Sunday, 30 September 2012

Film Industry Revenue

Over the next few blog posts I will be going into more detail of the Visual Effects Industry and Film Industry in relation to the blog post titled 'Film Industry Presentation'. This will give me a greater understanding of the industries and a start into what I can put into my Kinetic Typography Video.

To begin the next few blog posts, I will be starting with the Film Industry revenue and how it has increased over the years.

There is a report (Link) that stats that in 2011 the total revenue of the movies and entertainment market was $90.1 billion, of which, box office sales were the biggest percentage taking in 37.3%, or £33.6 billion. Additionally, it looks towards the future that predicts that in 2016, the total revenue will reach $93 billion.

An interesting table of figures (Link)show that the Film Industry revenue has increased, but comparing it to previous years, it is fluctuating up and down between $10-13 billion (This is only ticket sales).


Year         Total (M)          2012-Adjusted (M)
2012        $3,859.80          $3,859.80
2011        $10,174.10        $10,161.27
2010        $10,565.50        $10,605.67
2009        $10,595.50        $11,188.85
2008        $9,630.70          $10,623.28
2007        $9,663.70          $11,124.49
2006        $9,209.50          $11,135.76
2005        $8,840.50          $10,923.05
2004        $9,380.50          $11,963.54
2003        $9,239.70          $12,135.73
2002        $9,155.00          $12,479.79
2001        $8,412.50          $11,771.55
2000        $7,661.00          $11,256.98

Although a lot of reports aren't up to 2012, however, it is possible to view the trend that is happening to the Film Industry revenue. This link (Link) shows three graphs of the state of the revenue from both the US domestic and worldwide revenues. Interestingly, it shows a decline of 5% of Box Office, DVD Sales and Rentals within the US, whilst if the International markets are included, the Box Office, DVD Sales and Rentals show a 54% increase over the previous decade. Additionally, throughout the past decade, the complete revenue of the Film Industry is 5%, with 2004 being the height of sales due to DVD becoming very popular well over $100 billion.

To conclude this blog post, there has been an increase in revenue but if this is compared to previous years, then there has been a steady decline in ticket sales. The public is also becoming aware of the 3D prices and not seeing that they're worth it. One thing to point out is that G.I. Joe 2 was pushed back 6 months to be converted to 3D to increase ticket sales (the cost of the ticket being up to $5 more than a normal priced ticket). So something needs to be done within the Film Industry to start increasing the revenue but in a better way.

The VFX Capital

Through some more thorough research, I've found that London, unbelievably to me, is the VFX capital of the world. The fact that the VFX capital is in the UK and on my doorstep is brilliant news  as I have a huge opportunity in front of me. The one reason why I said 'unbelievably to me' above is that the biggest part of the Film Industry is Hollywood, so it surprises me that it would actually be in the UK.

Visual Effects can be used in nearly everything including commercials, TV series, music videos and video games, which is not surprising to someone who wants to become part of this industry. Throughout the past three years, the visual effects industry has grown by 70% showing an increase in demand in more detailed technologically stunning films, commercials, etc. According to some reports, almost 90% of the current film and commercial needs now warrant visual effects to enhance the viewer's experience. Therefore, London exports the largest number of commercials, totaling £2 billion in revenue.

Furthermore, if a modern film costs $100 million to produce then between 20-40% of that is given to visual effects companies. Double Negative, the largest VFX company with around 1,100 employees, receiving around 7 films a year could create $140-280 million in revenue.

So with the chance to work in the VFX capital on my doorstep, I have to start looking into how I can truly break into the industry.

VFX Company Showreel

Below I will be showcasing some of the VFX companies' showreels. All VFX companies showcase what they have done in the past so that potential employers can choose the best company to go with. It's all about making it easy for the employer.

Double Negative

The Mill

Moving Picture Company


The Visual Effects Company

These are just five of the companies within the UK, but there are numerous other visual effects companies worldwide. Although I would love to work at Double Negative, I just hope to be part of the Film Industry, and through determination and my skill set I hope to do just that.

