Australian Film Ditched VFX Awards

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Old 08 August 2013   #1
Australian Film Ditched VFX Awards

So I missed this announcement a couple of months ago and I never saw it discussed here: The Australian Academy of Cinema Television Arts has gotten rid of it's Visual Effects award.
Quote: Trewhella said he was saddened by the temporary loss of the VFX Award, which ultimately was decided too expensive an Award to run at this time.

“The VFX award – it’s a really important category and we are very disappointed not to be running that,” he says. “But it’s a labour intensive category. It covers short films, documentaries, TV shows… it’s very cost intensive to run and doesn’t have the revenue stream associated with it.

“Maybe a campaign from VFX artists coordinated with industry may possibly see us squeeze something else in [in the future] – there’s a lot of jostling.”


Other categories that got the shaft were mostly documentary sub-categories, which also sucks for people in those industries. However the VFX award was cross media, one award competed for by feature, short, doco and broadcast.

http://if.com.au/2013/05/16/article...LZWVHOHFXY.html

I just don't get it.

With Fuel bowing out and being gobbled (possibly in a nice way, hi AL guys!) it seems like now is a really shit time to put more downward pressure on the Aussie VFX industry.

And how the hell can cost really be such a factor involved in this? I've been involved with the AACTA VFX panel and the cost involved can't be particularly huge.

Reading the sub-text it seems like it's purely a guild thing. Guilds this, guilds that and surprise surprise the industry section without a guild sees no support to continue it's awards existence.

I think this is a really, really, backwards and sad event for Australian Film.
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Old 08 August 2013   #2
The Fuel acquisition was truly benign and AFAIK meant to avoid the impact on Sydney of one of the top shops closing doors, hi there
Not speaking for AL here, btw, I was and remain not involved with that branch of things.

And, the AFI/AACTA dropping the ball doesn't make a lot of sense, and isn't that nice to hear or to see for anybody, but I don't think it's really that much drama to be honest.

I'm not entirely sure of how it worked out, but the AACTA isn't that old anyway, maybe they are starved for funds. They're what, three years running now?
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Old 08 August 2013   #3
Originally Posted by ThE_JacO: The Fuel acquisition was truly benign and AFAIK meant to avoid the impact on Sydney of one of the top shops closing doors, hi there
Not speaking for AL here, btw, I was and remain not involved with that branch of things.

Warmed my heart to see good people get jobs. Saddened all of us that it came to that.

Originally Posted by ThE_JacO: And, the AFI/AACTA dropping the ball doesn't make a lot of sense, and isn't that nice to hear or to see for anybody, but I don't think it's really that much drama to be honest.

I'm not entirely sure of how it worked out, but the AACTA isn't that old anyway, maybe they are starved for funds. They're what, three years running now?


Yeah they're 3 years running as AACTA but directly derived from the AFI awards which has been giving a VFX award since mid-2000s.

And yeah it's definitely a funding issue of one sort - I think they're still looking for a lead sponsor. I think the AFIs had Samsung maybe the first AACTA too but they must have dropped out I guess.

All that aside though even the state screen awards have visual effects categories now. I just can't fathom how they can justify to themselves the removal of an entire craft. Surely they could have shuffled the cost from somewhere? Less cameras at the show, reduce the lightning budget, cut down on the cost of acts? At least they would still retain integrity in their claim to be representing the entire industry, even if the awards were a little dim or less exciting.

The other thing is the VFX was always a panel award. All volunteer judges from the industry and they send you a big arse bag of copied DVDs and you watch them. Then you have a couple of meetings (remote is fine) and it's done. From an organisational viewpoint that can hardly be so expensive right? They don't pay airfairs for nominees, the prize money (if there is any, I've forgotten) is not huge, so ... where's this huge cost coming from?

I agree it's not a massive drama but it just seems so short sighted.

Actually I'm tempted to contact the AACTA, find out what the cost would be for sponsoring an award, then try to kickstart the money or something.
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Old 08 August 2013   #4
I don't see how its short sighted in case you didn't notice Australia doesn't have a film industry of note and much of its TV content is imported.

As to Fuel, its not saved jobs the company went bust and AL bought a liquidated company. Then AL just moved there commercials staff into the building. As an Ex pat Australian I do lament the better days of work in Aus but the growing industry came to a shuddering halt with the rise of the dollar and the introduction of the mighty Van tax breaks.

There is at least some good news and that is there's quite a few talented Aussies working at the big shops in LA / Van . Its just a shame there's nothing to come back to.

b
 
Old 08 August 2013   #5
Doesn't sound like a huge loss.
 
Old 08 August 2013   #6
Originally Posted by malcolmvexxed: Doesn't sound like a huge loss.


And if they removed the Emmy or Oscar for VFX would that be a loss of any kind?

