Marvel Studios is under fire again after a report surfaced that their recurring negligence over their VFX Artists goes back to the culmination of the Infinity Saga, the big-budgeted Avengers: Endgame.
According to the report, Marvel Studios forgot to brief the VFX Team that Avengers: Endgame was impulsively moved to an earlier release date, causing tremendous pressure on the artists.
Marvel Studios' History in Mishandling Their VFX Team
According to a report from Gizmodo, Marvel Studios usually sends out a couple of shots with specific descriptions. Following that, a bidding producer at a studio will examine those shots to settle an estimate for the bid. VFX Artist David revealed:
“It’s a race to the bottom. Because when the big [production companies] say they need work done, [the VFX studios] undercut each other so much that by the time they finally get that contract, they’ve bid so low they’re lucky to break even. And so that forces these VFX studios to operate at very low margins.”
Whereas H, an unnamed production coordinator, testifies about labor exploitation not just on a domestic level, but on a global scale. He said:
“For example, the UK doesn’t have any paid overtime in any industry, and because they don’t have to legally pay anyone overtime, when they bid a show that might cost them $15 million to do the work, a UK studio might say, ‘Well, we’ll do it for ten.’ So if they rack up 200 hours of overtime a week in London, it doesn’t affect the bottom line… It’s not costing the studio any money to force you to work through this crunch delivery.”
After Kevin Feige recently revealed massive surprises for the subsequent MCU Phases 5 and 6 at San Diego Comic-Con, fans all over the world rejoiced. However, for VFX Artist Jason, he claimed that Phase 5 would "dominate" his friends' careers for a decade. He said:
“You see all these timelines for films and just think… It won’t ever stop. The workload becomes agonizing at times… We’re all just sick and tired of superheroes. These studios keep feeding from the same trough because the work is so abundant, and [Marvel] needs so many people, and artists need jobs. Where do you think these studios are going to go?”
Marvel Studios Moved Avengers: Endgame to an Earlier Release Date, But Ironically Forgot to Inform The VFX Team
Marvel fans were absolutely delighted when Marvel Studios moved Avengers: Endgame to an earlier release date. However, for VFX artist David, he was caught off guard.
He recalled that time when the studio announced to the whole world that the release date for both Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame were "bumped up" by a month, without even telling the VFX artists working behind the films.
"The worst was when Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame were coming out. They actually bumped up that release by a month but they hadn’t told us. I remember being on the floor with my team and one of my artists comes to me and says, ‘Hey, you see this?’ and he shows me the article saying Marvel bumped the release date up a month.”
David went to tell his supervisor, who was also clueless about the development. Marvel eventually reached out to the VFX team and admitted that they have "forgotten" to tell them. David added:
“So we found out from a press release that we had one less month to work on all these shots.”
Sam added that working with Marvel Studios was consistently awful and that it is the worst example of "a lot of the problems" in the industry.
“[Marvel] is the worst example of a lot of the problems in the industry. It would be one thing if sometimes it was really bad, sometimes it wasn’t… But with Marvel, it seems like every single time it’s the same thing. So, one, they tend to be as bad as you’re going to get and they’re consistently that bad.”
Sam recalled the time when Marvel Studios abruptly reshoot a series, causing him to do exhaustive work for five weeks straight.
“I didn’t have a day off for five weeks. And those were not eight-hour days. They were ten-plus-hour days. “And that was because they did a reshoot a month before the show was due. So we literally got shots in at the end of December for a show that was due at the end of January.”
The VFX artists are the main reason we enjoy MCU's realistic sequences we see on either television or the big screens. For a company as massive as Marvel Studios, it's extremely disheartening to hear how countless VFX artists have complained about the injustices in terms of exploiting their employees and diminishing their work by not paying them what they deserve. Hopefully, Marvel Studios will step up their game and settle this persisting issue.
Stay Tuned for more updates about Marvel Studios!