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Jonas Ussing — No CGI is really just invisible CGI

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2024 gets off to an explosive start with this week’s guest: CG supervisor Jonas Ussing, who is on a quest to give visibility to the VFX artists and studios who create invisible effects. He’s doing this via his YouTube channel, The Movie Rabbit Hole, where his impeccably researched and presented arguments have racked up over a million views.

Jonas and Chris talk about how studios are making it seem like films such as Oppenheimer, Top Gun: Maverick, and Mission: Impossible 7 favored practical effects, undermining VFX studios’ hard work and even making it hard for artists to get hired. They also talk about the politics of VFX, from Jurassic Park’s celebrated dinosaurs to Andy Serkis’ controversial take on his performance as Gollum. Jonas also reveals how to get the public on board with CG again. 

Links:

 The Movie Rabbit Hole - YouTube >

Jonas Ussing on IMDb >

Space Office VFX >


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0:04:27 What inspired Jonas to make his Youtube video

0:09:34 The marketing push against CG and the reasons for it

0:12:13 Can you blame CG for bad movies?

0:14:42 Researching the video and finding out about "Top Gun: Maverick"

0:17:55 Reactions to the video

0:21:45 "Oppenheimer" and the invisible CG artists

0:26:42 The Oscars and the VFX of "Mad Max: Fury Road"

0:29:24 CG artists advocates, "Mission: Impossible 7" and "No Time to Die"

0:30:33 Is CGI lazy?

0:34:20 How to change the CGI sucks narrative

0:37:51 NDAs and allowing VFX companies to share work

0:41:31 Corridor Crew, VFX YouTubers, and "Little Mermaid" and "She-Hulk"

0:45:29 How to get the public excited about CGI again

0:47:39 Andy Serkis and scrutinizing digital characters

0:55:25 The next episode and invisible VFX on-set

1:02:52 Moving on from the "Life of Pi" days

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About the author

Christopher Nichols

Chris is a CG industry veteran and Director of Chaos Labs. He can also be heard regularly as the host of the CG Garage podcast which attracts 20,000 weekly listeners. With a background in both VFX and Design, Chris has worked for Gensler, Digital Domain, Imageworks and Method Studios. His credits include Maleficent, Oblivion and Tron: Legacy.

Originally published: January 8, 2024.
© Škoda Design

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