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View Full Version : Some probably-silly advice, but I never claimed to be smart



Spinland
08-03-2017, 01:46 PM
So, about the climate "out there" in the CGI/VFX world in general (and making LW a major player in particular).

All the doom and gloom out there about the VFX industry? The Hollywood parasites in suits boasting that if they don't put a VFX studio out of business after each film they're not doing their job? It's all true. The thing is, that "truthiness" is only relevant if you stay within their paradigm.

Eff them. Hollywood is dead. Sure, it moves a lot of money around, but so does Congress. How do YOU measure success?

The indie movie scene is alive, well, and kicking total *****. Yeah, I figure that will be bleeped. No biggie.

Do you want to work in VFX/CGI, and call your own shots? Decide what software to use, what artistic values you'll support, and all the trimmings? Break out, start your own studio. No, it won't be easy. yes, you will have years of sleepless nights, impossible deadlines, clients who demand the best from you—but you'll own all the pain and all the joy.

So, there's that. If you think LW is a good tool, and should be in your workflow, place yourself in a position to demand that and make the demand stick. This industry is about far, far more than your grasp of the 12 Principles, good poly flow, and killer weight maps. Also? Local and indie is king. If there's not a growing indie film movement in your area, then create one. Yes, it's easy to say, but if you really care about this career you'll do whatever it takes to make it happen. Seven years now, I've busted ***** and worked the streets to build cred and get the local indie industry to trust me and not see me as another establishment suit. What are you willing to endure, to sacrifice, for your art?

The answer to that question is, frankly, everything.

And, as always, rock on (because when the shite hits the fan making music helps ease the stress). :jam:

stiff paper
08-03-2017, 02:53 PM
Hollywood is dead.
But... the Emoji Movie!

KurtF
08-03-2017, 08:45 PM
Sharknado V baby!

kyuzo
08-04-2017, 03:42 AM
One of my personal ways of understanding 'Life the Universe and Everything' is that all things have a natural size at which they are efficient, strong enough to survive, and able to adapt if necessary.
Whether it's countries, companies, trees, whatever.
If it gets too big, it often fails to be able to adapt to changing circumstances, and becomes history. Massive trees will eventually split, and topple, but this makes way for younger, fresher, faster growing shoots to take advantage. Music companies struggled to adapt to the internet, but newer fresher opportunities arose from that for people willing to try something new.

I see Hollywood in the same way. It's getting stale. If it doesn't adapt, indy productions will provide what audiences want to see.

Spinland
08-04-2017, 07:24 AM
But... the Emoji Movie!

Heh. Yep! While I generally disdain "reviewers" as unqualified to judge what I'll like (or not), a quote on this thing struck a chord: "zestless, pointless boilerplate animation." So, yeah; case in point.


Sharknado V baby!

I've not seen any of them, apart from some shots in various VFX discussions, but despite the material being too silly for me (which is going some because I dig silly) the idea that such an over-the-top original idea could form, be realized, and even see some measure of success tells me the future is bright for the indie scene. Everyone has differing tastes, and Hollywood is interested in pandering to the bland and safe and formulaic.

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I see Hollywood in the same way. It's getting stale. If it doesn't adapt, indy productions will provide what audiences want to see.

+Gazillion. Exactly. :beerchug:

50one
08-04-2017, 07:29 AM
Big productions are dead, hunger rates in indie movies or working for free/counting on any sort of gratification further down the line.

Unfortunately, young people from all over the world are ruining the market too as most of them still lives with their parents so they can freelance at cheaper rates and Fk things even more.

Same goes for photography, commercial photography is dead - It's much much worse than CG.

In other words you're either big or you're no one, there's no "middle" position there anymore.

Spinland
08-04-2017, 08:04 AM
Big productions are dead, hunger rates in indie movies or working for free/counting on any sort of gratification further down the line.

Unfortunately, young people from all over the world are ruining the market too as most of them still lives with their parents so they can freelance at cheaper rates and Fk things even more.

Same goes for photography, commercial photography is dead - It's much much worse than CG.

In other words you're either big or you're no one, there's no "middle" position there anymore.

While I fully agree a lot of what you describe is going on, and it does make for trouble, I don't accept it's a death sentence. I'm probably a "no one" in the larger picture but after years of effort I've carved out a niche among local indie producers with both good budgets (by standards of making a decent living tapping into) and realistic expectations (which is why they come to me instead of to those basement dwellers). As I see it there's plenty of work out here, work that pays more than well enough, one simply has to put in the time and effort to seek it out, and to become trusted by the sources.

