Sonic’s Redesign And The Sad State Of Hollywood VFX | Jack Saint

Sonic’s Redesign And The Sad State Of Hollywood VFX | Jack Saint


So last week a thing happened. And no I’m not talking about Mayday, or International Star Wars day, or Cinco de Mayo, or Karl Marx’s birthday, or any other holiday that apparently none of you decided to remind me about. No, by thing, I of course mean this: (Music) “SFPD!” Uh… Meow? AHHHHH! (gunshot) Now, if this is the first time you saw that, I’m sorry. Long story short, over a year back, a Sonic the Hedgehog movie was announced, based on the cult video game series you may have heard of. And since then it’s been a hell of a discourse. Aw shit, here we go again Most of which, understandably came down to the design of Sonic, a pretty massive departure from pretty much any other Sonic design ever made ever. Sonic now has realistic fur, beady Goblin eyes, a human physique, and the mouth of RayWilliamJohnson. There’s plenty of videos breaking down why Sonic’s design is so unappealing to so many people, so I’m not going to go into that quite so much. I think what a lot of this centers around is a lack of real vision for what they’re trying to do with the character here. Clearly there’s no interest in capturing the aesthetic of some of the more classic Sonic designs, but it also doesn’t really feel like a realistic take, Sonic still looks incredibly out of place in his surroundings and doesn’t even have real Hedgehog teeth. If we look at, say, Jim Carrey’s Eggman, Yes, Jim, Carrey’s playing Eggman. There we also see a character who seems like he’s going to spend at least most of the movie as a pretty significant departure from the original character, in how he looks, how he sounds, and to some extent his role in the story. But people aren’t quite so up in arms about him because it’s like yeah, they wanted to do 90s Jim Carrey. Eggman is 90s Jim Carrey now. If you like nineties Jim Carrey, you’re into it. I guess if you’re into like… knockoff Korean Sonic toys, or Garbage Pail Kids, you’re the demographic they’re targeting with new Sonic. It was like, “Hey, grab all those new Alvin and the Chipmunks, and like spray ’em blue, and then like get a blender, and then just shove ’em in there, and then-” And so it looked like Sonic was just another bad design translation in a big-budget, Hollywood adaptation. Onto the pile he goes. Is this my opportunity to show the fucking horrifying Woody Woodpecker redesign? Yes, it is. Now. It’s your turn. Come on kid. Show me what you got (Woody Woodpecker laugh) But this isn’t just about dunking on another misguided attempt at a cartoon character revamp. Because on May 2nd, less than a day after the trailer was released, another thing happened. On Twitter the film’s director, Jeff Fowler, released this statement: “Thank you for the support. And the criticism. the message is loud and clear… You aren’t happy with the design and you want changes. It’s going to happen. Everyone at Paramount and Sega are fully committed to making this character the best he can be. Hashtag Sonic Movie. Hashtag Gotta Fix Fast. Fowler made clear that he’d heard the overwhelmingly negative response to the design, and was gonna get to work fixing it up to give the fans what they wanted. Happy ending. Hollywood heard you. Let’s hope they stick the landing. But the thing is, I’m an animator, There’s approximately a 5% chance that if you’re subscribed to me, you’re here because I used to do these: “I have more experience with a bat. Way less experience with a knife. That’s a good point. I know what I’m gonna do with this bat. I don’t know what I’m gonna do with this knife. Stab you. That’s a good point. Rollercoaster dollars. Keep the candy bar, mister! Rollercoaster dollars! And if you are an animator, or a visual effects artist, you probably had the same reaction I did when you heard about this wonderful attempt to fix things up for the fans. Fuck that. “Snooping as usual, I see?” Back in 2012, the spectacular film adaptation of the popular novel Life of Pi managed to score itself a string of awards nominations, Including eleven Oscar nods for directing, editing, visual effects, and more, and in the end it won four of them, including visual effects. Awkward complication: the VFX production company Rhythm & Hues had been forced into bankruptcy shortly before receiving the award. And while you could probably try and pin this down on some individual failings on the part of the company, further exploration revealed this was a pretty natural consequence of the way Hollywood handles the business of visual effects and animation. As detailed in their documentary covering the bankruptcy, which I’ll link below, much of the blame lays on the fact that VFX teams are quite simply punished for creative revisions requested by the clients. See, most VFX teams run on fixed bids, meaning they’re given a budget and told to stay within it. And sometimes this just barely works out, the production team working as much within their limited means as possible, but often, requested changes add weeks and months onto the production cycle, little of which is ever backed up financially by the studio. If you’ve ever worked as a freelancer, Especially creatively you can probably relate to this experience. Roughing out the cost of your work, relative to the effort and man-hours and seeing it all crumble as your client requests revision after revision, that you’re forced to abide at no extra pay. Unfortunately, unlike many creatives, there’s very little bargaining power or wiggle room owed to VFX teams. “When you’re creating these huge fluid dynamic simulations like we did on Life of Pi, and they want to change this wave from going that way to this way, or make the rain go completely differently, that’s a lot of simulation time just to make the change, and then finally it gets shown to the client, who says something like why is it even raining in the shot? It’s not supposed to be raining in this shot.” Which is why they often wind up forced to either shut down or accept huge amounts of underpaid or even unpaid overtime. That’s right folks. It’s crunch. Which sounds way more light and fun than the reality, which is sitting in an office space, Day-in, day-out, away from your families, for a very little real reward. That is, if you haven’t already been forced to move away from your family for months at a time because tax subsidies are a thing, which often forces production companies to arbitrarily move from place to place and yep, that happens a lot, too. And as I say these kinds of working conditions aren’t just limited to visual-effects teams but animation studios as well. Hey, remember Sausage Party, huh? No, I wish I didn’t either. “Whose side are you on? You know, this isn’t just about me, I mean first they come for the bagels, but–” “I don’t know, isn’t there room for both of you and your aisle? It seems like a pretty big aisle.” (airhorn) When animators over at Nitrogen Studios complained of being intimidated and threatened into working hundreds of hours overtime for free, almost half were blacklisted and left uncredited in the final film. That movie made over 50 million dollars profit, and the fact that the animation is pretty good, is probably the only positive thing I can say about it. Just last year Halo VFX, one of the teams behind the visual effects in the critical and commercial hit Bohemian Rhapsody, were also forced into bankruptcy. Tens of thousands of pounds of fees for their work still unpaid. And when the Life of Pi VFX team even hinted at their unfortunate situation on accepting their award, you better believe they got sharked the fuck out of there. My mom and dad, thank you for telling me to do any crazy career choice I wanted. Finally I want to thank all the artists who worked on this film for over a year, Including Rhythm & Hues, sadly Rhythm & Hues is suffering severe financial difficulties right now… I urge you all to remember… Thank God for meritocracy. And while these are one- off examples I’m going into now, the point I’m making is not that these are exceptions that make the rule. By and large this is the norm of how visual effects and animation production companies are treated, and the enormous strain they’re put under by studios. Dozens of these companies file bankruptcy every year, many of which provide effects for big-budget blockbuster films often praised for, say it with me, having pretty damn good animation and visual effects. The tricky thing with this kind of work as opposed to, say, an actor’s performance, is that rather than the work audiences usually find so impressive being front and center, instead it’s often what you don’t notice that indicrates— indicrates… That indicates great work. Everyone likes to meme on the totally out of place, borderline cartoon look of Black Panther’s last act, but it’s easy to forget basically all of Infinity War was also drawn in by visual artists. And incidentally, yes, those subpar visual effects were also the result of a production team overworked, underpaid, and rushed to the point where the film was due to release before effects had even had time to be completed. So basically when audiences find the effects look bad, everyone blames the visual effects team. And when they think it looks good, often, they just get ignored. Audience is uneducated on just how much of the piece is on them. This is how we get campaigns for almost entirely CG characters like Thanos and Planet of the Apes’ Caesar to score Oscar nominations for Josh Brolin and Andy Serkis respectively. But not for better treatment of the production teams that sculpt around 90% of that performance. This isn’t to undercut the great work either of those actors did, but once again audiences just really underestimate how much of that work is on the animators and visual artists. Back in 1997, Titanic was considered a special-effects extravaganza, a film with just over 300 VFX shots. And now we have Infinity War, which boasts more than 3000. So if you were wondering why there’s this odd split between the average Sonic fan excited to see a director admit to his mistakes and correct course so we can get the Sonic we really deserve, and people who’ve actually worked in animation and VFX and see a sudden design change less than a year prior to the film’s release as a pretty terrifying prospect. That’s why. There’s been a sentiment I’ve seen floating around that this is the animation and VFX teams being forced to fix their own mistakes. That this extra work is some kind of Just Desserts for them, and I’m not mad at hearing that so much as sad. Because it speaks to such a lack of knowledge about what this work entails, despite audiences seeing its results in almost every shot of almost every major Hollywood release in the last decade. And certainly it benefits the studios, as they push production teams to race to the bottom just for an opportunity to work on these projects. You’re not going to raise a stink if as far as you know, this is just some incompetent animation team who did the design wrong. Sonic’s new design was done by a marketing team, illustrated in a style guide that the animators and VFX teams were likely forced to work with. These teams are not these wild maverick creatives who get to just make up their own better design and throw it at the studio. They work within the confines they’re given as they did here. And even if