Tag Archives: Behind The Title

Behind the Title: Weta Workshop’s Jason Aldous

NAME: Jason Aldous

COMPANY: Wellington, New Zealand’s Weta Workshop

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY?
A weird and wonderful (emphasis on wonderful) collection of artists, craftspeople and some of the most creative minds I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. Any one day can have leading costume designers, sword-smiths and game creators working under a single roof.

WHAT’S YOUR JOB TITLE?
Project manager for communications & media production.

WHAT DOES THAT ENTAIL?
On the surface it sounds pretty straightforward: product marketing and product packaging. But like a lot of things at Weta Workshop, once you jump aboard the train it turns out to be more like a roller coaster.

On a daily basis this role could involve product design, presentations, photo shoots, brainstorm sessions, client visits and modeling. But the heart of the role is making sure we’ve got everything we need (information, planning, resources and inspiration) to make sure every project meets the Weta Workshop standard.

WHAT WOULD SURPRISE PEOPLE THE MOST ABOUT WHAT FALLS UNDER THAT TITLE?
This is the type of role that can scale up or down in responsibility depending on the size of the project and the size of the team. In a smaller team on a small project, you could spend time being involved in planning, creative, copyediting and graphic design. In a larger team on a big project you keep it to the basics while the team cover their bases.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE JOB?
When the schedules fall into alignment, everything is perfectly balanced, and the team is creatively challenged.

WHAT’S YOUR LEAST FAVORITE?
When we’ve made way for an urgent request and everything is looking steady and then… a second urgent request rolls in. With such a wide and varied company with clients, fans, employees and projects from all over the world, the surprises are unavoidable, but it’s pretty rewarding to deliver on too!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TIME OF THE DAY?
Afternoon walk. There’s always someone thoughtful enough to round up a few people at a time for a walk. It’s a good time to get fresh air, talk about work, not talk about work and generally give your head a bit of a refresh before truckin’ on to the end of the day.

IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE THIS JOB, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING INSTEAD?
I’d be getting back to planning some short films. Ideally ones that involve food.

HOW EARLY ON DID YOU KNOW THIS WOULD BE YOUR PATH?
I wasn’t initially looking to re-enter the field of graphic design, but I saw a compelling role that I fit the bill perfectly for. The appeal of working at Weta Workshop helped push me out of my comfort zone in editorial to keep developing in another field.

CAN YOU NAME SOME RECENT PROJECTS YOU HAVE WORKED ON?
The Art & Craft of Weta Workshop exhibition in Wuhan — sharing the work we do with people who might not have the chance to visit us in Wellington. Also brand development for the Mini Epics line of collectibles. I really love the product packaging we’ve come up with and I can’t wait to see it on shelves.

GKR: Heavy Hitters was my first time working on a board game. Plus, it’s an IP of our own, created by three artists who I had admired from afar for a really long time!

WHAT IS THE PROJECT THAT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF?
Recently, Middle-earth: From Script to Screen. I can’t claim a great deal of ownership over this project, but to have been involved with a team of experts detailing how the world of Middle-earth was built for screen has been an absolute privilege and an adventure.

NAME THREE PIECES OF TECHNOLOGY YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT.
Fujifilm x100 (taking photos)
iPhone (viewing photos)
Printing press (properly viewing photos)

WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS DO YOU FOLLOW?
I stay tuned to Twitter personally and professionally. But my favorite place for social media content is Instagram.

DO YOU LISTEN TO MUSIC WHILE YOU WORK? CARE TO SHARE YOUR FAVORITE MUSIC TO WORK TO?
Daft Punk’s Tron: Legacy has been my go-to night shift and focus-inducing music for years. There’s always a place for The Commodores on the late-night playlist too!

WHAT DO YOU DO TO DE-STRESS FROM IT ALL?
I used get out for a run on my lunch break, if I could. I think I’ve taken a change of pace and moved onto dog walks. But nothing can beat a multi-day hike in the New Zealand bush!

Behind the Title: Union VFX supervisor James Roberts

NAME: James Roberts

COMPANY: London-based Union (@unionvfx)

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY?
Union is an independent VFX company founded on a culture of originality, innovation and collaboration.

WHAT’S YOUR JOB TITLE?
VFX Supervisor

WHAT DOES THAT ENTAIL?
Overseeing the VFX for feature films from concept to delivery. This includes concept development, on-set photography and supervision of artists.

WHAT WOULD SURPRISE PEOPLE ABOUT WHAT FALLS UNDER THAT TITLE?
I sometimes get to be an actor.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE JOB?
Working with creative artists both on set and in the studio to develop original artwork.

WHAT’S YOUR LEAST FAVORITE?
Answering emails.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TIME OF THE DAY?
1am

IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE THIS JOB, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING INSTEAD?
Professional dog walker

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS PROFESSION?
My mother was an artist and my father was a computer programmer… I didn’t have many other options.

My Cousin Rachel

CAN YOU NAME SOME RECENT PROJECTS?
T2 Trainspotting and My Cousin Rachel.

WHAT PROJECT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?
’71 and The Theory of Everything.

NAME THREE PIECES OF TECHNOLOGY YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT.
Headphones, Side Effects Houdini and light bulbs.

WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS DO YOU FOLLOW?
Instagram — I’m @jjjjjjames

DO YOU LISTEN TO MUSIC WHILE YOU WORK?
Yes…… anything and everything.

WHAT DO YOU DO TO DE-STRESS FROM IT ALL?
I spend time away from work with nice people.

Behind the Title: Alma Mater EP/producer Ben Apley

NAME: Ben Apley

COMPANY: Alma Mater

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY?
Alma Mater is a visual studio dedicated to design, live action and animation. Our work has a strong foundation in design, and includes projects in traditional commercial advertising, as well as entertainment, and often includes digital extensions, branding and experiential executions.

WHAT’S YOUR JOB TITLE?
Executive Producer/Producer

WHAT DOES THAT ENTAIL?
As executive producer, I target new opportunities, work with sales reps to strategically figure out how to pursue new business and manage the overall flow of the office from a business and resource standpoint. As producer, I manage production workflow and communicate project goals, needs, etc. to our clients.

My primary responsibility is putting the creative team in the best possible place to succeed. If you do that, then everything else kind of falls into place.

WHAT WOULD SURPRISE PEOPLE ABOUT WHAT FALLS UNDER THAT TITLE?
There isn’t an established “right way” to try to do this job. The role really does shift around a lot based on where you are in the sales and production cycle, and you have to be comfortable adapting to immediate needs while still planning for longer-term business strategies.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE JOB?
Closing on new business.

WHAT’S YOUR LEAST FAVORITE?
Turning down new opportunities when we’re too busy. That kills me.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TIME OF THE DAY?
After my children go to sleep.

IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE THIS JOB, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING INSTEAD?
Pursuing a career as a professional basketball player.

HOW EARLY ON DID YOU KNOW THIS WOULD BE YOUR PATH?
When I was in college, I had a journalism internship at a news agency based in Washington, DC, one spring, and then a production internship in Chicago later that summer. I realized during the production internship that everyone on the crew appeared to be pretty happy while the journalists I followed always seemed kind of angry. So I decided to pursue production.

Rough Night

CAN YOU NAME SOME RECENT PROJECTS YOU HAVE WORKED ON?
We just finished a campaign for Lennox, the title sequence for the movie Rough Night and a series of commercials launching the 2018 Ford F-150.

WHAT IS THE PROJECT THAT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF?
Early on in my career, I produced the original Marvel theatrical logo animation. I remember being so excited to see something I had worked on in the movie theater.

NAME THREE PIECES OF TECHNOLOGY YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT.
My phone, my computer, and my car.

WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS DO YOU FOLLOW?
Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

DO YOU LISTEN TO MUSIC WHILE YOU WORK? CARE TO SHARE YOUR FAVORITE MUSIC TO WORK TO?
Sometimes I like to play “Everyday I’m Hustlin’” by Rick Ross while I work on bids.

WHAT DO YOU DO TO DE-STRESS FROM IT ALL?
I have three children who bring me back to reality on a regular basis.

Behind the Title: PS260 editor Matt Posey

NAME: Matt Posey

COMPANY: PS260 (@ps260nyc)

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY?
PS260 is a boutique editorial house (with offices in Venice, California and New York City) specializing in commercials, music videos and features. We also have a motion graphics and visual effects department. We’re a small team that fosters real creativity and experimentation in the work that we do.

WHAT’S YOUR JOB TITLE?
Editor

WHAT DOES THAT ENTAIL?
Editing is essentially taking video, audio and images and crafting them into the most effective telling of a story. It is an extremely collaborative process that involves many components — understanding the technology, working with directors/writers/creatives, coordinating sound and effects — but at its heart, editing is telling a compelling visual story over time.

WHAT WOULD SURPRISE PEOPLE THE MOST ABOUT WHAT FALLS UNDER THAT TITLE?
I suppose for people who aren’t a part of the post process the most surprising thing might be how drastically a story can change in the edit. There’s that saying that a film (or short, or commercial, or whatever) is written three times: first as a script, then as it ends up being shot and finally as it’s edited. Very rarely does a final product end up as “boarded,” and I still find it amazing how such small changes can completely change the viewer’s idea of what’s happening on the screen — what if we held this shot so the character blinks weirdly one more time? Or how about we add a sound effect of his keys rustling? What if we open with the other character so now we’re in their POV for the rest of the scene?

Depeche Mode

Editors can frequently act as fixers — with the stress and unpredictability of productions, things don’t often go the way they’re planned and the editors are then tasked with making sense of a puzzle with missing pieces. I love being challenged to find some outrageous way to tell the story, and we want to tell it with the material that’s in front of us.

WHAT’S YOUR LEAST FAVORITE?
Sometimes these creative solutions to production problems work really well and sometimes they feel a bit lacking. It’s at these times you know these problems could have been solved if editorial was involved earlier in the process. I’ve been lucky to be involved in some projects through pre and post production and, along with minimizing prep in post and allowing for more time to be spent on creative editorial, potential issues were caught and ironed out before they became bigger concerns.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TIME OF THE DAY?
Lunchtime is always a pretty great thing. PS260 makes sure we’re all well fed.

IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE THIS JOB, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING INSTEAD?
Probably desperately trying to garner YouTube hits for my speculative fiction essay videos.

HOW EARLY ON DID YOU KNOW THIS WOULD BE YOUR PATH?
I’ve been editing since I was a kid, re-editing Star Wars audio books on cassette tape to tell new stories. Later, I began capturing analog video that I shot or recorded from the TV with a Dazzle Movie Star box and editing in Adobe Premiere 5.0 (I never thought I’d go back to Premiere almost 20 years later, but I did). I always knew I wanted to work with video and loved to experiment with new effects and ways to craft a story, so I went to art school and got a degree in video art. After that I found I needed to make rent, so getting paid to do what I love was the easiest decision I’ve ever made.

CAN YOU NAME SOME RECENT PROJECTS YOU HAVE WORKED ON?
Recently, I’ve done a lot of video work for Depeche Mode. The director Tim Saccenti and I created the live visuals for their current tour, along with two performance music videos and three 360 music videos, which should be out very soon!

I’ve also just finished a wonderful feature documentary, Illustrated Man (left), about tattooed men and the history of tattooing in NYC, with director Sophy Holland. Currently, I’m working on some videos for Elizabeth Arden, starring Reese Witherspoon.

YOU HAVE WORKED ON ALL SORTS OF PROJECTS. DO YOU PUT ON A DIFFERENT HAT WHEN CUTTING FOR A SPECIFIC GENRE?
The goal of every project is the same: to make the audience feel what you want them to feel, whether it’s laughter or sadness, or that rush of adrenaline as they’re making their way home from the theater. But each project comes with its own set of limitations.

With TV spots, you’re confined to 30 or 60 seconds and you have to temper your grand ideas of how best to tell the story with the economy of time, not to mention the sometimes limiting concerns of the brand or product you’re representing. Long form and features can allow you all the time you may need, but you have to be mindful of the audience’s attention span.

The best thing you can do is continually learn, and have at-the-ready techniques to help you with a specific form or genre, like knowing when to be in a wide or a close-up shot, using the camera’s distance to create tension or reveal emotion. Or in a comedy, for example, knowing not to reveal new information right after a big joke because the audience will miss it while they’re laughing (thanks Ren & Stimpy).

WHAT IS THE PROJECT THAT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF?
My first feature, We’ve Forgotten More Than We Ever Knew, was an incredible learning experience for me. It taught me so much about how to cut dialogue, build out a scene and carry a character’s emotional arc across 90 minutes. Plus, it’s just a really cool film.

WHAT DO YOU USE TO EDIT?
Right now I’m using Adobe Premiere CC 2017. The recent updates have finally stolen me away from Avid and Final Cut.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PLUG-IN?
This is like asking someone what their favorite book or movie is, so it’ll probably change depending on the day of week. Right now I’m into using stock reverb plug-ins, or things like iZotope Vinyl to mix in sound elements in interesting ways. Tomorrow it could be star wipes.

ARE YOU OFTEN ASKED TO DO MORE THAN EDIT? IF SO, WHAT ELSE ARE YOU ASKED TO DO?
Definitely. Because of the progression of technology, clients are expecting more and more, and the divide between offline and online is narrowing. I do a lot of the online effects in the edit, whether it’s motion graphics, correcting eye lines when the actors stray, or comping split screens.

In the features and music videos I work on, I have a lot of freedom to work on bigger CG shots and effects set pieces, which is always a lot of fun.

NAME THREE PIECES OF TECHNOLOGY YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT.
Of course, no one can live without their phone nowadays. It does help a lot for my job as well, allowing me to remote in to my workstation to check on a render or reference an EDL at a session.

The other two would be my corded Apple full-size keyboard and Logitech M500 mouse. They’re amazingly simple tools, but they make things so much easier.

WHAT DO YOU DO TO DE-STRESS FROM IT ALL?
It’s all about having a good work-life balance, which is an issue most editors have to grapple with. Fortunately, I have some amazing people in my life who make sure to occasionally pull me away from all the screens.

Behind the Title: Broadcast Management Group’s Todd Mason

NAME: Todd Mason

COMPANY: Broadcast Management Group (BMG) with offices in DC, NYC and LA.

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY?
Broadcast Management Group (BMG) is a video production company that focuses on music, news and entertainment events. We work with networks, event companies and digital media companies on multi-camera productions live to air or live to the web. We handle all of the technical design, engineering and management for each production as well as all the crewing, transmissions and overall logistics.

Additionally, we provide creative and editorial solutions as well as broadcast consulting services. We like to think of ourselves as a one-stop-shop for live production.

WHAT’S YOUR JOB TITLE?
CEO and Executive in Charge of Production.

Live streaming for Mashable during SXSW was one recent job for BMG.

WHAT DOES THAT ENTAIL?
As CEO, I’m involved in all of the day-to-day activity for the company as well as long-term strategic planning and client development. During our live productions, I serve as the executive in charge of production, in which I’m responsible for all aspects of the production. My job is to ensure that everything is running smoothly – from a technical, editorial and personnel perspective – and deal with any last-minute changes.

WHAT WOULD SURPRISE PEOPLE THE MOST ABOUT WHAT FALLS UNDER THAT TITLE?
Like most CEOs, I’m involved in all facets of the company — business development, accounting, marketing, etc. I think people would be surprised by how much of the hands-on work I participate in.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE JOB?
It’s hard to explain to people outside of the industry, but there’s an adrenaline rush that you get during a live production. That’s my favorite part of the job. At BMG, we like to say that we’re adrenaline junkies.

WHAT’S YOUR LEAST FAVORITE?
Being on the road constantly is a challenge for me and my family.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TIME OF THE DAY?
Early morning before everyone else is in the office and there aren’t any distractions.

IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE THIS JOB, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING INSTEAD?
Growing up I wanted to be a truck driver. I don’t know what it was that drew me to that, but I always told my parents it was something I wanted to do. Luckily, I found television production instead.

HOW EARLY ON DID YOU KNOW THIS WOULD BE YOUR PATH?
When I was growing up, the church I attended started to televise their weekly church services. I was fascinated by all of the technology and the live production aspect. I was able to negotiate my way into being on the production crew — even though I was younger than the required age limit — and I was immediately hooked.

The Oscars party for IMDb.


CAN YOU NAME SOME RECENT PROJECTS YOU HAVE WORKED ON?

In February, Broadcast Management Group produced a live Oscars Watch Party for IMDb. The program consisted of a 30-minute pre-show, 30-minute post show and a three-hour second screen show that ran concurrent to the Oscars broadcast. The show streamed live on Twitter and Twitch and drew 13 million viewers. After that, we produced live programming for Mashable during SXSW in Austin. Our program streamed live on Twitter and featured interviews with actors, celebrities and musicians. Currently, we’re in the middle of two large consulting projects for TD Ameritrade and Verizon and will be producing some additional live programming at San Diego Comic-Con in July.

WHAT IS THE PROJECT THAT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF?
About a year ago, we completed a consulting project for the International Center for Journalists. We built out a full production operation in Karachi, Pakistan at a local university. It was designed to train aspiring journalists and newsroom crews and allow them to hone their craft. It was great to be part of such an ambitious project, especially one that has a positive impact on people’s lives and contributes to the broadcast community as a whole.

NAME THREE PIECES OF TECHNOLOGY YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT.
My iPhone (since I’m always on it), my laptop and Google Drive (which I’ve just learned to love).

WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS DO YOU FOLLOW?
LinkedIn and Facebook mostly.

DO YOU LISTEN TO MUSIC WHILE YOU WORK?
I do. Mostly whatever comes up in my iTunes playlist.

WHAT DO YOU DO TO DE-STRESS FROM IT ALL?
Excersing and keeping up with my landscaping at home.

Behind the Title: Audiomotion managing director Brian Mitchell

NAME: Brian Mitchell

COMPANY: Oxford, UK-based Audiomotion

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY?
Audiomotion has been around nearly 20 years, providing motion-captured character animation to video games, film, TV and a whole host of other applications.

WHAT’S YOUR JOB TITLE?
Managing Director

WHAT DOES THAT ENTAIL?
The job consists of many disciplines. All the usual forecasting and planning requirements, working closely with the management team to ensure we maintain the quality of service. I also get involved with the day-to-day running of the studio itself when time allows. I enjoy being part of the team especially on location shoots. We have a wide range of regular clients who are based all over the UK, Europe and beyond. I also like to get out and pay them a visit from time to time to maintain the relationship and make sure we’re aware of any new workflows and of any new opportunities for evolving our collaboration.

WHAT WOULD SURPRISE PEOPLE THE MOST ABOUT WHAT FALLS UNDER THAT TITLE?
I’m not sure if it’s a surprise but as a small company we all get to wear several hats, which means there might be an odd occasion when I can sneak off to the workshop and help build some crazy props. Last time it was a full-size “mocap-friendly” helicopter.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE JOB?
The thing that gives me the most pleasure is the wide variety of characters, creatives, sports celebrities and actors that we work with. Whilst on screen the workflow appears very similar, the final results are pretty amazing. I have to say that on most occasions no two shoots are the same.

We have worked with the likes of Liam Neeson, Brian Cox and Andy Sirkis. Sport stars such as Lionel Messi, Gareth Bale and Harry Kane, as well as Robbie Williams, Take That and Will.i.am to name a few, and I have to say that every one of them has been a pleasure to work with. We make it our business to ensure every client, actor and crew are supported and looked after from pre-production through the whole process to delivery and beyond if necessary.

WHAT’S YOUR LEAST FAVORITE?
I would say the admin. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good spreadsheet, I’m just not a fan of spending lots of time wading through a flood of emails or coming up with answers to this type thing!

From a shoot perspective, packing up from a horse capture location shoot. There’s a lot to do even though the party is over and you never know what you might step in!

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE TIME OF THE DAY?
I think for me it has to be first thing in the morning because I can get in early and get the jump on the day. I achieve far more that way.

IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE THIS JOB, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING INSTEAD?
I constantly have a list of alternative ventures floating around that occasionally get discussed over a beer with friends. I’m sure I would pick one of these to develop into something. There’s no shortage of ideas and opportunity, just a lack of time.

Liam Neeson, on set.

HOW EARLY ON DID YOU KNOW THIS WOULD BE YOUR PATH?
I had no idea until the opportunity presented itself some time back. I had shared the running of the company with one Mr. Michael Morris since 2003. Now I’m flying solo.

WHAT IS THE PROJECT THAT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF?
A Monster Calls, which opened in the US in October, 2016, was a great production to be a part of. We had Liam Neeson in the studio for two weeks and he was great to work with. There’s a real buzz when everything is in full swing: streaming realtime characters on screen and having the director, JA Bayona, exploring the virtual world with the virtual camera.

NAME THREE PIECES OF TECHNOLOGY YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT?
Our in-house tracking software is very cool, my damn phone is a love-hate relationship, although I’d be lost without it, and the Bluetooth in the car makes life easy.

WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS DO YOU FOLLOW?
The “usual suspects” — LinkedIn, Twitter and a little bit of Facebook

DO YOU LISTEN TO MUSIC WHILE YOU WORK?
The tunes get cranked up during studio set-ups and location shoots, and my dancin’ trousers get pulled on for an after party. Other than that, I resort to an audio book in the car, which has become commonplace.

WHAT DO YOU DO TO DE-STRESS FROM IT ALL?
I enjoy a spot of golf now and again, and heading off to the coast as much as possible. I play FIFA with my 11-year-old son who beats me every time! I’m quite fond of a charity run followed by a charity beer. Happy days.

Behind the Title: audio post pro Stephen Harrison

NAME: Stephen Harrison (@theaudiosuite)

COMPANY: Phoenix-based  The Audio Suite — Creative Sound Services

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY?
We are a full-service digital audio post facility. We provide sound editorial, design, recording and mixing services to film, television and video production companies, trailer houses and more.

WHAT’S YOUR JOB TITLE?
Owner/Sound Editor/Designer/Mixer/Juggler

WHAT DOES THAT ENTAIL?
Just about everything. Mainly I oversee the daily operations and engineer most of the sessions myself.

WHAT WOULD SURPRISE PEOPLE THE MOST ABOUT WHAT FALLS UNDER THAT TITLE?
Aside from handling all the non-engineering related duties involved with running a business, probably the amount of detail that goes into every aspect of the different services required on any given project.

Mark Skalny Photography

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE JOB?
The endless learning and creative stretching. Hearing all the pieces of the sonic puzzle come together in the end. Capturing the client’s vision.

WHAT’S YOUR LEAST FAVORITE?
Accounting and sales.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TIME OF THE DAY?
In the studio…. it’s whenever I’m sitting behind the board and can smell the coffee brewing. Otherwise, it’s when I’m home with my family.

IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE THIS JOB, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING INSTEAD?
I’ve often thought about that, but I really don’t know. Probably something outside that involved lots of traveling. Yeah, that sounds good.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS PROFESSION?
I think it chose me actually. As a kid I loved music and wanted to know how to make records. So I answered the call and never looked back. After 18 years in music production, I jumped tracks into audio post and here we are keeping the dream alive.

3 Mark Skalny Photography

YOU ARE AN INDUSTRY VETERAN. HOW HAVE YOU SEEN THE INDUSTRY CHANGE OVER THE YEARS?
Outside of the technological advancements, which have just been stunning, it’s the way these tools have enabled the creative process and workflow to surpass all previous limitations.

As well, you can now collaborate with virtually anyone, anywhere around the world, which is quite amazing. It’s also afforded many others to jump into the arena to design, produce, mix and compete directly for work that was usually reserved for established companies and seasoned technicians. This might be the biggest change and we all know the mixed results it’s had over the last 10 years or so.

PowersWar

Marketing and sales are now necessary again. Production companies, networks and agencies have more options than ever when contracting services. They also want more for less. In-house finishing operations have become the norm. So it’s been a tough ride for many in our industry lately, something I certainly haven’t been immune to. So if you want to stay current, vital & in the game, I think adapting to market trends and diversifying is the only way to go. Of course, endless passion, determination and perseverance certainly helps.

CAN YOU NAME SOME RECENT PROJECTS YOU HAVE WORKED ON?
Power’s War – a feature length documentary. We provided sound editorial, design and mixing services.
– Hewlett Packard – corporate marketing campaigns. We provided sound design and mixing.
– Lego, Marvel, Netflix, WB – TV spots and trailers.
Sharknado 3 – film for SyFy. ADR recording with Frankie Muniz.

Sharknado 3

Sharknado 3

WHAT IS THE PROJECT THAT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF?
It’s hard to name just one. Other than some of the music projects I worked on long ago, I’d have to say the variety of indie films and docs I’ve done over the last nine years. I generally provided all editorial, design and mixing services, which was very challenging, but rewarding as well.

NAME THREE PIECES OF TECHNOLOGY YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT.
Pro Tools rig, iZotope RX4 and my laptop.

WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS DO YOU FOLLOW?
FB, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo

WHAT DO YOU DO TO DE-STRESS FROM IT ALL?
Get outdoors and not look at screens! A cold beer never hurts either.

Behind the Title: Roger’s Dane Macbeth

NAME: Dane Macbeth

COMPANY: LA-based Roger (@RogerTVLA)

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY?
Roger is a multimedia company that brings a unique and creative vision to a wide landscape of projects. We offer design, animation, original content, branding ID, live-action and post services.

WHAT’S YOUR JOB TITLE?
Creative Director

WHAT DOES THAT ENTAIL?
The best part of being a creative director at Roger is the wide range of work that entails. For every project that comes through our doors, we aim to give a unique and personal feel, from concept through delivery. As a creative director, I am in charge of all creative decisions from pre- through post. Depending on the size and scope of the project, my specific role can change drastically.

On smaller projects, I may do the design and storyboards myself alongside other artists. On larger projects, I will oversee a large design team and make creative decisions along the way. It also depends on how many projects I am overseeing at one time. I can be overseeing up to 15 or more projects at once, which makes it virtually impossible to make any time to get behind the box. The job also requires a lot of time on sets working as a live-action director. It’s the constant blend of working with different mediums and wearing multiple hats that makes the creative direction position so appealing to me.

The set for

The set for the KPMG project.

WHAT WOULD SURPRISE PEOPLE THE MOST ABOUT WHAT FALLS UNDER THAT TITLE?
I think because the word creative is in the job title itself an outsider may think it’s only creative decisions that are made. While making creative decisions makes up the bulk of my position, there is a lot of management that comes along with the title. Putting together teams of artists that are the perfect fit for an individual project can go a long way. Working with producers to oversee schedules, calendars and budgets also plays a major role in my position.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE JOB?
My favorite part of my job is getting a new project in. I love starting from little to nothing and thinking about all the amazing possible directions that it can be taken. Writing treatments is the best way to show off and sell an idea, and I love the creative and competitive edge it brings out.

WHAT’S YOUR LEAST FAVORITE?
My least favorite part of my job is making creative sacrifices. It’s very rare that a project comes along and your total and complete vision comes to be. At the end of the day, as a creative director, it’s your aim to create something interesting, compelling and unique that pleases both your internal team and the client. Often, a great concept and idea can be watered down through the process. Over time, you learn to pick and choose your battles — what is worth sacrificing versus what you feel is important to fight for. On the flip side, I’ve been surprised by what seemed like a sacrifice at first that turned out to make a project better in the long run.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TIME OF THE DAY?
It’s hard to pinpoint my favorite time of day — creative breakthroughs and inspiration can come at any point in time from anywhere. When I solve or help solve a problem with a creative solution, that’s my favorite time of day.

IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE THIS JOB, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING INSTEAD?
I have several other areas of interest that I could see myself doing professionally if I were not in this position. I am an avid scuba diver and could see myself travelling the world as a dive master and underwater photographer. I also love creating original comedic content and writing.

HOW EARLY ON DID YOU KNOW THIS WOULD BE YOUR PATH?
I tend to think that I didn’t choose this position it chose me. I always knew I would be working in some form of a creative position, I just didn’t know what field. Growing up, I was always creating something. From drawing, writing, filming, and playing sports, I was always looking from one creative outlet to another.

I was very drawn to the video game industry at a young age. I surprised myself when I pivoted more towards production as I began my professional career. Working in the game industry you can work on one project for years. If you’re not in love with the creative direction of that project, it can become very tiresome very fast. I was drawn to the fast-paced and diverse work that goes along with motion-graphics and production. It was a great fit and a decision I am very happy I made.

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Stills from FYI’s What the Fung?!

WHAT ARE SOME RECENT PROJECTS YOU HAVE WORKED ON?
My most recent delivery was a television commercial for a financial firm KPMG. The work came through the agency JWT. It was KPMG’s first television commercial and a fun and exciting project from start to finish. We’ve done several projects for Disney, which includes Disney Junior, Disney XD and Disney. We recently worked on the marketing campaign for the launch of “Miles from Tomorrowland” on Disney Junior. This was a fun project that had us filming scientists and astronauts. I was also CD on promos for the show What the Fung?! on FYI  network.

WHAT IS THE PROJECT THAT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF?
I had a lot of fun on a recent project that came in from TBS. It was completely open with no direction from the client. We had very little time to execute but always want to create compelling content. The only restriction was to use the new TBS logo. Our idea was to 3D print the new logo and stuff it with explosives, confetti and paint. We used a Phantom camera to capture the explosion and were very happy with the results.

NAME THREE PIECES OF TECHNOLOGY YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT.
That’s a tough question, as I often ask myself if I have an unhealthy addiction to tech. From when I first wake up to when I go to bed, I’m interacting with tech on all levels. If I had to name three it would have to be my phone, laptop and camera.

WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS DO YOU FOLLOW?
I’m an avid user of Instagram and Facebook. I never got into the Twitter craze. I also use LinkedIn on a regular basis when looking for new talent.

DO YOU LISTEN TO MUSIC WHILE YOU WORK?
Depending on my workload and what type of project I’m working on, listening to music while working can be very difficult. We always have music playing in the background at work, which is a must for me. I spend a lot of day talking to clients and artists, so it’s hard to completely zone out with headphones and music.

Later in the day and when working from home, I will put on some headphones and music to help inspire creativity. I have a very wide range and eclectic taste of music. I pretty much listen to everything. I enjoy working to a wide range of music and often find myself shuffling through genres to find inspiration.

WHAT DO YOU DO TO DE-STRESS FROM IT ALL?
I love playing sports. I think it’s my greatest stress relief. I can fully focus on the sport I’m playing and not think about any stress that work may have. Basketball, football and scuba diving truly take me away from the real world and its stress.

Meet The Artist: Meetal Gokul

Behind the Title….

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Dark rooms, polorized glasses and making 3D visions a reality

NAME: Meetal Gokul

COMPANY: Park Road Post Production (www.parkroadpost.co.nz) in Wellington, New Zealand

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY:

Park Road Post Production is a post production facility located five minutes from Stone Street Studios. Park Road was established as a one-stop shop and offers all post services for a feature from digital rushes, stereoscopic alignment, digital intermediate, Foley, ADR and sound mixing through to the final completion of all film and digital deliverables for distribution. Continue reading