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December 2018

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Page 35 of 43 34 POST DECEMBER 2018 OUTLOOK VISUAL EFFECTS A s viewer behavior in media continues to shift towards nontraditional and emerging models, the production process involved with creating these entertain- ment assets is shifting as well. In television, more and more viewers are becoming "cord nevers," coming of age without any exposure to cable or broadcast series, instead spending their time consuming content on free (YouTube, Vimeo) or subscrip- tion-based platforms (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon) that have sparked a binge-watching phenomenon. On the film side, with viewers having access to a broader slate of content than ever before through the aforementioned platforms, top directors are flocking towards more indie, art house-style projects. While these types of films may not be box office blockbusters, they are drawing in the kind of elite talent that elevates the production values beyond the budget itself. Visual effects has adapted along with these industry transitions, ad- justing talent, workflow, technology and visual fidelity to address new industry standards and will continue to blend across television and film as we enter into 2019. Traditionally, VFX for broadcast required a consistent volume of VFX shots produced within a finite timeline, resetting with each episode of the season. Streaming series, however, call for a production pipeline more akin to that of a feature film, requiring a higher number of vi- sual effects shots over a longer period of time. This allows the VFX team the pre-production onramp to collaborate with the showrunner and creative team, fine-tuning the overall aesthetic of the show and assembling a customized team of talent with the skills to achieve that look. It also comes with the expec- tation of feature film-quality VFX work. With this wave of heightened produc- tion values in TV, our team has had the chance to sink our teeth into major VFX-driven series, including Games of Thrones and A Series of Unfortunate Events. The level of artistry and craft that go into these kinds of shows are worthy of the big screen. As we continue into what is be- ing heralded as the "Golden Age of Television," visual effects talent that once relocated themselves for feature film work are now migrating for televi- sion work. The creative talent behind many of the most impressive series across streaming, cable and broadcast series come from Oscar-winning back- grounds and collaborations with some of the most revered and visually inno- vative films in the VFX industry. With that background and expertise, they are helping to usher in a transformative visual language to the television space, pushing the envelope for what is possi- ble in 30 or 60 minutes and on screens of all sizes. We have had the opportuni- ty to work with esteemed talent includ- ing Noah Hawley on Legion and Justin Lin on the upcoming series Warrior, that are leading the charge on changing the visual language of television. What does this blend of television and film mean for VFX in 2019? At Zoic, we have always strived for visual evolution and will continue to em- brace the convergence of television and film, because the future of entertainment could very well be somewhere in the middle. THE CONVERGENCE OF TELEVISION & FILM IN VFX BY IAN UNTERREINER SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT ZOIC STUDIOS LOS ANGELES WWW.ZOICSTUDIOS.COM MUSIC & SOUND B eing asked to predict industry trends always feels a bit like being a pundit on CNN who is asked to predict election results. We can all make educated guesses, but the actual outcomes are often a surprise. If you want an easy answer I would just tell you to look at the biggest ads from top brands like Apple and Nike (since it seems like much of the industry chases whatever aesthetic they are projecting at the moment), but that's just me being snarky. Snarkiness aside, I do think it's import- ant for companies to stay in touch with what is driving relevance in the music industry. It's something we talk about a lot here at Butter. Here's what we've been discussing lately: On the music side, we've noticed two growing trends. One is a growing influence from World music, specifically tribal-inspired beats. This is typified in songs like "Makeba" by Jain (featured in the Levi's Circles ad) or Sofi Tukker's "Drinkee," and of course the entire Black Panther album. While Trop House has been a dominant sound for some time, this new trend is stepping outside the Caribbean and bringing in more African and Middle Eastern influence. The second trend we notice is that of darker, more serious music in advertising. Consider Nike's Dream Crazy ad with Colin Kaepernick or Hennessy's Major ad. One can argue that minimal, cinematic scores have been popular for some time (with players like Olafur Arnards and Keith Kennif leading the charge.) Compare those two ads to the iPhone Photos Everyday ad from a few years back, and you will see that there's a dis- cernable difference in the emotional tone. There's a tension and emotional weight to the recent ads you do not hear in the Apple ad. You hear this coldly sober sound in pop music, too. One could also make the argument that the music in the videos I shared was simply doing its job in support of the picture. To that I reply, "yes, but…" I would counter by saying that it's doing ART REFLECTING LIFE BY IAN JEFFREYS MANAGING DIRECTOR AND EXECUTIVE PRODUCER BUTTER MUSIC AND SOUND NEW YORK WWW.GIMMEBUTTER.COM

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