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Covering The “Zipper”. March 1, 2013

As you no doubt have been noticing there have been a lot of hullabaloo after the Oscars, especially from the VFX community and its sympathizers. They complained about long hours and not getting overtime pay on their already reduced salaries. The VFX house, Rhythm & Hues, who won the VFX Oscar for Life of Pi is going bankrupt.

There’s much better written retelling of the situation here and here.

What I want to talk about is my reaction to the situation (I have a blog. Ergo, I will share). I’m on record as not being a fan of VFX heavy movies. I’m looking in your direction, George.

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I miss the old Star Wars where you felt you could pet an Ewok, feel the rust on the ship. You may know it’s a midget dressed as a teddy bear but you knew it was real. In short, I’m a HUGE fan of practical effects.

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As peoples memes kept rolling out, it actually shocked me as to how much productions were using VFX.

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After seeing all these, I feel like I need to change my profile picture to a hammer in support of set builders…or a mileage sheet for location scouts.

I think we need to back off VFX in productions. I’m an old curmudgeon that likes things the way they were in the old days. But I understand how good, nay great, VFX makes movies great. This video below about ILM and bringing the Hulk to life in the Avengers is how you do it and proves why these talented folks are so valuable.

My belief is that we should use practical effects as much as possible and use VFX to cover the “zipper” or to do the impossible, a la The Hulk. And, I believe The Avengers exemplifies that…too the extreme. I can touch Mark Ruffalo. We can see his smile. We can see his eyebrows raise. THIS is why we pay the VFX people. This is why they need fair wages. I don’t know how to convince an industry to value your services that they so heavily rely upon but there must be someway. Somehow.

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And from that, my hope is that practicals get used more and the VFX community isn’t over worked and underpaid. Now, if you’ll excuse me I’m going to go watch the Star Wars Prequels. I’m craving it like I crave really bad $.99 cent Chinese food.

Lucas did WHAT?!?!

Lucas did WHAT?!?!

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