May 2007 Archives
I hope all of you had an enjoyable Memorial weekend! It's been a little while since I last posted, and for good reason, I've been relaxing. I haven't done too much on the visual effects side of things. Letters from Iwo Jima came out last week, so I'm in the process of going through that and cutting out my shots to amend to the Flags and Letters Q/A session posted on VFXTalk. Feel free to ask questions about the shows, I'll try my darndest to answer!
I've got a couple more weeks before I head back into work, so I'm spending a large amount of my time relaxing. I also finished my Motorcycle Safety Foundation course, and I went to the DMV and am now licensed for both C and M1! Now comes the harrowing task of finding a suitable bike. We hit up Yosemite National Park near the beginning in the month, and did a quick day hike up to Vernal Falls, and spotted a bunch of other beautiful scenery as well. We managed to get some video as well as a number of great photos. My wife is an amateur photographer and I'm a compositor, so between the two of us, we hopefully captured some decent photos. All the waterfalls were particularly powerful in the spring, as the ice melts. And over the Memorial Day weekend we hiked up Camelback mountain in Phoenix, with my brother and his girlfriend. It was a strenuous climb, but the views were very rewarding. The reward is in the accomplishment!
Also in Phoenix, we went and saw At Worlds End. The theatre was a little more than half full for a 7pm Friday night showing. I enjoyed it quite a bit, but it did feel tiring at times. The multiple subplots and barely understandable dialog made for annoying viewing, but the effects and the pirates made up for it. For those that saw it, continue on below to read what Digital Domain did for the show!
The VES Top 50 was announced the other day in May 11th issue of The Hollywood Reporter! The top ten are Star Wars, followed by Blade Runner, 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Matrix (tied for third place), Jurassic Park, Tron, King Kong (1933), Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Abyss, and Alien. This list will be one of the subjects of this years VES Festival, to be held at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills on the weekend of June 8-10th. I hope to see you there!
If you haven't already see the new gallery updates, head on over there and take a look! Some of the shots that I completed from Flags of our Fathers and Charlotte's Web are there for you to see how they look! I'll be adding up a VFXTalk Q/A session in the next few days to answer any questions about the shows.
Wow. It's been more than a week since I've last posted! Things have been going crazy since then, lots of 911 work, and the beginning of vacation! We've actually finally delivered Pirates (at least from our facility), and they're currently adding sound and prepping the film for final delivery to all the theatres for the world wide release.
Last weekend was a busy one, and it was the only time during the show where I worked 18 hours in a day (the day of delivery!), as well as 10 or 12 straight days in a row. I try not to do these, and like to space out my time evenly. It's much easier to do 12 hour days for six days, than 10 hour days for seven. You need at least a day of downtime to recuperate and do something that's not related to visual effects! On Tuesday of last week, our supervisor took the final few artists left on the show until the bitter end, out for lunch. We had a blast, recounting the trials and tribulations of working on one of this summers biggest blockbusters. I don't know the exact vfx shot count that we finished, but there were two vfx supervisors, two comp supervisors, and five comp leads, for probably over 300+ shots.
Also on Tuesday I had to make the difficult decision of either accepting, or not, a comp position at Rhythm & Hues for the upcoming film The Golden Compass. It was difficult since on the same day, Digital Domain offered to make me a staff, permanent, position, with possible lead on their next show. It was an extremely difficult choice, but I'm staying at DD for the long term. The biggest advantage is Nuke (and of course, all the supplementary benefits which come in a staff position). I keep on harking the beauty that is Nuke, and it has it's merits, and it's only going to get better. Now that I'm in a more permanent role at Digital Domain, it will be much easier to suggest additions and advancements to the software which will help out the compositing artist. Even though Foundry now owns Nuke, Digital Domain will still be a Nuke house for the immediate future. Going to D2software.com now redirects you to the Foundry.
On the VES Mentoring front, my time with my OTIS student is at an end. The great part is that she's learned a lot over the past three months. My minion has also been accepted into a compositing apprenticeship over at Rhythm & Hues as well! Congratulations! I'm sure you'll do great.
The month of May is going to be fairly uneventful, but I'll be updating many of the pages on this site. Keep visiting!