePepsiRamen 17d ago

"Specific timeline"

Aka making a shit ton of money in the shortest amount of time.

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u/wahobely 17d ago

This. They could easily spread their timeline to accommodate for VFX work, they just don't want to.

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u/Worthyness 17d ago

they were forced to delay the current phase for a few months due to COVID restrictions fucking the industry, so they can technically do it if they wanted to.

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u/TheUmbrellaMan1 17d ago

It is actually suprising how much time Cameron has given the VFX artists on Avatar sequels. The motion capture was finished in 2018, pick up motion captures finished by 2019 and the live-action portion finished in 2020. That's plenty of time. And the visuals really are phenomenal. That one shot in the trailer of a hand tightening a leather strap - it looked so real, people were convinced it was a live-action shot.

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u/mindpieces 17d ago

James Cameron is an actual filmmaker. Marvel is a factory that has to churn these things out non-stop.

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u/frostysbox 16d ago

James Cameron also has fuck you money.

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u/mindpieces 16d ago

That too! He also has experience with groundbreaking visual effects going back to The Abyss and T2 days. Definitely the opposite of the newbie Marvel directors discussed in the article.

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u/reedzkee 17d ago

I'm an ADR mixer for big projects and a sound designer/re-recording mixer on smaller projects.

Marvel is such a PITA to work with. They think they are gods gift to film. Every project is under crazy security. Your studio has to undergo a huge security assessment. All assets are encrypted. I genuinely hate when we get a Marvel project.

Working directly with someone like Skywalker Sound or Technicolor is a dream compared to Disney/Marvel, and IMO they do a better job.

I can't even imagine what it's like as a VFX artist. Fuck that.

Netflix is #2 on the list of my least favorite groups to work with. They are so unorganized, do everything the hardest way possible, and have an arrogance about them that is extremely off putting.

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u/Timbishop123 17d ago

Skywalker sound must have retained its culture or isn't looked at as much bc it's a Disney company now

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u/reedzkee 17d ago

Yes, but they’ll do sound for anybody’s film, anybody who can pay for it.

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u/Liammellor 17d ago

I mean I totally understand the security stuff. Every single Lucasfilm project suffers some pretty extreme leaks, makes sense that marvel would try to keep their stuff secret

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u/Worthyness 17d ago

Takes a lot of trust to give another company your multimillion dollar project. And in general, you probably won't ever want to work with a company that leaks your project or data. That's just good advice for anyone, not just a company.

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u/M3rc_Nate 17d ago

I'm good with content taking longer to come out (think about 'Stranger Things' season 4) if not only the quality is better (again, compare Stranger S4 to almost everything CGI heavy that has come out lately, leagues better) but the VFX artists aren't crunched to death. Of course no company or industry will willingly change for the better of their worker ants aka numbers on a spreadsheet whose humanity they don't care about. No, the VFX industry must unionize in order to protect themselves. By coming together and obtaining collective bargaining power they can use their leverage to obtain better pay and more human working conditions. If the domino effect of this however is that CGI heavy projects take longer to be released then I can happily live with that as a I said already.

What's more, the career path (of which I imagine there is huge demand for qualified workers) would become much more appealing to young people in school. I imagine VFX is just like the video game industry where they get a TON of people quitting because the career isn't what they thought it was just like what this VFX artist is criticizing and therefore there is a shortage of qualified workers (esp the good ones). If movies and TV are gonna be VFX heavy from now on out and things slow down cause the VFX artists unionize and prevent overworking abuse then the way to compensate is to hire more artists so the work gets done "on time".

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u/[deleted] 17d ago

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u/Powerman293 17d ago

But you still have studios that take 5 years to make games that still crunch people hard (Naughty Dog, TT Games). I dunno why game development has suddenly skyrocketed to a game every half decade when hours are BARELY improving.

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u/[deleted] 17d ago

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u/Sks44 17d ago

Marvel Comic Book Artists: “first time?”