these teams did have input, these projects are massive endeavors, and guess what? most of those people who are now almost certainly going to be striding into crunch time for the next few months, had nothing to do with the design that you’re upset about. As it stands, the people least at fault, the teams who’ve already put a tremendous amount of work into this film that frankly is probably going to be okay at best regardless… I mean, it does star a cop. They’re the ones who are most going to suffer as a result of this announcement. Even more frightening is the prospect that production involves work over at Marza animation planet, a Tokyo based animation studio. Japanese companies already famously overworking their animators, with workers often falling ill during projects and even reports of deaths. So when I see Hashtag Gotta Fix Fast, Besides seeing a cold attempt to turn clear disdain for the project into some kind of cheap positive press, I see a few more things. I see an established release date far too short to make the kinds of changes being suggested, which means either a delay, or an incredibly overworked staff. Despite what tweets may suggest, revising a main character’s visual design across an entire film takes a bit more effort than slapping together a photoshop. Or I see that delay, wherein these teams are unlikely to receive the bonus pay they sorely deserve for further months of separation from their families. And I see underneath all that, the implicit notion of blame on these artists, that this is their mistake to be “fixed.” I’m not shifting the blame here onto Jeff Fowler, and you probably shouldn’t either. Certainly, you can call it unfair that he’s the one soaking up the good press for announcing reworks that he won’t be the one who has to actually follow through on. But this is not an individual problem. It’s a systemic one. Because this is how this industry works. Animation and VFX teams are in greater demands than ever, but as opposed to the pull of a big-name star, they are the last thing on a budget’s mind. While I can’t confirm it, there’s a fair chance the teams involved in this film even dropped their rates to work on such a high-profile project, as is often the case. When I look at Hashtag Gotta Fix Fast, I see another Black Panther. Another Sausage Party. Another Life of Pi in the making. All of which could have been avoided, if the producers had actually listened to the voices of visual artists, many of whom had already worked on projects tied to Sonic before and would have recognized something was wrong. The best we can hope for right now is that enough of us can put our voices out there, and express that, yes, there needs to be a delay if you really want to make these changes. And yes, proper payments of these teams needs to be secured instead of pushing them into an unavoidable, unpaid crunch. But again, collective problem, not an individual one. Because even if a lot of eyes are on this specific project, and as a result these artists are treated fairly in this specific instance, these studios can and will sweep it under the rug, and return to status quo the second you’re not looking. At the end of the day, at least on this occasion, it’s just about making adjustments to one character, albeit the main one. Other projects do not get it that easy. This is why unions matter. This is why campaigning against allowing these kinds of exploitative business practices matter. And voting for candidates who want the same. And hey, maybe this is why it’s worth advocating for a system that doesn’t literally run on the notion of getting the most out of your workers at the lowest possible cost. Because this is not meritocracy. Animation and visual effects are some of the most labor-intensive work in the film industry, and it’s hard to deny that in the last 20 years we haven’t seen tremendous advancements in how this stuff looks. But it doesn’t matter how much praise you receive, how many awards you win, when at the end of the day, you live in a system not based around how you can most comfortably do the work you need to do, but how to provide you with as little as possible to get the work out of you. And if you go bankrupt afterwards, who gives a shit? And like with so many other industries, it’s a system that is not working out for these teams. All this to say, Hashtag Gotta Revolt Fast. (water dripping noises) Hey folks, just a quick one there, while this is still a fairly hot topic. Again, as an animator myself, this is obviously an issue that particularly bothers me. So I was really glad for the opportunity to discuss this stuff. Looking forward to seeing your thoughts down below, and you’re also welcome to get in touch with me on Twitter @LackingSaint. As always if you want to support the show, you can throw me a buck or two over on Patreon, or Ko-Fi for one-time donations. Five dollars or more gets you on the credit scrolling by now. Fifteen gets your name read out, as with A Recusant, E. V. Roske, LaborWavedashing, Taurun the Exile, with an extra special thanks to Cowrara, and Pamphleteer. If you can’t support with money, sharing my videos on Reddit, Twitter and your local Discord server also helps a lot. Mark your calendars because May 18th marks the official end of Jack Saint Year One, the anniversary of my first ever video essay. Or, well, I guess technically Rational Big Boy’s first video essay. Haven’t seen that guy in a while. Anyway, expect a special surprise on that weekend. Reminder once again that I also have a Twitch stream where I play video games and chat with viewers over at twitch.tv/LackSaint. Other than that, look forward to more content in the coming weeks. Love you all and stay safe.