The link below shows a map of VFX companies within London, however, I can search the entire world for companies, giving the chance to let me choose a company in my ideal destination.

VFX Company Map

I disagree with the list that is featured on Wikipedia as I've seen some VFX companies not feature on it, however, this list is probably the most well known VFX companies in the world, so until it is updated, here are 88 VFX Companies.

88 VFX Companies featured on Wikipedia

Trends of the Film Industry

Throughout this blog post I will be looking at many of the trends within the Film Industry.

Below is a document about the trends of genres within films. There are some interesting theories on the rise and fall of many genres, relating to 20 out of the 28 genres that uses to catergorise each film that is released from 1967 - 2008. Interestingly, the tables at the end of the document show that Action and Adventure categories are steadily increasing whilst other genres such as biography, documentary and drama have steadily decreased in number from the Top 20 of each year.


Below is a link to a site that uses information from over 2,000 webpages to make up statistics about the Film Industry from 1995 - 2012, all of which show some big trends year to year. Since 1995, the revenue from films range from $1.25 billion to over $1.5 billion, with the highest revenue so far being 2002, whilst 2012 has already beaten 2011 total and still has 3 months left of revenue to collect, so depending on the films released over the coming months, 2012 could be the biggest revenue year to date.

A very interesting trend is that the highest rating for the top grossing film of each year since 1995 show that PG is the highest rating that was given to those movies. Children obviously make up a large amount of the audience, whilst they will probably bring their parents to view the films, adding even more movie-goers. Additionally, from the results it shows that PG-13 is the third most popular rating yet is the highest grossing category by over $30 billion.


Below is a very casual website about films but the article points out five trends that are ruining the Film Industry.
  1. Sequels - Shows that publishers are more likely to endorse a film that is more likely to succeed then to take a chance on something original.
  2. Adaption/Remake - Similar to the above, publishers are more likely to endorse a film that has already proved successful either in a film form or other medias such as the current comic book trend.
  3. Piracy - This will always be a major problem, however, the Film Industry is still grossing billions in profit, so the effects could be negliable.
  4. Knock-Offs - Basically films that are of poorer quality than their counterparts. One example is Battle: Los Angeles (Successful film) to Battle of Los Angeles (Poor quality films), so basically leeching of other film's success.
  5. Rating System - The system is flawed as it can decide the success of the films thus meaning that parts of films are cut out such as The Hunger Games that had 7 seconds cut out due to the blood violence, so to make it completely appropriate for a PG-13 rating, those 7 seconds were cut out.


There are numerous research papers and articles on the internet about the trends within the Film Industry that it would be impossible to comment on them all, so above show three of the most important research into the trend of the Film Industry.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Self Promotion

To begin this blog post off I am going to say that there needs to be something to show and this includes:
  • Showreel
  • Portfolio
  • Website
  • Business Cards
  • CV
  • Blog

In order to get a name for yourself within the industry, self promotion is a must. There are numerous methods ranging from the simple to the 'out of this world'. Some of these include:
  • Create a Facebook profile for my work such as 'Michael Dixon Compositor' that showcases my work and what I'm working on, and then furthering this to send out the Facebook to employers (add it at the end of the showreel). It also gives a point of call to make contacts within the industry as more and more people 'like' the page.
  • Use LinkedIn to its greatest potential, such as connecting with people that could give advice and perhaps pass on your name to other people that give a chance of getting employed.
  • Do some freelance work that helps to improve your skills but also experience to put on a CV.
  • Create a twitter account, similar to the first point above, self promote what you're doing at the time and post interesting articles and blogs that may interest other people (preferably in the same field as yourself).
  • A very cheeky way to promote by email is to have the title as 'Oops I'm Sorry...' which gave one person their most opened email. Although it does mislead people, it does make people open it to see what people are sorry for.
  • (Idea from Phil) Xmas email cards that get your name out there in a nice, polite way, and gives people the chance to view your showreel. It's all about discreet self promotion.
  • Free tutorials that get your name across whilst also helping out individuals that aren't as far progress as yourself. I have seen some students do this already but not on a large scale, which is unfortunate, as it gives you a good reputation.
  • Try to win awards so that you can tell employers that you are a good student, one such place to advertise as a 3D modeller is CG Student Awards (Link).
  • Try to self promote at festival/conferences, I already have a ticket for the VFX Festival in London on the 10-13th October 2012, but there numerous other events, especially for game artists to attend, throughout the year.
  • Unique items such as a keyring, booklets, bags, playing cards, etc.
  • Use recruitment companies, Escape Studios has recruitment links that could prove useful in order to be able to appeal to potential employers.
  • Do something different. Advertise on the escalators on the Underground so people see your work. It's all about doing something different to get noticed.

