VES Production Summit to Address Paradigm Shift
"I think it might be a bit disorienting to some of our fabulous speakers because there has been no prep on their part; there's nothing to do but show up. All the heavy lifting has been handled in the background in putting together these very interesting groups of people who have distinct opinions and obvious contributions to a vital, vibrant, evolving industry… Oh, in an attempt to further tap areas of inspiration, we're putting crayons on the tables so people can express anything they like during the day. If this means we put up illustrations or flow-charts or random words, we'll just see. We just want to create a day that approaches our industry from a slightly different angle, which, in a way, is really what creatives do every day."
According to Jeffrey Okun, VES chairman, who is moderating the first session, "Step one is imagine what the future will be and step two is let's start the conversation about how we're all going to get there in one piece. It may result in the end of some verticals and the invention of others. People need to learn what it's going to be like so we're not all victims.
"The enlightened viewpoint is that there's room for various techniques and formats such as performance capture and 3-D. However, as someone who shall remain nameless said, 'Oh, boy, another way for all the executives to defer any decision until the very end of production."
For Richard Hollander (Newt, WALL•E), who is moderating the second session, they "hopefully will get into detail of some of the problems of watching these different media, different sourcing of imagery and multiple houses delivering imagery back to the colorist. And those things provide a route that you have to navigate quite carefully. So I'm not calling them problems because there are always things that you have to navigate. And this panel is not there to solve the navigation problems or to declare a solution: it's there to expose those different portions of the path to get the film done and to provide some perspective."
But Hollander wants to bring the discussion even closer to the ground." There are some really mundane things that are going on in making films and trying to get the imagery from the moment you shoot it to having it previewed to having visual effects houses converging into editorial to the final DI place. There's a whole big stumbling block there. Digital cameras are still a big topic."
And what's it been like for Hollander transitioning from Rhythm & Hues to Pixar? "Pixar is a different world. It's not effects because it's all enclosed. But the difference is that it's all sourced here and from start to finish and that's what interested me in coming to Pixar."
Finally, Colin Brown, British Film Commissioner, UK Film Council, who will participate in the third session, believes the Summit needs to happen now because the VFX industry is truly international and a major part of the film economy.