Episode 247 – COVID-19 and the Future of VFX – with Todd Sheridan Perry

 

Episode 247 – COVID-19 and the Future of VFX – with Todd Sheridan Perry

Todd Sheridan Perry works in the film industry as a freelance VFX Supervisor / CG Supervisor as well as digital artist, screenwriter, editor and director. He is a classically trained artist, as well as both a traditional and digital animator. His diverse background in video games, film and television has led him to play key roles in projects ranging from Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers to Final Destination 5, The Immortals, Men In Black 3, Total Recall, Resident Evil 5 and Avengers: Age of Ultron. Todd has also worked as a CG Supervisor on Marvel’s Doctor Strange – a project nominated for a Best Visual Effects Oscar.

Todd has been animating since he was 8 years old, inspired by Star Wars, but his professional career began when he moved to Los Angeles in 1995. A couple years later, riding the wave as visual effects migrated from optical to digital, he started the visual effects house Max Ink Cafe with multi-award winning producer Jennifer Champagne. Todd has been awarded an Emmy for his work on the mini-series The Triangle, while working with award-winning supervisors Volker Engel and Marc Weigert. He was also nominated for a VES Award for The Kite Runner with CafeFX. While at CafeFX, he also acted as Lighting Supervisor on Frank Darabont’s take on the Stephen King short story The Mist.

Todd has contributed articles to Animation Magazine for the past 15 years. With over 500 article reviews on both software and hardware used in the visual effects industry, he’s been able to keep abreast of the developing technologies that contribute to visual effects. Todd is working on numerous personal short films and animation projects through his visual effects company, TeaspoonVFX, and has been consulting on screenplays and development for multiple features.

In this Podcast, VFX Supervisors Todd Sheridan Perry and Allan McKay discuss the industry-wide impact of Covid-19 and its consequences; and how working remotely has proven itself to be effective for both artists and studios, during the transition and going forward.

Todd Sheridan Perry on IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0675332/?ref_=nv_sr_1
Todd Sheridan Perry’s Website: www.teaspoonvfx.com/
Todd Sheridan Perry on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/toddsheridanperry/

 

HIGHLIGHTS:

[02:47] Preview of the Podcast
[03:34] Todd Sheridan Perry Introduces Himself
[04:32] Todd’s Experience with the Covid-19 Related Hiatus
[18:18] Todd Talks About Adjustments for Working from Home
[24:49] Todd Discusses Industry-Wide Adjustments
[26:49] How VFX Artists and Studios Had to Adjust to Work Remotely
[37:19] The Challenges of Working from Home
[41:42] The Importance of Communication When Working from Home
[54:47] How to Talk to Your Employer About Working from Home
[1:00:15] Allan and Todd Discuss the State of the Industry Going Forward
[1:15:37] Allan and Todd Talk About the Importance of Networking, Post-Covid or Not!

 

FIRST THINGS FIRST:

[00:56] Have you ever sent in your reel and wondered why you didn’t get the callback or what the reason was you didn’t get the job? Over the past 20 years of working for studios like ILM, Blur Studio, Ubisoft, I’ve built hundreds of teams and hired hundreds of artists — and reviewed thousands of reels! That’s why I decided to write The Ultimate Demo Reel Guide from the perspective of someone who actually does the hiring. You can get this book for free right now at www.allanmckay.com/myreel!

[1:21:48] One of the biggest problems we face as artists is figuring out how much we’re worth. I’ve put together a website. Check it out: www.VFXRates.com! This is a chance for you to put in your level of experience, your discipline, your location — and it will give you an accurate idea what you and everyone else in your discipline should be charging. Check it out: www.VFXRates.com!

