Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Visual Effects Innovation

David Cohen made some interesting observations in his article 'Deadly dull vfx undermine the biz'.

It does seem odd for visual effects to be considered as a secondary player by Hollywood yet at the same time the entire success of movies is supposedly resting on our shoulders to innovate.

Visual Effects artists have always been innovators no matter what the technology. Crude cameras didn't stop Melies from creating incredible imagery. Visual effects artists were the first in the film business to embrace digital technologies and we've been working with them for over 25 years now.

As with any change in technology the first phase highlights the most visible advances. Visual effects artists continue to innovate, refine and develop their skills and tools. Visual effects are now more than capable of creating anything. The impossible is now possible.

It is said that 'necessity is the mother of invention'.  In the film world a great story with the need for compelling visuals is the mother of visual effects invention. Most of the 'Wow' visual effects that have been seen were driven by this need on specific projects. Great stories well told make the best use of visual effects and it is the thing that drives the wow factor. Technology and visual effects innovations alone can not carry a film.

We have removed the visual barriers to stories that can be told. Now the only limit for directors, writers, producers and the key creatives is their imaginations. Visual effects have incredible potential that has yet to be fully tapped. Visual effects artists, with their active imaginations and their knowledge, look forward to being creative collaborators with all filmmakers to help them bring their stories to the screen in the most powerful way possible.

I do agree with David regarding what's wrong with U.S. Businesses.

Here's another response:
Van Ling and Colin Campbell comment on Variety article

[Update: Had meant to include this link as well:
Mike Seymour wrote an Open letter response to David Cohen, Variety  ]

There have been a few other key postings the last couple of weeks on the internet that are based on ignorance of what we as visual effects artists do and what we achieve. I'll try to write up notes when time permits.


  1. Great response to Variety article! Thank you for posting it!

  2. Special effects are traditionally divided into the categories of optical effects and mechanical effects. With the emergence of digital film-making tools a greater distinction between special effects and visual effects has been recognized, with "visual effects" referring to digital post-production and "special effects" referring to on-set mechanical effects and in-camera optical effects.

    Alex Frisch


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