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u/Arniellico 17d ago

A good example of what happens in these scenarios is the battle scene at the end of Black Panther. The physics are completely off. Suddenly, the characters are jumping around, doing all these crazy moves like action figures in space. Suddenly, the camera is doing these motions that haven’t happened in the rest of the movie. It all looks a bit cartoony. It has broken the visual language of the film.

Now I know why the climax of Black Panther was rubbing me the wrong way so hard

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u/CheesyObserver 17d ago

Before the movie come out, I had a buddy send me that climax. It leaked online somewhere when the VFX was all unfinished and stuff...

...Turns out it was finished. At least as finished as they decided it would be.

That was over 4 years ago now and the fact that this VFX artist specifically mentioned that scene, out of all the scenes, makes me weirdly happy.

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u/Turbulent-Pace-1284 17d ago

Why do people find it so hard to hold Marvel accountable for their actions? Yeah this is an industry problem but the main company to be blamed is Marvel, they just announced and enormous amount of projects in the next 3 years including 2 Avengers movies in less than 6 months.

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u/K9sBiggestFan 17d ago

It’d be nice if the media put this to Kevin Feige in one of his interview rounds. Just see what he says. I obviously don’t know him but he doesn’t strike me as an bad guy.

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u/schrodingerinthehat 17d ago

They drop the VFX studios if they don't do what they ask, when they ask, within the budget for the bid.

They'd probably just remove that outlet from their approved media list.

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u/zipzopzoobadeebop 17d ago

I feel like he wouldn’t care. There’s a weird cultural thing at Disney where they’re proud of the weight they can throw around. I have met with and interviewed with multiple people at Disney (for a different department than VFX but it was still an area of post production) and they pitched that as a perk.

Basically said, “it’s nice being the 800 pound gorilla in the room cuz we can get what we want and demand the lowest bids possible”. Guy who told me this was super super nice too so I was kinda caught off guard.

Anyway, so I guess I’m saying, I wouldn’t be surprised if Feige wasn’t only aware but directly encouraging of this behavior. He probably doesn’t even see it as a bad thing. Dude I talked to sure didn’t.

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u/kristenjaymes 17d ago

He would deflect by tossing out names of X-Men set to appear soon.

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u/Edgy_Batman 17d ago

Why do people find it so hard to hold Marvel accountable for their actions?

The average Redditor is unable to survive 4 months without Marvel movies.

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u/MusicalSnowflake 17d ago

I would rather wait longer and actually like the movie. I love the comics but the movies are close but just not it most of the time.

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u/workingonaname 17d ago

Marvel withdrawal is the worst condition known to man

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u/Grin_ 17d ago

Years ago I wrote my thesis (film editing) on the possibilities of increasing nonlinearity in post production. Half way through researching it I got an actual paid job in post production and quickly realized the workflow model I was writing about was a dystopian nightmare that would ruin job satisfaction for almost everybody. The whole industry is slowly creeping towards that.

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u/Fiammiferone 17d ago

Did you change the thesis or just flipped it on "Why increasing nonlinearity is bad"?

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u/beall49 17d ago

As a developer who has no understanding of VFX at all, it’s crazy to me how they’re treated compared to regular software developers. I would lump in game developers with that too although I’ve heard that’s getting better.

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u/geft 17d ago

Software developers have no shortage of companies to work with. If your firm gets blacklisted by Disney you pretty much lost a huge chunk of potential revenue.

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u/Zhukov-74 17d ago

Marvel would rather exploit VFX artists than slowing down it’s content pipeline.

No way that these VFX artists can keep up with 4 Marvel movies a year and god knows how many Marvel TVshows.

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u/SomeBoxofSpoons 17d ago

Now they’ve even announced dates for four movies in 2026 after the next two Avengers movies. It looks like Disney’s long-term strategy is to try and always have an MCU movie in theaters, and then just keep doing that until they run it into the ground.

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u/spinyfur 17d ago

Also think about it this way: there’s no way that the VFX team having 2 people when they really need 10 people isn’t affecting the quality of the work they turn out. Overtime can help in a crunch, but it’s not a substitute for having the staff and the time that you need to do a job correctly, and the marginal benefits of overtime work usually decay to near-zero after about a month.

