Welcome to The Queue — your daily distraction of curated video content sourced from across the web. Today, we’re watching a video essay that looks at the state of the modern visual effects crisis.
The VFX industry has gone through seismic changes in the last couple of decades. Big-budget films being helmed by singular “hero” VFX houses (like Industrial Light and Magic) is a thing of the past. The business model has changed. What was once one VFX house can now bloat into twenty-five. Visual effects have never been more present in the movies we watch. And yet, the workforce is being overworked, bullied, and burnt out.
Behind all the memes about a “butthole” cut of Cats or Twitter’s horrified reaction to Sonic’s human teeth, there was an exhausted collection of VFX artists fielding unreasonable demands from directors used to the quick turnaround time of live-action reshoots.
There is a fundamental disconnect between what people think VFX can do and the labor that actually goes into making them a reality. And with a workforce that is increasingly taken for granted and no overarching body to advocate for and protect their rights as workers, it’s no surprise that VFX artists are in crisis.
The following video essay expands on how we got here and what the shape of the VFX crisis looks like. Check it out:
Watch “The Visual Effects Crisis”
Who made this?
This video on the current visual effects crisis is by Andrew Saladino, who runs the Texas-based Royal Ocean Film Society. You can browse their back catalog of videos on their Vimeo account here. If Vimeo isn’t your speed, you can give them a follow on YouTube here.
More videos like this
- From Vox, here’s a video essay about why a shiny metal ball is the secret weapon of modern visual effects.
- Here’s another essay by Royal Ocean Film Society that unpacks how American International Pictures adopted a clickbait formula to put butts in seats.
- And for another taste of Royal Ocean Film Society, on the subject of American Graffiti no less, on the wild 1979 sequel by director George Lucas.
- And another: an essay on three films that tell the story of Joe Dante‘s struggle with working for the big studios.
- And finally, from the Royal Ocean Film Society: a video essay about the films in which all-American everyman Jimmy Stewart played the villain.