And the Oscar Goes To… 

Kim Masters, host of KCRW’s The Business and Editor-at-large for The Hollywood Reporter joined Warren Olney on “To The Point” today to talk about some of the highs and lows of the Oscars. “It was kind of  like a bumper car,” she told Warren.

vfx4

VFX protest outside the Oscars, photo courtesy of VFX artist Jeff Heusser

vfx2

VFX protest outside the Oscars, photo courtesy of VFX artist Jeff Heusser

Spectacular effects have become the driver for why many people still go to the movie theater. This week on The Business we talk with two veteran VFX Supervisors Oscar-winner Craig Barron and Jeff Okun, Chair of the Board of the Visual Effects Society. Okun makes his point by saying that people don’t go see “Transformers” for Shia LaBeouf.

But these artists, especially those based in California, are struggling. Foreign subsidies and production incentives have lured production out of California. And the houses here are caught in a race to underbid each other to get work. VFX artists aren’t unionized and they don’t have a trade organization so they don’t have much leverage when it comes to negotiating with studios.

This plight was crystallized a couple of weeks ago when Rhythm & Hues– the VFX house responsible for the stunning effects on Oscar winner “Life of Pi” — filed for bankruptcy just as they were literally winning the BAFTA for their work.

I spoke with Dave Rand– a VFX artist at Rhythm & Hues who did not get laid off with the Chapter 11 filing– who helped organize a protest to bring attention to the plight of the Visual Effects industry.

This “Piece of the Pi Protest” attracted nearly 500 VFX artists to Hollywood and Vine. They even chartered a plane to fly overhead with a banner reading: “Box Office + Bankrupt = Visual Effects vfxunion.com“.

vfx3

VFX protest outside the Oscars, photo courtesy of VFX artist Jeff Heusser

Even though their company is struggling, the VFX artists for “Life of Pi” did take home the Oscar last night in Best Visual Effects Category. Bill Westenhofer accepting the award was about to acknowledge his company’s financial troubles when the Academy cut his mic and played him off stage with the shark music from Jaws. Backstage he finished his statement, telling the press:

Q.What does your win mean in light of the state of the industry with VFX, the folks protesting outside, and the Rhythm & Hues bankruptcy?

A.(Bill Westenhofer) What I was trying to say up there is that it’s at a time when visual effects movies are dominating the box office, that visual effects companies are struggling.  And I wanted to point out that we aren’t technicians.  Visual effects is not just a commodity that’s being done by people pushing buttons.  We’re artists, and if we
don’t find a way to fix the business model, we start to loses the artistry.  If anything, LIFE OF PI shows that we’re artists and not
just technicians.

VFX artist Jeff Heusser posted more photos from the protest on Flickr. 

KCRW Radio App TuneIn Stitcher SoundCloud iTunes
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
  • http://vimeo.com/60591250 Exhaust System

    Very few authors are as precise as you are in your blog post. Besides great details, you also presented your understanding on this subject in a manner that most readers can fully grasp.

  • http://www.4CMWtZyMoW4CMWtZyMoW.com/4CMWtZyMoW4CMWtZyMoW Gaston Alfonzo

    Do you know how I avoid duplicate iCal alerts? (Apple support does not, so far…) I think b/c of iCloud calendar sharing amongst my husband and that i, I am getting two alerts for every event on the iMac and on the iPhone. every thing is up to date and i use a new MacBook Pro and the new iPhone 4s.

  • http://vanityandinsanity.wordpress.com/2013/10/12/chapter-4-synchronicities/ meditations apps

    meditation wall-e dvd torrent

  • https://twitter.com/lindamaher323 Sarina Cassano

    Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read anything like this before. So nice to search out any individual with some authentic thoughts on this subject. realy thank you for starting this up. this website is something that is needed on the net, someone with a little originality. useful job for bringing something new to the internet!

  • http://www.sonico.com/publico/John_Ramsey_2 Thresa Wehrli

    There are certainly a number of particulars like that to take into consideration. That is a nice level to carry up. I offer the ideas above as normal inspiration however clearly there are questions just like the one you carry up the place a very powerful factor will probably be working in honest good faith. I don?t know if best practices have emerged round issues like that, however I’m sure that your job is clearly recognized as a good game. Each girls and boys really feel the affect of only a second�s pleasure, for the remainder of their lives.

  • http://www.aeriagames.com/user/SCMloan93beef John Webster

    You made some good points there. I looked on the internet for additional information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this web site.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uLqqghZfvE Hair Loss Treatment

    Do you know how to make a solid wine at home for this christmas without adding any alcohol and even you can measure your alcohol, Cheers buddy!

