Home Entertainment Cats VFX artist confirms that the butthole cut is real

Cats VFX artist confirms that the butthole cut is real

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Cats VFX artist confirms that the butthole cut is real 3

There is simply no other way of putting it: Cats was one of the biggest disappointments of last year. After all, a big-budget film with one of the best casts of the year based on one of the biggest stage musicals of all time should’ve made for a massively successful movie. Instead, it was the very definition of mediocre with the film being rightly lambasted for wasting its platform. If there is one bright shining light the whole story of the film, it’s the controversy around the fact that at one point in time, all the CGI cats used to have visible buttholes in the film, until someone was tasked with removing them for the final version. It’s a ludicrous story that sounds too good to be true, and somehow just thinking about it makes it the gift that keeps on giving.

It turns out though that there is a lot more to the story as one of the VFX artists revealed in an interview with The Daily Beast that the butthole cut of Cats did indeed exist, but that it was arguably the least of the VFX people’s problems:

It wasn’t prominent but you saw it… And you [were] just like, ‘What the hell is that?… There’s a f-cking butthole in there.’ It wasn’t in your face—but at the same time, too, if you’re looking, you’ll see it.

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Rather, it turns out that the biggest problem they had to deal with was just the manic working conditions to get the movie out on time, following all the extra redesign work they had to do following the first trailer’s underwhelming reception and resulting in what the VFX described as an environment of “almost slavery” due to 90-hour working weeks for months. Some of the staff even stayed at the office for two or three days at a time, sleeping under their desks.

In any movie that lands up as messy as Cats did, the rot tends to form from the top and that top was apparently director Tom Hooper, whom the VFX artists didn’t have many kind words for. According to the report, Hooper would often berate the crew over email and generally had little idea what went into an animated feature. He reportedly demanded that a movie scene be fully rendered before he even saw the footage, which was an enormous waste of time for the crew who simply needed his approval on the unrendered movements of the characters. Hooper also reportedly demanded to see videos of actual cats performing the same movements, which was difficult, to say the least, because “as you know, cats don’t dance.”

Now, this all does sound truly horrific and if true, my heart definitely goes out to the VFX artists who were no doubt on the receiving end of some unfair treatment. It is worth noting though that some stars are claiming that reports like these aren’t true and that Hooper was not nearly this bad on set. So, this could just be a matter of a person with sour grapes over the whole affair. Either way, though, there is no denying that the whole production of Cats doesn’t sound like a happy one and it’s probably unsurprising that the film turned out the way that it did.

Last Updated: April 8, 2020

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