These are just a few things that can be done. Self Promotion is the result of how much effort you put in, so to get results, a lot of work has to be done.

Throughout the next few weeks I will be looking into each of these and thinking of what I can do with the budget I have.

Future Work

Over the coming weeks, I will be uploading sketches of different parts of my showreel that I hope to achieve before the end of February next year so I can start sending out my CV and showreel.

At the moment, I have four different part of my showreel that I hope to achieve.

  1. The beginning of the showreel that displays my name and job role I will be applying for. As mentioned in the previous post, I hope to get a video with the use of video effects to display my name as it will make for an eye-catching beginning and start to show off what I can do for the employer.
  2. The first compositing work will consist of a moving model on a flat background, such as a picture, to show my simple skills of visual effects. At the moment I have been working on a mechanical spider than crawls along my desk, and it looks good at the moment.
  3. The second compositing work will consist of a video and a model within the video, this will be similar to the work of Lammie Veracruz's showreel from Escape Studios, where the sound system is placed very well into a video. This will show off more complicated methods of visual effects, and also show my use of Boujou (or similar software).
  4. The third compositing work will be my most advanced piece of work. At the present moment I'm not quite sure what that will be, perhaps a video with my visual effects placed in or perhaps working with a Film Student and creating a short 30 second video that would be beneficial to both myself and them.
Referring to my Gantt Chart previously, it shows an end date for each of the parts (2,3,4) so I have a timescale for each project, and hope to stick to them for my end of February deadline for my showreel.

Throughout some more research, I will be able to understand what best to attract an employer's eye, and how I should go about doing that.

Analysing my Past Work

Below is my showreel at the end of my third year at university. Admittedly, it is very mediocre, nothing that is very eye-catching to potential employers but at the time of making it I had a different job role in mind, however, I have moved my focus back to the Film Industry and this showreel shows nothing that relates to the Film Industry and Compositing.

The beginning is a very simple picture fading in, with the same fade for my name and role. This needs changing into something different. I'm thinking of creating a video with a person doing hand movements and then my name and role appearing using visual effects, this gives an interesting beginning whilst showing my skills

The Back to the Future and Car models both have introductions of images flying in from each corner and then the centre has the title of the model. This is a very poor way to introduce each model as they should all flow into each other. So when my showreel is being put together throughout the year, I will be looking to make sure that each video flows into the next so as to keep it at pace with each other.

The Back to the Future scene is a very mediocre 3D scene, it does show my environmental skills but this should be the last as it isn't the best scene I can do with my time.

The Car, as a tutor said, is very toy-like, and is a very good start for my first car, however, if I was to become a better 3D car modeller I would need to continuously create good, better cars to showcase.

The other two scenes are not of good quality either.

Overall, this is a poor showreel, with very basic timing and After Effects usage. If I am going to improve, I need to focus on Compositing more, looking to be much more eye-catching to the employer, and then using After Effects to its greatest potential.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Website Design

To get properly noticed in the Games and Film Industries you need a website that easily showcases your best work as every company has Internet access making it very easy to just pass on a website address.

Through this blog entry I will be looking at a couple of VFX Artists' websites and how they showcase their work.

