Oppenheimer VFX House Addresses Reports of Big Pay Cuts for Staff

The visual effects house behind Oppenheimer, DNEG, recently addressed reports it plans to make substantial cuts to employees’ pay.

DNEG responded to the reported pay cuts, which are allegedly as high as 25%, in a statement shared with The Hollywood Reporter. “We are continuously and proactively reviewing all areas of our business to ensure that we can continue to deliver the highest quality work while protecting as many of our employees’ positions as possible,” the statement read, in part. “In order to do that, we’ve asked employees and team members earning above certain salary thresholds, including the most senior executives and creative leaders, to assume short-term pay cuts that will enable us to maintain the maximum number of jobs through this period.”

While the pay cuts and other cost-cutting measures planned by DNEG aren’t directly related to Oppenheimer itself, this isn’t the first time Christopher Nolan’s biopic has been linked to VFX-related controversy. Notably, VFX supervisor Andrew Jackson recently debunked persistent claims that Oppenheimer only used practical effects to achieve its striking visuals, noting that the movie includes approximately 200 visual effects shots. Jackson added that Oppenheimer‘s VFX-free reputation was likely the result of news outlets misinterpreting Nolan’s comments about the blockbuster’s lack of entirely computer-generated imagery.

Oppenheimer Takes Bohemian Rhapsody’s Crown

While Jackson’s comments arguably puncture some of the mystique surrounding Oppenheimer, this hasn’t had a noticeable effect on the film’s box office performance. Oppenheimer is currently the third-highest-grossing release of 2023, racking up over $900 million in ticket sales. The movie is also the highest-grossing biopic of all time, beating out previous record holder Bohemian Rhapsody. Industry analysts attribute at least some of Oppenheimer‘s incredible success to the “Barbenheimer” cultural phenomenon, which encouraged moviegoers to see both Oppenheimer and Greta Gerwig’s Barbie as a double feature.

While Barbenheimer proved to be good business for both Oppenheimer and Barbie, it caused headaches for other films released around the same time. This includes Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, which premiered the same month as those films and struggled to compete at the box office. Despite this, Dead Reckoning Part One director Christopher McQuarrie insists he doesn’t begrudge either movie for outperforming his own. “It’s a triumph for films that are not sequels,” McQuarrie said. “And in the case of Oppenheimer, a drama. What movies used to be all the time! [Dead Reckoning Part One star] Tom [Cruise] and I just look at each other all the time like, ‘Man, it’s just about quality.'”

Oppenheimer is in cinemas now.

Source: THR

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