The VFX Team Who Fixed Sonic Got Laid Off
The production of the Sonic The Hedgehog movie has been the kind of fascinating saga you won't see during the screening of the Sonic The Hedgehog movie. A terrible design, set upon by waves of internet hate, only to be completely redeemed at the last second by a team of incredible designers. And for a moment, it seemed like the Sonic production would have a happy ending. But this was a story of being shamed by social media, so it wasn't going to end until someone got canned.
Movie Pictures Company Vancouver had been responsible for such praised animal visual effects like in Life of Pi and the award-nominated not-live-action The Lion King. So if anyone knew how to make the reaction to their azure mammal as emotionless as possible, it was MPC Vancouver. Yet despite single-handedly saving the movie, the company is now being unceremoniously shut down by owner Technicolor, forced to now use their underappreciated VFX skills to give their kids the illusion of an Xbox for Christmas.
But it wasn't the bad video game character that killed MPC Vancouver, but bad video game practices. Like that industry, VFX has a terrible reputation for exploiting and then tossing away their workers. Despite allegedly, having had to crunch 17 hours a day to single-handedly save a $95 million property, they were just tossed aside with no input because their offices weren't located in a city that was offering enough tax breaks, only being allowed to stay on if they uproot their lives and move to a whole new country.
Because remember: the entertainment biz isn't all Hollywood glitz and millionaire game devs. Programmers, designers, writers, and artists who make our favorite entertainment are often underpaid, overworked and have less job security than an always-stoned mall cop. But instead of getting solidarity when they want better work conditions, they get ignored at best and berated at worst when they dare not work themselves to death for our pleasure. And in a fair world, this would be the thing that Sonic fans, video game fans, and the internet as a whole should create a social media storm over, not that their nostalgic blowjob was a bit too toothy.
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