As Life of Pi Wins Best Visual Effects Oscar, The Effects Community Rallies in Protest

Recommended Videos

At last night’s Oscars ceremony, Life of Pi took home “Best Visual Effects” and rightfully so, Rhythm & Hues, the company that did the visual effects on the film, did beautiful work that really created the world of the movie. The same can be said of Snow White & The Huntsman, another CGI-laden film Rhythm & Hues did the effects for. Together, those films grossed over a billion dollars. Meanwhile, Rhythm & Hues had to file for bankruptcy and close up shop, so the visual effects community came out to protest what they see as an imbalance at the Oscars last night. The ceremony itself only made things worse.

When Rhythm & Hues’ Bill Westenhofer was accepting the award for the company’s work on Life of Pi the orchestra swelled with the theme from Jaws, and eventually Westenhofer’s mic was cut. That happens sometimes when a winner’s acceptance speech runs too long, but as Variety’s David S. Cohen pointed out on Twitter:

There are other factors involved in how long a winner gets to speak, certainly,  like whether the show is running on time or the name recognition of the winner, but considering the two awards were given out back to back in what many would consider to be minor categories, it seems pretty cut and dry that the mic was cut to avoid shining a light on the controversy. After the ceremony, however, Westenhofer was able to get his message out to journalist Bill Desowitz, telling him:

At a time when visual effects movies are dominating the box office, [the] visual effects companies are struggling. And I wanted to point out that we aren’t technicians. Visual effects is not just a commodity that’s being done by people pushing buttons. We’re artists, and if we don’t find a way to fix the business model, we start to loses the artistry. If anything, Life of Pi shows that we’re artists and not just technicians.

The visual effects community feels undervalued in an industry that is becoming more and more centered around the work they do. What’s the last movie you saw that had zero digital effects incorporated into it? And remember, not every movie is Life of Pi, with obvious CGI. Visual effects are becoming more and more pervasive in film, and if the people who create them suddenly stopped building these visual worlds, we’d all just be spending hours watching people in front of green screens.

That sounds awful.

(via Cartoon Brew, image via fsiddi)

Relevant to your interests


The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
related content
Read Article Where Does ‘Godzilla Minus One’ Fit on the Franchise’s Timeline?
Godzilla roaring in Godzilla Minus One
Godzilla roaring in Godzilla Minus One
Godzilla roaring in Godzilla Minus One
Read Article ‘The Acolyte’: When Will We Learn WTF the Jedi Are Hiding?
Jodie Turner-Smith as Mother Aniseya in episode 3 of 'The Acolyte'
Jodie Turner-Smith as Mother Aniseya in episode 3 of 'The Acolyte'
Jodie Turner-Smith as Mother Aniseya in episode 3 of 'The Acolyte'
Read Article I Think it’s Pretty Clear Who the Next ‘Bridgerton’ Lead Will Be
Luke Thompson as Benedict Bridgerton playing cards in Bridgerton
Luke Thompson as Benedict Bridgerton playing cards in Bridgerton
Luke Thompson as Benedict Bridgerton playing cards in Bridgerton
Read Article All the ‘Supernatural’ Cast Members Who Show Up in ‘The Boys’
'Supernatural' stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Michael Keyes, and Jim Beaver in 'The Boys'
'Supernatural' stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Michael Keyes, and Jim Beaver in 'The Boys'
'Supernatural' stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Michael Keyes, and Jim Beaver in 'The Boys'
Read Article ‘Doctor Who’ Introduced The Final Big Bad of the Season
the doctor shaking susan's hand with mel on doctor who
the doctor shaking susan's hand with mel on doctor who
the doctor shaking susan's hand with mel on doctor who
Related Content
Read Article Where Does ‘Godzilla Minus One’ Fit on the Franchise’s Timeline?
Godzilla roaring in Godzilla Minus One
Read Article ‘The Acolyte’: When Will We Learn WTF the Jedi Are Hiding?
Jodie Turner-Smith as Mother Aniseya in episode 3 of 'The Acolyte'
Read Article I Think it’s Pretty Clear Who the Next ‘Bridgerton’ Lead Will Be
Luke Thompson as Benedict Bridgerton playing cards in Bridgerton
Read Article All the ‘Supernatural’ Cast Members Who Show Up in ‘The Boys’
'Supernatural' stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Michael Keyes, and Jim Beaver in 'The Boys'
Read Article ‘Doctor Who’ Introduced The Final Big Bad of the Season
the doctor shaking susan's hand with mel on doctor who
Author
Glen Tickle
Glen is a comedian, writer, husband, and father. He won his third-grade science fair and is a former preschool science teacher, which is a real job.