Marvel’s VFX And Animation Chief Victoria Alonso Leaves Studio
Victoria Alonso, the executive in charge of animation and vfx on the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), exited the studio last Friday. The news was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
It is unclear why she left the company and her departure was not expected.
Alonso had been with Marvel Studios for 17 years, dating back to prior the company’s acquisition by Disney. She was most recently promoted to president, physical and postproduction, vfx and animation production. She was also involved in the recent launch of Marvel’s animation division.
In addition to her management role, she was an executive producer on the studio’s projects since The Avengers (2012). The films produced under her leadership grossed over $25 billion globally.
In a 2016 interview with Cartoon Brew, Alonso explained her role at the company, saying, “I’m involved, as is Kevin Feige and Louis D’Esposito, from the very beginning to the very end. We are there previs’ing the show and doing visual development on shows, sometimes a year before a director comes on board. And I am the one that sees the final frame of every shot of every format.”
Alsono’s departure comes amidst a growing chorus of criticism from vfx workers who work on Marvel projects, with complaints about the grueling hours, unrealistic production schedules, and endless “pixel-fucking” of shots. In a recent Vulture article, multiple workers claimed that Alonso maintained a blacklist of vfx workers. Considering the vast number of vendor studios that Marvel productions use in the making of their films, being on that blacklist could be a career-ender for anyone unlucky enough to get on her bad side.
“The main one that everyone’s quite scared of is Victoria Alonso,” one worker told the publication. “She is known in the industry as a kingmaker. If she likes you, you are going to get work and move up in the industry. If you have pissed her off in any way, you’re going to get frozen out.”
In our interview with Alonso, when we asked her about the qualities she looked for in a vfx supervisor, she joked, “Not sleeping is one,” before adding that it was important to “being open to the possibilities” since “we make the [Marvel] movie three times,” in previs, shooting, and post.
Alonso, who is openly gay, placed an emphasis on diversity and inclusion in her work, championing minorities and underrepresented communities in animation. Speaking about her efforts to bring more women into the field, she told us, “Much to my trying, but not succeeding, we mostly have male visual effects supervisors. But I would like to know that girls are represented at some level. It’s also a misnomer to think that visual effects supervisors are the only ones that make, create and succeed in visual effects. There are dozens of visual effects producers who are female and countless artists too.”
Her memoir, titled Possibility is Your Superpower, will be published in May. The book recounts her journey from growing up in La Plata, Argentina, to moving to the U.S. at 19 and embarking on a career in vfx animation. It was announced last summer that the book would be published by Disney’s Hyperion Avenue imprint.
Image at top: The Walt Disney Company