She-Hulk Finale Has A Kevin Feige Robot That Pokes Fun At Overworked VFX Teams
Marvel has come under fire over the past few months due to the mistreatment of VFX teams, pushing huge amounts of work onto them with incredibly tight deadlines, often leading to crunching in a rush to finish everything. In the midst of this report, She-Hulk's finale featured a gag where she meets the director – a robot with Kevin Feige's hat – who is busily shuffling the visual effects team onto Wakanda Forever while She-Hulk is still ongoing.
A robot director churning out products is no doubt a dig at the complaints made against the MCU, but the flippancy at how VFX teams are handled has come under fire for being ill-timed and insensitive. As recently as August, it was reported that Marvel Studios forgot to tell the VFX team that it had moved Avengers: Endgame's release date up, meaning that an already exhausted team had less than a month to finish the shots.
Other VFX artists claimed that Marvel has "bullying power" over teams, making it hard for the artists to push back against directors. These same artists claim that Marvel is infamous for understaffing and making changes throughout development, sometimes even just months before a movie is released. Given this context, a robot director making VFX changes on the fly as the budget fizzles out during an episode feels out of touch, even if it was just meant to be a funny little gag teasing the next big MCU flick.
The robot jokes that She-Hulk form is too expensive to maintain, asking her to change back into a human, as the budget is moving onto the next Black Panther film. Given how little time VFX artists have on projects, being immediately shuffled off to another to continue the cycle is a huge part of the problem, especially with just how many projects Marvel has in the pipeline now. Not only is it making three movies a year, but it now has several live-action, also CGI-intensive, TV shows.
It's also not the first time that VFX artists have been the butt of the joke, as Thor: Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi did a bit poking fun at the quality of the CGI in his film. However, this is the first time in an actual MCU project.
With Marvel being dubbed the "worst" client to work for by VFX artists, jokes like these start to come off a little different than perhaps intended.
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