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By JENNY FULLE Business The World of VFX, Animation, and Stereo 3D Production released. My first taste of how lucrative and larger than life this business could be was in the form of a $700 profit share from the film. Tat was a lot of money for an 18-year-old, and it says something about the free- flowing nature of spending back then. Cliché as it sounds, times w ere much simpler then. In those early days, if you had a film with visual effects, you had only a handful of choices when it came to getting the work done. S hots had to be planned car efully. Cameras were large, cumbersome, noisy, and had to be chained to the floor for steadiness. Visual effects facilities were filled with model shops, motion-contr ol stages, animation down shooters, and optical printers. P roduction’s weap- on of choice was an IBM S electric II and a good copy machine that would duplicate one page at a time. I f you wanted temps for y our preview screening, you likely got 5272s and dx’d (double exposed) elements shot on hi-con film. Tose of us who roamed with dinosaurs will remem- ber what 5272s were, but for those who don’t, 5272 was a hi-contrast, black-and-white film stock. Back in the days of opticals, it was used as a quick and inexpensiv e way to create a temp comp by double exposing two film ele- ments, such as a model and a plate, by means of an opti- cal printer. If you needed a few stars added to a night sky, it would cost you about $10,000. But all bets were off if you required them to be streaking across the sky. Tere was job security and healthy budgets for visual effects work. I Tose days of milk and honey seem so long gone now that discussing them is like talking about having had to walk five miles through snow, uphill, both to and from school. Jenny Fulle is the founder of The Creative- Cartel ( and a visual effects producer with over 30 years experience in the VFXs and animation industry. ’ve had a car eer that has spanned mor e than 30 y ears in visual effects and animation. My first job was in 1980 at Industrial Light & Magic, the year Star Wars: Episode V–Te Empire Strikes Back was It seems as though the major studios ar e producing fewer films than ever. Te appetite for risk is as low as I have ever seen it. Tere seems to be more and more partnering with the small studios, VC financiers, and privately held production companies. Tese smaller and more indepen- dent production entities ar e not generally gr een-lighting $100 million- plus films, which have typically (and, relatively, in terms of today’s dollars) been the bread and butter of visual effects companies. Te majority of With an infrastructure that remains in place after each project, Jenny Fulle’s The Creative- Cartel offers director/supervisors the necessary technology for their respective projects at a reasonable cost. today’s independent films seem to be more in the range of $30 million to $70 million. Te challenge is innovating in such a way as to be able to accommodate the visual effects for these films. Tough the budgets may be lower, the expectations have not dropped. Many of these films are equally as ambitious in terms of pr oduction value and visual stimulation as the studio tent poles of y esteryear. Pro- duction companies are looking for new and less expensive ways of do- ing things. Tis includes their approach to visual effects work. Parking all the shots for a film that is heavily laden with visual effects shots at one facility is becoming less and less viable in the new world order. Depending on your point of view, this new landscape either presents opportunity or potential doom in the visual effects world. For many visual effects facilities, the options are innovation or failure. For indi- viduals and small groups of talented professionals possessing an entr e- preneurial spirit, the possibilities are numerous. 8 November 2010 © 2010 Columbia Tristar Marketing Group, Inc.

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