Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Film Industry Needs the vFX Industry (and Everyone Else)

So, there's a recent current kerfluffle about the role of visual effects studios in successful films, problems with the viability of vFX studios due to hyper-competitiveness, and multiple other related and tangential issues.

I had planned to start (what I hoped was) a balanced, transparent discussion of just how complicated this thing really is, dig into the usury business model that contributes to it (not limited just to film), the pros and perils of unionizing, and so on.

But then I thought, "Well, this isn't just about visual effects -- We actually need everyone involved in making films."


(Remember the writer's strike? That was painful, and 6 years later, as just one side effect, we're still saddled with the overabundance of reality TV that is not reality, but is very much a bulk of our TV.)

Visual effects isn't just about Life of Pi or Star Trek. It's Amour and Lincoln (and Lincoln (and Lincoln)) and Django Unchained and Silver Linings Playbook and ...

... and ...

... and, well, all of them.

Visual effects are there in so many movies to more or less "obviousness", and outside of the "vFX CGI blockbusters" (and I'd argue, even within them), good effects are like good voice acting and good music and good acting and good everything that's solid and well-implemented and if you choose to step back and take the time you say, "That's amazing" but if you don't step back you don't notice their teh awesumz because well-done stuff doesn't get in the way.

But this is already going long, so to make the point, I offer you Exhibit A:

This was my attempt at an explosion. But it looks like a misshapen starfish. Or radiating sperm. Or an exploding misshapen starfish radiating sperm.

I need the professionals who do this ****. I don't want that art missing from The Art. (And I don't want untrained uninitiates like me breaking the fourth wall with our awful.)

Need more? I offer Exhibit B:

Zomigosh, I need vFX and wardrobe and makeup and writers and directors and grips and gaffers and composers and audio designers and editors and producers and DPs and ADs and casting agents and set decorators and storyboard artists and art directors and craft services and audiences and the dozens of other disciplines that are probably going to get a hold me for leaving them out of this knowingly abbreviated list.

Hey, despite my love of and belief and participation in independent film, that doesn't mean I'm ever out there solo without other passionate, talented folks who mesh with my passion and talent as we all drive to something greater than I can do by myself. In a vacuum. Without visual effects.

(You do not want that.)

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