Green Screens & Mr. Lee
It’s Not Stan Lee This Time—It’s Ang Lee!
Facebook blossomed green profile pics all day Monday and Tuesday. Why? “…the “green screen profile” is a show of support to the VFX community in the wake of the Rhythm & Hues/Life of Pi situation.”
Among the many who shared the solidarity image of pure green, Tom Hodges wrote, “Directors need this… and if they need this… they need VFX artists. If they need VFX artists then they need to be taken care of like any Star of the film.”
Here’s the immediate context of this controversy, which began at the Sunday night Academy Awards ceremony and Ang Lee‘s acceptance speech:
- This “Open Letter to Ang Lee“ covers the particulars succinctly,
- this coverage of the active strike outside the Oscars ceremony is essential,
- and “A Night to Remember” should do the rest.
But I can’t help but state the obvious:
How many in the movie industry posting green screens today said word one when Jack Kirby and Jack Kirby’s heirs were ignored and openly reviled when The Avengers movie opened last spring?
Did ANYONE in the Visual Effects community speak up? Act? Say anything? DO anything?
There’s a photo that started circulating Monday night and Tuesday morning on Facebook of The Avengers green screen studio shot, with the actors playing Thor, Captain America, the downed Iron Man, and the motion-capture outfit on the Hulk actor in the background, as it appeared in the actual The Avengers movie, and as it appeared sans the hard work the brilliant CGI team did on that shot. Here it is, via Tom Hodges:
The problem is—that would have been an empty green screen studio without Jack Kirby.
NONE of those characters would exist to create gainful employment to anyone in Hollywood without Jack Kirby.
He created and/or co-created ALL of them.
This is about creators as well as jobs.
I have the greatest love and respect for the CGI artists who labor daily on making miracles.
You know I do, if you know of me at all.
But damn it, this conversation, now, about the plight of the visual effects industry does have to do with artists speaking up for artists and their families.
WHERE WERE YOU ALL when The Avengers opened and Jack Kirby and Jack Kirby‘s heirs were openly mocked, reviled, and debased online?
The studios piss on all artists.
The studios are utterly dependent upon artists, but they piss on all artists.
They see us all, you all, as disposable, interchangeable, replaceable, and you yourselves supported that worldview and hard reality when NOTHING WAS SAID OR DONE when the Kirbys got NOTHING for THE AVENGERS—one of the top-boxoffice movies of all time.
“First they came for Jack Kirby, and I said nothing. Then they came for Kirby’s heirs, and I said nothing…”
Feel free to share this statement.