I can speak to local photographers, too: the ones who've figured that out and who are also making a good living. As a member of the Board of our local Chamber of Commerce, and the chair of this city's small business council, it's part of my mandate to help these sorts of success stories along and there are enough of them that I'm quite optimistic about the art-as-business prospects over the long haul (at least here; I have no influence beyond my area of interest).

50one
08-04-2017, 08:19 AM
Truth is it all depends where you are really.

Spinland
08-04-2017, 08:31 AM
Yes, or your willingness/ability to affect change where you find yourself. There are certainly no ready answers, no easy solutions. It's a real slog and, despite my Pollyanna-seeming attitude, it's been hell at times. I'd not trade this life for anything (I spent over 50 years working to get here) and for all the slings and arrows there's so much fulfillment and even fun.

Some folks may disagree with me but my stance is one takes control of one's situation and then moulds it to suit. Again: no, that is never easy (sometimes it's killer hard) but I contend it's never impossible. It comes down, as I see it, not to where you are but to what are you willing to do? :jam:

jeric_synergy
08-04-2017, 08:53 AM
Sharknado V baby!

At first I read this as "Skarnado VS. Baby". --And wondered, how would that work? What baby is a viable competitor/antagonist to sharknado? Does sharknado have a will? What would be the venue (beside, y'know, a coastal town)?

Or maybe it would be a more "Mom's Ignoring Sharknado, Because Baby" type thing.

I want three proposals on my desk in the morning.

shrox
08-04-2017, 08:56 AM
Sharknado V baby!

Oh, Felix Coles, my friend and housemate in England did the production design on Sharknado V!

http://www.felixcoles.com

Spinland
08-04-2017, 08:58 AM
At first I read this as "Skarnado VS. Baby". --And wondered, how would that work? What baby is a viable competitor/antagonist to sharknado? Does sharknado have a will? What would be the venue (beside, y'know, a coastal town)?

Or maybe it would be a more "Mom's Ignoring Sharknado, Because Baby" type thing.

I want three proposals on my desk in the morning.

Bwahahahaha! Thanks for nearly causing coffee-through-nose syndrome. :)

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Oh, Felix Coles, my friend and housemate in England did the production design on Sharknado V!

http://www.felixcoles.com

Excellent! Always glad to see folks out here making stuff happen.

shrox
08-04-2017, 08:59 AM
Truth is it all depends where you are really.

Well yes, I left Eureka, CA to move to North Carolina, suddenly I'm getting work from other places, including California.

shrox
08-04-2017, 09:01 AM
At first I read this as "Skarnado VS. Baby". --And wondered, how would that work? What baby is a viable competitor/antagonist to sharknado? Does sharknado have a will? What would be the venue (beside, y'know, a coastal town)?

Or maybe it would be a more "Mom's Ignoring Sharknado, Because Baby" type thing.

I want three proposals on my desk in the morning.

Pitch it to the Wifetime Channel (Lifetime actually, they always have "mom centric" movies.)

Spinland
08-04-2017, 09:03 AM
As a bit of an addendum to my sorta-manifesto above: I'm not speaking as a privileged white American male with the deck stacked in my favor. Let me add some context to my attitude:

Here in Utica we've become host to one of (if not the) largest population of resettled refugees in America. As a leader in the business community I interact regularly with people who have lost everything material, often nearly their lives (and in some cases the lives of loved ones). They've been dumped in a small city with a depressed economy where most of them don't even speak our language.

When I say anyone can seize control of their situation and carve out some measure of success, it's because I see these proud, hard-working people doing it, every day. There are failures, sure, but these folks don't stop, they learn what went wrong and are right back at it. They are revitalizing this town, and the success stories are growing in number on a regular basis.

So, yes: I contend anyone can adapt and overcome. It's uplifting to see. :beerchug:

prometheus
08-04-2017, 09:15 AM
Sharknado V baby!

I thought those movies were horrible, maybe not so much the actual vfx as to that of the editing and camera etc, acting and the film overall.

[QUOTE=shrox;1513936]Oh, Felix Coles, my friend and housemate in England did the production design on Sharknado V!

http://www.felixcoles.com[/QUOTE

and I think Greenlaw was in on it too..or some of those? sorry for me saying I thought the movie was horrible though...at least the first three.

jeric_synergy
08-04-2017, 09:15 AM
Pitch it to the Wifetime Channel (Lifetime actually, they always have "mom centric" movies.)

