EW: Peter Jackson and others weigh in on Hollywood's F/X crisis

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  04 April 2013
Originally Posted by mustique: Peter Jackson is no Orson Welles. He's no Kubrik, no Fincher, not any of that caliber of directors. And he surely is no Tarantino. In my book he's a vfx supervisor who somehow got the chance to direct the LOTR trilogy. So his opinions on this subject look kinda weird.




So you say that any director could have done this job as it was done? You don't see the high degree of effort, skill, knowledge, imagination, passion and talent it takes to actually port a vast fantasy book from written text to an actually epic 9 hour motion picture trilogy using mixed media with an outstanding outcome?

I am also not sure why not being somebody else disqualifies anything. Even if in your book he's a vfx supervisor and not a director per se, wouldn't this value his work even more? It's like a formula 1 mechanic switching places with the driver and win the fu**ing championship. Yeah, he is no michael schumacher but the hell, he won the darn championship! oh com'on..
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  04 April 2013
Ignoring what you think of him as a director and while admire what he's done for the NZ film industry I certainly don't agree with the way he handled The Hobbit situation.

But he is one of the few big names in the film industry and one of the only big vfx studio owners to actually speak out in support of some of the issues facing the vfx industry.

So even through I disagree with many of the things he's done, I'd rather have someone like him supportive of the vfx industry and saying things need to change, than him being against or silent.
 
  04 April 2013
We live in a connected world...we don't have to rely on the post service to move stuff around the planet with waiting days or weeks to see stuff arrive. We have cloud storage and skype video conference calls so employees 'can' be anywhere that has a good enough internet connection.

Many artists in lower paid countries as just as capable as those in U.K or U.S.A.

It's a simple as that and all that then follows...competition.
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  04 April 2013
"It's a simple as that and all that then follows...competition."

...as well as subsidies and differences in costs of living. Just saying.
 
  04 April 2013
yeh that's what i mean by "all that then follows"...didn't want to list out every little detail...bottom line is VFX studio's compete with everyone on planet earth now not just your nearest city.

Dealing in digital data means there are no regional/location based things to really to deal with if you want to use someone 4000 miles away.
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  04 April 2013
Originally Posted by mustique: Peter Jackson is no Orson Welles. He's no Kubrik, no Fincher, not any of that caliber of directors. And he surely is no Tarantino. In my book he's a vfx supervisor who somehow got the chance to direct the LOTR trilogy. So his opinions on this subject look kinda weird.


Huh? Just because Jackson isn't a sterling director in your eyes doesn't mean his opinion isn't relevant. As both a director and studio owner, it's opinions like his that are the most important to hear.
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  04 April 2013
Originally Posted by leigh: Huh? Just because Jackson isn't a sterling director in your eyes doesn't mean his opinion isn't relevant. As both a director and studio owner, it's opinions like his that are the most important to hear.


He also directed more than just LOTR. I thought his 'Heavenly Creatures' was very well done. I watched it years ago, and was the first movie of his I watched. He's a good director, who has his fingers on the pulse of cinematic VFX. He's as good an authority as any really.
 
  04 April 2013
Quote: So his opinions on this subject look kinda weird.


I think it's your opinions about him that are kinda weird.

I listen to opinions on CGtalk all day long. The vast majority are valid. Peter Jackson's are just as valid.
 
  04 April 2013
peter jackson is an average director - more of a computer graphics organiser
maybe there are too many dudes clamoring to work on films?
 
  04 April 2013
Ridiculous

Originally Posted by vlad: Here's some true gems from some of the replies :

"...or make more movies that don't rely on special effects - like more Judy Garland style movies or more westerns, more mystery thrillers"

"This outrage from Peter Jackson and the FX industry is ridiculous. It's almost as ridiculous as an article I read today about fast food workers striking in New York City and demanding $15 an hour. If you work in an industry with a surplus of people able to do the job, wages will go down. If you work in an industry with few people able to do the job, wages go up. This is common sense folks. I predict the liberals in Hollywood will soon advertise their movies as having "fair trade" FX."

"highly skilled artists" LOL.....if a guy with no high school education in a 3rd world country can do you job for pennies on a dollar, it isn't a "highly skilled" job. What we are seeing is the market readjusting itself after it realized they were being grossly overpaid."

"Maybe Hollywood should get back to making movies about real people communicating without all the hi tech crap. Make movies for adults again."

"And yet somehow Citizen Kane was able to be made without any VFX and is considered the greatest movie ever. VFX won't be missed and its absence will lead to better movies."

"It's done with fine acting and direction. Think Broadway shows. Think Black and White movies. Raymond Massey played Lincoln on film 3x, and on Broadway. No VFX. Oscars and Tonys all around."

"90% of movies are now done with 'effects' which was never about what makes a 'film' or story great. It's the people who create the story, the rest is fluff and usually annoyingly loud. That's what 'younger folk' like yourself make and want. Just because its a new era it's not necessarily better for anyone."

