What? Film without VFX?


What? Film without VFX?

Last time we looked at all the great companies behind some of the amazing VFX, but what if these films had to be made made without VFX? The photo of the blue stuffed animal is what we may have been left with, as the tiger in Life of Pi. Read more HERE. There are also other photos of before and after visual effects to be found at this link.

Green Screen Protest


 Source: http://wererolling.blogspot.it/2013/02/hashtag-visual-effects-protest.html

Then I got to wondering about how many of us knew about the ongoing protest in the United States about VFX work being shipped overseas to Europe or across the border to Canada because these countries offer subsides in the form of tax breaks to film companies?

Of course, this is either good or bad news depending on where you live and work. What do we feel about subsidies, are they a good or bad thing? I’m not sure, but would be interested in hearing from anyone out there, or who has been affected by subsidies or the lack of them.

Back in 2013, when Rhythm & Hues accepted their Oscar for the VFX for Life of Pi, how many of us knew that it was only 11 days after the studio had filed for bankruptcy?

For more on this go to the 30 minute video: Life After Pi:

Looking for background information, I found the blog post by Markus Thórr. He writes of the amount of time spent on creating the VFX for the Life of Pi, one thousand six hundred and thirty-three years (1633), and that was not including the research. The next thing that I noticed was the fear expressed about the future for VFX students, more like the attitude behind how they are being taught. He writes:

“1. Do not expect any recognition.

2. You will work overtime.

3. You will work crunchtime.

4. You will either get paid very little, or nothing at all.”

For the complete article go here.

Watching Life After Pi, I was reminded that thousands of VFX artists vie to work for the six major studios. They are hired on a project basis. Then, foreign subsides, in the form of tax breaks, are encouraging filmmakers to get their work done in countries other than the United States. Again, this is either good news or bad depending on where you live.

For instance Gravity was billed as American, but its VFX were created in England by Framestore.


So, if you are living in Europe, you will be pleased to be reminded that In November 2013 the European Commission moved to support more state funding for cross-border co-productions for film, including increased support for distribution costs (see here ).

United States

And, if you are in the United States then there is a chance that VFX products may soon be taxed in the same way as a physical import. For more info about this go here.

This may level the playing field in some respects, making studios in the United States think a little harder about where they send their special effects and animation work. How do we feel about this in Europe and Canada?

NEXT POST: Featuring the work of a 3D artist. I will dedicate one post were week. Your suggestions are welcome!

-Val Cameron/Dreamlight

PS: I you want to: Create Cool Backgrounds For Dreamlight’s bestselling “Movie Maker DS 4.6” Plug In, For Fun Or For Cash…go HERE.


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3 Responses to “What? Film without VFX?”

  1. Neville Whyman April 6, 2014 at 1:22 pm #

    Please excuse my bluntness, but this is crap!, people who do honest work should get an honest pay.

    The studios have their cake and eat it too, in the current era of film making a lot of films are heavy with sfx, both video and sound without which the movies would not be worth watching and it would be the studios going broke.

    Get rid of the fx companies hire a heap of out of work independents at a lower pay rate, stick in a manager and cut out the middle man and the studios get complete control.

    I hope that this situation changes for the better soon for the people and their families.

    Neville. E. Whyman.
    South Australia.
    April 6th 2014

  2. Kurt April 6, 2014 at 6:06 pm #

    Regarding the taxes I have to say what should be obvious to all: taxation is the threat of armed robbery. Put more simply, taxation is theft. Once enough people realize that the concept of taxation is immoral, and that voluntary interactions are the only sustainable way for society to exist, I think the world will be a happier place. If people are willing to work for little or no pay in the VFX industry or any other, that should be their decision. Let the free market decide what is acceptable. It is a lot more humane than using force (government).

  3. BC Shelby April 7, 2014 at 4:53 am #

    …It isn’t just VFX and CGI, but many US industries these days, from footwear and garment manufacturing to fabrication, to tech development and support is being farmed overseas to take advantage of cheaper labour costs and little to no taxation. This is a crime against the US people considering the high levels of unemployment still being experienced here in the US since the supposed end of the “great recession”.

    None of the money spent or earned, whether by companies which have operations overseas or the people they hire there comes back in the the US economy though either purchasing power or taxes. It all stays there in the host nations and only benefits those countries and of course, the companies themselves. Hence, offshore outsourcing does nothing to stimulate the US economy which in turn does nothing to spur any job growth here at home.

    The argument often given is that we are in a “global economy” however that is little comfort to those back on Main Street USA who cannot find living wage jobs to support themselves or their families because those jobs are being continually shipped overseas.

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