 

EPISODE 247 — COVID-19 AND THE FUTURE OF VFX – WITH TODD PERRY

[03:34] Todd: I’m Todd Perry. I’m a VFX Supervisor. I’ve supervised on sets as well as in the facilities. Some of things I’ve worked on recently, obviously not right now! But I was on set for Season 2 of For All Mankind for Apple TV. Before that, I did some work on The Christmas Chronicles for Netflix, Black Panther (for Method); and before that, I was the CG Supervisor on Doctor Strange. I’ve been doing this stuff for a while now, both from home and in a studio.

[04:32] Allan: I was going to say that! For All Mankind was set for 8 Episodes. How has the Covid-19 affected that? I’d rather acknowledge that than sweep it under the rug.

Todd: Sure! We started shooting in October. Nothing had come out yet. And then December is when [Covid] blew up in China. We were aware of it and we were watching it. We thought this could get serious, back in December! In March, we had come out of Episode 208. We shot in blocks. We were just wrapping up 207 and 208, and moving onto Episode 209; and things were starting to get hairy. The virus started spreading in Seattle (which is where I am based) and we were starting to get the word from other productions all over the world! Visual effects is a really tiny industry, we all know each other. We were hearing from our colleagues. We were getting texts from people working on Riverdale in Vancouver, “We’re shutting down and everyone is going home.” We were thinking, “Well, when is this going to shut us down?” And then within a day or two, production said, “Okay, we want everyone to be safe, so we’re going to send you, guys, home. And we’re going to assess what we’re going to do.” And as we were leaving, the Key Grip said, “Okay, guys! See in you about 12 weeks [because] that’s how long it took China.”

[07:42] Allan: At least, he’s acknowledging that.

Todd: He had been prepping. He’d been going every night and stopping by the store every night and buying pasta and rice. He was stocked up until everyone decided that toilet paper was the new gold standard.

[08:02] Allan: I didn’t think of it until now, but I got a package from China in the mail just an hour ago. I ordered some handy wipes at the very beginning, in late February. I was going to go to Paris in March and I thought I’d buy a cool mask that made me look like a Ninja. I ordered these on Amazon and they just arrived now, 2.5 months later. And it’s interesting that some people acknowledged it and others didn’t.

Todd: So we shut down on a Thursday, did not go back that Friday. That weekend, I told our Senior Supervisor, “I’m going to go back home unless you think we’re coming back.” He was totally cool. I told him I could be back in less than 24 hours. I was going to leave on Monday morning and not see or touch anyone. That Saturday, I got a message from a friend who said that we would be on lockdown on Monday night. I didn’t know what the extend would be. By that time, cities in Italy and China were at police level of locking people down. So I just had to pack up and go and be home by Sunday night!

On-set supervising just ended right there. Fortunately, I had been prompting the Producer that we really should have an internal Generalist who can take care of paint-outs and monitor comps and who’d be replacing people’s badges when they’re wrong, and just the little things. Because if you send it to a facility, you’re paying for all the overhead; and it’s just going to get much more expensive. Evidently, that became me. Fortunately for me, they hired my company to do all this little stuff. So went from being a Sup to becoming a vendor and I can do all that from home. Now we have a situation where editorial is working from home and he’s posting it to the internal sharing. They have a custom made interface. So editors are doing the cuts and the VFX Supervisors are choosing the effects; and the Producers distribute it among the vendors and get bids. So I’m also making bits.

[13:10] Allan: I was going to say: Did you ever back up your own bid to the VFX Producer? “Oh, man! These prices are too steep. We should go with this guy!”

Todd: “I hear this guy is good!” So, our coordinators are working from home. They’re logged into Shotgun; all of the vendors, including myself. We’re submitting our stuff to the Supervisors so they can review it in HD, and then to editorial when the stuff is ready in the EXR’s. Which is a little daunting at times because we’re working in 4K. Some of my shots are 650 frames, so it does become a bit of burden.

[14:19] Allan: Without disclosing much about the show, it shocks me that tv has 650 frames! These are huge! Are these heavy duty shots?

