VFX House Wins Awards, Goes Bankrupt; “Amour” Triumphs at Césars


Life of Pi in a pool. Life of Pi in an ocean. Photo: Gold Derby

Can the Jaws of life save visual effects?
During the 85th Academy Awards, Life of Pi Visual Effects (VFX) Supervisor Bill Westenhofer was cut off by the theme to Jaws just as he was about to talk about the VFX Life of Pi vendor Rhythm + Hues’s recent bankruptcy, according to Indiewire. Even though the company won a number of awards for their work on Life of Pi and worked on other high profile projects in 2012 like Snow White and the Huntsman, award success does not equal monetary success.

Because of subsidies offered by foreign governments for VFX contract work—this type of work is increasingly outsourced to Canada and other countries—VFX houses rarely receive residual income from profitable films. VFX artist Phillip Broste wrote an open letter to director Ang Lee complimenting Lee's work, but criticizing his ignorance of all that goes into VFX artistry, which Indiewire reprinted in their piece.

“It is not computer chips and hard drives that are costing you so very much money,” wrote Broste. “It is the artists that are helping you create your film.” Broste continued, saying if the Jaws theme “was meant as a joke, we artists are not laughing.”

On Oscar night, Rhythm + Hues protested the industry’s outsourcing of VFX contract work just down the street from the Dolby Theater. Head to KCRW’s The Business for more information on the fate of U.S. VFX houses.


Emmanuelle Riva won Best Actress at the 2013 Cesar Awards. Photo: Montreal Gazette

Amour wins big at 2013 César Awards
Amour walked away from the Chatelet Theatre in Paris with five César Awards just two days before the Oscars. Amour won Best Picture, Michael Haneke Best Director, Emmanuelle Riva Best Actress, Jean-Louis Trintignant Best Actor, and Haneke Best Original Screenplay. Other winners include:

Supporting Actress: Valérie Benguigui, What's In A Name
Supporting Actor: Guillaume de Tonquedec, What's In A Name
Adapted Screenplay: Jacques Audiard, Thomas Bidegain, Rust & Bone
Newcomer (Female): Izia Higelin, Mauvaise Fille
Newcomer (Male): Matthias Schoenaerts, Rust & Bone
Original Score: Alexandre Desplat, Rust & Bone
Sound: Antoine Deflandre, Germaine Boulay, Eric Tisserand, Cloclo
Cinematography: Romain Winding, Farewell, My Queen http://www.filmlinc.com/films/on-sale/farewell-my-queen(Rendez-vous with French Cinema 2012)
Editing: Juliette Welfling, Rust & Bone
Costumes: Christian Gasc, Farewell, My Queen
Art Direction: Katia Wyszkop, Farewell, My Queen
First Film: Louise Wimmer, Cyril Mennegun
Foreign Film: Argo
Animated Film: Ernest Et Célestine, Benjamin Renner, Vincent Patar, Stéphane Aubier
Documentary: Les Invisibles, Sébastien Lifshitz
Short Film: Le Cri Du Homard, Nicolas Guiot


Boston-native Casey Affleck

Casey Affleck joins Independent Film Festival Boston
Casey Affleck, the younger and Boston-born one, has joined the Independent Film Festival Boston as creative advisor.

Affleck’s duties will include programming input; reaching out to studios, filmmakers and actors; connecting with local charities; and making IFFBoston “a world-class film festival,” according to Indiewire. Steve Buscemi’s Lonesome Jim, in which Affleck plays Jim, and Michael Winterbottom’s The Killer Inside Me, in which Affleck plays a debuty sheriff turned serial killer, screened at IFFBoston. 

"Casey has exemplified the kind of artistic and risk-taking choices in his work that we strive to champion each year at the festival,” said IFFBoston program director Adam Roffman. “We are very excited to welcome him into the IFFBoston team."

The complete lineup for IFFBoston will be announced on March 20. The festival runs April 24-30.

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