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Marvel Reportedly Pays VFX Artists 20 Percent Less Than Other Studios

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Marvel receives more backlash from VFX artists, with a new report claiming the studio’s compensatory practices are 20 percent below industry standard.

While superhero movies are Marvel Studios’ bread and butter, the wages for the VFX artists who work on them are anything but super as a new report suggests the company’s traditional compensation is 20 percent below the industry standard.

According to Vulture, Marvel Studios is known among the VFX industry for paying artists 20 percent less than other companies. One unnamed artist estimates they are completing four times the amount of work they are being compensated for. “The minute I deliver [movie name redacted],” said the artist, “I’m never coming back.”

RELATED: Why Marvel’s VFX Artists Deserve More Respect

The VFX industry is known for being overworked and understaffed, and many consider Marvel a key contributor to the problem. The VFX branch of IATSE (the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) says the superhero juggernaut regularly employs one artist to do a job for which other studios would hire three. This is not the first time Marvel has come under fire for its treatment of VFX artists.

Marvel’s VFX Problem

In July 2022, Dhruv Govil, a VFX artist who worked on Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy and Spider-Man: Homecoming, expressed his extreme displeasure with the company. “Working on Marvel shows is what pushed me to leave the VFX industry,” he tweeted at the time. “They’re a horrible client, and I’ve seen way too many colleagues break down after being overworked, while Marvel tightens the purse strings.”

In response to the increasing backlash, Marvel is considering creating their own VFX house. The studio has not commented on the status of this decision, nor have they publicly addressed the complaints lodged against them thus far. However, in July 2022, director Taika Waititi and star Tessa Thompson seemingly mocked the quality of Thor: Love and Thunder‘s visual effects, drawing more criticism from the online fan community.

RELATED: She-Hulk Star, Bosses Address Marvel’s Grueling VFX Conditions, Voice Pro-Union Stance

While many VFX artists have cited their issues with Marvel, the studio is by no means the only one to garner negative word of mouth around the industry. Logan Preshaw, a concept artist on Avatar: The Way of Water, recently criticized Wētā Workshop, one of the many VFX houses behind the film, citing low pay and direspectful treatment. “I worked on Avatar 2. I’m proud of that. I am not proud of how little Weta Workshop pays its artists,” he Tweeted in December 2022.

“As a concept artist I was paid the current minimum wage. A pay cut of $10/h from when I was a lead on animated cartoon shows,” Preshaw elaborated. “When I asked for more pay ~8 months in, quoting my previous job’s pay and experience, it was raised to $23. 3 months later I left.” Preshaw also clarified that his issues lie solely with Wētā Workshop and not James Cameron, 20th Century Studios or the film’s overall production.

Source: Vulture

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