It is truly a neglected venue for VFX-heavy narratives.

shrox
08-04-2017, 09:22 AM
It is truly a neglected venue for VFX-heavy narratives.

Absolutely.

ianr
08-04-2017, 09:31 AM
Big productions are dead, hunger rates in indie movies or working for free/counting on any sort of gratification further down the line.

Unfortunately, young people from all over the world are ruining the market too as most of them still lives with their parents so they can freelance at cheaper rates and Fk things even more.

Same goes for photography, commercial photography is dead - It's much much worse than CG.

In other words you're either big or you're no one, there's no "middle" position there anymore.



Deeep & well strung together...

The Moloch of Autodesk shouts, free da world, use our app, buy more of our seats

open schools everywhere........ Autodesk is a worm eating itself.

Look at MPC's advert in Cinfex of the location of its overseas houses third in the pecking order.

This has been rolling on hand & fist with Autodesk for the last seven years or so.

CGI is Kronos.... he eats his children, then burps for more!

Ma3rk
08-04-2017, 08:14 PM
While I agree with much of what you're saying Spinny, I have to call you out a bit on the generic use of "Hollywood".

The entire world has been conditioned into equating Movie=Hollywood, much in the same way that facial tissue=Kleenex. Financing often is based out of New York and other places thousands of miles away from SoCal.

Very few feature films in recent years have been shot here. We did have some stage work for "Dunkirk" here, and that's been about it. Most of the work we get these days days are for TV or streaming on Netflix, Amazon, etc. Much of Warner Bros. feature work for example happens in Georgia or England!

The major studios are actually making more money on tours these days than actually making movies. It's very sad for those of us who work in production.

But, so it goes.

Spinland
08-04-2017, 08:17 PM
While I agree with much of what you're saying Spinny, I have to call you out a bit on the generic use of "Hollywood".


You are completely right; I was making a mental shortcut along the very Xerox/Kleenex lines you cite. My bad. :beerchug:

Where I'm at, in Upstate NY, NYC is more often the "enemy" than LA. Case in point: one of the major gigs I'm poised to land is more management than actual artmaking, and involves standing up a local medium-to-large (as opposed to my current one Spinny show) studio to give us folks in the real world an alternative to NYC and LA both. When the guy with the connections and the pockets responded to my proposal positively, he let on I was the second guy he asked. The first one quoted him LA/NYC level pricing and defended his numbers by invoking Guild rates. My connection showed him the door, harshly.

The Guild is, as I see it, completely out of touch with "Main Street" reality. Their rates are, literally, a tool to keep LA and NYC in the mix and squeeze out anyplace where numbers like those are more than laughable: they're insulting. I am here to stand as living evidence you can make a decent—even good—living outside those insanely-overpriced cities while charging rates that are literally (as a former state debating champion I use that term correctly) an order of magnitude below Guild guidelines. That's not racing to the bottom of the barrel, it's good and sensible fiscal policy. "Hollywood" (the big studio realm et al) is simply lost and adrift and sans a clue concerning where real folks live and work—and all that money makes them bland, risk averse, and simply boring.

shrox
08-04-2017, 09:50 PM
You are completely right; I was making a mental shortcut along the very Xerox/Kleenex lines you cite. My bad. :beerchug:

Where I'm at, in Upstate NY, NYC is more often the "enemy" than LA. Case in point: one of the major gigs I'm poised to land is more management than actual artmaking, and involves standing up a local medium-to-large (as opposed to my current one Spinny show) studio to give us folks in the real world an alternative to NYC and LA both. When the guy with the connections and the pockets responded to my proposal positively, he let on I was the second guy he asked. The first one quoted him LA/NYC level pricing and defended his numbers by invoking Guild rates. My connection showed him the door, harshly.

The Guild is, as I see it, completely out of touch with "Main Street" reality. Their rates are, literally, a tool to keep LA and NYC in the mix and squeeze out anyplace where numbers like those are more than laughable: they're insulting. I am here to stand as living evidence you can make a decent—even good—living outside those insanely-overpriced cities while charging rates that are literally (as a former state debating champion I use that term correctly) an order of magnitude below Guild guidelines. That's not racing to the bottom of the barrel, it's good and sensible fiscal policy. "Hollywood" (the big studio realm et al) is simply lost and adrift and sans a clue concerning where real folks live and work—and all that money makes them bland, risk averse, and simply boring.

Oh! Sounds great!