Wednesday, October 19, 2016

// VIEW Conference 2015 Part 2

Shaun the Sheep: Telling a Story Without No Dialogue

Richard Starzak (Creative Director) and Paul Kewley (Producer), Aardman Animationexplained how they decided to took 7 minute episode TV serie Shaun the Sheep to a 90 minute feature movie. The audience could see one of the scene made from sketches, through storyboard and animatic until the final stage. 
Aardman Animation will not stop making Shaun the Sheep, which became their most famous character, and we should expect new episodes this year.

Production Designing: Hotel Transylvania 2

The speaker, Michael Kurinsky (Production Designer at Sony Pictures Animation) spoke about difficulty and challenges in designing new characters,  places, choosing the right colours for the new Hotel Transylvania 2.

Dennis's hair was one of their challenges, they struggled to bring the appealing design from the drawings to the 3D model. Although the sketches have a perfectly enchanting looking, it does not mean that they will be as appealing in the 3D world.
Nevertheless, it was a good lesson for people who wants to have their career focused on designing characters. Lots of patience - lots of sketches.

Every Pictures Tells a Story

Jorge G. Gutierrez and his serie El Macho

Jorge G. Gutierrez, director, Annie and Emmy Awards winner related his life story; how he managed to create and released his recent movie, Book of Life. He started his career in the California Institute of Arts and later he developed the series El Macho and El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera. As he said, Gutierrez always put his own experience into his work, therefore, in El Tigre, the main character was young and confused as himself. Also he didn't hesitate to turn down an offer from Disney Studio. Later he explained how he got an offer from DreamWorks to make his own movie (based on the script of Book of Life) but he turned down the offer. Why somebody would say no to DreamWorks? Because the studio wanted to make the movie their own way. It wouldn't be a Mexican inspired world but a New York environment with confused, blonde, young, female character. Gutierrez moved on and he finally got an offer from Real FX Creative Studios with 50% of the budget and the rest was found thanks to Guillermo del Torro. Later on, another problem appeared when the studio wanted to change the ending and the director got an ultimatum: he had to change the ending or there would be no money for marketing. In the end agreement was reached and some changes were made.

Book of Life
It was a very inspiring speech. I have heard the amazing story of how one person (with his wife support) had achieved that much. Never give up and follow your dreams.

The Spirit and The Stories of PDI

Glen Entis, computer animation and video games pioneer, Oscar Award winner narrated the origin of PDI ( Pacific Data Images) until its last day in 2015. 
When I have read the news on Twitter, I couldn't believe that suddenly 200 people lost their job. I have got the occasion to hear and see tears in the eyes of those ex-employees who had worked and spent an amazing time over there. Also, the audience had the opportunity to hear good advises about how to run the businesses. 
  1. Milk the cash cow - yes, it sounds harsh but being honest, if you need to run your company, you need money and you cannot lower the price or sicken your client with yourself.
  2. Never have debts in equipment - I think that nowadays, with banks restricting loans and a never ending economic crisis, working only with what we can afford is not a bad idea. Obviously we speak about creating a studio where you would need good PCs, you would only start with 5 of them and then grow progressively...
  3. Reinvest the money in the field.
Beginning of 3D software
The company started they adventure with creating 3D software, motion graphics and broadcast graphics for TV stations. We could see how 30 years ago all calculations, measurements were made by people where now everything is done by software. In the 90's PDI focused on CGI and started developing their first 3D animation and at the same time they were bought by DreamWorks SKG. PDI's first feature film was Antz. Who ever followed DreamWorks on the markets, knows that 3 years ago company had some big lost. In January 2015, PDI was closed.

ILM: 40 Years of Creating the Impossible

The team for Industrial Light&Magic reminded us how much the studio has done for movies ... or rather for special effects in the industry. It was funny to see show real of the studio and realised that ILM has probably participated in all Hollywood movies special effects! Obviously, this isn't the truth but we cannot deny how much effort the company put into it. 
We heard few stories about different movies. In The Perfect Storm, the creation of water was quite challenging. In Pearl Harbour, they created new techniques for light and smoke; also, during the Japan attack over USA, planes and some of the ships were CGI, whereas the rest were just big miniatures. For Harry Potter movies, the studio made a new engine for fire and in Dragon Heart (1996) they were challenged with facial expressions. Now ILM focuses on VR technologies.
And for all fans out there...


Over all the conferences were amazing. Not only because you get inspired but also because it is the most honest conference I had heard. People who works for international studios also struggles with lack of money for new projects (like Mark Osborne who tries to collect money for a new 2D stop-motion animation taking place in Space), making some agreement with producers, trying to make things you love and show them to the world. It was worth to see all this amazing work and hear stories that can happen to everyone.

Monday, May 2, 2016

// VIEW Conference 2015 part 1

It was the first time that I attended to the VIEW Conference. I was very pleased being there and listening what other artists had to say. In my opinion there were the most honest panels I had ever attended, I will explain it later (see part 2).

The Challenge of Adapting a Beloved Classic: The Little Prince

Mark Osborne

At the first panel Mark Osborne introduced us with his private journey with the book Little Prince. The book followed him all his life. He likes so much the story that at the beginning he refused to create a movie based on Saint-ExupĂ©ry's novel. Finally, when he felt ready, he created this amazing movie combining stop motion animation and 3D. It wasn't a secret that producers were seeing this movie made only in 3D but fortunately the makers could present the parts of the book as a paper-fragile world. Only the concepts were made in France and rest of a production in Montreal and Ottawa.

It was interesting and inspiring to see that Mark Osborne's traveling book becomes his destination; though he wasn't aware of it and neither can we.

Sculpting a Galaxy: Inside the ILM Star Wars Model Shop

Obligatory panel for every fan of Star Wars. It was part of celebration of Light and Magic's 40th anniversary. Lorne Peterson presented us some of his work. He has done models and miniatures for all six Star Wars movies. Funny fact, in all movies G. Lucas used models, even if he wanted to push CGI in parts 1, 2 and 3, e.g. the Lava's scene on Mustafar at the end of episode 3. It  is a huge amount of work, and models had to be destroyed during shooting (explosion...) but Lorne did not feel sad or bad, it was just part of a creative work.

Woman in Animation Panel: 50/50 by 2025

The panel was hold by Jinko Gotoh (Board Member and Film Producer), Kim White (Director of Photography), Mikki Rose (Director), Deborah Fowler (Visual Effects Professor) and Mark Osborne. The panel presented an idea by Woman In Animation (WIA) to try to increase the amount of women in the animation field. The goal is to get 50% of female employees by 2025. There were presented statistics from USA and France about how many women study animation and then work in the industry. For example in USA there are only 10% producers/directors or 23% in animation; whereas the statistics are looking better in France. WIA doesn't want to discriminate males employees, because anyway, skills remain important, it's just to make a point and notice a problem. 

//To be continued...

Thursday, March 31, 2016


So, I finally refreshed my virtual portfolio!

Now, there are 6 different categories and also new projects!

In the section Motion Graphics are the latest animations, which I have made while I was working as a Motion Graphic Designer.
In the section Project there is a stop-motion animation. That was a big challenge! But, in the end I have learned new technical stuff about cameras.

Let me guys know what you think about them:)

I the next post I will write about the VIEW Conference 2015 in Turin (Italy).