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New Bombshell Report Alleges Marvel Studios’ Mistreatment And Underpayment Of VFX Artists

Marvel Studios’ Phase 4 projects have been met with widespread criticism for their sub-par writing and lackluster CGI. From “She-Hulk” to “Thor: Love and Thunder,” fans were upset with the poor quality of VFX. Last year, some VFX artists who worked on Marvel projects accused Marvel of inhumane working conditions and lower pay. A recent report has again brought to light the news about this issue. But now it seems like there was more going on behind the scenes. So, let’s examine the entire matter.


VFX Artists Accuse Marvel Studios Of Low Pay And More Work

Vulture recently reported that Marvel Studios’ immense 2022 output, which consisted of 4 shows, three films, and 2 Disney+ specials, allowed the studio to act as the biggest bully in Hollywood to CGI workers. VFX artists (who have chosen to remain anonymous) have accused the mega superhero studio of blacklisting artists. A CGI expert said that even though he doesn’t know if the blacklist is real or not, it’s a common topic that comes up when people in the visual effects industry chat. The popular notion is that if the workers do anything out of line, then Marvel Studios will blacklist that person. Apparently, the best way to get on that list is to leave any of their shows early.

Joe Pavlo, another VFX expert who assisted in organizing the UK VFX workers, denied the presence of any such Marvel Studios blacklist. He said that there’s so much CGI work to be done that no studio can afford to leave out workers. However, two other CGI artists who previously worked on Marvel projects said that this blacklist exists thanks to Victoria Alonso, the Marvel Studios executive in charge of visual effects, animation production, and post-production.

It’s interesting to note that another VFX expert has labeled her the “kingmaker.” The worker, who has now vowed never to work with Marvel again, said that if Alonso likes a worker, that person will move up and get work. But if she doesn’t, then it’s a tough road ahead for them since they will get frozen out of the industry. Additionally, a senior in-house Marvel Studios animator for their animation department stated that the company often asks for impossible things to be done.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom for Marvel. A European VFX studio’s co-owner spoke to Vulture and said that blacklisting doesn’t exist. But the executive said that the only case where such blacklisting can happen is if the CGI worker oversells themselves. The co-owner, in fact, praised Marvel and said that the studio provides all the technical things like color references and texture photos that many other companies don’t.


Previous Accusations By VFX Workers On Marvel Studios 

As said before, the new Vulture report isn’t the only one that details the experiences of VFX experts working for Marvel Studios. Previously, a VFX expert named Dhruv Govil, who has worked on Guardians of the Galaxy and Spider-Man, tweeted about his personal experiences working for the superhero studio. He said working for Marvel was terrible and made him quit the CGI industry. Govil also mentioned that he has seen colleagues being overworked and stressed while Marvel tightens their purse strings. 

The ex-VFX worker further said that this wasn’t a new development under Bob Chapek. In fact, the same thing has been going on since the very early MCU days. The reason is that the MCU is so huge that they can demand anything. In the end, he said that it had resulted in a toxic relationship.

Govil’s tweets didn’t come from anywhere. It was a response to a Gamer article that published various unverified Reddit comments from alleged Marvel CGI workers. One such supposed VFX worker for Marvel said that the studio is the worst in terms of VFX and production management. The commentator even said that workers aren’t paid equivalently for the work they are putting in.

Other users shared stories of frustration, sleepless nights, and unending stress. One person said that Marvel requests a variety of options so that they can change their minds multiple times regarding the VFX. Another commented that Marvel Studios isn’t the sparkly client they once were and that they would much rather move to a VFX studio that didn’t have them as a client. 


What to Believe And What Not to Believe?

Marvel Studios is making more shows and projects than ever before. Phases 5 and 6 will probably amp up the need for VFX in their projects. But the blockbuster superhero company isn’t alone. More and more movies and shows are becoming heavily dependent on CGI. Last year’s two biggest shows, “House of the Dragon” and “Rings of Power,” were VFX-heavy. So, the CGI market is going to continue increasing thanks to the sheer number of VFX-heavy projects getting made.

As such, the pressure on VFX artists is going to increase as well simultaneously. However, as per Dhruv Govil, Marvel Studios has apparently been putting undue pressure on CGI workers from the beginning. Also, almost all the accounts, even the unverified Reddit comments, hint at the artists being overworked and underpaid. So, it’s important to hold Marvel Studios accountable. It’s also interesting that even with all the accusations thrown at the company, no one has come forward to clear the air about it. Could it mean that the allegations are true?

We are waiting to hear Marvel’s side of the story for that.


See more: Matt Reeves Meeting With James Gunn To Discuss ‘The Batman’ Sequel And DCU Connection


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