Post Magazine

December 2019

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Page 29 of 53 26 POST NOV/DEC 2019 OUTLOOK W hen considering the future of VFX, my thoughts naturally turn to Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning — the power of neural networks to harness computing to make decisions faster and more accurately than mere mortals. But you know all about that. It got me thinking…what things would really make a difference to the everyday life of someone working in VFX? The first thing that comes to mind is a bit of peace and quiet. There are so many plates to keep spinning on an av- erage day that the questions and phone calls come close to drowning out the focus that you need to solve a particu- lar problem on whatever shot you are working on. Another visual effects artist I know once called for 'a cone of silence.' There's much to be said for that. Unlimited storage in the cloud is next and feels like it's coming soon. (You can probably have it already with unlimited funds). Wouldn't it be nice if everything lived in one secure place and everyone could access it without messing every- thing up? I'd like the camera department to be uploading their footage, the editor to be cutting while the DP adds the look for the colorist to apply and tweak at the same time that someone else is starting to get the shots prepped and the roto done. This desire leads to something else that feels relatively near, the ability to work remotely on any computer on any software with no licensing issues or compatibility problems. Then you could start the job in London, continue on the plane and finish it up in Sydney, whilst continuously collaborating with a world- wide team. How much time could be saved, how CONE OF SILENCE, UNLIMITED STORAGE, AND THE PERFECT CHAIR BY ANDY BROWN CREATIVE DIRECTOR JOGGER STUDIOS LONDON/NEW YORK/LA HTTP://JOGGERSTUDIOS.COM/ BUSINESS ace Pictures is a boutique post production facility offering dailies, editorial, color grading, sound editing and mixing services, as well as VFX and design through a partnership with Shockbox. Recent projects include the Season 4 title sequence for the Warner Bros. series Veronica Mars, the Netflix original Holiday in the Wild and the Roland Emmerich film Midway, where the studio completed all sound post and mixing. Here, Pace's Heath Ryan takes on Post magazine's SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) topics. STRENGTHS: The continued growth of streaming services is creating a lot of new post work, and that's exciting. We are well positioned to take advantage of the boom as we have all the resources producers need to finish their shows under one roof and we are located just minutes away from many of the big players in Hollywood. Post production, however, is still built on relationships. Our success is the result of relationships that we've developed over 20 years. We are pleased to follow creative and executives from one project to the next. With more short-run series, show runners, writers and producers often move quickly from one project to the next, making those relationships more important than ever. WEAKNESSES: Everyone needs to do more with less. They need to produce the same — if not better — quality in less time. This has been the case since I started in this industry and will contin- ue. Meeting that challenge, many times, comes down to pre-production. You need to plan well to maximize time and resources. It's essential to get input from all creative parties and think through every aspect of the job. For example, if the DP has gone to the trouble and time of setting individual looks on-set, we want to make sure that information carries through to the color room from the very start of dailies creation. We've got to grab the baton and keep moving forward, taking everything with us that we can to make the job more efficient. Its not always the case that if you do well on one project, you are rewarded with more time and money on the next one. OPPORTUNITIES: We're very excited about a project we are doing for a new mobile start-up launching early next year. It's a new platform that will bring premium content to the phone screen. In terms of design, shot selection, pacing, sound design and graphics, it involves a set of criteria quite different from con- tent meant to play on 60-inch screens mounted to a wall. We've also been involved in virtual reality and augmented reality from the outset. Although they haven't taken off as quickly as many hoped, they con- tinue to get better and we continue to work on new projects. We recently did a concert for U2 after having completed Coldplay 360 last year. Many top artists want to play in this world and we are excited to help bring those productions to headsets. THREATS: We are continuing to see productions move out of state and to Canada. Producers do so because of exchange rates and rebates, but, once you add in travel and accommodations, and the inconvenience for directors and producers who would rather go home to their own beds at night, the savings sometimes is quite minimal. We are generally willing to bend over back- wards and make adjustments to keep work local, but, things move so fast now, we aren't always given a chance to be creative on how to compete. It can feel short-sighted because it costs producers the opportunity to continue to build existing relationships with companies and artists in their own backyard. SWOT: PACE LOOKS AT INDUSTRY STRENGTHS, WEAKNESSES, OPPORTUNITIES AND THREATS BY HEATH RYAN PRESIDENT PACE PICTURES LOS ANGELES WWW.PACEPICTURES.COM P VISUAL EFFECTS

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