Todd: I’m not getting heavy duty, like people on the moon. That’s too much data to be managing! Method is the key vendor. They have the moon, the vehicles, the astronauts. They have the workflow that we pretty much designed on Season 1. They have the recipe for how that looks. The show in general has glimmer filters to give it a soft look. But we don’t shoot those on the moon. That look has to be put back in post. They’ve already had the recipe in place. I’m starting to get a view moon out of the window shots. So I can get a plate and comp it. That super long shot was a paint out of an astronaut’s visor reflection and I had to paint out the camera. But I can do all of that stuff from home and communicate with the Supervisor and the Producer. I did have to shift my perceived axis from Supervisor to vendor. I always want to fall into, “I need to make a change in one of these elements.” And I can’t just go through it and take the lead.

All of that has been working really well. Adobe’s licenses are all online. You can rent Nuke’s licenses for 3-month periods. All of that is accessible. As long as we have the internet. And if the internet goes down — we’re fucked!

[17:45] Allan: Exactly! That’s an interesting point though! Going from a Sup to a Generalist, that’s an expensive Generalist to bring on. But that’s where it pays off to have someone who is experienced and who can jump in and know exactly what’s needed. Rather than a Generalist who works well being supervised.

Todd: And I’m the one that supervised the shots. If something is wrong, I only have myself to blame for it.

[18:18] Allan: Exactly! With that shift though, what adjustments did you take? Obviously, you’ve worked from home. In this case, did you have to ramp up on some new hardware or get new licenses?

Todd: I already had a pretty robust machine for the past 5 years and I haven’t had to upgrade it. Now, I haven’t had to do simulations of the ocean, or something like that. There are things that I had to ramp up on knowledge wise. Being a supervisor, you could just tell someone to do something and they’re better equipped than me at doing it because they’ve been working on it for 10 hours a day. Things like more finessed and subtle tracking techniques. I’m working on a shot right now where in a normal situation, it would be easy tracking to do: One of the characters is looking at this catalogue and we needed to replace some of the images in it. But the catalogue is bending and she’s moving it. So it’s a combination of a corner pin and you have to put a warp in there and animate the warp to match the bend in the paper. On top of that, the paper is glossy so the light is changing on the paper. It gives me an appreciation for what compositors have to deal with, but it also gives me insight into what things could go wrong. That shot wasn’t even a VFX shot. I happened to be there when they were shooting it, just in case something would come up. But something like that where they couldn’t [legally] clear those images, so we had to put some new ones. My data wrangler and I were taking data regardless of whether it was a VFX shot or not.

[22:00] Allan: That’s great!

Todd: There is another online tool we’re using right now. It’s called Setellite. It’s a cloud-based database interface system that allows you to work on your iPad. You set up all the cameras and their corresponding lens packages. So you input all those before you start shooting. Then you start putting in individual information per take, all that data! It got into a process. I learned that on a Marvel show.

[23:18] Allan: I was going to say, how many times did you say, “Thank God we had this data!” And if you don’t have that data, it polarizing.

Todd: Sometimes, it’s a matter of a shot being doable or merely impossible. Having measurements and data and scans of our sets, and not having that could end up being crippling.

[24:02] Allan: What kind of Lidar scanner were you using?

Todd: They were using the FARO scanners but for props they were using hand scanners and I’m not sure which brand.

[24:20] Allan: I’ve been asked about scanners lately. I know what I use because I know what I can afford. But some of those are from 20K to 40K, so…

Todd: But the new iPad is going to have a scanner so we can just get data with our that!

[24:49] Allan: When the iPhone came out, it introduced us to so many more options of working on set. Even though they aren’t industry grade, they’re close enough. I’m also curious. You mentioned that we had friends in the industry. What are you hearing from other people on how this has affected them?

