Creative Construction

Creative Construction: The Categorization of Work

Let us begin with a simple assertion; to categorize is to organize, to organize is to control. The entertainment industry, which includes film and media and video games first and foremost on this issue, has become obsessed with compositing many different pieces to form a whole as efficiently as possible. Thus arises the problem of visual effects and animations artists in both film and games, who are exploited as technical laborers in post production. Post production then becomes associated with this perception that post production is not creatively associated.

“…studios categorized post-production labor as non-creative work and operationalized these classifications in conjunction with large-scale production models. In considering the regulations and prevailing economic strategies of the 1980s, which enabled increased studio control over both production and distribution processes, we can remind ourselves of the contexts in which a burgeoning visual effects field became naturalized as extensive of centralized narrative production.” (Daigle, 164)

As a result of stringent practices and tradition, the increase in control arose to the benefit of the fiscally invested studios. The studios could use the visual images produced by such artists without paying them for their intellectual property. Rather however, the field of VFX has become service oriented. They complete a task and are paid for the job a flat rate.

However, the things that these artists can do are amazing. The experience required to create such visual masterpieces is extensive, expensive and time consuming. In the game industry, creators have bridged a gap that once seemed impossible. They have succeeded in removing the “uncanny valley – the idea that, in computer-generated realism, little details that are slightly off render proceedings creepily unrealistic…'” (The Guardian, 1) Movies have now adapted this technology for themselves. They are evolving because of something that these creators have made.

Additionally, these people have fought tooth and nail to prove that they are the right individual for the job. Seen here are tips for overcoming the competition. And yet, despite having to climb over a steep wall to stand at the top of the hill, they are utilized and under appreciated, reigned in by their categorization as technical workers.

A game writer/artist makes a claim on how visual and narrative teams should be embraced as part of production. ” Narrative in games can be both a chicken and an egg in the one project. It can be informed by art, gameplay design and technical capability that already exist. In this case, taking time to understand what has been built before putting a single word on the page as it is crucial to telling the story. The rest of the team will be extremely grateful for having their work and creativity considered – it saves time and, potentially, a lot of money.” (Maggs, 1) This reveals the desire of these artists to be creators, to be reclassified as part of production and be present while everything is originally formed. And I agree that these individuals should be compensated in such a manner.

Sources used:

Allain Daigle (2015) (Post)Production: Classifications and Infrastructures of Digital Visual Effects, Critical Studies in Media Communication, 32:3, 161-176, DOI: 10.1080/15295036.2015.1045304

Boxer, Steve. “How Video Games Are Transforming the Film Industry.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 17 Nov. 2013,

Maggs, Brooke. “Explainer: the Art of Video Game Writing.” The Conversation, The Conversation, 18 Sept. 2018,

WatchMojo. “Top 10 Tips for Getting Into The Video Game Industry.” YouTube, YouTube, 6 Jan. 2015,


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