Marvel VFX Supervisor Claps Back At CGI Criticism With Surprising Insight

One of the most common complaints amongst the general public with modern movies is the over-reliance on visual effects. Practical effects are hailed as the end-all-be-all, while people moan about how too many movies use CGI landscapes and characters. And it's about time VFX artists started speaking out regarding their profession. 

Writer and actor Adam Conover, who's been at the forefront of picket lines since the WGA went on strike earlier this year, recently had a clip go viral where he talked about how studios use VFX as a cost-cutting measure. Rather than use real sets and costumes, Conover claims movie scenes are sent off to factories where they use rotoscoping to fill in the blanks, ultimately resulting in something audiences scoff at. Many called Conover out for his comments, including Stephane Ceretti, a VFX supervisor who's worked on Marvel projects, including "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" and "Eternals."

He retweeted a clip from the interview and stated, "Hey @adamconover the hundreds of artists that work on movies and TV shows would like to have a word with you about the lousy scripts we spend our time fixing in post instead of doing the cool stuff. Thank you. My god we can't get any respite these days can we?" Many others criticized Conover's wording, but ultimately, both sides seem to agree that any issues people have with either industry (writing or VFX) come down to the head honchos who want everything done as cheaply as possible. 

Adam Conover apologized for his statement

Granted, the clip that went viral was only 40 seconds of a larger conversation, much of which Adam Conover was complimentary toward VFX artists and wanted them to have better working conditions, too. But Stephane Ceretti noted how that one section did contain some misinformation, which he was quick to correct, "I watched the entire thing. But in this section he clearly says that everything now looks like s***, blames it on rotoscoping (huh???)...I guess I can see he's saying it's the fault of the people who want faster cheaper, but he's a writer!! how can you explain yourself so poorly?"

Conover eventually commented on Ceretti's post, apologizing for not clearly explaining the situation and reiterating his support for VFX workers. Ceretti accepted the apology but made clear he wants more to be done to show respect toward those who work in this industry: "We're very twitchy right now about so much bashing happening with hate for CGI and articles that negate the work so many VFX artists do with passion and love. We should have a talk." Ultimately, writers and VFX artists need to be on the same side. Any issues with either profession in Hollywood are the fault of studio heads who don't provide their workers with the money, time, or resources to do their jobs to the best of their ability. 

And fortunately, things might look up for VFX workers moving forward. In August 2023, it was reported that Marvel VFX artists had voted to unionize and join the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. Union protections mean better pay and better work conditions for those employees under the Marvel banner, at least. But if successful, it could reverberate throughout the industry, allowing VFX houses to have more control over the work they produce that generates billions for movie studios.