Marvel VFX Artist Details Poor Conditions That’s Leaving Everyone Feeling ‘Pixel-F***ed’

The drama between VFX artists and Marvel Studios continues as an anonymous employee details their awful experience working for the studio and bringing the MCU to both the big and small screen. In a new piece by Vulture, the anonymous VFX artist says that working on one Marvel “was almost six months of overtime every day” with the busy, tight schedule forcing them to work “seven days a week, averaging 64 hours a week on a good week.”

“Marvel genuinely works you really hard. I’ve had co-workers sit next to me, break down, and start crying. I’ve had people having anxiety attacks on the phone.”

The poor working conditions caused by Marvel Studios’ sheer amount of project and strict release dates has been spoken of by VFX artists before. Though perhaps not in quite so much detail. The anonymous writer explains why working for the studio is so difficult and perhaps even explains why the visual effects sometimes look a little…subpar.

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“The other thing with Marvel is it’s famous for asking for lots of changes throughout the process. So you’re already overworked, but then Marvel’s asking for regular changes way in excess of what any other client does. And some of those changes are really major. Maybe a month or two before a movie comes out, Marvel will have us change the entire third act.”

The artist reasons that many of the issues are caused by the MCU itself are thanks to “just the sheer number of movies it has” and how the studio is “inflexible” on release dates. Despite this, Marvel they say that Marvel is “quite willing to do reshoots and big changes very close to the dates without shifting them up or down.”

Marvel Studios Holds a Lot of Thanos-Esque Power Over VFX Houses

Marvel Studios

Unfortunately for the VFX artists in Marvel’s employ, the studio “has a lot of power over the effects houses,” which can lead to certain companies and artists being blacklisted if demands are not met.

“If you upset Marvel in any way, there’s a very high chance you’re not going to get those projects in the future. So the effects houses are trying to bend over backward to keep Marvel happy.”

Ultimately, working for Marvel Studios has left many a VFX artist feeling “pixel-f—ed” — which is just a great word that we should all start to pepper into everyday life.

“I remember going to a presentation by one of the other VFX houses about an early MCU movie, and people were talking about how they were getting “pixel-fucked.” That’s a term we use in the industry when the client will nitpick over every little pixel.”

This is not the first time that issues between VFX artists and Marvel Studios, and the working conditions therein have been brought up. A former Marvel VFX artist who worked on the likes of Spider-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy recently revealed that the studio is “a horrible client” and even calls working for Marvel Studios “a toxic relationship.”

So, it will not please VFX artists to hear that the MCU has been planned out for many years to come, with the studio announcing both Phase 5 and Phase 6, both of which will involve plenty of big and small screen projects, at the recent San Diego Comic-Con. Here’s hoping that things improve between Marvel and those tasked with bringing the MCU to life.