Issue: January 1, 2009


As we enter 2009, it's easy to be a little discouraged, considering the economy. But I've heard many people say that times of struggle lead to innovation. What I hope, and believe, will happen is that industry pros will work more efficiently, try new technologies and just be smarter about how they work, making for a successful year.

I asked a few studios if they made any New Year's resolutions…

Steve Michaels of Boston/LA's Brickyard VFX says, "Besides the usual family, health, learning and teaching mantras we all strive to renew this time of year, I resolve in 2009 to bring the creative forces of Brickyard VFX together to offer career opportunities to deserving young people. Providing a mentoring work environment takes initiative, and I plan to selflessly encourage others to do that hard work. [Oh, and seriously — I have to stop taking medicinal nachos every night to go to sleep.]"

Chris Gargani, CEO/executive producer at NYC's Blue Room says, "Most people put 'exercise' as one of their resolutions but I think we can leave that off the Blue Room list. I mean we get at least 30 minutes of ping-pong activity a day. So instead, I'd have to say drink more...water? Or maybe add more utility features on our belts."

Ryan Thompson of Venice's Giantsteps had this to say: "In 2009, Giantsteps will evangelize new, reliable technologies that revolutionize the quality and efficiency of our clients' work. Some of these next-gen tools may be more production than VFX-related, however why hold back on letting someone know about big benefits in a competitive climate?

"We will be getting the word out on Arri's D21 camera system, which in our opinion bestows commercial producers with new money and time savings," continues Thompson. "Our other push will be for the Maxwell Renderer, as it's the first 'real-world' engine for photoreal CG work. We intend to maintain our edge as Maxwell experts through increased use as competing studios come on board. I wish we could say we'll place less tracking marks on set or never have to use motion control, but aside from these being premature claims — haven't we promised enough?"

Personally, in 2009, I intend to break my addiction to cheddar and sour cream flavored Baked Ruffles (they are the devil's chips), stop forgetting to bring my canvas, earth-friendly bags to the supermarket and, unlike those people who kept flipping me the bird when my car broke down recently, I will be more tolerant of my fellow man (my warning lights were some indication of a problem, no?).

Have a great year everyone!