The Flash Ezra Miller

The Flash VFX Artist: If It Looks Like It Was Made in a Week, It Was

One of the main criticisms of The Flash involves its heavy use of CGI. The special effects became so divisive that director Andy Muschietti had to publicly defend the film, stating how the distorted CGI was a conscious decision. Zach Mulligan, a VFX artist who worked on The Flash, explained the reasons behind the poor CGI in The Flash.

What Were the Reasons Behind The Flash’s Bad CGI?

In a video posted to his TikTok, Mulligan described how VFX companies are hired by Marvel, Warner Bros., and other studios to complete their CGI shots. In this case, Warner Bros. states how many shots they need for a sequence and the VFX studios place bids to work on the film. The workload in each shot varies, yet it’s still considered one shot in the total quantity.

“Because of this, VFX artists are forced to work relentless hours, overtime almost every day, including weekends,” Mulligan said. “If the VFX companies aren’t meeting the unrealistic expectations that these studios are setting, the risk losing out on future contracts, and there’s only so many studios that are making superhero movies anymore.”

These insane deadlines for VFX shots are happening throughout the industry. Marvel received backlash for their treatment of VFX workers on Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. The race to put out multiple superhero projects per year across film and television to “please shareholders” is what Mulligan cites as the reason behind the poor CGI on a movie like The Flash.

“When you’re putting out this many projects with shorter turnarounds, the VFX will always look worse,” Mulligan said. “So if it looks like a VFX shot in The Flash was made in a week, it’s probably because it was.”

The Flash opened in theaters on June 16, where it significantly underperformed at the box office. The Flash opened to $55 million domestically in its first weekend, a failure for a film with a budget north of $200 million and a marketing cost of roughly $100 million. Unless it has legs in the coming weeks, The Flash will lose money at the box office.