"The truth of the matter is that it doesn't take a rocket scientist to do CGI so they shouldn't be surprised that they can be replaced by cheap labor."

"Yup .. there's "outrage" ... Just like all the BetaMax factory workers years ago... Get a clue guys, your exclusive industry is all but dead. High-school students can now do in 20 minutes what used to take you 6 months. If you didn't see it coming, that's pretty much your fault - move on."



Are these comments "sponsored"by people who have put the vfx industry in its current state? Ridiculous would be the understatement to describe most of them.Giving Vfx folks their due seems to be difficult for some people.
On Peter Jackson, none of these people have walked in his shoes to make comments like these.Everyone is entitled to opinions but they better know what they are talking about.
 
  04 April 2013
Originally Posted by sinic: peter jackson is an average director - more of a computer graphics organiser
maybe there are too many dudes clamoring to work on films?


Calling Jackson "average" is downright ridiculous. Average directors don´t get to have is filmography and accomplishments like Weta.

Now, if his directing style isn´t to your taste, that´s another thing.
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  04 April 2013
I really would love to see two hours of photo-real tiger on boat drifting through the ocean and playing with real life character made by cheap labor company situated somewhere at the end of the world.

F***ing hypocrites.
 
  04 April 2013
Originally Posted by SYmek: I really would love to see two hours of photo-real tiger on boat drifting through the ocean and playing with real life character made by cheap labor company situated somewhere at the end of the world.

F***ing hypocrites.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I know, the tiger was made by R&H Malaysia.

I don't know how you look at this, but either way, the job will slowly coming off US/Canada to the rest of the world.

And R&H would not open a branch in Taiwan unless they know they can get artist up to certain standard there.

Anyway, since the world is round, how do you define "somewhere at the end of the world" anyway?

Does that means Australia?

Have you ever google youtube or vimeo for cgi advertising made locally there and see the level of quality?

Last but not least, you must also consider the budget and constraint. For low budget movie, the artist might have to do a lot of jobs, so each job might be limited, and may not be up to his best, due to time limitation. But if US studio giving a lot of cash that allow for hiring a lot of people so that each artist can fully do their job given the chance, the result could be astonishing.

Oh, interesting tidbit, a Malay guy actually worked on the CGI for Species, back in 1995. He also worked on Air Force One. His name, afai remember, is Shahril.

If you people failed to understand that other people can also do your job, even back then, I really feel sorry for you.

I mean, the closure of Fermi Lab, and the fact that US astronaut will hitchhike with other country rocket to go to ISS , still haven't wake you up?

50% of fortune 500 companies was co-founded by people non-native US, or something.

And the bru ha ha of the STEM related visa to fulfill job requirements.

And by the way, I don't understand how you define 'cheap labour'. But due to difference in cost of living, they can obviously earn less than US/European counterpart and still live a good life.

For what it worth...
 
  04 April 2013
The issue is not the talent of non-US studios. There's talented artists and skilled technicians all over the world.

The issue is that the base line cost of living is so different between countries that true competition can not be achieved. US based FX houses have the boat anchor of US high cost of living around their necks. The studios exploit the economic realities of this situation to maximize their profits. That's globalization folks. If you and I start a race, and I have to carry a hippopotamus and you have to carry a mouse, who's going to win the race? That's not competition, it's farce.

That's what US FX studios (and many other industries) face today. It's not new by any means. Ask auto workers in the US how they feel about globalization. All of the big three had to get help from the US government to stay afloat and reduce their operating costs. That's why studios are looking for help from their governments. These variables they're dealing with are totally beyond their ability to control or adapt to. They have two choices, move out of the US or get subsidized. Well, three choices, they can close out right.

Until there's some parity across the ocean for cost of living and standard of living, you're going to see this dynamic continue. All the subsidies and tax breaks in the world won't fix it. They've got to come up and I'm afraid at least in the near term, we've got to go down.

And as an aside... if you're not holding a few Oscars for directing on your mantle, I don't know that you get to sound off about the status of Peter Jackson as a director. It's the internet, I know, everyone's entitled to voice their opinion (and will... at length). Just kind of made me shake my head to see it here of all places.
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  04 April 2013
Originally Posted by fablefox: Correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I know, the tiger was made by R&H Malaysia.


Sorry, if my post was misleading. It's not about where the studio is located, but what competence it represents, and the part of the world says something about it (albeit it's not conclusive). In CG perspective, Berlin, capital city of a nation of engineers, could be as much "end of the world" as anywhere else, so apologize if you feel offended, but I didn't mean geography.

Whenever R&H is located, it's still R&H: the most furry-creatures-capable company on the planet. And what I call hypocrisy is saying that a job is worth as low as the lowest bid, because no one without years of experience and tools costing millions could make that movie. So are these apples to apples? Malaysia or not, the knowledge, science and experience was raised somewhere else for a money and time incomparable to a couple of PC with Maya set somewhere with low labor costs. Hollywood wouldn't survive without a service of big studios, because hardly any blockbuster can be made without them (but their costs are compared to studios which cannot provide the same level of service.)
 
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