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Watch: 30-Minute Documentary ‘Life After Pi’ Scrutinizes Hollywood’s Broken VFX Business Model

Written by on February 26, 2014 

Last year around this time, although Life of Pi made over $600 million worldwide, one company that made the film possible declared bankruptcy. Two weeks before they won an Academy Award for their visual effects work on Ang Lee‘s hit adaptation, the LA-based Rhythm & Hues Studios went under, causing VFX workers across Hollywood to rise up. 400 protested outside of the Oscars, and in light of the events, I took a look at just how vital visual effects are not only to blockbusters, but the standard drama, and today we have a documentary that dives in-depth into the problems.

Directed by Scott Leberecht, Life After Pi runs 30 minutes takes a look at the broken business model in Hollywood when it comes to visual effects. The film discusses how the upfront contracts for features often doesn’t match up when tentpoles get delayed or the visual effects plan shifts and the money to pay employees runs dry. Available online in full today, the documentary is simply the first chapter of a feature-length version called Hollywood Ending, which “delves into the larger, complex challenges facing the US Film Industry and the many professionals working within it, whose fates and livelihood are intertwined.”

Check out the documentary below:

What do you think of the documentary? What changes can/should be made in Hollywood?


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