Marvel makes sweeping changes to VFX after artists threaten boycott

While the MCU is the biggest movie franchise around, it’s not without criticism. One major point of contention around the cinematic universe is Marvel Studios’ over-reliance on CGI and its poor treatment of VFX workers.

Over the last few months, a huge amount of backlash has circulated Marvel’s CG workload. Individual artists and studios boycotting the company. The situation is so bad that Marvel may be looking to open their own VFX studio in the future.

Marvel VFX work set to improve

With all of the negative press, Marvel Studios is reportedly looking to fix its VFX issues. However, that fix may just be a patch over existing issues until Marvel has the time to create its own studio, a lá Industrial Lights and Magic.

In an article by IGN, it’s mentioned that the MCU studio is investigating ways to improve VFX work on its content. However, it does not address some of the wider issues at hand.

In the article, its states the studio is starting to make changes. It claims “Marvel has already started dividing the work more fairly among different studios” instead of leaving small teams with enormous workloads.

However, VFX artists are still worried about the lack of changes in the studio’s behaviour. After all, it’s the studio’s behaviour with VFX houses that made them wary of Marvel in the first place.

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A lack of respect

One of the major ways in which the MCU studio has been criticised is in its lack of respect for VFX workers. While CG artists have some level of pushback with other places, like DC, Marvel doesn’t take no for an answer.

Furthermore, the studio demands hundreds of minor changes, even when the film is mere hours away from release. One source told IGN that no studio is as “picky” over minor details as Marvel is.

"[They tend] to run all the way until the very end," a VFX worker told IGN. "Like, you basically run out of time to work on these things. I had a shot that I worked on that I finished at 9 in the morning, and they had a preview in London that evening. The version that I worked on that [day] was the version they were going to see at the premiere. It's up to the wire.”

Another claimed that the studio has “the worst methodology of production and VFX management out there."

Marvel’s intense workload on VFX artists not only abuses workers, but also makes for a worse product. Under strict deadlines and little sleep, the quality of CG goes down, there’s no helping it.

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