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Alfonso Cuarón Thanked the Right People at the Golden Globes

Last night when Gravity director Alfonso Cuarón won best director at the Golden Globes, he began his acceptance speech by saying, “This is for the hundreds of people that made this film possible,” a reference to the film’s crew, including countless vfx/animation artists. He also thanked the film’s vfx supervisor, Framestore’s Tim Webber, by name.

Cuarón has been transparent about the heavy use of animation in his film and repeatedly expressed gratitude for the work of the artists. His acknowledgment of the animation technique and its creators signals a positive step forward. It also stands in stark contrast to other live-action directors who have used vfx/animation in recent high-profile projects, namely Ang Lee, who neglected to thank Life of Pi’s vfx crew when he won an Oscar last year, and James Cameron, who doesn’t believe that the animation in Avatar is animation.

Cuarón’s acceptance speech did not go unnoticed. At least one compositing supervisor, ILM’s Todd Vaziri, applauded him on Twitter:

  • Roberto Severino

    Very good. Glad the artists are at least getting some kind of recognition for their involvement in the film.

  • Strong Enough

    oh come with the ang lee thing. he was in shock he won. i’m sure it’s a surreal experience and most people’s brain aren’t even working right when their name gets called

  • Eliza

    They can get thanked at every award ceremony and in the end, the real issue is still about money. They want to get paid more for the grueling working they’re doing. Hell, I’m sure if they got paid more, they wouldn’t be making a peep about someone forgetting to mention a general “Oh and the VFX crew” statement at some ceremony.

    It’s one thing to get outraged when Cameron says it’s not animation, that trivializes your job. It’s another when Lee just damn forgets to specifically say “Video effects” before he said the word “crew”.

    • ThePuppeteer

      Avatar is NOT an animation film, because it’s a motion capture WITH animation (and of course real footage) one. And that’s why… not just “because Cameron says so”.

      • möbius123

        that might be partialy true for the human characters but you forget that there were thousands of other creatures, vehicles, robots and other stuff in the movie that were definitely animated by hand and a load massive Digital Environment creation.

        • ThePuppeteer

          No… I didn’t forget. I actually put it in capital letter.
          It’s the “WITH animation” part! ;)

          And of course, you’re right… there are a lot of other departments involved. I was just talking about the “motion/animation” bit of it.

      • Rick Sander

        Hey there, worked on avatar, some of the LOTR movies and happy feet. While there is plenty of motion capture to get the initial performances, there is a ton of animation tweaking when characters are stronger or move differently than humans. Theres some great stuff about Golum especially. And has been pointed out, there are tons of other types of creatures and vehicles.

      • grailpuffin

        Motion capture on its own can be stiff, artificial and sometimes even unusable. There is often a substantial amount of animation layered on top to make the footage even believable, let alone artful or soulful, despite what some ignorant film makers would have people believe. Animation adds the spark of life to a performance.

  • binal shah

    Bravo !!!

  • ThePuppeteer

    Actually I am working as a motion editor and I’ve done before as animator too, so I know what I’m talking about. That’s motion editing WITH animation.
    Animators don’t take that data… we do, and then, hand it over to animation if/when needed.
    Animators KEYFRAME animate 100% other creatures like beasts, robots, and many other things that are not motion captured, which is a lot of work and a pretty awesome one… no discussion there.

    I think the problem or misunderstanding here, is the use of the word animation.
    To be clear, when I talk about animation (in terms of things that are moving on the shot), I mean “keyframe animation” as a technique, and not animation as “industry”.

    So again, Avatar is not a Keyframe animation driven film, but a motion (or performance) capture one with keyframe animation as well.

    And again… just talking about the motion/performance side of the film.

  • IJK

    I’m pretty sure he thanked his lawyer, singular. Who could have been a very close person and maybe even helped him get to work on the project in the first place. Lawyers can have friends too you know.

  • Strong Enough

    this isn’t a competition. the 100s of people who worked on the film know what they did and so does ang lee. but does it ever occur to you that he constantly saw his lawyer through all those years while never really seeing the animators and such? its no excuse but of course the people closest to him would be first on his mind. it was a mistake and he was shocked. he is only human

  • Strong Enough

    You sound like a VFX worker scorned. I was talking bout Ang Lee not the whole drama of VFX and hollywood. It is sad what they did to those with the jaws music but Ang doesn’t need to apologize to anyone. They won their oscar and he won his.