Monday, February 25, 2013

My Oscar Opinion

Last night, millions of viewers tuned in to watch the longest show in the universe. Can they make it any longer? I feel like they could have at least started earlier...or cut some of the fluff. Oh, I know. They should just cut out all the categories that they will definitely start playing music to signal its their time to leave the stage and cut them off sooner. They only need 5 seconds, right? Why even give them the chance to thank people if you are just going to play them off, or simply cut them short. Very rarely do they cut the audio from the mic. They usually play the music so loudly that the winner has to scream. 
Granted, usually the thank yous run too long anyways, and someone starts rambling or its just not a good acceptance speech. By far, Ben Affleck's was the best acceptance speech. Why? Cause yes he thanked people, but he also brought an emotion that just lacks from most of the winners last night. Not so much an emotion, now that I think back, but he added just a little bit more of him. The whole part about how he never thought it would happen again. It was a story about his journey and how honored he was by this award. Why can't everyone make acceptance speeches like that?
There were definitely a few surprises last night. Animated Feature was a close one. What should have won was ParaNorman. It was technically amazing, visually beautiful, and had a good story. What I thought would have won was Wreck-it Ralph. It had the story and that Disney pizzazz that everyone loves. Instead, Brave won. Yes, its beautiful. Yes, its a testament for technical achievement in animated films. But the story. It was alright. But it was a film that started with a very serious note and a darker theme, and then they 'changed' directors and they wound up making it more funny and slap stick. I kinda wanna see Brenda Chapman's version. I think it would be awesome!
For Animated Short, Paperman was a good, safe choice. I liked it. The story was great. But the other shorts were great too. I really liked Adam and Dog. And Head Over Heals pulled at my heart strings. But I am happy with what won.
As for Hair & Make-up, did they think that they go actual Dwarves from Middle-Earth? Almost every actor in The Hobbit had prosthetics on their face. But whatever. Maybe they thought they should just wait til the 3rd movie to give it its recognition. 
And now for the VFX award. Won by....Life of Pi! No big surprise at all. It was a film that was largely shot on green screen and brought to life with amazing effects. No one can argue it wasn't justly won. But something happened last night that is kinda bugging me and a lot of folks I know. The Jaws theme played to usher off the VFX guys! Really? Lets give time to everyone else, but not to they guys and the hundreds of artists who made that film even possible. Imagine doing Life of Pi practically. No CG whatsoever. You can't! Even if they had a real tiger, you can't just sink a ship like that. Or create a storm that immense. Or have a whole zoo under water (there would probably some horrible animal abuse to get those shots practically). Its just not possible.  Below are two blog posts that probably sum up what us artists are feeling right now. 
Actors get paid millions and get residuals. The average VFX artist gets an unstable job and lives paycheck to paycheck, project to project. If you think they get paid well, you're just kidding yourself.

Sunday, February 17, 2013


With all the chatter of the last couple of weeks focusing on the goings on of R&H, I'm fascinated by what other bloggers are saying about it. I'll be listing a few blogs and links at the bottom of this post in which I think people who read this might also enjoy. 
I usually don't get this chatty about anything. Okay, that's a little wrong. If you know me, you would know that I could talk your ear off. With an industry like ours, its important to know whats going on. Studios need to be able to run and stay open and if they do close down or sell off parts, they need to be accountable for their actions towards their employees. We need to keep the conversation open and a spot light shinning on what affects a great deal of artists. 
Anyways, if you have anymore links to add on this current subject matter, I'm sure we're all happy to read 'em.

Monday, February 11, 2013


Its semi official. Rhythm & Hues will be filing for Chapter 11. So much for that $21 million infusion from other studios. I can only say that I feel those artists pain. Being told not to show up next week and then having your paycheck held indefinitely? I can only imagine. (Having had a certain studio slowly pay me up to a year after I had stopped working for them seems like a piece of cake compared to this)

So what happens now? What should happen is an investigation. I'm sorry, but any time a large company files for Bankruptcy, this should happen. Cause a problem like this just doesn't happen over night. Its something that has been an issue for several months or maybe years. How did we get to this point? Every company should want to know. And I know bankruptcy seems like an easy answer, but its way too easy these days to file for it. Cause when you file bankruptcy, your obligation to pay your staff, or anyone you owed money to, goes out some window. Everyone else is kinda screwed. (Okay, so I really know very little about Bankruptcy, any chapter for that matter, but from what I believe to be true, I think the information above is correct),_Title_11,_United_States_Code

Friday, February 8, 2013

...So what is going on with all these large studios?

Not so long ago, a company called Digital Domain closed its doors. Well, they defaulted on a $35 million dollar loan, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and were put on the auction block. Now another large studio seems to be in a jam. Rhythm & Hues has been a staple in the industry for a long time. I'd list all their films and projects, but that would be a very long list ( One of their most recent films is Life of Pi. It did well, won a bunch of awards, and everyone is still talking about it. 
So what happened? This studio that has been producing good work for the past 20+ years is facing financial difficulty? Why? How? I'm finding it difficult to comprehend how large, solid studios are getting their financial asses handed to them. 
The economy sucks. I get it. But anyone who doesn't plan for fuck ups and financial hardship isn't planning well. People should do this on an individual basis, which is kinda another post now that I think of it. But I feel like that's part of what should be in a business plan. Plan for profit...but also plan for hardship. Right? (I have not taken any business class or majored in finance or anything like that. I'm just using my own logic at this point. If I'm wrong, let me know. Okay? Thanks!)
So, again, what the frak happened?!

I found the following links interesting and thought I'd share....