This year’s FMX conference saw an thought provoking panel discussing the future business models of the VFX industry, hosted by Weta Digital’s Dave Gougé and including Warner Bros. Studios’ Chris deFaria, Method Studios’ Marc Weigert and founder of DD and industry expert Scott Ross. The panel discussed a number of topics, but had especially interesting viewpoints when it came to business models.
Among other things, the panel discussed the rather new phenomenon of viewing certain VFX work as a general commodity with less need of talent, allowing it to be farmed out while keeping more specialised talent ready for the more high-end work within the same project. Chris deFaria was skeptical of this approach, arguing that for a VFX house to be profitable while solving the complex projects they generally also need the more mundane, lower grade jobs as well.
The panel also discussed the need for seeing VFX workers more like “talent”, with a studio treating them no different from how they treat actors and key creative workers. In general, a film can ride almost entirely on using a star actor, director or even executive producer, but VFX crew still aren’t well known enough to carry a film. It was argued that while films such as Gravity heavily marketed the breakthrough effects, it wasn’t the VFX team itself that helped in marketing.
Did you miss FMX in Stuttgart? Make sure to check out FXGuide report from it.