Gabriel Martin (Website)

This website is very sophisticated, technologically, however, I found it difficult to look for their work, and then there isn't a lot of work to be presented, yet they are still looking for freelance work. The website could be improved with a constant menu on the left to make it easier to navigate, whilst less sophisticated may mean that the webpages load up quicker, making less of a wait time to view the work.

Pedro Lara (Website)

This website is very simple but enjoyable to navigate through, and the main page has his showreel on, meaning that potential employers see their work straight away (A good point that I'm going to take away from this website). There really isn't much to discuss about this website as, personally, I think it is a good guide to work from.

Michael Dixon (Website)

This is my website at the moment. Admittedly, it is a very simple design with easy navigation but not very attractive to view and the one thing that a website needs to be is eye-catching and this just wont cut it. I will be looking for ways to improve the design, and make it easier to view as well over the coming weeks.

Graduate Showreels

In order to achieve the best showreel that can attract potential employers, I need to analyse other graduate showreels to see how they have presented theirs and what I can learn from them.

Escape Studios is a learning facility in London that teaches different types of visual effects production and in their short courses produce some of the best graduates that I've seen.

Escape Studios

Above is a showreel from a graduate of Escape Studios called Lammie Veracruz. His work shows three different visual effects and then a breakdown at the end, of which is common in a lot of showreels.

All three visual effects are videos with models and visual effects placed in. Usually this means that they used Boujou or similar and then used Adobe After Effects or Nuke to composite the visual effects together.

Although the breakdowns make it look like a simple process, it shows the complicated methods that made up each scene. In other showreels I've seen, breakdowns (although not labelled) show the methods that were used to make up the scene.

Lost Boys Studios is another learning facility in Canada, which is very similar to Escape Studios, in that it shows off graduate showreels as they are visual effects orientated.

Lost Boys Studios

Above is a showreel from a graduate of Lost Boys Studios called Pedro Colmenares. His work shows of numerous visual effects across the board and displays breakdowns in a sliding motion as each layer is applied.

The above two showreels show off some very good work, and I'm jealous of what they can achieve, and hope over the coming months, I can gain some skills to be of a similar standard.

The only problem with both these showreels is that they don't flow very well into each shot. Additionally, I've been thinking that if I keep learning Adobe After Effects and get an advanced knowledge of it, I will be able to create a very flowing showreel similar to the Internet Explorer Advert below, which combines both good music that flows with each scene that flows with each other.

Gantt Chart 1

Below is a picture of a basic Gantt Chart of when I hope to achieve certain things for my showreel, website, etc. I hope to add to it over the coming weeks and make it more detailed and informative to the viewer.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Plan of Action

This is a small presentation to show my understanding of what I need to do for this module.

Film Industry Presentation

Below is a presentation on the film industry in the UK, although brief, it gives good factual information.

(I recommend Full Screen for the Presentation so that links and graphs are easier to view)

Uk film industry presentation from michaeldixonuk

Although the Film Industry is ever growing, I am aware of the difficulties of getting a job within the industry. I hope through researching over the next few weeks, I can get to grips on where and how I should apply for jobs, giving me an edge over 'unaware' individuals.

Below is a report I found on the advertising of Films within the UK.

First Lesson on PPD

The first lesson of PPD involved looking into four different places in the world and see how they affect the Games Industry, this ranged from group to group including wage and tax breaks.

The following presentations show what each group presented to the rest of us.

My group presented the Japanese Games Industry Presentation:

South East Asia Presentation:

Canada and Australia Presentation:

USA Presentation:

Collectively, the main points raised within the presentations included:
  •  Localisation
  • Advertising
  • Popular Genres
  • Popular Games
  • Game Ratings
  • Future of the Games Industry
  • Companies within the Region
  • Tax Breaks
  • Average Salaries
  • Games Industry Revenue
  • Statistics of the Games Industry
In my next post, I will be looking into the Film Industry in the UK using the above bullet points and see how the industry stands at the present time.