At the 85th Academy Awards last Sunday night, the producers decided that instead of gently swelling music, they’d use an edgier approach to force recipients from giving overlong acceptance speeches.
When I saw it, I thought, “How cool is that!”
What I wasn’t doing, though, was listening to what the music was drowning out. What the mike cutting off was silencing.
The award was for Best Visual Effects. The category was one I was watching carefully, because it was the only one where Marvel’s The Avengers was nominated. But it didn’t win. The win, instead, went to the visual effects team at Rhythm & Hues Studios, for their work on Life of Pi.
Rhythm & Hues Studios won an Annie award, also for their work on Life of Pi, earlier this year. Specifically, that was on That was Feb. 2. A good night to celebrate. But soon, bittersweet. Nine days later, on Feb. 11, Rhythm and Hues Studios filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection and fired 200 employees.
No, not employees. Artists.
Artists who made you believe in talking polar bears with the voice of Ian McKellan and magical airships and Dust.
Artists who took us through a wardrobe and into Narnia, a land both savage and yet safer than our own.
Artists who made chipmunks sing, cats eat lasagna, and a bunny poop jelly beans.
Here’s a sample of what they’ve done: Rhythm & Hues Features
So, in solidarity with the members of the visual effects community, for the month of March, I have changed my profile pics on Facebook and Twitter to a Green Box – the same green color they use for chroma-key.
It’s a little thing, but if lot of people do little things, maybe big things will happen.