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leigh
02-21-2006, 12:39 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/cgtalk/meettheartists/colin_strause/header.JPG

Colin Strause
Director, 3D Supervisor
[Hydraulx]

Brothers Greg and Colin Strause grew up in the suburbs of Chicago where they began experimenting with visual effects in their early teens. In 1995, they moved to Los Angeles and started working on the special effects for "The X-Files." From there they moved on to big-budget hits such as The Nutty Professor, Volcano, and the iceberg sequence of the Academy Award-winning Titanic. They then broke into the music video and commercial arena, handling the special effects for artists such as U2, Tool, Britney Spears, and Aerosmith as well as spots for Nike, Jeep, and Pepsi. In 2000, Colin won a MTV Video Music Award for Best Art Direction for the Red Hot Chili Pepper's video, "Californication." This led to Greg and Colin directing together under the moniker "The Brothers Strause." Their Linkin Park clip "Crawling" was nominated for Best Direction and Best Rock Video at the 2001 VMA's. Other artists they have directed for include A Perfect Circle, Nickelback, Disturbed, and Staind.

Greg and Colin's visual effects company [Hydraulx] is at the forefront of the industry. [Hydraulx] has delivered groundbreaking work on the blockbusters Fantastic Four, Terminator 3, and The Day After Tomorrow, for which Greg won a British Academy Award (BAFTA).

The Brothers have recently directed spots for Coca Cola, Ford, The
United States Marine Corps, Fresca, Gatorade, Universal Studios and Sony PlayStation's "God of War." Their latest music video for A Perfect Circle's "Passive" marked the Brothers second collaboration with the band. The video was shot almost entirely with thermal cameras and featured on the Constantine soundtrack and DVD.

The Brothers Strause are signed with Tight Films for their commercial and music video work. They look forward to continuing their strong reputation as versatile directors and innovative visualists.

Related links:
http://www.hydraulx.com

http://www.cgnetworks.com/cgtalk/meettheartists/colin_strause/hydraulx_01.jpg

http://www.cgnetworks.com/cgtalk/meettheartists/colin_strause/hydraulx_02.jpg

http://www.cgnetworks.com/cgtalk/meettheartists/colin_strause/hydraulx_03.jpg

http://www.cgnetworks.com/cgtalk/meettheartists/colin_strause/hydraulx_04.jpg

http://www.cgnetworks.com/cgtalk/meettheartists/colin_strause/hydraulx_05.jpg

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ftaswin
02-21-2006, 12:44 AM
Hi Colin,

Thanks for sharing your thought with us here..... ( Yohoo... first respond!)

Question 1:
Since you first started in VFX industry, did you set a vision to be doing what you are doing right now or is it like grab things as you go and this is where you end up? The reason is I've seen places that has gigantic ambition only to find themselves doing crappy works later to survive.

Question 2:
Maybe it seems obvious, but what are qualities you're after in hiring a new (stranger) employee. Is it 100% reel based or attitude/presentation still play a big role? And what do you think the big problem with new guys on the market looking for work? Are they more like.... really good but shy and inexperience or they are more like... so so and very arrogant (generally)

That's all for now and Thanks again, you are f@#$%g rock!

Ferry Taswin

Canadianboy
02-21-2006, 01:21 AM
nvm................... edit

rblitz7
02-21-2006, 01:23 AM
Hey Colin!

I was just wondering what pushed you to create a VFX studio? and were you expecting [Hydraulx] to turn into a popular studio like it is now? Lastly what was your biggest challenge in creating [Hydraulx]? Thanks so much for your time!:scream:

AWAKE
02-21-2006, 01:33 AM
Hi Colin!


I've been waiting for this chance to ask you some questions. I'm really excited. I've been a fan of your work for 6 years now, and really enjoy your level of commitment to quality visual effects in film. There isn't an emoticon for this!!



1.Do you find that sometimes you hire artists that have good reels, but then cannot deliver on their supposed expertise? How do you deal with that?

2.Do you goo around to colleges looking for talened younger artists, or do you just make reel requests and see what happens? Or is it more who people know?

3.In a more aesthetic regard, do you think that excellence in the art of being a cg wizard goos along with traditional training, or something that can be learned through experience? I mean the difference between a goo d artist and great one.


..okay. that's it for now. If you have to choose one question, I'd prefer you go for numbers one and three.