100 Replies to “Sonic’s Redesign And The Sad State Of Hollywood VFX | Jack Saint”

  1. Thanks so much for watching, folks! I realise I'm sort of jumping into a topic that's already been discussed to death over the last two weeks, but I hopefully have a COOL NUANCED TAKE you all get something out of. Once again, if you like the video, spreading it around on social media would be much appreciated – other than that, I can''t wait to read all your comments on this issue. Have a wonderful week!

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  2. Easy there, with all do respect, unions is not the answer, as it would lead a less prosperous industry. You best bet is have a animator company and take a stand, work on smaller, cheaper companies that are fine to take time and let the animators finish their work, with unions, you gonna have similer effect to Detroit if not careful.

    Best I do is if the job is bad, look somewhere else, hollywood would only suffer when they are loosing quality workers, as well having bad reputation. Hollywood may seem powerful, yet vulnerable to cost.

  3. What's your opinion on the rumor I've seen going around that this was all a publicity stunt, that the folks in charge knew people would hate Sonic's design and wanted him to look that bad on purpose for all the attention and had the intention all along to later announce they'd fix his appearance up in the actual film just to entice more people into seeing it? Could that be possible or is that just a baseless rumor?

  4. ugh yep i was originally gonna go into cartoon animation, but i also don’t wanna be overworked and underpaid for the rest of my life….. it’s so fucked up

  5. Raise your hand up if you requested Jeff Fowler to give Sonic the Hedgehog THICC muscle legs on a completely bare body but a character design that is closer to Sonic's Modern look (I would go with the Classic look since Classic Sonic has my favourite Sonic quills for being straight from the back instead of having one big, slightly straight curve down. But it's far past the Classic Era since the extremely late 1990s.) with everything (yes, including the rendering) look cartoonish rather than realistic (and even a lot less real).

  6. They should just lean into the terribleness of it. There's a demand for intentionally bad movies.

  7. to me its equally likely that they will redo the entire thing now as it is that they already have a better model done and they inserted this terrible model betting people would get upset and use it as outrage marketing.
    unblockable advertisement they dont have to pay for, more people are talking about this movie than ever would otherwise

  8. very informative video! thank you for sharing your insight on this matter!
    I hope the animators are okay

  9. When I see poor VFX, my first thought is not "wow what a bad VFX team", but instead "wow, the studio cheaped out on that."

  10. Whenever I animate something On My PC=- ,mmy parents don't give a shit- And- Yeah.
    Yay. Then Amazing Vfxis supposed to be uynnoticable- Oh wait- your employers fddon't understandc how thigns work- Or rendering times.
    Yay, I'm even sadder about Employment in the future.

  11. If Hollywood blacklists all the workers, all the workers will make their own socialist media network.

    I think we really need to work on this. Bigger than just indie. But like an indie socialist Hollywood alternative

  12. I wonder if the failure of two Bioware games due to these factors due to overwork of staff might be something to help.

  13. I don't care whether it's Pikachu or Sonic, I have better ways to spend my money than to go see another lame Hollywood adaptation.

