Over the last six months or so on TGD, we’ve reported on a troubling phenomenon: the FX business in trouble. This was bewildering for us to learn about. How could the FX business be going under? How many big blockbuster movies are dependent on FX? Giant robots and tornados of sharks don’t just come out of nowhere, and they certainly aren’t cheap.
How could this business be in trouble? One of the big problems is outsourcing, as well as the major studios under-bidding on jobs to the point where FX houses can’t turn a profit. Tippett Studios has been hit especially hard by the FX recession, and as Variety reports, they’ve started a new branch, the One Stop Creature Shop, where they created an app called Efexio.
I’ve often joked about how one day you can buy an FX software package at Frys where you put together your own blockbuster on your laptop, complete with the CG clichés we see in so many films, like the seagulls from Gladiator, or armies of CG people that replaced the need for thousands of extras. While this app can’t make you a bedroom James Cameron, there’s still plenty of cool stuff you can download from it for a very small price.
As Variety tells us, you can get Efexio for iOS, Mac, and Windows PC, you can download it for free with a free effect, and animations can cost you 99 cents to $1.99, and “pro versions” are priced at $4.99 and $9.99. Efexio will release a new effect monthly, and you can download little clips of dinosaurs, zombies, robots, and other little animated creatures you can put into your own videos.
The idea of having little effects and creatures on your computer from an FX master like Phil Tippett, whose credits include Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back and Starship Troopers, sounds pretty cool to me, and as Tippett told Variety, “We just realized, ‘This is an amazing opportunity.’ Also it seemed different from anything in the marketplace. So we thought let’s just jump in and do this. And we’ll just see.”