In 2011-12, the VFX company Rhythm & Hues created the astounding effects for Ang Lee's gorgeous movie The Life of Pi. Then they went bankrupt, fired their staff, and went out of business. Two weeks later they won an Oscar. The new documentary Life After Pi shows how this insanity was made possible.

As we've previously chronicled here, movie studios so vastly underpaid for the work these companies do — the work which makes most modern blockbusters possible, by the way — while denying them any access to the film's profits. So a company like Rhythm & Hues can be hired repeatedly, do amazing, Oscar-winning work, and then still go out of business.

This documentary was made by former Rhythm & Hues employees, and will be released online in its entirety on February 25th. Then it'll become part of a full-length documentary called Hollywood Ending, about "the larger, complex challenges facing the US Film Industry and the many professionals working within it, whose fates and livelihood are intertwined." For more info on Life After Pi or Hollywood Ending, head here.

[Via /Film]