  14. I understand the mechanics of this but ffs if the film is successful why don't they pay out for the crunch time after the film's release?

  15. I fear the same thing may happen in the Cats movie adaptation that's coming this year. It features a LOT of celebrities in it, so that's most likely where most of the budget is going, but according to articles the whole thing is gonna be done with CGI.

  16. This Sonic could be king of the Uncanny Valley. X3

    I'm stoked for 90s Jim Carrey!

    I didn't know these companies are so abused. That's messed up. Thanks for sharing.

  17. I am routinely out of touch with popular things, but really, who WANTED a Sonic movie in the first place? Was this something Sonic fans were clamoring for? Were they hyped? I get the feeling they weren't. I find it hard to believe anyone was deeply invested in a live-action Sonic movie.

    So when fans are "outraged" at how bad it is, and "demand" something be done, I'm just baffled. Why does anyone care? Whether Sonic looks like hot garbage or a stunning masterpiece won't change much. This terrible movie idea was not going to garner mass appeal, and it certainly wasn't designed as a "for fans" movie. (If it was, the trailer Sonic would never have been approved.) This is just another mindless kids movie that is aimed at children who's parents were in diapers when the first Sonic games came out.

    So I say, let it be trash. Why spend more money to fix something for people who won't care anyway? I won't even discuss what this video points out about how the animators will pay for it with their livelihoods because we all know the corporate big wigs won't, don't, and never cared.

    Sometimes I think companies who invest in these sort of things don't just do it for money, because who would invest in THIS? I think they are gambling. They are taking stupid risks with their money because it's exciting. Some people like poker, some like keno, and some like throwing millions at terrible business ideas. And common people are always the collateral damage.

  18. I'm posting a few days late, but I have to ask: can the model be saved?
    If I had to guess, the shoes are the reason for the horrible design. There is an obvious Nike swoosh on his shoes, which presumably will lead to a tie-in shoe line for the film. The creepy human like proportions, from a marketers logic, is to accommodate realistic shoes, which cant really be done with traditional sonic.
    If I had to guess, they're just going to slap Sonic's eyes on and remove the teeth, because selling the shoes is still the primary motive. The final product may even be horribly mismatched and look worse.
    I dont really have a point to this, I'm just guessing that all of this will be pointless when all is said and done. The only reason to make 'Alvjn and the Chipmunks, but as an action movie with 90s nostagia" is to sell shit, and that this is the movie that inspires mass online protest is frankly a little gross.

  19. I work as a graphic artist and I can sympathize. I wish I'd gotten a job playing the piano in a whorehouse. At least then I wouldn't get a request for a thousand little changes at the last second, with the expectation that I will click my heels and shout SIR YES SIR.

  20. i'm annoyed that sonic looks like he does
    but i'm even more annoyed that in order to change it, it's gonna ruin a lot of people's lives

  21. I hate that design as much as the next guy, but I would've never wanted them to change it.
    Cuz let's face it, even if the animators all worked under amazing conditions and got paid more than they could've ever asked for, it's still not gonna make the movie any good in the end.
    Even if Sonic looks like he was plucked straight out of Super Smash Bros., that's still not gonna save the movie.
    It's still just another Smurfs/Alvin and the Chipmunks/Woody Woodpecker. It's not faithful to the source material, it's just another cash grab. It's set in the real world because that's easier than designing and animating a fictional one. It's easier and cheaper to have ONE animated character than all animated characters.
    It's not gonna be famous. But at least the original would've been INfamous.
    Let Sega have their own Super Mario Bros. Movie.

  22. It took a bit for your #hottake to wind up but I'm glad I stuck around. Crunch in the industry is incredibly real and showing how many industries it affects has to be done. The Sonic issue is ridiculous; yes he looked bad, no his new design won't look any better, and no none of those people complaining were going to see it anyway. The studio buckling to these criticisms is going to cause so much trouble that won't help anyone. People shouldn't be discouraged from complaining but it's hard to imagine a world where this outcome is the desired one. Great video.

  23. Imagine being an animator fired for critiquing the new Sonic movie design and now thinking, "So I was right, but nobody else knows it and by the way I want to work so I can buy food."

