Today’s big news is that the Toronto chapter of the VES is bringing Phil Tippett in to talk. Mr. Tippett let the news leak out on his Twitter page a few days ago, but the VES email went out yesterday. For those of you unfamiliar with his work, he’s been a significant contributor to the VFX industry for over 30 years. Some of his earliest work was as a stop motion animator on Star Wars.
He did a Reddit AMA almost a year ago when he dropped this classic quote about the VFX industry:
In the olden days, producers knew what visual effects were. Now they’ve gotten into this methodology where they’ll hire a middleman – a visual effects supervisor, and this person works for the producing studio. They’re middle managers. And when you go into a review with one of them, there’s this weird sort of competition that happens. It’s a game called ‘Find What’s Wrong With This Shot’. And there’s always going to be something wrong, because everything’s subjective. And you can micromanage it down to a pixel, and that happens all the time. We’re doing it digitally, so there’s no pressure to save on film costs or whatever, so it’s not unusual to go through 500 revisions of the same shot, moving pixels around and scrutinizing this or that. That’s not how you manage artists. You encourage artists, and then you’ll get – you know – art. If your idea of managing artists is just pointing out what’s wrong and making them fix it over and over again, you end up with artists who just stand around asking “OK lady, where do you want this sofa? You want it over there? No? Fine. You want it over there? I don’t give a fuck. I’ll put it wherever you want it.” It’s creative mismanagement, it’s part of the whole corporate modality. The fish stinks from the head on down. Back on Star Wars, Robocop, we never thought about what was wrong with a shot. We just thought about how to make it better.
He gets it. I plan on attending this.
Montreal is going crazy with work. First off, Cinesite is expanding their studio to include a feature animation unit. Screen Daily has an article about it as well. Not just that, but Atomic Fiction is expanding to Montreal as well!
Awesome animation pencil test by Milt Kahl (one of Disney’s Nine Old Men, from The Jungle Book)
More ‘making of’ articles for The Maze Runner, this time from the Cinefex blog.
Very sweet comp breakdown.
4K is coming, if it’s not already here.