“You just need horrid working conditions”: Godzilla Minus One Reveals Surprisingly Low VFX Artists That Has Left Fans Concerned About Their Well-Being

'Godzilla Minus One''s impressive VFX may have a horrifying story of toxic work culture behind it.

Godzilla Minus One Reveals Surprisingly Low VFX Artists That Has Left Fans Concerned About Their Well-Being

SUMMARY

  • 'Godzilla Minus One' is a frontrunner for VFX Oscars, and revealed that it used only 35 artists to create its 610 VFX shots.
  • The low number of artists raised concerns among fans, who pointed out that the artists may have worked in poor working conditions.
  • Japanese working conditions were earlier subject to criticism when animators on 'Jujutsu Kaisen' called out their toxic work environment.
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Godzilla Minus One stood out among the 10 shortlisted contenders for this year’s Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects. The film, with director Takashi Yamazaki serving as a VFX supervisor, included four potential nominees. However, what caught attention, both in amazement and concern, was the fact that the film used only 35 artists and a tight budget to create its 610 VFX shots. This raised concerns among fans about the working conditions of artists in Japan.

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A still from Godzilla Minus One
A still from Godzilla Minus One

Upon its release in the U.S. in December 2023, Godzilla Minus One was hailed by many for its remarkable visual work, achieved with just a $15 million overall budget. However, the low number of artists raises doubts about whether the working conditions are similar to those of animators in the Japanese anime industry.

Also: “It deserves more”: Godzilla Minus One’s Staggering Win Has Fans Demanding the Impossible

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Godzilla Minus One‘s VFX Department Comprised Only 35 Artists

Only 35 artists worked on the 610 VFX shots of Godzilla Minus One
Only 35 artists worked on the 610 VFX shots of Godzilla Minus One

The potential nominees from Godzilla Minus One‘s VFX team explained their work to the Academy’s visual effects branch, which included 610 VFX shots. The team revealed that they completed these shots within the constraints of a $15 million total budget, involving just 35 artists (via The Hollywood Reporter). The low budget of the film earlier garnered praise from fans on social media, with many drawing comparisons to the American VFX cost.

However, there were some skeptical voices arguing that the low budget might be indicative of poor working conditions. The currently reported low number of artists certainly points the finger in the direction of Japan’s controversial work culture. When one fan on X applauded the concept of a “handful of talented artists” and “minimal VFX”, others were quick to express their disagreement with that perspective.

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One fan sarcastically remarked that all they needed were “horrid working conditions” to make a great film. Another brought attention to the poor treatment of Japanese animators, suggesting a similar situation for VFX artists. Despite being impressed with the film, another fan felt that the low budget and small workforce were bad news.

Another, claiming to have insight into the working conditions of Japanese artists, called out the original comment for seemingly flexing poor working conditions. Fan reactions read:

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In contrast, some fans also presented a counter-argument, suggesting that the 35 artists were director Takashi Yamazaki‘s personal staff and, therefore, could have had decent working conditions. However, the authenticity of this information remains unverified, and it does not necessarily address the broader concerns about time, budget, and workforce constraints on such a VFX-heavy project.

Also Read: Godzilla Minus One Breaks Major Record as Monster Epic Inches Towards Breaking ‘Parasite’ Box-Office Numbers

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Concerns For Godzilla Minus One Stems From The Recent Studio MAPPA Controversy

Studio MAPPA's Jujutsu Kaisen
Studio MAPPA’s Jujutsu Kaisen

While fans worry about the potentially overworked and underpaid VFX artists on Godzilla Minus One, the working conditions of Japanese animators have intensified these worries. Several animators of fan-favorite anime have come forward with revelations about the toxic working conditions in the industry. The biggest blowout of this issue happened against Studio MAPPA, the creators of Jujutsu Kaisen, Chainsaw Man, and Attack on Titans Season 4.

Freelance animator Mushiyo accused Studio MAPPA of overworking their staff, without properly training them. He compared the working conditions to a “factory”. Later, another animator, Ippei Ichii, alleged that MAPPA allowed Netflix to pay the bare minimum to animators for their work on Yasuke. Following the heavy criticisms for Jujutsu Kaisen season 2 episode 14, several animators on the show had a collective meltdown on social media (via ScreenRant).

They accused the studio of overworking them and revealed that the studio even denied the request for a production delay. The issue with Studio MAPPA is something common in the anime industry, with accusations from various corners about working conditions on popular shows.

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Also Read: Godzilla Minus One Keeps 2024 Oscar Hopes Alive as Academy Releases Confirmed List of Movies for Eligibility

While works like Godzilla Minus One are celebrated for their quality, the industry may not go far with its poor treatment of creative artists.

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Written by Hashim Asraff

Articles Published: 1461

Hashim, Entertainment Writer. With over 1000 published articles on FandomWire, he covers a wide range of topics from celebrity life to comic book movies. He holds a Masters degree in Sociology and his expertise proves invaluable in handling sensitive news. His passion for crime investigation thrillers has turned him into a detective, exploring the darkest corners of the internet during his research.