Why I Was Disappointed By The VFX People

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 7.236% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

So io9 has a great article on how the Oscars totally disrespected the Visual Effects industry.  The short version: the people who did the effects for Life of Pi, which has some of the greatest visual effects I have ever seen, are now broke.  The company’s insolvent.  And that’s apparently quite common in the VFX industry, where the best and brightest need profit sharing to keep their companies afloat.
(If you don’t think Life of Pi features brilliant visual effects, go watch it. Then ponder: the tiger is entirely CGI.)
Anyway, so when Life of Pi won for Best Visual Effects, they were going to make a stink about this shameful plight in their speech, but the producers played them off early and then cut the mic so no one knows what happened.  It was shameful, and awful – they should have been allowed to speak.
But they were so fucking stupid.
I watched, and the dude who accepted the award pissed away thirty seconds thanking people.  You can’t fucking do that when you’re going to make a statement.  Yeah, I know you’re grateful, but you’re on limited time – and people will understand if you don’t get to them.  Your whole fucking job was to tell the billion-plus people watching about the problems with the system, and you blathered on like this was any other speech.
I’m a writer, so I’ll help you: lead with the strongest thing.  You should have started with, and I was expecting you to, “Funny that we won this. We’re bankrupt now. We did literally the best job in the whole world last year, and we still couldn’t turn a profit.  You know why?”
If you’d started with that, they could have tackled you off-stage before you finished, and the entire world would still be Googling your name.  But no.  You gave the producers enough of an opportunity to bone you, and they shouldn’t have… but you knew they wouldn’t like what you had to say.  You knew they were out to get you.  And you fucked it up.
In this sense, it’s kind of like watching Gore hand over a commanding lead to Bush in 2000.  Gore ran a shitty campaign he should have won in a walk, and instead he dribbled away his victory until it came down to a handful of votes in Florida.  I think Bush’s lawyers and the Supreme Court were complete and raging assholes… but the fact is, you should never have put yourself into the situation where you got punked.
Likewise, I’m all for VFX artists.  I support them.  I used to buy Cinefex every month and marvel at what they did.  And I’m mad that the one chance they had to speak loudly to America, they instead decided to thank a bunch of random folks.

1 Comment

  1. Jim Ryan
    Mar 2, 2013

    Good point, that, and since you put it out there, yeah, I’m surprised they didn’t just go for it. It was like they were too busy playing the game to realize that they needed to stop and get it out there right away.
    It’s too bad that the newer generation forgot how to muck up an Oscars the way they used to; when they won, they should have had their own version of Sacheen Littlefeather show up to accept the award and start right there with the protest from second one…

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