Ten films, including Gravity, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and Pacific Rim, made the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' shortlist for the visual effects category.
Joining these three films on the list are Elysium, Iron Man 3, The Lone Ranger, Oblivion, Star Trek Into Darkness, Thor: The Dark World and World War Z. ...
Commercial demand for visual effects is higher than it's ever been. (Gravity is more animated feature than live-action.) Yet there's never been a time when California-based visual effects artists/tech directors have eaten it more than now.
We can blame the eating on globalization and a fast-growing pool of talent that chases jobs which, in turn, chase big subsidies across the globe. Crappy, but the way thing currently are.