An article about bad VFX business practices

Scott Squires has written a very very lengthy article about “Bad Visual Effects Business Practices” which everybody should read despite it’s length.

Did I already mention that it’s long?

But I can relate to so many issues:

Too many layers of approvals
If a task requires approval by 5 different layers of managers, that’s a problem. Each manager will have a different idea of the results required and will likely produce 5 different and conflicting notes or corrections.

Not understanding overtime
Management and those typically looking at just the numbers think that 12 hours is producing 50% more than 8 hours work. They’re wrong. As the number of hours go up the productivity of workers is going down.

Some comments on Scott’s article also raise interesting points:

“The bidding model hails from the construction industry and is meant to come with a fixed blueprint. (…) That’s why they dropped it on the movie set. Camera teams were like, “you did not tell us you’d be doing 100 takes”. So time based pay was adopted with a plan and a budget…” – Dave Rand

Yet, VFX shots are still a fixed bid even though the directors nowadays want full control over how every piece of glass is flying away from an explosion that’ll be on screen for half a second. It’s ridiculous. The most fun I had as a VFX artist was for an advertising company on a project with enough budget and people who knew their trade. Most work for Hollywood movies on the other hand was endless change requests by the director about the tiniest specks of dust in the remotest corner of the screen, burning buckets full of time and money in the process.

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