Thanks!
Jeremy Butler

erilaz
02-21-2006, 01:55 AM
Colin, you're known on the forum for having a pull-no-punches opinion in many matters, which is very refreshing. I have a lot of respect not only for your visual prowess but your level-headed industry sense.


What is your opinion of the the level of ability prevalent in the new wave of people looking for work? Is it ample, or is finding strong reliable talent a diamond in the rough?
I recall you mentioning once that finishers are the hardest people to find. How do you handle people that can't push that last 10 percent?
Since you and Greg run/own the company, do you find yourself having to step out of the grunt work to oversee others?
What part of the process do you enjoy the most?
Could you give an example of a common Hydraulix day?
I'll leave it at that for the moment.:)

Matellis
02-21-2006, 02:59 AM
Hey Colin good to see you here!

I was just wondering what it was like doing FX's for Tool and A Perfect Circle???

Bonedaddy
02-21-2006, 03:18 AM
What the hell, I'll uncloak a little early just for this one. Couple questions:

1) If you could make any change to cgtalk, including altering the behavior of its users, what would you do to make it better?
2) How does one best begin to accumulate business acumen?
3) Given that you're an extremely driven individual, I wonder what your thoughts are on the balance between personal life and a career.
4) Why are you doing this Q&A? It isn't the sort of thing I pictured you doing.

sphere
02-21-2006, 03:36 AM
Hey Colin, thanks for taking the time to do a Q & A.

1. Do you have a personal preference between concept/storytelling and the actual nitty gritty of making each shot (modeling, animating etc.)?

2. Do you find yourself constantly being challenged? If so, where do you find challenges and how do you rise above?

3. Some may read about how you experimented in vfx at a young age, moved to LA and worked on X-Files then movies, music videos, commercials and also starting up your own company and think that it all sounds like a fairly straightforward and somewhat easy progression. Did you have your fair share of sacrifices, obstacles and doubts?

Thanks :)

Jackdeth
02-21-2006, 03:48 AM
Hi Colin,

Thanks for sharing your thought with us here..... ( Yohoo... first respond!)

Question 1:
Since you first started in VFX industry, did you set a vision to be doing what you are doing right now or is it like grab things as you go and this is where you end up? The reason is I've seen places that has gigantic ambition only to find themselves doing crappy works later to survive.

Question 2:
Maybe it seems obvious, but what are qualities you're after in hiring a new (stranger) employee. Is it 100% reel based or attitude/presentation still play a big role? And what do you think the big problem with new guys on the market looking for work? Are they more like.... really good but shy and inexperience or they are more like... so so and very arrogant (generally)

That's all for now and Thanks again, you are f@#$%g rock!

Ferry Taswin

1) I had 2 dreams growing up. Work at ILM, and be a film director. I guess the first one didn't really pan out.

2) I perfer attitude to skill. Many kids fresh out of school have too much ego for having such weak demo reels. They have no idea what they are getting into.

MikeRhone
02-21-2006, 03:59 AM
Hey Colin. I'm stoked that they have you doing a Q & A...

On the buisness side: How often have you had to walk away from the table for the sole reason you couldn't settle on a price?

What position(s) do you find you have a tough time finding people for? (Artist/otherwise?)

Have you ever "blacklisted" an employee? Have you blacklisted anyone professionally because of thier online etiquette? Pretty much: what does it take to truely get in your bad books?

What would you do for a Klondike bar?

And Finally: I know you hand your employees thier ass at Mortal Kombat, but if you ever want to get your ass handed to you at Mario Kart wiFi...

DS code: 262058608470

Mike R

Jackdeth
02-21-2006, 04:20 AM
What the hell, I'll uncloak a little early just for this one. Couple questions:

1) If you could make any change to cgtalk, including altering the behavior of its users, what would you do to make it better?
2) How does one best begin to accumulate business acumen?
3) Given that you're an extremely driven individual, I wonder what your thoughts are on the balance between personal life and a career.
4) Why are you doing this Q&A? It isn't the sort of thing I pictured you doing.

1) Very few people that vocalize here seem to have any clue about how this industry really works. I think the fan boys and the assholes scared the "ones that know" away. I don't see any way of fixing that. People always act like jerks on the internet because they think they are safe hidding behind some fake name, so many professionals don't bother any more.

