Why Watch? As movies become more and more reliant on visual effects, the cracks of a problematic industry model have started to tear the fabric of how CGI artists can continue to do what they do best. If you kept an eye on the Oscar protest yesterday, or remember Rhythm & Hues winning last year for Life of Pi a week-and-a-half after going bankrupt, you know how dire the situation is.
With a full, fascinating picture (and some magical CGI transformations), Life After Pi offers the fundamental problems in a startling fashion. It’s a matter of passionate people being asked to do impossible things. And yet, think of what might happen if VFX workers were united in a refusal to work. To take back the power calculated directly from the major studios’ reliance. If you can’t make billions without the team that creates your cape/tiger/talking raccoon/disaster sequence, shouldn’t that team be worth more? Shouldn’t their workers be treated fairly, not have to live out of hotels, and not be forced to work 100-hour weeks? If altering your production means adding more construction money and acting fees, shouldn’t it mean adding to your VFX budget?
It’s one-sided, certainly, but Life After Pi is a vital half-hour for all movie fans to watch.
What Will It Cost? About 30 minutes.