Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Working Toward Goals on the Side

There are other ways to advance (or get into) MovieLand besides doing free shots for a fly-by-night shorts producer on-line. There is, for instance, this route:

A young man, in this case named Gary H. Lee, is working his way up the creative ladder at a major studio, DreamWorks Animation. ... “I’m the head of layout for Kung Fu Panda 2. That’s the equivalent of being a cinematographer on a live action film. It’s actually probably one of the best places to work, to be honest.”

... Hector Corp ... [is] Lee’s first professional animated short. The work is so well done that Dreamworks Animation is actually going out of its way to support the independent film, even though the only real connection they have to it is Lee being an employee of theirs. ...

... [W]hen it came to Hector the difficult part of it is I’ve worked on four different Dreamworks films while making this,” Lee recalls. ... “There were many times when I would have to put Hector on hold while I worked on a major sequences like Tai-Lin’s escape or the bridge fight in the first Kung Fu Panda. Then again, it’s something that if you are a true artist that you just have to do. You have to have that drive/passion for your own work.” ...

The point of this tale is, if you have the itch to create, then go create. Digital filmmaking equipment gets cheaper and cheaper. And YouTube is there as an instant distributor for the Master Works you turn out. If you want to shoot a film ... or do an oil painting of Aunt Miriam ... or write a novel or create an animated short, then go do it. Nothing is stopping you except your own inertia.

And then, after you've created a few pieces of art that have (hopefully) gotten steadily better as you've mastered the sets of skills necessary to do them, you can, if you so desire, use those pieces as crow-bars to pry your way into MovieLand. (All it takes is talent, tenacity and luck.  And if you have an abundance of one of those three things, then you'll need less of the other two. Or so William Goldman tells me.)

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but even though being head of lay-out is a wonderful achievement, it is NOT the equivalent of a live action cinematographer. Far from.

Anonymous said...

Du-oh! (Sound of palm slapping forehead). That's what I forgot to do this week; make a movie! It must be that old insidious inertia again. I suppose that a lazy bum like me just doesn't deserve to be employed. And to think, I used to complain about tests!

Anonymous said...

Wow, Mr. Sensitive above sure misread the post. Dude, it's not saying that you're a loser who doesn't deserve employment if you don't make your own film. It says that, if you have the urge to create stuff for no pay, then work for yourself and make your own creations instead of contributing for free to something that some lowball producer is going to go profit from.

Anonymous said...

I'm not stupid, dude. In fact I made a similar point in a previous posting when someone tried to justify participating in that project for the potential career bump.

I was reacting to Steve's use of the word, "inertia." Intentional or not, there was a little bit of charge behind that. We need a change in the industry, not motivational speeches.

In fact, most people who apply for CG work already have demo reels. That should be enough. Openings are so scarce these days, that you practically have to demonstrate the you can run a studio before you can get hired by one.

It's no joke. I know of at least one small studio that requires independent projects along with samples for consideration for animation work.

Anonymous said...

There are worse words than "inertia."

How about "sloth?"

Anonymous said...

Exactly.

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