Todd: All the people I’ve been talking to have been safe and abiding by the Stay at Home rules, as much as they can. They are still working. The executives and the producers and the screenwriters are all planning on what they’re going to do when they come back. Screenwriters haven’t stopped writing, producers haven’t stopped planning. They are just thinking about how we’re going to shift and to manage this. Do we release these movies that aren’t done? Do we release them later? Do we stream them? How do we get us back? If you’re on a Marvel movie and it’s a $200 Million budget, can you make that money back through streaming, versus a theatrical release? Evidently, Universal made more money on their Trolls Tour movie streaming than they have in theatres before they were shut down.

[26:49] Allan: I feel really bad for Jeff [Fowler] and Dave [Wilson] with Sonic and Bloodshot. Their first feature films ever! And here it is, going straight to DVD because of what’s going on. I got a call 4 days before Bloodshot wrapped and I had to jump on a shot. You want to cheer for these guys, especially since their coming from 3D and going into directing features. But I’m curious to see how they will solve this.

Todd: And Black Widow was supposed to be opening and it got canceled. I think Invisible Man did okay. I enjoyed it and it’s made for [little money]. As far as the other people, they have moved to working at home. Our vendors have shifted. Method was able to pivot. The smaller vendors were able to pivot as well. A lot of the artists (and we were just talking about this) are working from home: Do they use their own work station or do you log into your system at work and use the work station there — and you have access to the render farms and to how ever many petabytes we’re up to now? So for VFX artists, compositors and people who are generating a lot of data, they have to have the log into the studio. Matte painters and texture artists can work isolated and send their stuff in. I don’t have any insight into how each studio fixed the situation though.

[30:45] Allan: I know Pixar was packaging up. I’ve spoken to ILM, DD and Pixar, in casual conversations. At DD, they had a lot of licensing so you could log in from home. At Pixar, they’ve packaged all their PC’s and sent them to all their employees within a week. Framestore, same deal, switched to working from home. ILM, because they had a pod set up in LA, they have way more experience with [artists working remotely] than any other studio.

Todd: And also ILM, ImageWorks and Scanline are all already set up with remote workstations at the studio. It’s not overwhelming to think about.

[32:29] Allan: I haven’t thought about this but Zoom went from 10 to 100 million users. Hamachi is another good one to look at, in the long term.

Todd: It’s obviously more spendy. But they’ve got it down to where you’re shuffling pixel data. How ever many pixels are on your screen with flat backgrounds, it’s almost seamless. I’ve heard people complaining about lag. That’s less of a concern for compositors or lighters than for those who are using pens, like Zbrush sculptures and matte painters. That little bit of lag just drives you crazy. I don’t know if that’s been rectified.

[34:01] Allan: Obviously, it depends on your and the connection you’re connected to, and how many people they’re hosting for. It’s more about the fact that you appreciate more when you go back to a regular setup. I know Blur set up a temporary location in France. It’s HP, right? And Windows remote desktop? I remember at Atomic Fiction, after Transformers, I wanted to use their computers on their network remotely, rather than sending my stuff in. That was a little bit laggy, but it was obvious that was the way to go. And that was back in 2011! You’re on the same network, same pipeline. You can tell a compositor, “Here is a path to the files” without getting 3 more people involved!

Todd: I’ve been using LogMeIn for longer than I can remember. Since at least 2009 or 2010! And that allows me to log into my workstations. I can do it through my laptop, my iPhone, my iPad. There have been times where I’d have a guest in LA and I’d need to host them. We’d be going places. I’d start the rendering, set my alarm in 5 hours; log in and make sure that it rendered, set up the next sequence, hit render again. And it kept everything going! I could make sure nothing crashed. I’ve been doing this for so long, there is not much of a shift. [37:19] There is definitely a cultural shift or a workflow shift — it’s almost like a personality shift — because you have to now manage yourself. For people who are used to going to working into a studio and having access to other people — like Supervisors — and that’s what drove them, you had that entity that held you accountable. When you go home, you can do laundry, cook. If you have kids, now they aren’t going to school and they need attention. How do you start to divide that work? You get into this situation where you’re never in a flow. You’re always distracted somehow and it’s a hard thing to manage, even when you’re at a studio. (I always harp on people for having their iPhone or iPad, because they’re always distracted!)

