APA L.A. Portfolio Review Oct.

It’s near 2015 and I’m having 2013 syndrome. “How is 2014 more fucked than 2013? 2015 has to be better if I survive to see it.” Everyone has their moments so out with the defeatist garbage and back to work. When it comes down to it, you have to have your center. Visual realizing my imagination into creative works has always been one of mine.

In 1973, I made my first flip book. (“1973?! Dude, yo like disco caveman old!”). No troglodyte here, holmes. I’d enjoyed the hell out of drawing and I found it cool as all hell to watch those drawings move. During one of my presentations I realized that I hadn’t show any animations the entire day. Hell, I hadn’t even loaded any onto the tablet. What triggered this thought was one of the reviewers, Cynthia Hopkins from Kaiser Permanente telling me that she could tell that I loved doing this

purty wires with reflectivity, damage and grime

THIS = purty wires with reflectivity, damage and grime

versus doing that (tennis shot below or to the right depending how formatting goes).

Well, I like getting goddamn money and if it all shows competence, what the flying hell does the quantity of love units matter? That’s what I asked her at least. Her statement wasn’t unreasonable but it also didn’t address the practicalities of hires. I’ve been too many places where I’ve been mistaken as a courier because the “culture” of the facility has never seen anyone who looked like me do high level visual jujitsu. But like most reviews, there’s a right and no wrong because we’re taking about the mechanics of how people view aesthetics from someone that they have no history of interaction. The imagery has to convey all of the spark of possibility that they might remember you in X amount of years because strength of that memory.

See remember, I have that disco caveman shit going on, according to some. I tell reviewers from the beginning,

There is a tennis ball coming my way

THAT = There is a tennis ball coming my way

I’m old (at least in work history). I don’t want your opinion about the positioning of my pixels. I want to know if you are amenable to me adding you to my SPAM list (marketing list) and if there is any possibility that you would hire a mofo like me because of what I offer. Jason Lau from Team One was very direct. He had valid and sapient suggestions that I admittedly didn’t want to hear and possibly still don’t. Mainly, I’m tired of validity and the broken alpaca it rides. But honestly, despite a couple of people being really high on my vision and versatility, Jason and Cynthia’s thoughts brought me back to the animation. They galvanized the premise of hitting someone as hard as you can in the eye and the most efficient way is the energy. Because I was helping out APA, I got to see a lot of glimpses of a lot of portfolios and there were some seriously bad ass presentations and individual pieces. If your bank account doesn’t tell you to step up your game then the practical understanding of competition should. Your “competition” doesn’t want to feast on ramen every night either.

OK, the animation isn’t solely about the meticulous and insane amounts of detail. Sometimes, it’s finishing shit with proper polish. The videos I had were LOWWWWW budget but I really could have added some extra flourishes to them to make them pop more. Sometimes people only see the pop so it needs to be there. It’s a bit like polishing turds but that damn near describes the bulk of my home video/DVD career. Efficiency: that tennis shot took 30 minutes to shoots and 10 minutes of post pro. And video was shot. The wires shot took significantly more time to prep and post. They both made me the same amount of money. Both exist and the world is not dissolving into a puddle of goo as though there is a crossing of the streams.

Jason Lau provided me with an example where the comparative name will be omitted for safety purposes. Mind you I’m loosely paraphrasing this at 2 am. In his position, Jason can pretty much hire any photographer he wants to shoot with because his company is playing with house money. So say there’s a known photographer with a similar style but has a rep for being an ass. He would have no compunction hiring the lesser known person because in theory that person isn’t a dickhead and he’d rather work with cool, competent people.

As it is, I didn’t feel too high nor too low after these reviews. No one opened up the vault to invite me in nor did anyone challenge me to a knife fight. It’s a slow train but it’s still on the rails toward its destination.

My numbers mean nothing

5-6 weeks ago, I broke one of my fingers so I’m fairly averse to typing at the moment. A couple of days ago I pulled my achilles so I’ve been walking like I’m double my age. My son, trained by his bad daddy, properly piled on saying, “You always walk like you’re twice your age”. Oh the wonderful sound off freshly beaten chillens!

Sparing myself typing, limiting transitions: My Adbase list for a particular target had about 450 names. Of those, only 96 are listed as accepting email spam. 11 of those were hard bounces. Of the 85 who received the email, 28% opened it. You have to track all of that data. But do you? Do you?!?!?

See a product, campaign, company that you dig. Research who did it. See if that company still represents the product. Tie it all in on the appropriate list. Send out email. Send out physical promos. Make calls. To this day, I have gotten more gigs from people talking to other people about me. Now, people are talking about twitter to twits. Well, maybe not but I’m not bearing the benefit of a lot of chatter presently.

When I was a quasi-big man in the DVD field I used to be invited to speak at conferences and crap. One of the last ones I attended, a student laid the question of what should they do to get in the business. Mind you, I was there as a Designer/Producer. My advice was they never learn how to do anything technical above putting the phone to their ear. Photoshop, After Effects, Maya = NO. Phone bill = YES. The technology can make you obsolete. The people will keep you paid. I have worked under the power of former receptionists and convicts, driven by companies whose interactive divisions I’ve built, and go long stretches (years) not getting calls returned.

When you are outside of business infrastructure, your need to intersect a socio-economic ecosystem becomes an imperative. They might talk it, but I don’t know too many people who just sent out a couple of emails and everything fell into place. People have told me that they’ve seen it happen and I tell them that I’ve seen their parents on red tube.

punch 'em and kick 'em then punch 'em and kick'em again

punch ’em and kick ’em then punch ’em and kick’em again

Someone is telling me that they like the new music video I did. What they did was search Google for megafunk and got videos from mega funk. Two pages deep, they dominate. Viva Brasilia! I have the first entry and then a couple of others on the second page. Not everyone uses the web the way web savvy people do. So how much time should I allocate fighting a cyber turf war? I have to shoot. I have to animate. I have to elevate my foot to regain a functional relationship with my achilles.

So, I’m a bit sick of looking at the SEO, the hit count, the demographic breakdown. The number at the financial institution of choice tells me what I need to know: “You better know somebody.”

FCPX v2: The Flip Side

Media management. Since the days of the 2-pop forum and the formation of the former LAFCPUG people have complained about FCP’s media management. Man, I hate the further Apple-i-zation of this thing. The old media manager wasn’t the greatest show on Earth but this Share garbage is just that. As of 10.0.3, this ingests your media like iPhoto, an app I loathe and refuse to use. Little stinking files all over your internal hard drive combined with sloppy exports is getting me to look at other apps or add other ones. I mean SCRATCH drives, man!

Why the hell is everything internal? I needed to duplicate the entire media and edits and the best solution I could quickly find was to drag the source video (fortunately imported from a master folder on an external drive) and export out an EDL. That means re-rendering is due for the receiver. Honestly, I haven’t read the full manual and I haven’t upgraded to 10.0.6 because I’m mid-edit on a feature so my time to sift through has been limited. However, if the functionality is there it should be much more obvious.

Nesting comps is a sloppy endeavor. And the output from an HD source exported out to DVD looks nasty. Macro-blocked to all hell. It is possible that there is a process. The type of work exported to web has looked fine but the few samples to DVD I’ve seen thus far have been terrible. I’ll have to investigate in the near future. Too bad there isn’t a ubiquitous standard physical delivery method that can hold the full footage without needing to scale. BluRay is not it and with the cloudy push, there probably will not be.

scream, alice, scream

In FCP, no one can hear you scream!