Tuesday, 27 November 2012

The Hobbit


An amazing look into The Hobbit Post Production.

It clearly shows the fun yet stressful environment Post Production is, with Peter Jackson actually saying it will be finished 2 days before the premiere. I would hope people think this is ridiculous but that is part of the Film Industry; you have a deadline, you have to stick with it or the whole film is delayed.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Useful Links

While going through some linkedin emails I found some really useful information about entering the VFX Industry and how to survive in the long term.

13 Key Skills to Becoming a Great VFX Compositor

Above is a link that links to 13 different skills that will make you much more aware of what is required for becoming a good VFX Compositor.

10 Simple Steps to Becoming a VFX Compositor

Above is a link on 10 steps that will make me a better VFX Compositor.

Learning VFX Compositing Skills

Above is a few tutorials on skills that I need to know when entering the VFX Industry.

Runner Information

Above is a link to some more information on a Runner position.

Visual Effects Supervisor

Above is a link to an interview with HaZ who I met at the Visual Effects Festival and is full of good information.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Simple Pictured Showreel Storyboard


Showreel Storyboard (Written)

0:00 - 0:03

Something that catches the eye of the viewer, the video resume used an explosion but I need something that is all my own and unique. So if I was to do an explosion, it'd be best to do it with a Fluid Simulator or created myself.

0:03 - 0:13

Name appears with contact information (website and email address) through a matte painting that I created myself, so if it was to be a sunrise then the sky and ground have to be created uniquely by myself and then the sunrise, i.e my name, appears.

0:13 - 0:35

Similar interview to the video resume but the only part that is properly filmed will be me sitting on a chair while the background is matte painted (possibly not on time constraints) and the use of rotoscoping to put myself onto the background image. This will show my capabilities as a rotoscope artist to the viewer so as the interview is progressing I can have the background going through layers such as the original footage, keying, lighting, alpha, etc.

"Oh. Hello."

"Michael Dixon, you have achieved great success in business, academic and personal relationships, and have been an inspiration to many people. What would you recommend to your numerous admirers who want to reach their highest potential?"

"The first thing to know about success is that it doesn't just come to you."

0:35 - 0:43

I continue the interview with the speech below whilst standing somewhere creating an energy ball, this show my ability to do such a thing within nuke.

"Most people associate success with money and power, but really, it's a state of mind."

0:43 - 0:48

Continuing the speech, the camera could follow me through the flat whilst descriptions/titles/prices appear of the objects I am passing, similar to the Fight Club reference in my preference example of a showreel.

"And when it comes to success, the only limit is that there are no limits."

0:48 - 1:15

Back to the original interview scene, however, something different has to happen, such as a crackle and the background changes to all white (similar to the white background within The Matrix film). Shows that my lighting skills are good and I'm able to do various ways of rotoscoping.

"All my life I have dared to go past what is possible."

"To the impossible?"

"Actually past that ... to the place where the possible and the impossible meet to become ... the possimpossible. If I can leave you with one thought, it's this: nothing ... and everything ... is possimpossible."

1:15 - 1:35

This is the section that displays the spaceship flying through space with matte painted planets in the background.

1:35 - 1:50

Blood splatter and gun fire visual effects created by myself.

1:50 - 2:00

If the showreel ends with gun fire then I could have the camera follow the last bullet and have the camera rotate to the back of it and then fade in my eye and fade out the bullet while zooming out to reveal more of myself with my contact details along the bottom of the screen. A sky and waving UK flag in the background will be the final touch.


Note: This contains all aspects that were in my previous showreel example so this can work very uniquely.

Video Resume (Written)

The following is a breakdown of what happens in the How I Met Your Mother video resume, it will give me a much greater understanding of what to put into my showreel.

0:00 - 0:03

Explosion

0:03 - 0:13

Intro of name appearing as if a sunrise.

0:13 - 0:35

Self Interview giving some good points about the character.

"Oh. Hello."

"Barney Stinson, you have achieved great success in business, athletics and personal relationships, and have been an inspiration to many people. What would you recommend to your numerous admirers who want to reach their highest potential?"

"The first thing to know about success is that it doesn't just come to you."

0:35 - 0:43

Appears on a motorbike giving a small speech and then revs the engine at the end.

"Most people associate success with money and power, but really, it's a state of mind.

0:43 - 0:48

Appears grooming a horse with another small speech.

"And when it comes to success, the only limit is that there are no limits."

0:48 - 1:15

Self Interview again giving some more character traits he holds.

"All my life I have dared to go past what is possible."

"To the impossible?"

"Actually past that ... to the place where the possible and the impossible meet to become ... the possimpossible. If I can leave you with one thought, it's this: nothing ... and everything ... is possimpossible.

1:15 - 1:40

Montage of various video footage.
  1. 4 planes doing maneuvers
  2. Someone doing a flip on a surfboard
  3. Cheetah running
  4. Monster Truck in the air
  5. Bomb Cloud
  6. Street Luge
  7. Cheetah growling
  8. Someone jumping off a cliff and when the parachute opens the word 'TRUSTWORTHY' appears instead of a parachute.
  9. Line of horse riders
  10. Very fast boat traveling across water.
  11. 2 planes doing maneuvers
  12. Dark sky with lightning that forms the word 'PUNCTUAL'
  13. Wave crashing over with the word 'AWESOME' appearing as if coming over the wave as well
  14. Fuel Truck with the word 'DETAIL-ORIENTED' on it falling and then exploding
  15. Chimp on roller skates
  16. Man and Chimp on roller skates spinning in circles
  17. The earth zooming out.

1:40 - 1:51

Zoom out from the earth for it to appear in the character's eye and fade out. Then zooms out from the character to be standing in front of an American flag with his name at the bottom and a 'HIRED' stamp displayed at 1:49



If I follow a similar time path, but changing a bit to make it more personal and aimed at the VFX Industry, it will come out at a perfect 2 minute showreel.

Be Unique

I've been trying to think of the best way to self promote myself and I must admit that it's very difficult to do that and be unique. The most important word there is to be unique and that was the final and 13th point I made in my Self Promotion blog post back in September.

I believe my business card looking like a playing card is quite unique in itself, but also interesting to look at and whilst looking at graduate showreels and even people in the industry, the showreels follow the same pattern:

  1. Name and Contact Details
  2. Best Work
  3. Second Best Work
  4. Alright Work (If they have any other work to show)
  5. Third Best Work
  6. Breakdowns
  7. Name and Contact Details
If I was an employer I'd be getting very bored of the same old showreels coming through the door, and something unique would be quite impressive.

The actual inspiration to this came while I was watching How I Met Your Mother (a popular TV series in both America and UK) and was the character Barney's video resume as shown below.

video

The video resume has a lot of humour in it, however, it is very different and unique, and I want to use that uniqueness to my advantage. Hence why over the coming days I will be storyboarding my showreel again but in a different manner to be unique.

You may be thinking that this is a completely stupid idea, however, there is a lot of rotoscoping and keying within the video and gives me a chance to show off my work in a different manner. I will try to storyboard all, or at least part of the showreel, and show it to Phil to get his opinion before starting it off completely.

Website


 





This is all five parts of my website, it contains my old work but it will soon be updated to much more modern work relating to the VFX Industry.

The filmography link goes to imdb.com but as I enter the film industry, it will point to my own profile on imdb.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Complete Website

Currently the website isn't connected to my www.michaeldixonuk.com domain but if you're viewing it for (hopefully) the next couple of days then please go to this link.

Link

It currently displays work from the past couple of years of studying and is aimed at Video Games and not the Film Industry. It will be updated throughout the Academic year with more recent work relating to becoming a VFX Compositor.