Another Marvel VFX artist details poor working conditions

Marvel, VFX artist, VFX, poor working conditions, MCU, Marvel studios

Another VFX artist has come out to detail the poor working conditions at the studio. This comes about two weeks after another VFX artist talked about how many of them are overworked and underpaid for their troubles.

A new piece by Vulture features an anonymous VFX artist that says working with Marvel “was almost six months of overtime every day” and that the busy and tight schedule forced them to work “seven days a week, averaging 64 hours a week on a good week.”

“Marvel genuinely works you really hard. I’ve had co-workers sit next to me, break down, and start crying. I’ve had people having anxiety attacks on the phone.”

The poor working conditions caused by Marvel Studios and the sheer number of projects on top of the strict release dates have been a bone of contention with VFX artists. This is probably the most details we have received about the matter, and it would go a long way to explain why some of the visual effects look subpar on occasion:

“The other thing with Marvel is it’s famous for asking for lots of changes throughout the process. So you’re already overworked, but then Marvel’s asking for regular changes way in excess of what any other client does. And some of those changes are really major. Maybe a month or two before a movie comes out, Marvel will have us change the entire third act.”

VFX artists say that Marvel “has a lot of power over the effects houses.” This tends to lead to certain companies and artists being blacklisted if they don’t get the work done as Marvel sees fit:

“If you upset Marvel in any way, there’s a very high chance you’re not going to get those projects in the future. So the effects houses are trying to bend over backward to keep Marvel happy.”

The VFX artists even have a special word for what it’s like to work for Marvel. They say they are left with the feeling of being “pixel-f***ed.” This refers to Marvel being nit-picky about every little pixel in terms of visual effects:

“I remember going to a presentation by one of the other VFX houses about an early MCU movie, and people were talking about how they were getting “pixel-fucked.” That’s a term we use in the industry when the client will nitpick over every little pixel.”

The other main issue is that Marvel tends to use directors without a lot of VFX experience. According to the anonymous source, “A lot of them have just done little indies at the Sundance Film Festival,” so they “don’t know how to visualize something that’s not there yet, that’s not on set with them.” This leads to issues where VFX artists are forced to work without the involvement of the film’s director of photography, which they say is the reason “the physics are completely off.”

The more this comes out, I’m surprised Marvel isn’t doing more to get ahead of it. Maybe it’s not too big of a deal for them to be concerned yet, but more VFX artists are beginning to speak out against their poor working conditions, and the more that come out only permit even more to throw in their two cents.

What are YOUR thoughts on the poor working conditions for Marvel VFX artists?

Source: Vulture

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