2) Fail and learn.... Rinse, repeat.

3) There is no balance for me. I went to Paris to relax and I was bored after 5 hours. I need to work.

4) Our Mortal Kombat machine is packed away for the big move, so I need something to for those 5 free minutes I have every day.

Lique
02-21-2006, 04:24 AM
Hi Colin! It's great to see you in QA section :)

1. What sort of reel do you get most of the time in your company? and what sort of reel do you like to see the most? Do you still accept reels even when there's no current position available?

2. How many people working in Hydraulx at the moment? What type of people do you have the most in your studio, is it character animator, fx guy, programmer, or generalist who tend to do everything?

3. I heard that your studio is pure maya based, for the 3d department. Are you completely satisfied with it, or are you from times to times still looking for a 2nd software to be implemented in your pipeline.

4. Maybe without going into too much detail, could you share a little bit on what's going on during the bidding job time. Do studios get jobs based on performance, name, or purely base on price? And how do you find yourself competing with the larger studios such as ILM and Digital Domain?

Thanks for sharing your times and experience to the CG community.

Filik

Rayan
02-21-2006, 04:30 AM
Hi
I have 2 dream, working for ILM and film director. now I am going to university,do think going university help me make my dream reality, and did you go university?
thanks for your time and sorry for my english.

prox-emics
02-21-2006, 05:01 AM
I dont really have a question about your "job" but more the creative aspect:

When working with other creative parties, like A Perfect Circle and Chili Peppers especially, how much of the creative process is up to you? Do the bands/directors usually come to you (you guys) with a solid idea of what they want, or do you handle the creative aspect from start to finish?

Off topic: how do you feel about the Directors Label and DVD series of the same, and when can we get The Brothers Strause DVD?

FUG1T1VE
02-21-2006, 05:14 AM
Hey Colin, nice to see you doing a Q&A, Just a few questions for now, what is it like having two directors for various projects? Is there a lot of conflict, not enough. (Edit: your bro can pitch in on this one too)

Describe a typical day at the shop. What activity do you do the most? this question is just out of curiosity.

Dirtystimpy
02-21-2006, 06:01 AM
Hey Colin,

no questions...just wanted to say I always love reading your posts...you cut to the point, no BS (although I haven't seen you post much lately)


good luck with your company




Ryan Heuett

Pufferfish
02-21-2006, 06:29 AM
Amazing stuff.

Some questions:
1. What keeps you going?
2. What is the worst situation you have encountered at your work?
3. Latest fxshot that made you go WOW?

Thank you, all the best!

Jari Saarinen

fattkid
02-21-2006, 06:30 AM
Hey Jackdeth, thanks for doing this. I look forward to reading your replies. I've had something on my mind lately and you seem like a good person to ask since you are a very hardworking and driven individual.


I've been making my way into the 3D industry for the last couple years, putting a ton of time and effort into my studies and working alot to support myself. (Doing games now, but hopefully film someday). For example, for the last 8 or 9 months I've probably been averaging 70 - 80 hours a week or so (work during the summer, school in the Fall/Winter). Most people would think that's kind of crazy and not a good thing to do, and I would agree. But I absolutely love what I'm doing and I'm very happy with my progress and I'm excited to see where I wind up. I often times find myself telling myself I need to relax and time some time off, but I don't. As for the health aspect, I don't smoke, rarely drink, in good shape, I exercise 4 or 5 days a week, eat very good, drink lots of water and take good vitamins, so I am handling he workload pretty well, for the most part. (do drink a bit of coffee pretty much everyday though). I don't see myself doing this forever, but I'd like to see how far I can go over the next couple years.

So my question is, what advice, warnings or guidance would you offer to someone who's motivation towards their craft is a little excessive or extreme like this?

Thanks for your time.

ManuelM
02-21-2006, 06:45 AM
Hi Colin,

I remember that that I read a thread some time ago, where you described how you and your brother started working on cg and that it was a very hard time. Hearing that story was really a good motivation for me. So I want to congratulate you that you didn't give up and are now runnning a successful studio and besides that also find the time to contribute a lot here on cgtalk.

thematt
02-21-2006, 07:43 AM
hey hey Jackdeth on the place..:)

Good to see you here Colin,not much question just congrats on the tremenduous work you've achieve so far.

cheers

storyForge
02-21-2006, 08:53 AM
on the business side of things, where there any intial walls that were hit when you founded your own studio? any difficulty finding clients or hiring employees? any tips you could give to prospective studio founders?


thanks colin! great work you've done so far, keep going.

