Sunday night’s Oscars ceremony saw many worthy winners, a few not so worthy winners, and some that’ll only ever be remembered in pub quizzes. It also produced an obvious gag regarding musical bellyflop Cats.
The routine saw two of its cast members, James Corden and Rebel Wilson, take to the stage to announce the Best Visual Effects winner – in cat clothes costumes. Corden stressed that “nobody more than us understands the importance of good visual effects.” Aside from the horrible syntax, the joke is a harmless shot at a massive target. Or so you’d think.
In response to this shocking sleight at the VFX community, the Visual Effects Society has released the following statement:
“Last night, in presenting the Academy Award for outstanding visual effects, the producers chose to make visual effects the punchline, and suggested that bad VFX were to blame for the poor performance of the movie Cats.
The best visual effects in the world will not compensate for a story told badly. The Visual Effects Society is focused on recognizing, advancing and honoring visual effects as an art form – and ensuring that the men and women working in VFX are properly valued.”
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On that, I completely agree. The best effects in the world can never wholly resurrect a stinker of a screenplay. I’ve sat through enough blockbuster balderdash to know that.
The Society concluded:
“On a night that is all about honoring the work of talented artists, it is immensely disappointing that The Academy made visual effects the butt of a joke. It demeaned the global community of expert VFX practitioners doing outstanding, challenging and visually stunning work to achieve the filmmakers’ vision. Our artists, technicians and innovators deserve respect for their remarkable contributions to filmed entertainment, and should not be presented as the all-too-convenient scapegoat in service for a laugh.”
Guys, lighten the **** up, alright? I can sympathize with their umbrage at Corden and Wilson’s intimation that were it not for the terrible VFX in Cats, it wouldn’t have tanked like it did. I think it would’ve tanked anyway. But facts are facts.
Also, the gag is very clearly mocking the VFX artists who worked on Cats, not the entire industry. Just as we can mock a bad performance or a bad set, we can mock bad effects, too. No one denies the elbow grease the artists working on Cats put into the film. And it sucks when it doesn’t pay off. But if we can’t laugh at our failures, what can we laugh at?
Furthermore, it sucks that there was a reported human cost to its failure. That’s how the industry works. But this joke has nothing to do with that – if you go down that logic path, you’ll be grossly offended by just about every word in the English language, or any language for that matter. Conclusion – don’t.
They couldn’t even bite back at the right people. Mock Corden and Wilson, not the writers, you diss-amateurs. Would’ve saved me this whole spiel.