Hollywood’s Greatest Trick

Hollywood’s Greatest Trick

25 minutes 2017 8.89/10 based on 18 votes

Visual effects artists work behind the scene creating some of the most iconic and mind-blowing effects in the movies we love. In fact, every single one of the top ten highest grossing films of 2016 contained impressive computer generated imagery. The work of the visual artists has become an inseparable part of cinema and fundamental in many films. In fact many scenes couldn’t even be attempted without this imagery.

But Hollywood has an even greater trick. One that has led almost everybody to believe that these men and women who work for hours behind their computer screens receive the recognition and pay that they deserve. The trick consists in making everyone believe that the accolades go way beyond the golden statue.

Most workers in the visual effects industry work for months at a time without any time off. They have no benefits, no health insurance, no retirement, and worst of all, they also see their jobs constantly going overseas. Yet these unseen engineers create all the pop culture phenomena that are worshipped by young and old.  Those top ten movies of 2016 together brought in more money than the gross domestic product of 55 different countries.

Not only do movies depend on visual effects, but the blockbuster franchises do too. Standard romantic comedies that don’t include a lot of computer-generated imagery are not doing as well as they used to 10 or 20 years ago. People nowadays aren’t that interested in who’s starring in the movies because the visual effects have become the real stars. Visual effects even go as far as making actors look better: they appear on the screen with less wrinkles, less under eye bags, more gorgeous.

80% of the movie Gravity was animated. What made the movie popular was the cinematic experience that the special effects gave moviegoers. The actress, who was hardly ever there because she was animated, earned over $60 million, while the company that provided the visual effects didn’t make that much.

The most dangerous part is that some people are willing to work for almost no pay because they get to see their name scroll quickly down the screen just when everybody already stopped watching.

What would it take to be able to hear what the six major movie studios have to say about their business practices with the visual effects industry? Watch this thought provoking film now.

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8.89/10 (18 votes)

Discuss This Documentary

4 responses to “Hollywood’s Greatest Trick”

  1. Mark Lee says:

    This is just the beginning of a public conversation that must happen before anything is changed in this industry. It is obvious that Hollywood Hype mixed with Mainstream Media promotion enables this to happen where the artists responsible for making these blockbusters are essentially slave labor and the VFX studios are unable to stay in business. In simplistic terms, the VFX companies are willingly setting themselves up to fail when they accept the studios’ contract terms because they know that the studios have plenty of other VFX companies to choose from. The fact that VFX companies have not yet been able to organize into a union that will protect their interests and bring equity to their industry is because there are too many interns and students who will work for free or below minimum wage just so they can break into the industry – undercutting any attempts to unionize by the experienced professionals. The interns and students are willing to do this because they are brainwashed by the VFX schools who profit from selling education on how to do the work, while ignoring the risks to their quality of life, as well as their industry’s viability. The entire industry is extremely short-sighted. Hollywood makes obscene profits that are not equitably shared among the people who actually produce the value. I hope this will help to educate everyone and help transform the industry. Perhaps it will take a combination of consumer boycott and strikes from creative workers; however, I think that the VFX studios should produce films of their own that tell the stories of how

    • Rob says:

      Sure, anyone coming into the industry learns the name of the game is exploitation. My issue is that the video quality in this doc SUCKS! Standard definition camera work, over exposed and then bumped up to HD without even bothering to do a color balance on a calibrated monitor! This looks like a high school “intern” shot the interviews. You should have hired a professional because this makes you look like a hypocrite.

      • Mark Lee says:

        I don’t know why you are blaming me for the video quality – I’m just a viewer – I had nothing to do with the production. And I’m shocked that is your perspective after watching it. The subject matter must not have had any influence on you.

    • mimin nabilaa says:


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