11 February 2013 12:22 PM, PST | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

 The fragile economics of the visual effects industry was front and center at last week's Visual Effects Society awards. And even the well-respected company, Rhythm & Hues, that spearheaded and supervised the extraordinary visual effects in Ang Lee's "Life of Pi" --which won best live action feature effects at the Ves and BAFTA awards and is favored to win the VFX Oscar-- is in danger. Rhythm & Hues is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, now that possible buyer Prime Focus hasn't come through. Variety reports that other buyers are "interested in acquiring the company out of bankruptcy." "They said it was unfilmable," recalled accepting winner Bill Westenhofer of Rhythm & Hues at the Ves awards. "This is not visual effects," Lee said at the Ves Awards. "It's visual art." The only downside: "It's too expensive," he said, underscoring the evening's dark side. Ves »

- Anne Thompson

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