I don't think it's a 'loss', more like another nail in the coffin of Aus VFX. Bob's comments just make me lament the situation more.
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Old 08 August 2013   #7
Originally Posted by axiomatic: And if they removed the Emmy or Oscar for VFX would that be a loss of any kind?

I don't think it's a 'loss', more like another nail in the coffin of Aus VFX. Bob's comments just make me lament the situation more.


Yes it would, can you see how that comparison doesn't actually work at all though?
 
Old 08 August 2013   #8
Originally Posted by malcolmvexxed: Yes it would, can you see how that comparison doesn't actually work at all though?


Not really, no. Why doesn't the comparison work? If you want to make an argument then do so please, don't just imply it.

For the record I think that for Australian VFX artists, particularly those not in the few strong VFX houses, the award was an important one to encourage local industry and a strive for excellence.
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Old 08 August 2013   #9
Originally Posted by axiomatic: I don't think it's a 'loss', more like another nail in the coffin of Aus VFX. Bob's comments just make me lament the situation more.


Dont waste to much time thinking about it as it wont change. LA is going the same way DD will be moving all shot production to Van along with Sony. Industries come and go you have to change an adapt. Just remember to become a master craftsman your going to have to at some point go and work with the top talent to get those skills amd win that award , what ever it may be.

b

Last edited by mr Bob : 08 August 2013 at 06:46 AM.
 
Old 08 August 2013   #10
Originally Posted by mr Bob: Dont waste to much time thinking about it as it wont change. LA is going the same way DD will be moving all shot production to Van along with Sony. Industries come and go you have to change an adapt. Just remember to become a master craftsman your going to have to at some point go and work with the top talent to get those skills amd win that award , what ever it may be.

b


Well I'm an Aussie ExPat vfx supe too. I've landed in Beijing, rather exciting here. I was nominated for an AFI previously though when just starting out and it made a difference in allowing me to escape Perth.

That won't be available for other people now.
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Old 08 August 2013   #11
Originally Posted by axiomatic: For the record I think that for Australian VFX artists, particularly those not in the few strong VFX houses, the award was an important one to encourage local industry and a strive for excellence.

While I completely agree that local awards go a long way in giving recognition to the hard-working people in the industry and this decision highlights the lack of respect VFX suffers from, I can't help but feel that the latest AACTA was a bit odd. They gave an Australian award to a predominantly Finnish VFX team and while we were proud to receive it, it certainly made little sense if the purpose was the support the local industry.

It's a nice statue though. Looks good on the kitchen table at the office
 
Old 08 August 2013   #12
Originally Posted by tuomask: While I completely agree that local awards go a long way in giving recognition to the hard-working people in the industry and this decision highlights the lack of respect VFX suffers from, I can't help but feel that the latest AACTA was a bit odd. They gave an Australian award to a predominantly Finnish VFX team and while we were proud to receive it, it certainly made little sense if the purpose was the support the local industry.

It's a nice statue though. Looks good on the kitchen table at the office


Ahah, what was that for? Even giving it away to a team that was predominantly from another country though is still supporting Australian film in general (which is the ultimate goal) and the subsidary industries benefit from that.
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Old 08 August 2013   #13
Iron Sky. The production (money) came from Finland, Germany and Australia which apparently made it an eligible candidate.
 
Old 12 December 2013   #14
But wait! In a bizarre turn it turns out the AACTA decided they should award someone with a VFX award after all. In fact, they announced the award and the recipient at an event prior even to the other nominations. Yay.

Quote: "The AACTA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Visual Effects will be presented to The Great Gatsby, represented by Visual Effects Supervisor Chris Godfrey who oversaw the work of the many local and international VFX teams who worked collaboratively to create breathtaking stereoscopic environments, animation and effects on the feature film. Four of these teams were from Australian companies: Animal Logic, Iloura, Rising Sun Pictures and Bazmark VFX."
- Source IF.com.au

So, after they cancel the award they then bring it back but as a special outstanding achievement award. No more nominees to be had, just a special consideration. Hell, if Australia is so dry on talent why don't they just make all the awards for outstanding achievement and then they can save on all that time and effort.
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Old 12 December 2013   #15
Quote: James Whitlam, Co-Chairman, Visual Effects Society (Australia Section) said "The Australian Section of the Visual Effects Society (VES), on behalf of its members, would like to thank the Australian Academy for continuing to acknowledge the value and the achievements of its committed VFX community. Recognising the artistry and determination of the many hundreds of Australians who work to the highest international level is of such great importance, especially at a time when Australia's Visual Effects capabilities play a critical role attracting large-scale inbound productions.
“The VES remains committed to working alongside other screen industry guilds and the Australian Academy to further refine the Visual Effects Award category and to ensure it remains representative of our sector’s contribution to the industry in the future." said Mr. Whitlam


Which sounds kinda like a very politically correct way of saying: "Thanks for doing *something* at least about this and hopefully in the future you guys can, you know, not treat us like the elephant in the room".
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