[39:42] Allan: Oh, man! I’ve supervised some people where I’ve said, “If you want to talk to your girlfriend on Skype, cool! But don’t hide your phone under your desk.” All these things affect your attention and you aren’t focusing on that one thing.

Todd: If people were to put away their phones, I am convinced they would triple their output. They would be always in flow. I’m not against taking breaks. You should step away for 5 minutes after an hour, and you can refresh your brain. You can call your girlfriend or plumber. I think working from home exacerbates that because no one is managing you.

[41:42] Allan: Going back to LogMeIn, when I worked on Metalica, there was nothing more satisfying than to check my renders from my iPhone while being stuck in traffic. But to speak on work and focus, there is a Pomodoro Technique where you work intervals. You can do a 2-hour block, flip your phone upside down and you can be in the flow. If you could do 2 pockets of that, you’d be golden (rather than being stressed by a deadline). When you go home, there are more distractions. I’ve experimented with that so much. I had a photo of “a Boss” on my wall. Typically, you’re also mirroring other people. When no one is around, you can’t go into that loop. You end up working more hours and doing all-nighters when it’s not necessary.

Todd: To add onto that is communication with the rest of the team and your coordinators, supervisors and producers. I’m sure coordinators have set up things like Discord where people can be asking questions and chatting back and forth. When you do start working from home, it becomes critical to communicate! Now you don’t have that person stopping by your desk and bugging you. You need to be proactive about this. You need to check in with your coordinator at least twice a day and tell him / her where you are. In the morning and in the night — is good. You’re going to be so much more on top of it and you will be appreciated by your production team. You can even let them know when you’re getting in the weeds. “I don’t think I’ll be done by the end of the day, but I can send you where I am.”

[47:14] Allan: I think that’s so critical! It’s so easy [for artists to complain] about their coordinator, “Man! They’re so naggy!” Or, “Why do they question when this will be done?” That’s because artists don’t think about what their job entails. It’s a lot more difficult to be stuck in the middle where you’re anticipating what could go wrong. But if don’t know, there is nothing you can do about it. The more people can be over-communicative, the better it is! The worst thing is when something has been going wrong for days and you don’t tell anyone to help get it on track. Communication is everything!

Todd: Absolutely!

[48:47] Allan: Just to segue, you’ve lived in LA at some point, correct?

Todd: I lived there for 17 years.

[49:00] Allan: When I met you in 2004, was that when you lived there? With your move up north, what inspired you? What was going through your head then?

Todd: The reason I moved back to Seattle (that is where I grew up) was to be with Rose who is now my wife. She had her kid who was 8 at the time, and he was going back and forth between her and his dad. I was wrapping up a show and I thought it would be nice to be home. And I thought, I guess I was done with this phase of my life. I thought I’d write screenplays and learn more VFX skills. Once I moved up there, because I’d been in LA for so long, I’d built a network of people who trusted me. That’s not everybody! But I had enough people who thought I was trustworthy and dependable. They called up when they had a show and asked me if I could work on it. When I told them I was in Seattle, they said they’d just send me the plates and when I was done, I would send them back.

It followed me and I was able not only to work on projects from home but also to start talking to people in Seattle. They don’t have a film community per se, but there are game developers up there and there is commercial work. I also started talking to productions in Vancouver, where I could just go up for a week and come home for the weekend. I grew and made my way into Supervisor roles. Then, I could start choosing my jobs. I could get back on track into the industry and get cheesy on what I get to work on. I can work on big projects and then take 3 months off because that job was hard. You need to recuperate and revitalize, so you can go into the next project with enthusiasm. I’ll do the big show and come back home. Usually, there is a small thing that is happening in Seattle for a couple of weeks. There is a production team that likes working with Adult Swim. It’s a much more intimate way.

