A Rant

I’ve noticed a bunch of articles being written recently about how VFX has been ruining films, or the work was better in the past.

Good lord, the leaps in logic by this guy:

I wanted to yell at the screen as he compared the first Hulk movie to the second one, saying that the Hulk looked better in the first one because of the ‘plain’ background and more fake in the second because there’s fire and smoke in the BG plate.  Hey dude, that's Yonge Street and U of T in the background of those shots!

And there's been a lot of these types of articles written in the past year:

‘Avengers’ and the Age of CGI Overkill in Hollywood
Opinion: 10 Reasons Why CGI is Getting Worse, Not Better
6 Reasons Modern Movie CGI Looks Surprisingly Crappy
Gallery: 8 Movies Ruined By Terrible CGI

I could write a lot of things to try to counter the negativity in these articles.  I could point out that often, we in FX are told to take things in a unrealistic direction at the request of the studio.

I could say how overworked the average VFX artist is, balancing several tasks at once while working inside incredibly short timelines.

I could write about how VFX Artists produce amazing work under pretty stressful working conditions.  What could be so stressful about working on movies in a cushy air conditioned studio you may ask?  What about the global tax incentives that shift the work from one side of the world to another?  Or the fact that VFX Artists have pretty much no job security and routinely have to change shops and always be on the lookout for their next project.  Or the constant overtime that is often asked of them.  Yet in spite of all those issues they produce images that captivate the attention of world wide audiences.

I could write how most projects are right on the bleeding edge of technology.  We still can’t reliably cross the uncanny valley in 2015 but CG people were being attempted in 2001.  Early ‘failures’ should be looked upon as valiant attempts that were overly ambitious for their time.

I could write about all of this, but instead I’ll just say: fuck you.  Fuck you to the armchair critics who haven’t spent a day trying to get a shot out the door.  Who haven’t had to learn software that’s as complicated as flying an airplane.  Who haven’t spent years training their eyes and brain to truly see light, anatomy, material properties and composition. 

If you can see that a shot is off, trust me, we know it better than you do.  We’ve been working on it and sometimes we run out of time.  And you know what, sometimes we’re not as talented as we would like to be, and sometimes we fail.  But fuck you for piling on with your fuckin’ two cents.

Obviously, I’m not as eloquent as Churchill:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

The best specific rebuttal I’ve come across this this one here:
Why VFX Is Being Vilified

Anyways, rant over, on to the news.