AVATAR VFX Artist Claims Director James Cameron Exploited Those Working On The Movie With Unpaid Overtime

A VFX artist who worked on 2009's Avatar has lashed out at filmmaker James Cameron, claiming the director took advantage of his team by making them work unpaid extra hours in order to finish the movie...

Avatar returned to this theaters this past weekend, grossing an impressive $30.5 million at the global box office. The blockbuster's success proved, even 13 years after it was first released, that there's still plenty of interest in the world of Pandora. Unsurprisingly, excitement for the sequel is now higher than it's ever been. 

However, ahead of Avatar: The Way of Water's release this December, a VFX artist who worked on the 2009 record-breaking blockbuster has taken aim at filmmaker James Cameron.

In a series of now-deleted Tweets (shared via SFFGazette.com), Nick Sinnott said, "A fun thing about working on the VFX for Avatar was being the only major department not unionised and having Cameron exploit that fact with endless unpaid revision then win a bunch of Oscars."

"I'm not under NDA about this because the studio I worked for at the time no longer exists," he added. "Guess why."

It goes without saying that these are some very serious claims, and ones that Cameron has not responded to at this time. We're guessing he probably won't as these comments would be easy to dismiss as being from just one disgruntled VFX artist. However, we have no reason not to take Sinnot at his word, though he's since made his Twitter account private.

If true, others in the industry are likely unwilling to speak out against the director for fear of losing work, especially now he's partnered up with Disney. Sinnott's comments also highlight larger issues in the VFX industry, including how unpaid overtime and crunch can have an impact on those working on the movies we watch (Marvel Studios has similarly come under fire lately).

Avatar was a movie that obviously featured a lot of VFX, so we shouldn't be surprised that there was a lot of extra work that went into it. Whether it's true that Cameron exploited staff remains to be seen, though we do hope the filmmaker eventually decides to share his side of the story.

Avatar is now back in theaters and Avatar: The Way of Water is set to finally be released on December 16.

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