While the musical flop Cats was never going to win any Oscars last weekend, it made a memorable appearance at the ceremony. Two of the movie’s stars, James Corden and Rebel Wilson, appeared onstage dressed in cat costumes to introduce the Best Visual Effects award, and while doing so, mocked Cats’ much-derided CGI. Now the VFX industry’s leading organisation, the Visual Effects Society, has responded to this.
Corden and Wilson came on the stage wearing the costumes and sarcastically told the audience that as “cast members of the motion picture Cats, nobody more than us understands the importance of good visual effects.” But in a statement, the Visual Effects Society, which represents more than 3,700 artists worldwide, said that it was unfair to focus on the VFX for the failure of Cats.
The statement reads: “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.
“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.”
Cats was a critical and commercial failure and became quickly notorious for the fact that the initially-released version wasn’t actually finished. A week after the movie hit theaters, a new version was issued, that featured a variety of changes to the movie’s CGI. So far, the film has made just $71 million worldwide since it release at the end of December, against a reported production budget of $95 million.
The Vancouver based Moving Picture Company (MPC) was one the VFX houses that worked on Cats. The company was also responsible for the redesigned Sonic in the upcoming movie Sonic the Hedgehog but was forced to close in December due to “increasing external market pressures.”
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