Marvel provides the visual effects industry with steady work year-in, year-out, even more so now that they’ve added Disney+ series to their movie releases. But, VFX artists have been speaking out this summer about working conditions at Marvel. At the same time, the trailers for She-Hulk: Attorney At Law were criticized for shoddy CGI. The star and creators of the series responded.
Tatiana Maslany, director Kat Coiro and Head Writer Jessica Gao were on a Television Critics Association panel on Aug. 3. All three sided with the VFX artists who make the show. She-Hulk: Attorney At Law premieres Thursday, Aug. 18 on Disney+.
‘She-Hulk: Attorney At Law’ creators don’t make the rules for Marvel VFX
Articles in Vulture and The Guardian spoke with VFX artists who complained of unrealistic workloads and deadlines, and a culture of bullying. Coiro acknowledged that her work depends on their work, but the issues in question are above her pay grade.
“We stand in solidarity with what they say,” Coiro said. “The truth is, we work with them but we’re not behind the scenes on these long nights and days. So if they’re feeling pressure, we stand with them and we listen to them.”
Gao also recognized the workload She-Hulk: Attorney At Law would entail. She wants to see the artists well cared for too.
“This is just a massive undertaking,” Gao said. “To have a show of this scale where the main character is CG, it’s a very overwhelming and ginormous thing to kind of take on. It’s terrible that a lot of artists feel rushed and feel that the workload is too massive. I think everybody on this panel stands in solidarity with all workers and is very pro good, renewable working conditions.”
Tatiana Maslany feels for the ‘She-Hulk: Attorney At Law’ VFX artists
Maslany wears the performance capture suit and gives it her all. She depends on the VFX artists to bring She-Hulk to life based on her performance.
I feel incredibly deferential to how talented these artists are and how quickly they have to work. Obviously, much quicker than probably should be given to them in terms of churning these things out. I know that there’s a lot of eyes on the CG and a lot of critique or whatever but I do think that we have to be super conscious of how the work conditions aren’t always optimal and that they’ve made these amazing strides in this industry and this tech where I watch it and I see thoughts as opposed to it doesn’t look like a cut scene from a video game. It looks like I can see the person’s thoughts. I can see the character’s thoughts. I feel very in awe of what they do and very grateful that we are at the point where we get to work with these amazing artists.Tatiana Maslany, Television Critics Association panel, 8/3/22
There’s a sexist issue about the critiques, Kat Coiro says
When the first She-Hulk: Attorney at Law teaser came out, some fans said the CGI looked unfinished. Coiro suspects there may be more macro issues involved in the VFX criticisms.
“In terms of the CGI being critiqued, I do think that has to do with our culture’s belief in their ownership of women’s bodies,” Coiro said. “I think a lot of the critique comes from feeling like they’re able to tear apart this CGI woman. There’s a lot of talk about her body type. We based her a lot on Olympian athletes, not bodybuilders but I think if we’d gone the other way, we’d be facing the same critique. I think it’s very hard to win when you make women’s bodies.”