  • http://forum.izagola.com/index.php?action=profile;u=804 Christian

    Your blog is astounding dude. i like to take a look at it daily. extremely great layout and content material “

  • http://carlafiwells.livejournal.com Tanner Valladores

    Utterly pent content, Really enjoyed looking at.

  • http://podionfeet.com read

    I am just searching for both blogging which provide fair, balanced commentary on all challenges or blog sites who have a liberal or allowed to remain-wing slant. Thanks a ton..

  • http://best-smartphone-tips.com click

    I’m seeking web blogs that have already really good useful information on what’s in vogue and whatever the most effective make-up is..

  • http://lavideopros.net http://lavideopros.net/

    “Wow, great blog post.Thanks Again. Keep writing.”

  • http://www.design21sdn.com/people/395993 Sanjuanita Ripp

    I really love your website.. Pleasant colors & theme. Did you build this site yourself? Please reply back as I’m trying to create my own personal website and would like to learn where you got this from or what the theme is named. Appreciate it!

  • http://www.measuredup.com/user/anime94pants Jessie Roscioli

    I blog quite often and I truly thank you for your content. This article has truly peaked my interest. I am going to bookmark your blog and keep checking for new information about once per week. I opted in for your RSS feed too.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBmVZHGd3GI enjoy this video

    Yeah I totally agree with this and locate it quite interesting, I do a type of journalism through video and some of my best productions have already been carried out in the surfing area.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBmVZHGd3GI dylan park

    This seems rather interesting, the point that you’ve been able to put this out in a fantastic fashion is fantastic, I do a little video blogging connected with surfing, so check it if you’ve got a while.

  • http://www.simenti.com/userinfo.php?uid=220326 Lola

    I wish that people would realise how dangerous gas boilers can be.
    An annual gas safety check could save lives.

  • http://www.kiralikdiploma.com/ilan/12610/gas-certificate-at-gas-certificate/ Gas Certificate

    I wish that people would realise how dangerous gas burning appliances can be.
    An annual gas safety check would save lives.

  • http://www.biscardiasoc.com.ar/en/formulario-de-contacto-32829 Cathie Maenius

    Howdy! Someone in my Facebook group shared this site with us so I came to check it out. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Fantastic blog and brilliant design and style.

  • http://www.gTxWFpAu06.com/gTxWFpAu06 Brenton Chou

    if i have just signed up but I really would appreciate to see a specific letter (Lorelei Lee’s) is there some place i’m able to possibly see it or obtain a copy somehow?

  • http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IWV0AUO phytoceramides

    Magnificent beat ! I would like to apprentice while you amend your website, how could i subscribe for a blog web site? The account helped me a acceptable deal. I had been a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided bright clear concept

  • http://vaptisipeiratis.webs.com/ βαπτιση πειρατης

    Just wish to say your article is as astounding. The clearness in your post is simply spectacular and i could assume you are an expert on this subject. Well with your permission allow me to grab your RSS feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please continue the gratifying work.

  • http://www.amazon.com/HC3-Extremely-Hyaluronic-Superfruit-Anti-Oxidant/dp/B00K7HVHYE Hyaluronic acid

    Together with almost everything that appears to be developing inside this area, all your viewpoints tend to be quite refreshing. However, I beg your pardon, because I can not subscribe to your whole theory, all be it refreshing none the less. It looks to me that your comments are actually not completely rationalized and in reality you are generally yourself not really thoroughly convinced of the point. In any event I did take pleasure in reading through it.

  • http://affiliateoftheday.com/phytoceramides-review-best-anti-wrinkle-eye-cream-supplement/ Christian

    So what is the status of this situation as we speak?

  • http://www.alkalinewaterplus.com alkaline ionized water

    Hello! I know this is kinda off topic nevertheless I’d figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest writing a blog article or vice-versa? My blog goes over a lot of the same topics as yours and I feel we could greatly benefit from each other. If you happen to be interested feel free to shoot me an email. I look forward to hearing from you! Excellent blog by the way!

  • http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2011/10/lovelady_center_director_faced.html lovelady thrift store hours

    I do consider all of the ideas you have presented in your post. They’re really convincing and will definitely work. Nonetheless, the posts are too short for starters. Could you please lengthen them a little from subsequent time? Thanks for the post.

  • http://www.shuibeng.co buy cialis

    There are actually a whole lot of particulars like that to take into consideration. That is a nice level to bring up. I supply the thoughts above as basic inspiration however clearly there are questions like the one you convey up the place crucial factor will likely be working in trustworthy good faith. I don?t know if greatest practices have emerged round issues like that, however I am sure that your job is clearly recognized as a fair game. Each boys and girls feel the influence of only a moment’s pleasure, for the rest of their lives.

  • http://www.best-hairloss-treatment.org/ Hassan

    Oscars & VFX, looks it was a big trouble that time.

BROUGHT TO YOU BY