100

Yup. This is the 100th entry for this blog. I started it 2 years ago to shed light on my travels as an artist and business person. It's been a way for me to share and process what I've been making and thinking. A lot has happened these past 100 weeks!

Over the last couple months, however, I've had fewer ideas of what to talk about each week. My guess is because I'm also making weekly video tutorials and essays. So, now I'm only going to post on this blog when bigger things happen or when I have something I want to share. The blog has been great for me, regardless of how many people have read it, but I feel like it's had its moment. I want to focus on other things now.

So, in one final, self-indulgent post, I'm going to list some of the things I've talked about over these past two years. Thanks for reading, friends!

Your pal, Bailey

Reel

Today I'm pleased to release the first Forma Pictures showreel. Check it out:

It's been a long time coming, but I finally got everything put together. Hope ya like it. Now, what else has been happening, well...

  • Recently wrapped the first phase of work on a new video game. I've been having a blast getting that put together. Can't wait for it to release!
  • Continuing to get the new journalistic website together, which I'll talk about a lot more this month. It's set to release on March 18th.
  • Tutorials are still coming out each week. I could talk a lot about how difficult they've been, but they've also been good for me. Here's the latest one:

Bailey

No Original Ideas

This was an especially productive week for my original short film (Hunted), side projects, and even client work. In addition to all of that, I was thinking about my next edited short, and I had this idea that I thought was extra clever. After a few hours of work on it, I decided to see if someone else had tried something like this before, and sure enough someone already had. What's more, they had used the same music! My enthusiasm drained, and I paused the video. But then I decided to watch the rest of it, to see how good it was. Alas, the video was mediocre. Whoever had made it had taken the easy way out for most of the video, and hadn't spent the necessary time to develop a good edit.

So, I was left with a conundrum. Here was this cool idea, just exploding with potential. And while I was beaten to the punch by nearly 4 years, I felt deep in my heart that I could deliver something worth watching. If this unknown creator had made something excellent, I would have been forced to tip my hat in respect and move on to a different idea. But I can't. This idea is just teeming with potential glee, and no one has delivered on it yet.

After sleeping on it, I decided I'm going to make it anyway. This is a side project, so I won't feel too bad if it's not successful, or if people criticize me for repeating an idea.

Here's a teaser of what the "idea" has to do with (yes, I'm being somewhat secretive):

I'm planning a release in June or July, depending on my schedule. :)

Bailey

The Conflict

Here's the 4th installment in my series of edited shorts. I only did the editing here. The movies and the music are property of their respective owners. Hope y'all enjoy (and please share it if you do)!

This short took a while to make. When I do these, I try my best to keep things clear. It's not perfect, but that's okay. It takes a long time to find bits of action movies that don't have shaky cameras, confusing focus, premature cuts, and other personal no-nos of mine. I like clean frames, stable shots, and simple (yet stylish) movements. And once I find those things, there's no guarantee that it will work from an editing or emotional standpoint. Simply put, there were countless minutes of edited footage that had to be left on the cutting room floor.

Of course, I know that I still have much to learn. And hopefully I can find a way to better integrate this searing passion of mine into my economic engine. That would be nice.

Bottom line, I love editing films, so I don't intend to stop anytime soon. In many ways choreography is my favorite activity. As much as I love design and animation, I'm happiest when I'm working with both music and visuals. I like trying to connect ideas together in that bigger picture sort of way.

I personally know lots of artists. But film choreographers are a rare breed. If you're one of these people, or know someone who is, email me. It would be cool to know more people who do this kind of thing.

info@formapictures.com

Also, I can't believe I began this weekly blog 6 months ago! I haven't missed a week yet!

Bailey

Standards Unmet

I have a confession to make... I'm not going to release my most recent animated video that I've been saying I would. The reason is simple: I decided it's not good enough. I try my darnedest to make things I'm proud of, but I sure do fail a lot. 

Of course I like a lot of things about it, but on the whole, I just don't feel that it's up to snuff. Not that any of my past work is very good either, it's just some things are releasable and other things aren't. It's subjective, but I wish I had had the opportunity to make it more musical and animated.

