The Visual Effects Society, which represents 4,500 members in 45 countries, asserts that VFX artists “deserve credit where credit is due.”
The honorary society issued a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, in response to THR’s Sept. 1 story titled “VFX Pros Expose the Hidden Costs of Selling a Movie as ‘Real,’” which tackled the trend of filmmakers and studio marketing departments emphasizing how productions do things for real, though this does not always paint a full picture. Sources told THR that in some cases, there was a mandate to downplay VFX during the marketing of a movie, which meant less recognition for the professionals who work on them.
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A portion of the VES’ statement reads, “Respect and recognition for visual effects artists has been a longstanding issue across the global entertainment industry — and this story exposed a truth of what so many of our members and VFX practitioners have been grappling with for years.”
One source in the original THR article admitted that sometimes there’s a blatant directive that “there will be no discussion of VFX. … We don’t want to overshadow the actors [or] we don’t want to break the mythology that somebody did all of these stunts.” Said another veteran of the VFX branch of the Film Academy, “It’s to the degree that this costs people nominations, and this costs people Academy Awards.”
The complete statement from the Society follows:
Respect and recognition for visual effects artists has been a longstanding issue across the global entertainment industry — and this story (“VFX Pros Expose the Hidden Costs of Selling a Movie as ‘Real’” 9/1/23) exposed a truth of what so many of our members and VFX practitioners have been grappling with for years. Once characterized as a postproduction role, visual effects pros are now part of the “first on/last off” essential crew, and VFX is an instrumental and ubiquitous part of the creative process. It is through VFX artistry and innovation that stories that were once impossible are brought to life. VFX artists deserve to be justly recognized and appreciated for their enormous contributions as agents of cinematic storytelling and significant contributors to financial profits — just like any other craft that is a key part of the creative collaborative — and not downplayed or cast into the shadows as if they are detractors dispelling an illusion of “pure” filmmaking.
Speaking in one voice for our more than 4,500 members in 45 countries worldwide — visual effects artists are proud of their work, of their craft, of pushing the envelope to use technology in service to the story. They are proud to work in partnership to bring visually stunning stories to the screen and enrapt audiences. And they absolutely deserve credit where credit is due, as the essential professionals they are. It’s high time to bring visual effects into the light and recognize what we can now achieve — together.
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