[54:47] Allan: I’d like to hear your thoughts on when you’re speaking to a new studio that might have worked with you before. How did you approach the subject of working remotely, especially in the past?

Todd: That’s a good question. It hadn’t really come up. As a Supervisor, it’s a much harder sell because you need to be on site. As an on-set Sup, you have to be on set…

[55:41] Allan: Up until now!

Todd: That’s right! Now you need to have a drone that you pilot to look at stuff. (Laughs.) There were times, even in LA, where I was working on larger shows like Tokyo Drift. They would need some sequence done but they didn’t have the tools in-house. So there was no point for me to come in; they’d outsource to me. If they needed sharks swimming in the water, I’d model texture, and rig and comp all those shots from home. They were in the Valley and I was in Venice. I guess it depends on how tight that creative loop is or needs to be. There is a company in Seattle that needed something to be done in Houdini but they didn’t have a license. So I did the work and sent it to them. But there were other cases where they needed me to light something and they worked in Cinema 4D and Red Giant…

[58:16] Allan: You mean, Red Shift?

Todd: Yes, Red Shift. They needed someone who would light and render and troubleshoot. I’d go in and look at different cloud renderers. In those cases, it’s easier to go in. It’s not really a conversation I have frequently. It usually comes up organically. Now, with the online stuff and Shotgun and Cinesync, where we can review and have conversations in real time, there is less of a reason for freelancers to have to go in. Unless, there is a huge amount of data that needs to be generated and transferred.

[1:00:15] Allan: I’ll say that one thing that worked really well with Atomic is when we did Flight together. I asked for a dedicated box and I would log in remotely. I would work 80 percent of the job remotely but fly in for the 11th hour. My final question would be about how things would change going forward. Some industries, people might like working from home. This has proven to be a way to work. How do you think things will be changing? One of the things that keep popping up is that a lot of people may go back to picking up plate or doing things in 3D and re-projecting it on set. If you have the soundstages in Vancouver, you don’t need to fly the whole crew. What disruptions or solutions that are going to pop up?

Todd: [1:03:02] I don’t think there is any way that we’re going back to the way it was, not entirely. If shows are being delivered and people are working from home, there is no valid reason to go backwards. If you have an artist who delivers as expected, why not do that? For the studios, the cost of running a studio! I don’t know how much it costs to maintain a large space when no one is there. That overhead could drop dramatically, especially for small companies. If you have your artists working remotely, why bring them in? You don’t have to supply power or explicit work stations. If you have a collection of work stations and a powerful RTX, then yes! You can have a building full of machines and people are just accessing them. It’s less costly to maintain a smaller facility. That will be a business model to come. Security would not be an issue until someone releases their shots. And then, “This is why we can’t have nice things!”

[1:06:33] Allan: That stuff is going to happen, even now! If someone wants to be dumb, they’ll be dumb. I remember on Call of Duty, we’d have to close the curtains at night because people who were obsessed with the game would look in.

Todd: But we’re making movies! This is no espionage. I can understand why they want to protect the IP but you don’t know when it’s going to happen. But we’re now proving that this system could work. And as far I hear, people are like, “Yeah! I kind of dig this.” This seems to be working. I’ve been hearing this from the post-production side of production. Production is going to change because they have to be cognizant of the virus. This thing is not going to go away until there is a vaccine.

[1:08:44] Allan: But then it mutates and we have the whole thing all over again.

Todd: That’s right! Then we have a new version of it. And if it’s airborne, things will have to change on set. On set, you’re intimate and close to everybody.

[1:19:07] Allan: Any talent has 3-5 people touching them at any given time!

