The majority of Marvel movies use CGI for almost everything. A common complaint of great films like Avengers: Endgame is that almost everything has been created by VFX Artists.
Suits, locations, props, characters; each shot in Avengers: Endgame is filled with CGI. For example, the warehouse in Endgame isn’t even a real warehouse, it’s just a green screen. However, despite Marvel’s reliance on VFX artists, they appear to have zero respect for them.
Why have VFX artists boycotted Marvel?
Revealed on the VFX subreddit, a number of VFX Artists are sick and tired of working on marvel movies. On one side, this is because of how much CGI work is needed for each movie. On the other hand, Marvel deadlines are treacherously short, leading to crunch (working non-stop over a period of time).
A thread titled “I am frankly sick and tired of working on Marvel shows” saw one user complaining the company. The thread became a horde of artists revealing the horrendous working conditions of the company.
The original poster explained that Marvel shows have the “worst methodology of production and VFX management out there”. Marvel shows reportedly don’t pay enough for the work out in and constantly overwork VFX houses. They explained that the “charm” of working on Marvel movies is “way overrated now”.
One commenter exhaustedly revealed that they were on their third Marvel project in a row, saying: “[I] definitely wanna take a break.” Another explained that they were on their third year straight of Marvel productions, calling it the “7th level of Hell”.
Multiple commenters explained that their experience with Marvel has always been negative, going as far back as the original Thor. However, with more CG in each movie, the work gets harder with each passing year.
One artist explained that the CG costumes Marvel opts for now are even becoming issues. When shots are finalised, Marvel often decides to redesign the costume, forcing artists to redo everything involving that costume. From modelling to texturing to lighting passes — everything.
Why does Marvel get a free pass?
As one of the largest media empires in history, Marvel Studios is given a lot of leeway to take advantage of VFX artists. And they’ll probably always have that leeway. After all, they are the hottest trend right now.
Furthermore, as they’re owned by Disney, Marvel Studios is a company that many VFX studios have to work for. Disney owns the vast majority of the movie and TV industry, and you don’t want to anger them.
However, it’s worth noting that Marvel Studios’ CG isn’t done by Disney’s in-house VFX studio: Industrial Lights and Magic. While ILM has worked on a number of Marvel projects, the studio (renowned as the best of the best) rarely works on the cinematic universe.
With this in mind, it’s not too hard to see evidence that VFX houses are begrudgingly working on Marvel movies. After all, you want the biggest movie franchise on your CV, you want to be credited, you need to make money.