Post Magazine

December 2014

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Page 37 of 51 36 POST DECEMBER 2014 The Third Floor's experienced previs artists see through cinematic eyes and can create anything a director can imagine, so fi lm- makers know what's possible long before they are forced to make compromises. Film credits include Guardians of the Galaxy, Exodus: Gods and Kings, The Maze Runner, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Malefi - cent, Gravity, and Marvel's The Avengers. STRENGTHS: "Every year the complexity of what we do increases and the time in which we do it decreases. Projects are way more complicated than before, they have to be done faster and they must look better. So we're challenged to continue building upon our success. "The kind of VFX they're doing on Game of Thrones would have been unimaginable in the television realm a couple of years ago. That's also true of what diff erent VFX houses are doing on tent pole movies. Every year we're top- ping ourselves, pushing the technology and the artistry further and further. A lot of technology is getting faster and more accurate: Xsens's new mocap lineup is a perfect example. Their old suits were ideal for previs work, but their recent re- lease of a new line of mocap suits makes production-quality mocap mobile: It's essentially a mocap studio in a backpack and at a much more aff ordable price." WEAKNESSES: "It's my opinion that the industry is chasing tax credits on a global basis. You can't really fault studios if doing something in Place A is going to be 30 percent cheaper than Place B. But we're seeing artifi cial market forces, like government subsidies, basically giving money to people to build VFX and animation studios in their locales. These subsidies may go away — and no one knows what the fall out would be. That's not healthy for the industry." OPPORTUNITIES: "The major studios drive 80 percent of the feature fi lm busi- ness. If Hollywood has a hiccup, everyone in VFX and animation will feel that. The industry is diversifying. We're seeing a lot of movement now in video game cine- matics, theme parks with attractions with heavy visual components, dome attrac- tions, virtual reality content, commercials. Even television has become a bigger part of the mix: Shows are spending more on VFX and Game of Thrones is a good example. The business was once all Hol- lywood and it's growing and becoming a wide market." THREATS: "If the global public ever tires of superheroes, that would be a big threat to the VFX market. Several of the studios are betting heavily on these fi lms. If inter- est wanes, studios will respond and stop making big-budget superhero movies. "We constantly have to spend more on computer systems and software. There's a lot of concern over keeping content secure and making sure facilities have the security the studios are looking for. "The generic fear of outsourcing and third-world labor has been a Boogie Man for the last fi ve years. We're still trying to hire as many [local] people as we can." OUTLOOK FOR 2015: "I think it will be a busy year for everybody — bigger and busier than 2014. There are a lot of huge movie projects coming three or four years into the future. Everybody's trying to take advantage of all the growth." TONY CLARK Co-founder/Executive Producer Rising Sun Pictures Adelaide, Australia Rising Sun Pictures (RSP) is a VFX studio working primarily on US feature fi lms, with clients including Warner Bros., 20th Centu- ry Fox and Lionsgate. In its 20-year history, RSP has contributed to over 110 fi lms. It delivered the re-entry sequence to the Academy Award-winning Gravity, and the Pentagon kitchen scene to X-Men: Days of Future Past. RSP is currently working on Pan and Tarzan for Warner Bros. and Gods of Egypt for Lionsgate. STRENGTHS: "Today's VFX vendors are able to deliver pretty much anything a fi lmmaker can imagine, unlocking the telling of amazing stories with visuals that were previously out of reach. What were bleeding-edge techniques only years ago are now within reach of more fi lmmakers as they fi nd their way into the standard toolsets in use at all facilities. Vendors now also have access to large-scale computing as a service with resources such as Ama- zon enabling the harnessing of computing power on demand, removing the barriers to delivering complex work. The artist talent pool — the greatest asset of any fa- cility — continues to strengthen, grow and circulate, contributing to the distribution of ideas and techniques that have propelled our businesses forward over the years." WEAKNESSES: "Visual eff ects is a high-risk, low-margin business — there's continual pressure to deliver more for less, so vendors need to be focused on driving well-managed, effi cient businesses in order to survive in the long term. Visual eff ects vendors and their teams are generally people who are passionate about the work we do and see on-screen — it's important to balance that passion with running a profi table business so we can continue to deliver great work while supporting our staff , their families and our shareholders." OPPORTUNITIES: "For me, feature fi lm will continue to drive the leading edge of quality and technique in the business. I see enormous opportunity coming in other mediums, though. Excellent work is being created in long-form television and Pay Per View, with series such as Game of Thrones hiring top-level production teams and vendors, and delivering exceptional-qual- ity work. People are prepared to pay for quality entertainment, and these kinds of shows are delivering feature-quality work, leveraging feature fi lm vendors and artists, OUTLOOK VFX, ANIMATION & GRAPHICS O OUTLOOK O OUTLOOK Every year the COMPLEXITY OF WHAT WE DO INCREASES and the time in which we do it decreases."

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