Todd: Yup! And on our show, we have these sets that are really tight. They have their rehearsal and all the department heads are jammed in, to see what the shot will look like. You have 25 people crammed into a tiny area together. That just can’t happen. Something needs to be done about it. Either we have N95 masks distributed to us daily, and there is hand sanitizer. Catering can no longer be done buffet style. Crafty is going to go away! All those things are going to be managed. It’s not going to go as far as actors not having intimate scenes together. As we understand the virus more and more, and the testing gets less invasive, then they will have people tested weekly or daily. You’ll probably have people swiping your forehead before you go in. You don’t want to risk it. There will be more medics on set overlooking things.

[1:12:10] Allan: It just gets so much more expensive if one person infects everyone else. You can’t reschedule production. It could be a nightmare.

Todd: Yes. But the investment into more medical staff and more masks is better than having an outbreak onset.

[1:12:37] Allan: My assistant who is also in the film business mentioned reading the trades. She mentioned an article that suggested a solution for intimate scenes through VFX. I had to use the example of Final Fantasy and the kiss being the most difficult one in the movie. I can’t imagine that being a solution.

Todd: You can barely get an emotional reaction out of an animated character when they’re leaping off a building, much less when they’re looking lovingly into each other’s eyes. People just have to make sure they aren’t infected. They’re already having fewer people on set for intimate scenes. Which is great! If you have people kissing, you just need to make sure actors are staying healthy. That should be a rule in general.

[1:14:18] Allan: It’s a whole other world! The fact that there is a delay in it (before symptoms show up), that’s where the problem is.

Todd: Yeah! Well, hopefully we go back soon so we can wrap up this Season. It is a streaming show. On top of that, it’s Apple. They’re obviously worried because it’s costing money, but Apple TV+ isn’t a major revenue for Apple. They will move things around.

[1:15:37] Allan: I always think it’s hilarious how people jump to negativity. There will be a lull in production but there are people working right now. I think there will be a lot of projects being greenlit right away. But there will be a lull. It’s amazing how many animated feature films are popping up. In VFX, you can jump into tv until things normalize. What’s a strategy you’d lay out for any friends of yours in the business?

Todd: I think that’s a really intelligent question. I think people need to network per usual and contact people, find out who is hiring. People are hiring remote artists. You need to reach out to people who are in your network and find out who is working, where and how. Start reaching out blindly to places like animation houses: Pixar, DreamWorks, Sony Animation. Those facilities may need animators. I haven’t heard of anything being green lit to fill this hole.

[1:18:17] Allan: I am hearing of projects being green lit because they aren’t going to get affected as much.

Todd: You have to keep networking in general, even if this weren’t around. Even if you already have a job. You’re never more attractive than when you’re dating someone. If you’re going to talk to another facility, mention which show you’re currently on. Then, you look really attractive as opposed to, “I just lost my job.”

[1:19:28] Allan: It pains me so much when I ask someone at the end of our project, “Where are you off to now?” and the person says, “I’m going to take some time off and cut my reel.” Why weren’t you going out to business lunches all along?

Todd: Or, you hear, “I’m just going to jump onto the next show [the studio] is bidding on.” Number one, you don’t know if you’ll be on it. Number two, they don’t know if they have that show. You might want to check around. That’s the way this business works. If the studio loses a project, they may need to let you go.

[1:20:44] Allan: That’s such a valid point! I do think that 3D artists put so much emphasis on trusting the employer. But it is a business. It’s very black and white.

Todd: And if you think you think they will invest in you and keep you around just in case they get another show, it doesn’t happen.

[1:21:42] Allan: Thanks again, man! I appreciate you.

Todd: Let’s do it again soon!

 

I hope you enjoyed this Episode! I want to thank Todd for taking the time. There were so many great topics we talked about. If you want to share your take on this topic and what the future of VFX would be. Email me at [email protected].

I’m currently working on training, specifically on working from home. I’ve been working on this for years. I, myself, am working on several projects. There is so much I want to share. This is the best time to do it, too.

Please take a few minutes to share this Episode. I will be back next week.

Until then —

Rock on!

 

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