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 […]

Off-Site vs On-Site

Working remotely requires a strong capacity to trust other people. By default, meeting good reasonable people in person builds trust. Getting to know someone immediately in front of you will generally result in much stronger bond of trust than working remotely. I’ve noticed that the further away from ‘in-person’ you are from a relationship the more people instinctively demonize each other, or ‘them’. Regular video chat can be helpful, talking on the phone is almost as good, instant message is the next step, email is convenient but its the absolute limit of a modern day working relationship. Anything less and the other person becomes the enemy. What’s alarming is how two sets of reasonable people with the best of intentions assume flaws, fault, laziness, selfishness, and all kinds of other issues upon each other as the communication methods reduce down to email. Cultural differences throw up defenses even faster. I’ve caught myself making the same assumptions at times, but I push through it and try to see the other side’s perspective. The less you know about the other person though, the harder it gets to relate to them, so it’s only natural for us to demonize the unknown. Different personality […]

Virtual Studios and Remote Collaboration

For Siggraph 2013 my friends and I put on a presentation along with a question and answer session to talk about remote collaboration. The following is a summary of the introduction I gave and two videos containing the audio, slide shows and clips we showed at the event. The speakers included: David Andrade and Mark Olson from http://www.theoryanimation.com Matt Berenty and David Bokser from http://www.loveinthetimeofadvertising.com Kenny Roy from http://collabs.arconyx.com Michael Cawood and Shane Davis from http://devilsangelsanddating.com The United Nations predicts that by 2050, 70% of the world’s population will live in the cities. Can you imagine that? In terms of mankind, as one big machine, cities are essentially more efficient. But on the individual level, they’re expensive and you can expect a lower quality of life for your earnings. I’d like to challenge that prediction, and suggest that the U.N. hasn’t accounted for the increasing development of remote collaboration, and in the case of our industry, Virtual Studios. I’m going to use animated features as an example for our discussion, but many of the principles apply to visual effects, TV series, commercials, games and many other industries. Let’s jump back in time first to remind ourselves of some of the […]