  24. This is the first time I saw this with audio, and I can't believe I actually predicted Sonic's voice when I didn't hear audio correctly…

  25. I work in video games, and oh boy. The crunch is real there, too. I want to keep on working in the industry because I love it, and I often do set boundaries for myself to ensure work/life balance, but I can't always win. I once got shamed for asking for 2 weeks of vacation literally 7 months in advance, and my manager demanded I shave it down to 1 week. This on an "untracked" vacation policy, meaning vacation days don't have to be accrued and in the right work environment, scheduling time off should be MORE flexible, not less.
    I don't believe we have it as badly as VFX artists in film, but we do get terrible treatment from fans quite often. If a game ships with glaring errors in it, those bugs get attributed to "lazy devs". Those same devs who find the problems early, bring them up to management and ask for more time to fix them, but get told there is no time, and either have to put in massive amounts of overtime which may or may not yield results, or fix a buggy, broken game.
    The idea that something as early in the pipeline as Sonic's design is getting "fixed" now is absolutely disgraceful.

  26. now i understand why people say worst fanbase ever. good work sonic fanboys and fangirls ! the movie will ultimately be cancelled and you have the animator's blood on your hands.

    this was so unexpected. never in my life i'd have hoped to have a sonic movie, and yet they actually DELIVERED it to me !!! everything in that trailer smelled sonic from sonic adventure 2 to sonic x !! it smelled so good !! i was so hyped !! then i read a bunch of crybaby douches complaining.

    the most disgusting part is the fake empathy toward them now. "ooh i hope they get paid" "ooh i hope they get enough time" "ooh i hope delayed" "ooh" "ooh"
    fuck these people !

  27. couldn't they swap out the models without worrying about reanimating the whole thing considering this is cgi (i'm not sure can someone explain to me?) i'll amit my knowledge on the animation industry isn't the best

  28. This video is also relevant to the recent complaints over the animation in Season 2 of the anime "One-Punch Man".

  29. Theory:
    Creepy Sonic design was put in the trailer to create controversy buzz for marketing purposes. They knew fans hated the design 1-2 years ago and they fixed the design early on. Later the marketing team developed this controversy campaign.

  30. Even if the Sonic model looked absolutely perfect, this film would likely still be trash. The VFX artists shouldn't have to suffer because of whiny Sonic fanboys.

  31. to me that apology tweet sounded kinda familiar, especially the "we heard you loud and clear" bit sounded the "is this outrage advertising?"-alarm. the most conspiracy theorist-sh side of me can't help but think that maybe they just rendered just the cuts they picked for the trailler wuth a purposefully not-quite-uncanny-valley-but-way-too-uncanny-valley-for-a-furry-adjecent character while already having the production closer to endline with a backup design closer to the kinda-childish kinda-90s-radical-kid's-hero aesthetic that would naturally emerge from the nostalgia side of the whole franchise re-designing and jumping media styles thing.

    like a pepsi ad thing etc.

  32. Your problem is you chose a career that a billion million jillion people want to get in to. That's not the film industry or the producers or anyone's fault. It's how capitalism works. Dream job + to many people wanting to work the dream job = low wages. You want better treatment? Get a job people don't want to do and needs to get done. If you want your dream job, suck it up, and accept the negatives. I'm sorry if nobody told you this, I'm sorry if you didn't figure it out quickly enough. That sucks. Your choice is/always was suffer low wages, but have great joy, or get a real job and do this stuff on your own time for personal satisfaction. The world isn't pie in the sky, everyone can't do the jobs everyone wants and nobody cleans the sewers. Star Trek World is fantasy. We will never live in Star Trek World. We will always trade money for work. It's the only way all the work gets done.

  33. Just referenced this in the comments of the latest Yong Yea video that basically celebrates that this is happening, crunch and all. Might want to go and do some prodding.

  34. So this is a long shot but if a hashtag can ruin this guy's lives maybe a hashtag can help them. Go out of our way to make clear that not only are we fine with waiting but unless there's a one year extension we won't go see the film again long shot but it may work #slowandsyeadywinstherace

  35. This is a hue thing for artists in general. From writers to animators, those who do the "behind the scenes" or are right up front are often underpaid for their work unless they have a HUGE name in the industry (even then it's not a guarantee). Artists and animators are the ones often getting paid the least for their work because people don't see it as a job worthy of the pay the artists are """""demanding"""" when in reality, they just wanna be paid properly. Some people take under minimum wage for commissions and people STILL complain that it's too much. It's just ridiculous how little businesses and society care about the artists but they're the first to blame if people don't like the product's design.

