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monochromatic alps

I live and work in Cieszyn. I graduated English philology. I have three passions in life: photography, traveling and snowboarding. <read all about him and see his photos here> @ <http://www.behance.net/>

Stunning!

aliens: mothers, monsters and marines

Aliens: Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver)

James Cameron’s 1986 filmAliens contains a fascinating exploration of the way Western culture has traditionally aligned feminine characteristics onto nature while masculine characteristics have been aligned with civilisation. However, far from the more clear cut representation of this dichotomy that Cameron would later explore inAvatar (2009), where feminine/nature equalled good and masculine/civilisation equalled bad, Aliens has a more complex exploration by presenting two extremes of femininity with masculinity caught in the crossfire in the middle… <read the full article here> @ <http://blog.cinemaautopsy.com/>

WOOOoooooo, love the alien(s)…  Both are classics, and we’re using them as benchmarks for Rangda.  Love the line of “Alien is the best haunted house movie ever.”  Completely sums it up.

visual effects industry bill of rights?

43 of the top 50 films of all time are visual effects driven. Today, visual effects are the “Movie Stars” of studio tentpole pictures – that is, visual effects make contemporary movies box office hits in the same way that big name actors ensured the success of films in the past… <read the full bill of rights here>

I find this read incredibly interesting…  It directly relates to everything we stand for and all the reasons we’ve started up VisPop.

It’s well documented, the state of the union in vfx…  You can read about vfx becoming a commodity here and here.  Hard work, unfair conditions, pressure from clients in an industry with very few buyers, vendors undercutting each other and on and on…  We at VisPop spent many years on the front lines, in all roles on the vfx vendor side.  We fought and scrapped just like everyone else to make ends meet in a low margin ball game.  Sometimes we were successful, sometimes we weren’t… Just like everyone else. But we learned from our mistakes, we implemented processes, we got better, and we eaked out our living.

I like these descriptions of the  vfx industry in the VES’s bill of rights:

  • a central role in today’s feature films
  • visual effects are the “Movie Stars” of studio tentpole pictures
  • Visual effects drive the entertainment marketplace  which entertains billions of people across the globe, and earns billions of net profit dollars each year.

If those aren’t signs of potential I don’t know what are. So the question of the day then becomes, with all this potential where’s the leverage? With all this potential, where is the leverage? Repeat it a third time… With all this potential, where is the leverage. That is the question we asked when we started VisPop! I mean shit, this is the question that made us leave our good jobs in vfx, jump off the ledge, and risk everything we have on a new company.

The vfx industry is the most broadly creative department in filmmaking. When I say the word creative here, I mean true “creativity” – combining technology, problem solving, pragmatism, and heart. Some of the best artists of our age are working on vfx concept art, we have the understanding of storytelling through camera-work in previs, color theory and composition in digital lighting, performance through animation, programmers with PHD’s coding bleeding edge scientific tools… the industry creates ANYTHING imaginable, any scenario, any character – every single day! if we can create anything imaginable, we can tell any story imaginable… that’s a phenomenal concept! BUT if you ask studio filmmakers about vfx, they’ll tell you “oh yeah, they’re the guys with the chrome balls running around on set”. (To be fair, it is extremely hard to credit what you don’t understand, and vfx is a black box that very few outside the industry are able to invest the time needed to truly understand). Soooo, perception (chrome balls) isn’t matching reality (creative filmmakers).

Let’s go back to vfx being creative, techie, problem solving, pragmatic, and having ticker. Guess what folks, that’s a pretty good definition of Innovation. That’s right, we’re incredibly innovative people in an industry driven by innovation. BUT where the hell is our innovation in business models? In negotiations? In being the entrepreneurs of our projects? In management? Where are the industry’s “chrome balls” (this time I’m not talking about the ones on set). Hopefully you see where I’m going here… Where are our Film Producer skills as an industry? We have some very competent, excellent individuals in the industry that would/could/will make excellent feature film producers, but as a whole the industry is too overwhelmed with the business of innovating creativity and technology to be bothered with innovating business.

So, here we are managing %25 to in some cases %50 of a feature film’s budget and we’re not producers on the film??? Sometimes we’re credited as producers, but if %33 percent of the budget is vfx, where is the %33 percent of decision making across all the departments… casting, location, financing, distribution, production?

So what is VisPop doing about all this? We’re broadening our scope in the filmmaking process… we’re teaming with independent filmmakers to push the innovation of the entire filmmaking process. Through that we’ll change the perception of where vfx/spectacle fits into the filmmaking industry, and parlay that into leverage into more filmmaking negotiations. “We’re filmmakers not shot makers.” Scream it from the roofs!

So can a couple of dudes from VisPop make a difference? Can a couple of long-timers from the vfx industry change the way films are financed, made, distributed?? Hopefully we can help get things rolling. Hopefully we can get more people from the industry involved in the entire filmmaking process. Hopefully we can start the movement. So just ask yourself: “With all this potential, where is the leverage?”

Next time I’ll write about the difference between what VisPop is doing about it, and the many salvation cries throughout the industry of “create your own content”.

robot nominated to carry Olympic flame

robo.JPG Scientists at Aberystwyth University have nominated a humanoid robot to carry the Olympic Flame as part of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay… <read the full article here>

Bring it on!

 

could star wars happen today?

The original Star Wars was a miracle of seat-of-the-pants film-making that captured the world’s imagination and boosted science fiction to new popularity.

But could something like Star Wars even get made today? There’s plenty of reason to doubt it… <read the full article here> @ <http://io9.com/>

Not only could it… but VisPop is gonna be the ones to do it!

himatio: andrea petrachi

 

 

Andrea Petrachi a.k.a. Himatic creates cyber sculptures from things most of people simply throw away.  His work is based on the assembly of everyday items,  discarded electronics, gadgets and toys.  <see all the images and find out more here>

Stephan Geyer’s photostream

Ether Drift

I like…

Black and White Photography
Bokeh
Contrast-y photos
Landscape-Oriented photos, but not much into Landscape photography
My 85L
My 5D
My Cat
My Macbook (and Macs as a whole, for that matter)
Portraiture Photography
Primes
Aperture
Candids
Street Photography <see all his photos here>

Wicked photography!  Great vibe!

synectic

Synectic is an online creative showcase of freelance designer and illustrator Wojciech Pijecki. Wojciech’s been working for many clients worldwide, meanwhile constantly co-operating with Envato Network. He is a member of Slashthree art collective and a part Grapetree group. <see all the work here> @ <http://www.behance.net>

 

platt: bigfoot boom in banff?

Bigfoot

That’s the assertion of a dedicated bigfoot research organization based near Calgary, which claims not only to have video and photo evidence of the mythical beast, but DNA proof as well… <read the full story here> @ <http://www.calgarysun.com/>

Why @TheiPhotographr represents the future of film production

 

Standing Tall (Dan Misner-Best Boy Grip)  @fatkidmovie #iP

Instead of being a rarity, people like Patrick are going to be the norm. You’ll have a crew full of people sharing photos and thoughts from your production. They’ll all bring their own built-in audiences along with them and it’ll be the production’s job to maximize that contribution…  <see the images, and read the story here>  @ <http://www.ayearwithoutrent.com/>

This is great… I’d be into having the crews tweet away about the production, and use your film’s website to capture that audience.  This guy is onto something… plus the pics are cool!