Matrix FX Fiasco[Thursday, March 22nd, 2001]
Coming Attraction gives a view on why Warner Bros. decided to drop FX company, Manex, for their Matrix sequel:
"Here's the real inside scoop from someone inside on the whole VFX fiasco that occurred. Manex Entertainment has been managed by [Person A], who was indicted on fraud charges in 1997 for an SEC violation for bilking investors out of millions of dollars. You can search the web under [Person A] for the story. Well, Warner Brothers DID NOT like to deal with this person for his unscrupulous negotiation tactics on the first Matrix production and were wary of similiar occurrences happening on the sequels.
"Manex then hired [Person B] to run the show and the now recently hired [Person C] to be the face of Manex in the negotiations. However, it turns out that [Person A] was still in control of the company. There was also a gross miscalculation in Manex's ability to leverage their initial work on the first film and their relationship with The Wachowski Bros and Joel Silver to bring the work in.
"Manex had bid the work for $18 million while WB felt that a $14 million price tag was more accurate. While neither side budged on the numbers, WB took this opportunity to justify taking the work away from Manex (which they wanted to do in the first place but couldn't for political reasons). ESC Entertainment was formed out of frustration with management and their negotiating tactics with WB. ESC consists of the 'brain-trust' (i.e. R&D team) that created the visuals for the first film. Without them, Manex is essentially a hollow shell.
"In the meantime, [Person A] was pushed out of the company in order to salvage what they could from the relationship with WB. It's a shame because the artists at Manex were extremely talented. A lack of tact and honesty in the negotiations from the Manex side led to their ultimate demise. How could a vfx house who won back to back Academy Awards for best visual effects come to this end? It's a sad story..."
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