  36. Ive seen the idea floating around that they purposely made the design ugly for free marketing and that them saying they'll make changes is a ploy to make fans think they've had a say in the design so they'll want to see it bc of a director bending to their will. not sure if I hope that's true or not.

  37. Animated in a 2D film that hit the big screen last year and I cannot agree more just how horrible the industry treats their workers/ animation studios. They just think everything is an 'easy fix'.

    It's going to continue getting worse because trying to do unionizing is nearly a deathwish for most animators, or studios since hollywood have no problems with throwing their projects to the hundred other studios across the world that don't have their workers on the edge of going on strike.
    I lost my potential of having more work at the studio I finished working for because of my complaints made about the way they were managing work with their clients (ie: bending over backwards and putting the workers into 6 months worth of crunch time without paying their workers for overtime, and criticizing them for not performing miracles every week with the insane deadlines they put on us)

    When I heard about the sonic movie 'fix' I cringed so hard. the studios are going put them through hell without a doubt, and ironically because of this back lash, I wouldn't be surprised if they are intent on monitoring workers social media to make sure they don't talk about their experience.

  38. Turns out the film has been delayed in its release. I think I have a new respect for the director cuz that means they're not doing crunch time 👌

  39. As both a video producer and game designer, I felt that. The client always has the final say, and they can be flimsy and change their minds in a moment's notice and have no idea of the real cost of what you are doing. And you need to stick with the presented plan and get all the blame. It certainly isn't fair
    I can't express how happy I was to see some posts expressing concern about crunching, as it is also been talked about in game industry. And I was thoroughly elated when they postponed the movie with a new release date and a small tongue-in-cheek reassuring that no VFX team would be hurt in the process. Still not the ideal, but that's something.

  40. A friend of mine thinks the whole thing is a stunt and only the trailers were ever animated with that model of Sonic. I really hope that's true. Growing up in this generation is so terrifying, it seems like every day I learn a new horrible thing about the job economy I'm about to enter.

  41. I feel awful for these artists, going into crunch for the sake of whining Sonic fans on the internet.

    This movie would have made a billion dollars off of memers and stoners if left well alone. Who wouldn't want to watch Jim Carrey get jumped on by a blue abomination claiming to be Sonic the Hedgehog? People who hate fun, that's who.

  42. Conspiracy theory – Sega in association to Sonic has always been self-aware, and there is a theory that the trailer and follow up "Fix" was all a marketing ploy to generate talk / controversy over the movie to promote interest. ~ whether or not its true is to be seen, and I agree the "Crunch" period in game production and Animation is something we need to address / fix.

    Either way Enjoyed the video and agree 100%. Thank you for putting it together.

  43. You can still change the movie for the better, just delay the release date and pay the fucking animators

  44. Animators and Visual Effects artist need our own version on “United Artist”. Were artist in union groups can collectively bargain and vote for who the directors,productors,actors, and designers, budgets etc will be in a given film. This same shit was happening to actors in 1910s now it’s coming full circle to the animators and Visual Effects teams who are doing the blunt of the work today in theses blockbusters. We need own our own distribution network, a worker owned distribution network so we won’t need these greedy ass studios anymore.

  45. This kinda shit is exactly why young/new artists should NEVER be okay with “But you’ll get a lot of exposure!”

    Exposure doesn’t pay my fucking bills, Karen.

  46. I assumed that the vfx team be paid again. I assume actors get money for reshoots even though it might be their fault. I imagine that has something to do with the union though.

  47. "This isn't to undercut the great work that either of those actors did"

    Dude you literally, SECONDS earlier, said that 90 fuckin % of what made Gollum great was the VFX team. Step too far. Way out of pocket. Full O' Shit

  48. Nobody wondering if Paramount put the first set of test screenings out with a crappy Sonic deliberately?
    Big focus is on industry practice. No room for tinfoil hat wearing nerds here! RAGH!

    I'm joking. Kinda. People were saying shit back when the first (outline) poster was announced – if they didn't AT LEAST start the change at that exact moment then our megacorporations are far less powerful than they should be by this point. Seriously, someone needs to find that floating mouse pointer, grab it, then hold it over Paramount Studios until the company upgrades a bit.

