March 1, 2013

Could visual effects artists shut down Hollywood?

The current situation for visual effects companies in Hollywood isn’t too great. Two major production companies — Rhythm & Hues and Digital Domain — have filed for bankruptcy within the last 12 months, and many visual effects artists are feeling slighted and undervalued by Hollywood even as more Hollywood blockbusters depend on their talents. As a result, they could be planning something drastic to get Hollywood’s attention.

But far more disruption may be yet to come from the people who hold the fates of Hollywood’s biggest films in their hands. “There is so much frustration because the studios haven’t responded,” said the writer behind the blog VFX Soldier, which for three years has served as one of the principle organizing points in the trade. The writer, a VFX artist with over ten years experience in the industry, spoke to BuzzFeed by phone on the condition that his identity not be revealed. He continued: “People are saying, ‘if you don’t listen your film isn’t going to get finished.’ If this keeps occurring you’re going to see a situation where a film doesn’t get done, where people walk out on a production. They feel that’s the only way to get the industry’s attention.”

And all this comes at a time when the industry is particularly vulnerable, with the majority of this summer’s effects-centric blockbusters currently in post-production; as they scramble to make their premiere dates, any work stoppage or even slowdown could be deadly.

More details on VFX Soldier.