I have released crap before. Just look at the horrific cube dancing videos I make. Or the sketchbook. But those are meant to be throw-away content. I force myself to publicize those in the attempt to toughen up my skin. They're awful, I know it, you know it, and that's fine. But I just can't bring myself to release this video. Do any of you have similar stories? Any advice? I can't be the only one who struggles with these dilemmas.

On the plus side, progress on my 4th EDITED SHORT is going well. You can watch my past edited shorts HERE. I'll tell you, it's so much fun to work on these. Choreographing visuals to music is my favorite way to spend my time. Period. The best thing about these projects is that I do not release them until I'm completely satisfied. Here are some sneak peeks:

 ES4 will feature sword choreography...

ES4 will feature sword choreography...

 Around 33% there. This is extremely time consuming. If I don't  love  a sequence, I scrap it.

Around 33% there. This is extremely time consuming. If I don't love a sequence, I scrap it.

Bailey

The Action Movie

It's that time of week again. Last week I promised you an edited short. My work here was just editing. Music and movie clips are property of their respective owners. Crank the music up, and I hope you enjoy!

Originally intended to be about twice the length, this work languished on my hard drive for some time. A couple weeks ago I decided to tighten it up and share it.

In other news, today and tomorrow I am attending 2014's CTN Expo. Gonna see and talk to artists and animators, look at cool art, and learn! I couldn't be more excited. In preparation, I decided it was time to get some business cards in order. I'm pretty pleased with how they came out. Heavy paper weight, silky smooth, and bright blue. And if you're going and you see a guy wearing a Forma Pictures t-shirt, that's me!

Bailey

The Making of an Animatic

No art to show this week, so I’m showing a little behind the scenes. Personally, I love looking under the hood of a project, so I hope this is interesting to someone.

My main task right now is creating the animatic. During this process I’m addressing three important aspects that are shaping the movie:

  • Staging
  • Cinematography
  • Editing

The initial boards I made were loose and I focused on finding a visual language. After creating the third batch of thumbnail sketches, I spent a day placing them into a non-linear editor.
 

 The third batch.

The third batch.

I feel that the staging process is like solving a puzzle. I look to the script and determine all the actions that need to happen to move the story along. The hard part is adapting the ideas into a space, where action happens. Working from an overhead perspective, I literally just scribble ideas for camera angles, player movement, and interactions throughout the scene. When I’m building it, I’m thinking about technical limitations (based on visual direction), composition, eye-tracing, and 2D screen-space rules.

10-31_staging.png

The cinematography has been fun for me. I’ve been getting coverage of each scene, which has helped the editing process. And I’ve been working on shot composition, which is an art form unto itself. Naturally, I feel like a complete novice. Creating a still with coherent composition is hard enough, and then adding the element of time makes it all the harder. As Joseph Mascelli says in The Five C’s of Cinematography (which I highly recommended), “Good motion picture scenes are the result of thoughtful compositions and significant movements, of players and/or camera. Unsatisfactory scenes are the results of thoughtless compositions and meaningless player or camera movements, which distract rather than aid in the story-telling.”

10-31_wireframe.png

Editing affects the shots too. Sometimes I don’t feel I can cut to a certain angle in the given time, which makes me reevaluate my camera choices. And because this is a music-driven story, everything needs to work harmoniously with the score. So, Hunted is really a series of music-supporting sequences that move the story and emotion along a pre-defined arc. And for even the simplest scenes to work, composition, staging, music, editing, and design must cooperate. That’s really the beauty of film. It’s the convergence of so many art forms…each one potentially elevating the art to higher and higher levels.
 

 A very early timeline.

A very early timeline.

Hunted is a simple film, but I know it will continue to push me to my limits. This is why whenever I watch a particularly well made movie, I can’t help by sit in awe. Good movies are hard to make. I can’t say if my film will be good, but I’ll pour everything I’ve got into it.

I’ll post a clip of the animatic next week (November 7th)!

Bailey