April 2009 Archives
Well, we're getting down to the wire, and here I am, waiting for some renders to.....render, and doing some comp love on some giant robots. This is actually the first full seven day work week that I've done on this show. I'm trying to keep it regular and hit my deadlines when I can during the week, but things always change here and there.
My brother has been pretty quiet on his end, dealing with the running of a gaming company, managing his workers, and trying to get his game out there! Yes, he's been working an ungodly amount of hours. If you're interested, head on over to CoinApp to see what sort of progress he's been making on their inaugural game, Max Blastronaut. Doing me proud! It's all going to pay off in the end. Well, if he can ever get off that XBox when we play COD4 late at night. Your Stopping Power is no match to my UAV Jammer!
I'm in the process of revamping Digital Gypsy (yet again!). It's only been a year and change since my last update. What I will probably end up doing is to keep the blog up here, at /vfxlog/, but at /, it'll be a flash site, much similar to what Ari did with his. Of course, that will have to wait until the show is over, and I get all my other deadlines completed. It'll also allow me to quickly redo my gallery section here, since it hasn't been updated in about two years. I'm writing up a new Case Study for VFXTalk in my other free time, with HD pictures and video! It's been a while since my last one, and there's a lot of shows that I've done in the interim, but we'll be starting off with that one first.
An unusually hot last couple of days here in the Los Angeles area. It's only April, but it feels like late summer. I've been fortunate enough to spend the days inside an air conditioned building. The commute via motorcycle feels like I'm trapped in a spacesuit on the sun. There's no cool breeze, just a warm flow of air that continually warms me in my leathers. Ick. Sitting at a traffic light melting is kinda not fun.
Work is going well. Not much else to say! We're hitting our deadlines and doing our shots. The film comes out in a couple months, so we're just working away. I am working on the weekends now, it seems to be a sort of regular occurrence in this business. Not sure why. When I was working in Canada, we rarely worked weekends. I'm not sure if that is because it was visual effects for television, Canada, or a combination of both.
Recently there was a post on CGtalk about VFXWages. Like the thread on FXGuide, it was mostly a discussion on whether it would be worth it. Of course, I have my rebuttals and assurances of anonymity. In the past three, almost four weeks, we've quadrupled in size. We're very close to hitting 3000 users (we may hit that this weekend), and while this is a drop in the bucket compared to the number of artists working, the numbers we are seeing within the graphs look very promising. There's more data to browse, more date to interpret, and more data to toss out and disregard (shame on you for adding your wage of 0!). We're in the progress of revamping the wage entry page to make it a little more...effective. During the next several weeks we'll be rolling out some new items, and I'm hoping that we'll be putting up our first set of job postings, which will be another very powerful part of our site! We're also starting to do advertising for our site, right now through Google Adwords, but will hopefully strike a deal with CGSociety, AWN, and a couple others. Of course, it's going to be expensive, so I'm in the process of evaluating our finances. I'm also in the midst of cleaning up a business proposal which will be shot out to, hopefully, some interested investors. This would allow us to grow much quicker and provide better tools for our users.
A couple years ago, I had the opportunity to show you what the public areas of Tippett and Pixar looked like. You're in for a treat. Follow the extended to see where I currently work.
The summertime is slowly approaching, and with it, the summer blockbusters, and the summer lull. Most of the work that the industry does is from the late fall through the early spring.. It allows us to finish a blockbuster film just in time for summer. This year, there are a couple that I've had my hand in, from Star Trek, to GI JOE to Transformers 2. While we are finishing a show right now, the future looks not as bright for some folks, as they start looking for work on the next big project.
Several of my coworkers are searching, and as we chat, the topic of demo reels comes up. "When was your last reel?" "Who hired you?" "Where are you going?" "What contacts do you have at so and so company?". The networking among freelancers is quite prevalent, and is even more so this time around, given the number of studios which have dumped artists into the market, and the ongoing recession. That means there is just as many, if not more, artists looking for work THIS summer. Some may just take a couple months off to reflect and wait for the fall. So FYI for all you guys and girls out there.. If you're freelancing and looking for another gig, it might be time to start learning another piece of the puzzle. If you're a lighter, start to comp. If you comp, start to light. If you can do a number of different tasks well, then you're one step ahead of the game, and your worth to a company is that much more. This is one thing to keep in mind as there is more and more outsourcing. For me, personally, I manage multiple tasks and people very well. I'm a decent compositor on top of that too. We'll see how that affects me in the future.
Last Saturday I was at OTIS, and met with my student, the one I will be mentoring for the next several months. This time around it's a student focused on compositing, much like Alana, my first year student who is doing pretty well these days. I also actually got a chance to sit down and talk to other mentors and students. It was a pretty good gathering, and hopefully promising. I look forward to the next couple of months to see how she does.
VFXWages is off to a decent start, and I'll show you why, after the break.
I'm slammed this week, with all sorts of things, so here's some PR for Transformers 2! Read it all over at Variety.
Or hit the extended to read it all here.