Side Effects’ Mark Elendt Talks Dailies at SIGGRAPH 2013
Following is a brief Q&A with Mark Elendt, SIGGRAPH 2013 Dailies Chair from Side Effects Software. Mark has had quite a successful CG career and has been a devoted SIGGRAPH volunteer for many years. He is well known for his work at Side Effects Software. In 2012, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognized Mark and his colleague (Andrew Clinton) with a Technical Achievement Award.
To those new to SIGGRAPH, here are the details on SIGGRAPH Dailies:
"This celebration of excellence in computer graphics showcases images and short animations of extraordinary power and beauty. Each presenter has one minute to present an animation and describe the work. The format is very similar to Technical Papers Fast Forward, except there is no talk later in the week.
Dailies is where you will be astounded by sheer excellence in modeling, shading, animation, lighting, effects, and more. Where you can participate in the vibrant production culture that surrounds presenting and reviewing work that was completed despite seemingly endless obstacles."
The Dailies take place on Wednesday during conference week from 6pm - 8pm
Why do you think the Dailies program has caught on?
Though it's relatively new, I personally feel that Dailies is one of the most exciting SIGGRAPH programs and I think it really strikes a chord with a lot of the SIGGRAPH attendees.
I mean, I've always really enjoyed the other programs at SIGGRAPH, particularly the technical programs. But one thing I particularly enjoyed was the "how we did this" clips shown by big studios at the Electronic Theatre. I really enjoyed watching how all the different components come together to make a single complex shot in a movie.
Dailies is a whole evening of "behind the scenes" stories. Not only do you see outstanding imagery, but you also hear the stories from the artists who did the work: the challenges, clever tricks, or even how they were personally affected by the work. With 45 different stories told in a space of about 90 minutes, it makes for a very fast-paced and exciting evening.
If you think about it, there really is no other place where you can experience this kind of event.
What motivated you to want to be the Chair?
I have been a SIGGRAPH volunteer for many years and was fortunate to be around when the first Dailies program was rolled out by Pixar's Bill Polson. Bill's explanation of Dailies really captured my imagination. Electronic Theatre shows the final product and Production Sessions give us an in-depth look into the process, but Dailies is the only place at SIGGRAPH where we get to hear from the artist who actually did the work. I guess my motivation to be Chair was that I wanted to step up and help this fledgling program off the ground.
How did you pick your Jury?
This year, I was really fortunate to get a great jury of industry professionals together to review the material. It was a very small group of very talented individuals from Dreamworks, Pixar, Microsoft Games and Rhythm and Hues. I felt that to avoid conflicts of interest, it was essential to select jurors with different talents from across different studios. Of course, it was also important to choose people with production experience, jurors who knew what it was like to work in the trenches.