Siggraph 2017 Panel – Online Studios

I’ll be speaking on a panel at Siggraph to showcase our work on The Wrong Rock and talk about working in an online studio environment. http://s2016.siggraph.org/birds-feather Remote Studio Productions: Online Collaboration Tuesday, 1 August, 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm, Los Angeles Convention Center A discussion of issues related to online collaboration in production.

Hollywood Reporter on The Mummy Previs

The Hollywood Reporter spoke to Ron Frankel and I about the work Proof did on The Mummy for the Zero-G sequence. Of course there was even more impressive work we did than just this sequence. I’d like to add that although the LA office kicked off the project, this was largely done by the talented Proof crew in the UK. This was an exciting project to be a part of. I saw the film in IMAX 3D and it’s a lot of fun! Read the full article here: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/behind-screen/mummy-behind-scenes-zero-g-stunt-1011921

Tips for Making Films with a Remote Team

I contributed some tips to the Artella Blog. Advanced Tips Recruiting – Depending on your own strongest skills it might not be worth recruiting for some skill sets. Recruitment is a commitment in itself and it can be very time consuming reaching out, filtering, vetting and introducing new team members. That might be time better spent working on the project yourself. While some areas are easy to recruit for and benefit the project greatly. Choose wisely. Communication – This is key to every team member, especially when you’re operating a remote project. If a team member lacks the language skills, can’t write responses or even read your notes…. it’s going to be a struggle. Partnership – Find out what your team members want to get out of their involvement in the project, then make sure they are getting it. If people realize they aren’t getting what they want and they’re paid they won’t last long. But if they realize they’re not getting what they want and they’re volunteers, they’ll drop the project so fast, you often won’t even hear about it until you’ve wasted a lot of time chasing them. So make sure both sides are meeting their goals, or […]

The OceanMaker Insider Part 5 – Pixar

Continued from Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4. It’s the Summer of 2014… a Friday and I was working on the Fox lot in Los Angeles for Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb when I got a call from my friend, Lucas Martell. We were invited to screen The OceanMaker at Pixar, and while we’re at it could we do a Q&A for them too. Pop! …. that was my brain exploding. Oh, and can we do it on Monday? Argh! So after begging my supervisor, Eric, for a day off, I drove up to San Francisco on Sunday and stayed with some friends ready for Monday morning (thank you Paul and Maria… big hug). I was lucky I was close enough to drive. Not all of the team could make it. Luckily Lucas and Christina Martell were in the area at the time. However Henning Koczy, had to go above and beyond to get there from New York. But there we were at Pixar, with thanks to Colin for setting it all up and giving us the tour (on his day off, I might add. How much does he love that place?). The OceanMaker crew arrives at […]

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – Trailer 3

The third trailer for Dawn of the planet of the Apes is out now, and it showcases a few shots I worked on, and many more I recognize. I worked on the film at MPC for a couple of months last year. It’s exciting to see it coming together. I’m still on the prowl for a big poster to take a picture alongside.

Love in the Time of Advertising

Love in the Time of Advertising is online. The fascinating thing is how many people I have come across over the years that had a hand in making this film. It’s been a long time coming, and I was lucky enough to see several early versions. But even then it was really strong… and really knew what it was. It just had to go through production. I guess the earliest versions I saw were in the last few years of production, but I’d have loved to have seen some of the versions way back when it was still in story development. That would have been fascinating, as it’s such a wild idea and getting the tone, the world and the rules of the world working would have been quite challenging. Anyway, it’s well worth checking out. An inspiration to short filmmakers.

Musicals Un-Frozen

Frozen comes out soon and with it, I think, a reboot for Musicals. I liked Tangled a lot but the songs in Frozen are, to my taste, much stronger. Growing up with Aladdin and The Lion King… animated musicals have a lot to live up to with me, but I think Frozen was definitely a step in the right direction and it’s comparable with Beauty and the Beast. I love animated musicals… not for every single animated feature, it’s great to have seen the medium pull away enough to try other things, but there’s plenty of room to go either way now that we’ve cleansed the pallet for a few years, if they’re done properly. (Actually there’s even room to diversify further in animation but that’s a different blog post.)   The songs in Frozen were largely memorable, well performed and integral to the story. I didn’t know much about the film when I arrived in the theater so it was a bit of a shock when the first story based songs started. But once you realize what you’re watching it’s pretty good. The film does skew towards a young female audience, but that’s ok. This is definitely feeding the […]

Animated Bird Movies

With the release of Free Birds I thought I’d do a little research on animated movies focused on birds. They have a patchy track record and I have some theories about that. But here’s a good list of the most memorable ones of recent years. Year – Title – Studio – Rotten Tomatoes – Worldwide Gross 2000 – Chicken Run – Aardman – 97% – $224,834,564 2005 – Valiant – Vanguard – 31% – $61,746,888 2006 – Happy Feet – Animal Logic – 75% – $384,335,608 2007 – Surf’s Up – Sony Animation – 78% – $149,044,513 2010 – Legend of the Guardians – Animal Logic – 50% – $140,073,390 2011 – Happy Feet 2 – Dr D. Studios – 46% – $150,406,466 2011 – Rio – Blue Sky – 72% – $484,635,760 2013 – Free Birds – Reel FX – 18% – $110,150,480 2014 – Rio 2 – Blue Sky – 47% – $449,566,926 Happy Feet (which I was lucky enough to work on) was a bit of a surprise hit at the time, and even went on to win an Oscar. It racked up a lot more money many than I think most people expected. I don’t remember […]

Orson Welles Award

I went to San Diego over the weekend to the California Film Awards to accept the Orson Welles Award on behalf of our film. It was a long ceremony with a lot of categories but it turns out the Orson Welles Award was way up there towards the most prestigious categories, so it was quite an honour. I asked someone to use my phone to shoot video of my speech but unfortunately I forgot to press record when i handed it over, and they didn’t either… so I’ll paraphrase roughly what I said: “This film was made for roughly… zero dollars, so I want to thank the Animation community for putting up with all the begging and grovelling we had to do to get this film made. But mostly I’d like to thanks the one hundred or so talents artists that volunteered their time to make this film. Thank you!” As a side note… the life of an animator isn’t compatible with an award like this. We often have to keep moving around, and this thing is soooo heavy!