  49. They're basically collective commission artists, and commission artists get screwed over by their clients whether they're doing commissions for anime pictures, commissions for ad agencies, or commissions for Hollywood studios. I don't blame the fans for complaining, because if it looks bad, you can't expect every single fan to keep silent. But I do blame the Hollywood CEOs who don't care about anyone but shareholders.

  50. WARNING TINFOIL HAT NEEDED;
    Am I the only one thinking that this whole "redesign" thing is a total put on to garner attention. Like, imagine if sonic only looks gross in the trailer because they knew people would complain and it would become a talking point. THEN, when you release the second trailer with the "redesign" (which was always going to be the design to begin with), not only do you gain even more attention but you gain respect… making your movie a MUST SEE now because everyone's talking about it!.

  51. I felt bad. Cause, they might have used their hard work in making the Sonic movie. They might even had sleepless nights just to make the movie great.

  52. When 2D animating for the Disney Animation studio in Australia, we were visited by an Australian union for animators. The union’s presentation made sense, and I’m sure many animators wanted to join… however, minutes after the union’s representatives left, while still gathered for this presentation, we were given a talking to by Disney upper management. We were told, if you wanted to sign on, that’d be fine, however, we were told unions had destroyed the industry in the states, and was why Disney came to Australia in the first place, and… if unions controlled the industry and the staff of Disney Australia, Disney would pack up and leave, therefore, we’d all be out of a job. No one signed on with the union.

    And so… Disney had these crazy rules that were so hard to achieve, which meant creating extra work done over minimum quotas would be unpaid.

    1 month of over quota, by + half your required quota (unpaid over quota), to be eligible for the 2nd month of paid over quota. (However, that first month of over quota would not be paid, you’d only receive payment of the 2nd month).

    I tried this over 6 months, 3 cycles. And surprisingly, on the 8th week of each cycle, I was given such difficult works, it blew out my 2nd full month of reaching over quota (x3). So what happened in payment for those 8 weeks of over quota footage? Nothing. Unpaid. My bad for not achieving the over quota on the 8th week.

    6 months of this, 3 cycles, was enough. Enough of working crazy hours, for nothing. And after 3 cycles of the 8th week crashing under the extra load, it became obvious, the studio wasn’t wanting the artist to achieve these goals. Just get the free footage.

    I stopped trying for these over quota goals, just focussed on getting quota done. Being under quota was not allowed. And I was reprimanded by management for not doing enough as a senior animator. Apparently being one of their “top gun” animators, doing great female lead acting, on quota… wasn’t enough.

    After a weekend of working around the clock to get work done for a Monday morning quota deadline, and missing the deadline by an hour, as I’d dared to go home to sleep for a few hours. The management said, nope, your work over the weekend doesn’t matter to us, ‘cause you arrived an hour late. When I asked what would be an acceptable excuse, if not working around the clock the entire weekend, and due to that, exhaustion caused me to arrive an hour late. I was told… “I dunno, if your cow died, or something!” That’d be an acceptable reason.

    I quit Disney Animation soon after that. I’d had enough.

    I loved the characters, I loved the animation work, and was proud of the animation I’d created for the company. But, I hated the management and it’s smug treatment of its staff. So I left.

    Now I do my own thing. Investing in myself, rather then working to the bone for others. I design and manufacture my own collectable fashion doll line. @glamourozdolls

    I’m much happier.

  53. I've never worked in animation or animated anything, but the workload of the animators was my immediate thought. It's depressing, being overworked to alter a blue hedgehog because manchildren are throwing a hissy fit.

  54. I wouldn't be surprised if this is all one big marketing ploy: Make a mediocre-at-best movie, how do we get media attention? Make a terrible looking design for Sonic in the trailer, get an enormous fan uproar about it, tell them we'll fix it, ride the media wave and pity points. Then release your original movie with the "good" design for Sonic that you had from the very start

  55. I think it’s questionable whether the individual should be blamed in this vid more than the industry. Individuals can always do better, but maybe the system as a whole deserves more attention.

    Edit: LOLLLL OMG I made that comment on 13:00 and like right after I posted my comment you said exactly what I just did. Lol. Good boi.

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