The Creators Project: Could Hollywood Flicks Exist Without The Visual FX?

The Creators Project: Could Hollywood Flicks Exist Without The Visual FX?

Author Kevin Holmes examines VFX technology in the concept and creation of blockbusters in light of recent bankruptcy scandals.

Creators Project
  • 4 march 2013

Suspension of disbelief is obviously key to immersing yourself in any work of fiction. From reading a novel to watching a movie, but with a movie the suspension of disbelief isn’t entirely down to your imagination, it also involves the work of the filmmakers and their crews who help turn a script into a full fledged motion picture.


In the modern age visual effects play a huge part in aiding that suspension, but even though they play such an integral part in many Hollywood blockbusters (and hit TV shows like Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones) the industry is in crisis. Last week animator Erica Gorochow wrote for us about how, even though Life of Pi won the Oscar for Visual Effects, the company behind them, Rhythm & Hues, has filled for bankruptcy in a financial situation which is echoed across the industry.


A protest movement has sprung up around it—Twitter profiles and websites are going green to show solidarity with the movement—to highlight the poor state of the US VFX industry and the less-then-ideal labor conditions it endures. High profile film critic (in the UK at least) Mark Kermode has spoken about the issue, rallying calls from motion designershave been issued, movie industry publications and film mags are writing about it, and the VFX Solidarity InternationalFacebook page is showing no sign of giving up the fight. With VFX professionals—like Dave RandScott Ross, andScott Squires who seem to be turning into figureheads for the movement—voicing their dissent and showing that they’re in it for the long game, it could be awhile before some kind of resolution is achieved.


And, if you wondered just how those mega-budget movies might look without the skills and craftmanship of the VFXindustry, the Tumblr Before VFX details summer blockbusters without the post-production tinkering. Take a look at some images below, along with the site’s author detailing why it was set up.


My intention is to highlight the artistry of VFX by showing you the canvas. At a time when even Hollywood can’t seem tell the difference between Oscar-winning Visual Effects and Oscar-winning Cinematography, I think it needs to be made clear which is which. Without the fantastic VFX work by talented artists, Hollywood films would not be what they are today.



Originally published on The Creators Project. Republished with kind permission.

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