Post Magazine

September 2014

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Page 3 of 51 2 POST SEPTEMBER 2014 SEE US ON EDITORIAL MARC LOFTUS Senior Editor/Director of Web Content (516) 376-1087 LINDA ROMANELLO Managing Editor (516) 931-0730 CHRISTINE BUNISH Film& Video IAIN BLAIR Film JENNIFER WALDEN Audio BARRY GOCH West Coast Blogger/Reporter MICHELLE VILLAS Art Director ADVERTISING MARI KOHN Director of Sales (818) 291-1153 cell (818) 472-1491 GARY RHODES Eastern & Intl Sales Manager (631) 274-9530 cell (516)410-8638 LISA BLACK Corporate Sales Executive, Events, Custom and Integrated Print/ Publishing Services (818) 660-5828 SUBSCRIPTIONS (818) 291-1158 CUSTOMER SERVICE 620 West Elk Ave, Glendale, CA 91204 (800) 280 6446 DALE ESCEN Account Manager 818-291-1122 REPRINTS Reprints (781) 255-0625 (818) 291-1153 LA SALES OFFICE: 620 West Elk Avenue, Glendale, California 91204 (800) 280-6446 WILLIAM R. RITTWAGE President / CEO AN ANONYMOUS LETTER VFX ON THE RISE recently received an "anonymous" email with a letter attached to it that was prepared by a core group of former Look Effects employees. The VFX studio, which had four locations — Brook- lyn, Los Angeles, Vancouver and Germa- ny — closed in August, and many of its employees were not given their un-paid wages, some amounting to as much as $50,000. Understandably, the letter had a frustrat- ed tone, with the group citing their loyalty to the company during tough times, and the lack of respect they were shown. It also went on to criticize the owners/executives, and their new gigs in the VFX industry. I reached out to Look Effects for com- ment, and within a day, got a call back from Mark Driscoll, who was a co-founder and president at the company. He was very forthcoming regarding the studio's strug- gles and missteps, and answered all of the questions I threw at him. You can read our entire conversation on the Post Website. Not surprisingly, this article was the most shared/liked/re-tweeted piece on the Post site last month. Readers — and former Look Effects employees, no doubt — were eager to hear the studio's missteps explained, and what ultimately lead to it closing. I've heard similar stories over the years, particularly on the VFX side of the busi- ness. Studios are so hungry for the long- term work a film project can bring, they often under-bid a job just to secure the work. They later find that considerably more work is involved, often times requiring more man power and the need to bring in extra resources. It's tough to turn a profit. They'll suck it up, spending long hours and dedicating additional resources to make sure the quality is high because they don't want it to negatively affect their reputation. Hopefully, they feel it will lead to another, more-profitable job. But often that doesn't happen, and with just one or two unfore- seen problems, they find themselves in financial trouble. Let's hope something can be learned from this recent example. uardians of the Galaxy, this month's cover story (page 22), as well as our VFX article on Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For (page 16) are yet two more exam- ples of how the post industry continues to push the envelope on creativity, employ- ing some of the best tools and talents to produce overall great movie experiences. I say, "yet two more examples," because in last month's issue of Post, we took a look at some of the summer's biggest blockbust- ers, which also relied heavily on VFX. Through a mix of proprietary software, such as MPC's own Furtility, used to create realistic-looking fur, as well as employing flagship VFX tools such as Maya, Nuke, Ar- nold, RenderMan, and a variety of plug-ins, effects artists across the globe are raising the bar ever so high on the VFX behind some of the year's biggest films. Both MPC and Sony Pictures Image- works spoke to Post for this month's feature on Guardians about how they were able to bring director James Gunn's galac- tic vision to life, from the original concep- tual drawings from Marvel, to a beautifully conceived and encompassing 3D world consisting of CG environments, spaceships and characters. At last month's SIGGRAPH in Vancou- ver, which drew 14,045 attendees and 175 vendors, creatives from these same studios, along with others such as Frame- store, which brought Guardians' Rocket Raccoon to life, participated in various panels, discussions and demonstrations on and off the show floor to discuss their roles in creating some outstanding VFX for film. This is why shows such as SIGGRAPH are so important. It's where creatives and manufacturers meet, and where new and emerging technologies debut. Vendors such as Side Effects were on the show floor showing off its new Houdini Indie software, intended for independent animators and game developers; Nvidia and AMD both launched faster graphics cards; and companies like Faceware Tech- nologies demonstrated the latest marker- less facial capture technology with Version 2.0 of Faceware Live. Developments in motion capture, too, from Optitrack, Vicon and a sneak peak from Xsans on emerging technology, also proved exciting. With more industry shows taking place, such as IBC this month and CCW in No- vember, it's exciting to see what's coming down the road. Post will be watching. Post Magazine is published by Post, LLC, a COP communications company. Post does not verify any claims or other information appearing in any of the advertisements contained in the publication, and cannot take any responsi- bility for any losses or other damages incurred by readers in reliance on such content. Post cannot be held responsible for the safekeeping or return of unsolicited articles, manuscripts, photographs, illustrations or other materials. Subscriptions: Address all subscription correspondence to Post Magazine, 620 West Elk Ave, Glendale, CA 91204. Subscribers may also contact cus- tomer service at 818-291-1158, or send an email to For change of address please include the old and new address information, and if possible, include an address label from a recent issue. Subscriptions are available free to qualified individuals within the United States. Non-qualified 1 year rates: USA $63.00. Canada & Mexico $94.00. All Other Countries $133.00. Airmail Delivery is available for an additional $75.00 annually. Postmaster: Send address changes to Post Magazine, 620 W. Elk Ave., Glendale, CA 91204. Please send customer service inquiries to 620 W. Elk Ave., Glendale, CA 91204 BY MARC LOFTUS SENIOR EDITOR/ DIRECTOR OF WEB CONTENT MLOFTUS@POSTMAGAZINE.COM BY LINDA ROMANELLO MANAGING EDITOR LROMANELLO@ POSTMAGAZINE.COM POST SCRIPT I G EDITOR'S NOTE

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