So, the Oscars ceremony rolls around again and we see yet more of the typical boring arguments about which films were picked by old white men who form the judges panel. There's criticism of Seth MacFarlane for not being funny enough, as if it was normal to expect comedy gold during the show. However, the Oscars continue to somehow hold respect within the industry, so each award received continues to make a serious statement. Possibly even a political statement sometimes.
However, I'm not convinced that I've ever heard of an Oscars-related issue so politically charged before. Sure, the lack of recognition for black actors has always been an issue, as have other inequalities in the industry related to gender, sexuality, disability and so on. However, in this particular case, unknown to most of the viewing public across the globe, there was a protest taking place outside the Oscars this time in relation to the plight of visual effects workers.
As the time came around to hand out the Oscar for visual effects, there was a brief suggestion on stage that visual effects work needed proper recognition at the ceremony. Samuel L. Jackson seemed oddly cagey at this stage
, seemingly insisting that the visual effects award be rushed through. After lamenting some difficulty handling the envelope, Jackson announces that the winners of the award are the team who worked on "Life Of Pi".
They read out a long list of people to thank, but before they even reached the end of their pre-agreed list, the theme from "Jaws" began to play loudly. The speaker spoke louder to be heard over the music. Having finished the list of 'thank yous' he then began to make reference to their company's financial difficulties. It was at this moment that his microphone was turned off. There was to be no mention of these difficulties during the Oscars ceremony (at least not indoors).
The shocking thing is that the team suffering from those 'financial difficulties' is, in fact, filing for bankruptcy. The visual effects team "Rhythm and Hues", which also worked on another nominee "Snow White And The Huntsman" that was similarly profitable, is going bankrupt because the film studios have failed to pay them. Their workers, who are directly responsible for the success of "Life Of Pi" at the Oscars, have not been given their basic wages.
While the Oscars shoo the visual effects team off the stage within the ceremony, one protest board outside reads "WILL MATTE PAINT FOR FOOD".THE EVENT AT THE OSCARS
There are clips from the Oscars all over youtube, but it is rather harder to find this clip of the visual effects winners being cut off when receiving their award. Hopefully this clip is still working.(video link)You can find out more information about this in the following links:http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2013/feb/25/oscars-protest-life-of-pihttp://insidemovies.ew.com/2013/02/25/oscars-visual-effects-protest-li fe-of-pi/http://www.cinemablend.com/new/Life-Pi-Visual-Effects-Artists-Protest- Oscar-Red-Carpet-35967.htmlhttp://www.fastcocreate.com/1682488/when-winning-an-oscar-means-bankru ptcy-vfx-artists-protest-the-academy-awardsEXTRACT FROM THE GUARDIAN
(Cross-posted to moviebuffs)
"Several hundred people reportedly congregated outside the Dolby theatre in Los Angeles as the stars walked the red carpet, demanding better treatment for the artists who make the spectacular visuals for blockbuster movies possible. The protest was planned after the well-known Rhythm & Hues effects house filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week, shortly after winning a Bafta for its work on Life of Pi....
"When the visual effects team behind Life of Pi attempted to draw attention to Rhythm and Hues' plight during their acceptance speech for the best visual effects Oscar, they were cut off by the band as the speech went on beyond the stipulated limit."