A former Marvel VFX artist has opened up about the harsh working conditions and poor treatment by Marvel Studios when trying to bring the likes of Doctor Strange and Thor to life. Twitter user Dhruv Govil worked for Marvel on the likes of Spider-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy, and has now spoken out in support of his fellow VFX workers after the experience caused him to walk away from the industry.
Govil describes Marvel as “a horrible client” that forces VFX artists to break down due to the sheer amount of work expected in such a short time. Govil explains that this is not a new thing for the studio, even calling working for Marvel “a toxic relationship.”
While the Marvel Cinematic Universe has seen huge financial and critical success since its beginning in 2008, the VFX has always been an issue for the franchise. From the final battle in Black Panther to the more recent She-Hulk: Attorney at Law reveal, criticism has often been aimed at the CGI on display, with many citing the amount of Marvel output on both the big and small screens as the reason for a lack quality.
Working as a VFX Artist for Marvel Described as ‘the Seventh Level of Hell’
As well as offering his insight, Govil provides a link to an article regarding a Reddit thread in which other Marvel VFX artists discuss the harsh nature of working for the major studio. The thread, which is titled “I am quite frankly sick and tired of working on Marvel shows” (not much room for interpretation there) offers opinions from those working on the MCU. And they are not good.
“Marvel has probably the worst methodology of production and VFX management out there”, one user writes. “They can never fix the look for the show before more than half the allocated time for the show is over. The artists working on Marvel shows are definitely not paid equivalent to the amount of work they put in.”
This user adds, “On Thor they ask for a complete mini-sequence 2 or 3 weeks before deadline,” with another saying that they have no choice but to work for Marvel due to their popularity; “I request to not work on [Marvel] movies and TV shows. Unfortunately, they’re becoming our biggest client. They expect a smorgasbord of options so they can change their mind three more times.”
Another VFX artist details how working for Marvel Studios has affected their life, describing the experience as ‘the seventh level of hell.’ “I’m on almost three years straight of Marvel. Welcome to the seventh level of hell,” they shared, while another calls the experience a “black hole of sleep deprivation and eating bad.”
This is clearly a poor reflection of Marvel Studios and, unless things improve, is sure to see more VFX artists walk away. Unfortunately for those who have had enough with the working conditions, there is a lot of Marvel VFX work to come, as the franchise shows absolutely no signs of slowing down. And, in fact, could even speed up.
The latest Marvel outing, Thor: Love and Thunder, is in theaters now.