The Visual Effects Pipeline is a fascinating subject for me and something that is a little difficult to wrap your head around at first. However, coming from the world of film production workflow getting up to speed is achievable quite quickly. Andrew Whitehurst does an amazing job at breaking down each part of the process and making things clear for everyone to understand.
Today I happened to walk by the Apple store here in Osaka, Japan and there were a bunch of flowers and notes laid on the sidewalk for Steve Jobs. He passed away on October 6th at the young age of 56. It made me think of how precious our time on this earth really is. Steve Jobs really did make the most of his time and in the process left a legacy of innovation that will be felt for generations to come. His achievements and words still resonant with us:
A lot of people ask me "What does Lifestyle Design mean?" Well, I would say Steve Jobs was the ultimate lifestyle designer:
"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."
One of Ridley's "Ridleygrams" from the production of Blade Runner
“Ridley Scott is one of the finest visual stylists in films. He was trained as a painter and art director, and is an established graphic designer. In the early stages of the production of Blade Runner, he communicated his ideas in sketches, which became known among stuff as “Ridleygrams”. He cites a variety of inspirations and influences for his visual style in Blade Runner, among them Hogarth drawings, “thirties” photographs, and the contemporary comic strip work of Jean Giraud (better known as Moebius)”. (from ‘Blade Runner Sketchbook’)
As filmmakers we always run in to the need to illustrator our ideas to get our points across, however if you are like me you are no Picasso. I used to consider myself absolutely useless at drawing. Now I am drawing fairly decent storyboards that at least get my points across to my crew. Something that has greatly helped me in the improvement of my artwork is the book The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards. It really shows you how to approach drawing from a new perspective. Betty Edwards made me realise it's all a matter of looking at things with loving attention (and not attaching a name to the bit you are drawing). Drawing is a skill that everyone can learn. Do it with this book!
Listen to what Tim says here starting from around 7:42 ~ very useful for filmmakers and creative types...
Tim Ferris on Fear, Writing, and Finding your Voice:
"A big help is focusing on process over outcome, so for me the way I had to look at the book was putting togehter this was almost like examing my own thoughts and organizing my own thoughts around specific topics, even if it didn't get published it would be a useful exercise.
Then as I am writing the book I thought to myself if this ends up being read by a dozen people and it changes two or three of their lives, and I wrote for my friends as side note. I first ended up with this pompous shit, like 4 or 5 syllable words and that was horrible so then I went to looney tunes/Three Stooges slap stick which was also horrible, so I threw away four or five chapters and had two glass wine and sat down and said I'm gonna write this like I am writing an email to my best friends and that is how it started, that's how I found my voice..."
Tim Ferris had been an inspiration to me since 2007, I have been reading his blog and following his advice. I believe Tim is absolutely right about writing within your own circle of influence and not worrying about the greater world of concern. As further evidence to what Tim is saying, below is one of the greatest pieces of advice I have heard on taking off the mask and finding your own voice issue:
Q: If you had only one chance to impart some words of wisdom to an aspiring filmmaker, which would you choose to give?
Everything begins to make sense when you realise that you can’t pretend to be some other film-maker who’s richer, more populist, flashier than you, any more than you can make their films again. Your only ticket is your own voice, and you can lose everything by worrying that your personal interests will bankrupt you and some you don’t understand will make you money. All commissioning editors and financiers look at in the end is: what’s the relationship between this person and this material? Is the relationship intimate enough that we’ll find the right price and the script will just go on getting better? So forget “commercial” and “arthouse” and all that slang – just do passionate, correctly priced and well-informed work and you’re on to a winner. Also be a total perfectionist. Never say “I can live with that”. Never.
Success without stress is, in one sense, as foolish as the idea of weight loss without controlling your diet. However, the popluar saying "no pain no gain" is not always the case. I don't think we were all intended to suffer to gain our accomplishments in life. To rest on this type of thinking will guarantee yourself a lot of misery. I think you will have a far more enjoyable life and be a far more effective individual if you learn to mentally s-l-o-w yourself down enough to drink some SAKE and savor your experiences. Take a look at Yasujiro Ozu's movie making schedule below: