Monday, July 20, 2009

Who was the Knucklehead this time?

Back in the early 90's, I was awarded a commercial from a very big soft drink company located somewhere near Atlanta. It was a big break, a fabulous coup for a small animation company. We were very excited about working in several innovative techniques we had developed and it was good money. The live action company (the commercial was a combination of live action and animation) in their great wisdom had issues with making the animation "king" and announced that the live action should supersede any animated character and began to lobby to get rid of the character all together. "It could be invisible", they stated. (to be continued.)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

A great photographer

I worked for a great photographer (Jim) in Chicago in the mid 70's. He was a master technician, a great photographer, and incredibly adept at dealing with clients. I remember one shoot where Jack (the photographer's main assistant) and myself (the plebe) set up a table top shot for a food product. Jack and I set up the lights and Jim came in and set up the composition of the product and it accessories for the shot. At around 10am the art director arrived at the studio to take a gander. He discussed the shot with Jim and moved several of the objects around "improving" upon Jim's expert composition. The average photographer might have bristled, or just went with whatever the client wanted. Not Jim, we worked throughout the morning and shot several rounds of tests while the food stylist prepared the product. Little by little, I noticed that Jim moved some the objects around with no real plan, something he rarely did. He furrowed his brow and looked at our test shots immediately throwing them away in disgust. We wrapped the morning and went out to lunch with the art director. When we returned, Jim proceeded to work the composition. The art director (half in the bag) talked to the Sales Rep and the Food Stylist recounting stories of his artistic prowess. Jim eventually returned all the objects to their original position, his initial composition. I know this because Jim had sketched the composition on a piece of vellum and taped it to the back of the 8 X 10 Deardorff camera. He knew what he was doing every step of the way and slowly took control. When Jim was ready, he tore the vellum from the back of the camera and handed it to me to throw it away. He called the art director over to view his final composition which the art director approved without a quick nod and a pat on Jim's back. Excellent. Done deal.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Observation No.1

Doing work on "spec" rarely pays off. Usually, you are just handing over your creative to someone to run "away" with it. The jumping through hoops in the creative business gets old quick especially if you are not getting the work. It is an age old problem that started when you first showed any talent whatsoever. Remember, "Draw me something!" or "You're good at art, can you help me draw this?" Freebies started early in life.