I hope you are all enjoying your Halloween today. It is my wife’s favorite holiday, so we always have a great time celebrating it. This will also be my son’s first Halloween, so this year it is extra special.
This has been a pretty eventful week for the company. Our biggest client has asked us to deliver some commercials earlier then we originally planned, so we had to start staffing up. We now have a team of 9 after effect artists(maybe 1 more), and 1 CG animator. This team is now bigger then my modeling team I had at DreamWorks Animation. I’m excited about bringing on our first animator, since my company has not actually done any animation work yet. So getting to do some animation is really exciting for me. I’m also really enjoying the VFX world, so it is great getting to work on something that combines the two worlds.
I’m starting to run a little behind on my blog posts. Finding the time to write these are becoming harder and harder to do lately. It is important to me to continue writing posts, so I will keep trying to find the time. This week more then other weeks I have had a lot of people mention to me that they enjoy reading my blog. I sometimes forget people are actually reading them. Sure the site will tell me numbers of how many people have read them, but it is easy to look at that as just numbers. When people tell me they are reading my blog it makes it seem more real. So thank you everyone for taking the time to read my words. I promise I will keep getting better at this writing thingy.
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Another day in the exciting world of Animation and VFX
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I mentioned before that when starting your own company you end up wearing a lot of different hats. I thought I would talk about one of the hats that is very important, and that is my bidding hat.
Bidding is the process of looking at the work a client needs to get done, and giving a price to them that you are willing to do it for. Seems pretty simple, but it actually is very difficult. If everyone was willing to pay a fair price for the work then maybe it be simpler, but the truth is everyone wants it cheaper, faster, and better. So you have to be creative to find other ways to make your bid work with your clients goals.
Since it’s a Federal holiday I thought it was appropriate to talk about one of the avenues I am exploring to find work.
The United States Government is the world’s largest purchaser of goods and services, spending over $536 Billion in 2011. In addition to that through legislation such as the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act and the Small Business Act the Federal Government is required to set aside at least 23% of all contracting dollars exclusively for small business.
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Animation for Uncle Sam through government contracts
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The week of shooting is now over, and I think it went really well besides my feet being a little sore from standing all day. We shot Monday thru Friday, and the hours were roughly 7am to 7pm each day. So that is a lot more standing then I’m used to, since lately I have spent a lot of time on my butt in my office chair. My office now looks like a toy store from the toys we brought back to use for the VFX work, and I have a lot of paperwork to sort through.
This has been another very busy week for me. I have spent most of my time putting a team of artists together for my next project. Shooting starts on Monday, and we will start working on the VFX as soon as mid next week. This time around we have a bigger team, at least double the size of last time, and it takes some time sorting through portfolios looking for the gems. Often when you find someone they are busy working on other projects. I think we have a great team so far, and I’m still looking for a few more people and I think we will be good.
My parents were in town this week, so I did not have time to write a full blog post, so this will be quick update.
The Toys”R”Us project we have been working on has finally come to an end(for the most part). Not all 15 commercials are posted yet, but if you missed any of them you can watch them all here.
This project started the week after I left DreamWorks Animation in July, and went on for about 2 1/2 months. It could not have come at a more perfect time for me, and gave me a great head start for the company. It was a great experience, and had a lot of fun working on them.
I’m a strong believer in the importance of having great mentors. No one has all the answers, and to have someone that has more or different experience then you who can help guide you is an absolute must.
A big part of leaning is making mistakes, and if you can have access to other people’s mistakes you won’t have to make them yourself to learn the lesson. A mentor can also provide you with things that have worked well for them, and give you an understanding that you previously did not have.
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You can’t start an animation studio alone, You need great mentors.
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This week has been a pretty busy, so I was not able to finish the article I was working on, so instead I thought I would give a quick update on this week.