Monday, February 25, 2013

The VFX Predictinator and The 85th Academy Awards

The visual effects team behind "Life of Pi" took home the Oscar for visual effects at the 85th Academy Awards.  Congratulations to Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott and everyone involved with the visual and special effects of the amazing film.

This also marks another victory for The VFX Predictinator, our formula for predicting the winner of the visual effects Academy Award.  We created a unified formula that correctly predicts the outcome of the visual effects winner from 1989-2008; we used that same formula to correctly predict "Avatar" in 2009, "Inception" in 2010 and "Hugo" in 2011.  Well, we got it right again for "Life of Pi" in 2012.

Before the awards ceremony, hundreds of visual effects professionals rallied for a VFX protest, complete with a plane flying a banner overhead that read "BOXOFFICE + BANKRUPT = VISUAL EFFECTS VFXUNION.COM".  Read FXGuide's coverage here.

The awards ceremony itself was a debacle for the visual effects community.  First, presenters of the visual effects Oscar Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo and Samuel L. Jackson, all of whom have benefitted greatly from partnering with visual effects throughout their careers, joked around awkwardly with some poorly rehearsed schtick about respecting the artistry of visual effects.  The winners were read, and midway through Bill Westenhofer's speech, the 'play-off' music began to rumble (John Williams' "Jaws"). Before Westenhofer could finish his statement, his mic was cut off and the director cut away to Nicole Kidman and her husband.  Then, accepting the Best Director Oscar, Ang Lee failed to thank any visual effects members of his team.  In addition, Oscar winner Claudio Miranda (for "Life of Pi"'s cinematography) also failed to thank any members of the visual effects team; strange for a film whose cinematography was extensively created by visual effects artists.  Read The Hollywood Reporter's coverage here, and read Stu Maschwitz' article here for a classy recap. 

My emotions are all tied up in strange knots; I'm thrilled and inspired by the current state of artistic achievement of our industry, and also saddened by our relative powerlessness in Hollywood.

1 comment:

Indra Blade said...

Poorly rehearsed schtick?

I guess that's why Downey and Ruffalo looked pissed and why Downey has been speaking up for VFX