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The war of words being waged between visual effects houses (and visual effects technicians) and the major Hollywood studios likely is going to get worse before things start improving. Case in point: A major trade reports on “concerns” that tech-savvy – and angry – technicians might vent by attacking planned tentpoles at various studios.

Citing “slim” evidence that such a cyber-attack could be waged, Variety goes on record to say that there are concerns within the vfx (visual effects) community that an offensive could be launched that “damaged or destroyed vfx assets” and could “set back production by months, cost each pic affected tens of millions of dollars, and wreak havoc with release dates.” In the long term, smaller effects houses that suddenly report a sabotage of visual effects work could lose the trust of the major studios that employ them … leading to even more financial woes down the line.

After being approached by Variety for comment, reps at the major visual effects houses said that they’d likely increase security around their digital domains to prevent such an attack from happening. But David Rand, who helped organize a protest at the Oscars by visual effects technicians said that he is “personally against [an attack] because a lot of the shops they’d be attacking are victims themselves. But I’m not in favor of an attack on the studios, either. That’s not what we want to do, we want to show them a better way to work.”

Effects houses are unhappy with the current profit-sharing model that, they believe, cheats them out of proper compensation that goes into the creation of the industry’s highly-successful blockbusters. It is a legitimate concern, and one the studios need to address before it starts to affect the product that reaches our theaters. More on the story as it continues to develop.

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