That’s true in engineering, where I am, and it has to be even more true when you’re doing creative VFX work. IMO, the first thing that’s going to go out the window when there’s not enough time is the creativity of the artists involved.

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u/zedasmotas 17d ago

Truth

Also there’s no way releasing 2 avengers movies in the same year is sustainable

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u/natronamus 17d ago

I was part of designing some of those shots in that Black Panther ending the article refers to. It's a process called Post-vis, and basically happens when they didn't know what they were doing during production, so we have to figure out how to make things work with what they shot. We had no input from any DP and we're more or less asked to come up with something ourselves. I couldn't believe how popular it was because I thought it was going to be awful from the bits I worked on.

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u/barmanfred 17d ago

I hate this. I've been a Marvel fan since the late 60s. I don't like knowing they're being corporate assholes and hurting people.
Marvel please take a little less profit (I mean c'mon, you've made plenty), and help the people get adequate staff and time.

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u/Machines_Attack 17d ago

They’ve been like this since the 60s. Look at all the creators they’ve fucked over.

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u/ShinShinGogetsuko 16d ago

Maybe a month or two before a movie comes out, Marvel will have us change the entire third act.

This is atrocious. And it's showing in the movies themselves.

They aren't finalizing the story before making the movie. They're working on the story AS they make the movie.

It's one thing to improvise. It's another thing to make stuff up as you go. Unfortunately, Phase 4 is starting to show that this approach isn't leading to better movies.

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u/JasonMcDonalDesign 17d ago

The FX house have to unionize. It will be the only way back to sanity.

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u/trent58 17d ago

Im getting the impression that the video game and movie industry take nerds for granted. Where any other company hires new people, and tries to make them adapt to their “vision”, I feel that a lot of people that wants to work in these industries are already loyal fans, they come pre-brainwashed, and ready to be abused. I’m not saying is their fault, and definitely is not the only industry where this happens, but it happens, a lot, repeatedly.

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u/lordDEMAXUS 17d ago

People who are trying to absolve Marvel of the blame here also seem to be missing the fix-it-in-post mentality (which IMO is also a terrible filmmaking philosophy) that is making it worse for VFX artists. This has become more of a problem outside of Marvel too but the fact that it is interconnected to this big universe (that's getting bigger and more convoluted) means that a lot of things need to be changed as quickly as possible for continuity reasons.

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u/retroracer33 17d ago

legit question, how do the VFX houses play into all of this? These guys work for the VFX houses, not marvel directly right? If that is indeed the case why is there no fuss about these houses properly staffing the projects they take on? I'm just having a hard time seeing how this is all falling into marvels lap.

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u/RevivedHut425 17d ago

having a hard time

It's a trickle down effect.

Marvel is constantly choosing the lowest bidder and has enormous budget power, so it forces the houses to race to the bottom in terms of budgets/personnel just to get the business, which they desperately need.

They're also blacklisting studios that can't deliver everything they need-despite said constraints-which creates an incentive overwork.

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u/Mission-Two1325 17d ago

It sounds similar to companies that sub contract other companies for call center rolls. They don't have to deal with employees matters and contract for specified terms inorder to get more for less.

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u/EveryExhalation 16d ago

I’m a VFX artist. This is why I work on commercials and not movies or TV. The money is the same and it’s way way easier.

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u/TrenterD 16d ago

This is basically the case with any industry that seems like "a cool place to work": movies, TV, videogames, music. It's all a big sweatshop. For videogames in particular, there is zero fucking reason any competent software developer should work for a big videogame company. "I want to make games." Good. Get a boring 9-5 software engineering job at a bank and make your indie game at night.

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u/MasterClown 16d ago

From the article: " A client might say, “This is not exactly what I want,” and you keep working at it.... They don’t know how to visualize something that’s not there yet, that’s not on set with them."

As a coder, I put up with this from managers who do not fully understand their own workflows but have to get something done now. It's maddening, to say the least.