Profit-Driven Film Studios Put Squeeze on FX Firms

Hollywood films are becoming increasingly reliant on the digital wizardry of special effects. “We’re winning Oscars for them and they’re putting us out of business,” Visual effects artist Rachael Campbell said.

Tell that to the FX gurus who make it all possible.

The high-profile bankruptcy of Rhythm and Hues, the firm responsible for the stunning special effects work in Life of Pi, is a test study of how FX experts are struggling to stay employed in today’s film world.

And it all comes down to studio greed, according to several FX specialists who spoke to Southern California Public Radio. Meanwhile, A-list stars rake in millions per picture as the artists who make their movies magical struggle to stay employed.

Rhythm and Hues is hardly alone is suffering economic hardships.

But last September, another industry leader, Digital Domain, filed for bankruptcy. Founded in 1993 by “Avatar” director James Cameron, the company created effects for films like “Titanic” and “Tron: Legacy.”

Both Digital Domain and Rhythm and Hues are facing increasing competition from other parts of the world. Countries like Canada and India offer film subsidies and tax incentives….


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