Baq
02-21-2006, 09:59 AM
yo Colin!

wanna ask U about CG job market, currently we got here many, many people which try to get into this biz, many artist.... most people say that software knowledge won't give a job, it's simple that if one knows app A or B won't get a job just becouse he knows it, that's true, but... I've heard from some people that if one knows this app from SideFx(U know what I'm talking about, big 'H') then companies will fight among them to get him/she work for them, and I'm not talking here about super/mega/duper advanced users of it, but rather intermediate user.

What do U think about it?

Ed Bittner
02-21-2006, 10:01 AM
Colin,

Saw you on "The Fog" supliment. Great stuff. I was wondering 2 things;
1) Does the number of employees fluctuate between jobs? and
2) Has the internet ever helped you land a gig, or do you pretty much have to be "where the action is"?
Thanks,
E.

lukx
02-21-2006, 12:16 PM
no questions just respect for hard work and as Dirtystimpy said, thanks for no BS.

FloydBishop
02-21-2006, 12:31 PM
Hey Jackdeath,

You guys put out some great work. Thanks for taking the time to do this Q&A.

Here are a few questions in no particular order:

What's your method of landing gigs? Is it mostly word of mouth, or do you have an agent?

How do you handle negativity aimed at you or your company? (I remember seeing some survey or something a while back on the web that had some negative things about almost every studio around)

What's the hardest part about your job?

Do you still find time to hang out in the trenches of production, or are you more of an exec/director type now who rarely does production himself?

Keep kicking out the good work!

Dennik
02-21-2006, 01:34 PM
Hey Colin, great to see you doing this Q&A

I have one question for you. How does the fact that you own your studio, oppress your need to create? With all the responsibilities that you have regarding management, and all kinds of things unrelated to art, are there moments that you wish you'd rather be an employee instead?

Again its great to see you around here in CGtalk, your opinion is always straight to the point, very mature and valuable.

HellBoy
02-21-2006, 01:48 PM
wow, most of my questions have been asked already

thx anyway well done :thumbsup:

Jackdeth
02-21-2006, 03:59 PM
Hey Jackdeth, thanks for doing this. I look forward to reading your replies. I've had something on my mind lately and you seem like a good person to ask since you are a very hardworking and driven individual.


I've been making my way into the 3D industry for the last couple years, putting a ton of time and effort into my studies and working alot to support myself. (Doing games now, but hopefully film someday). For example, for the last 8 or 9 months I've probably been averaging 70 - 80 hours a week or so (work during the summer, school in the Fall/Winter). Most people would think that's kind of crazy and not a good thing to do, and I would agree. But I absolutely love what I'm doing and I'm very happy with my progress and I'm excited to see where I wind up. I often times find myself telling myself I need to relax and time some time off, but I don't. As for the health aspect, I don't smoke, rarely drink, in good shape, I exercise 4 or 5 days a week, eat very good, drink lots of water and take good vitamins, so I am handling he workload pretty well, for the most part. (do drink a bit of coffee pretty much everyday though). I don't see myself doing this forever, but I'd like to see how far I can go over the next couple years.

So my question is, what advice, warnings or guidance would you offer to someone who's motivation towards their craft is a little excessive or extreme like this?

Thanks for your time.

As long as you enjoy what you do, then I see no issue with working long hours. The key is having some hobbies (video games and sports) and finding good friends to share life with. Being a lonely mole isn't heathly, but there are no rewards if you take no risks. People always warn others about working too many hours, but I see it as the only way to really make it in this biz. There are too many companys and people fighting for a finite amount of work and money, so it all comes down to who wants it the most.

Jackdeth
02-21-2006, 04:08 PM
What's your method of landing gigs? Is it mostly word of mouth, or do you have an agent?

It's been mostly word of mouth for the last 9 years. We finally got an in-house movie sales rep last year, and that has really helped to open up some new doors to us. But in the end, it comes down to Greg and I managing the clients and making sure everything is cool

How do you handle negativity aimed at you or your company? (I remember seeing some survey or something a while back on the web that had some negative things about almost every studio around)

I laugh at it. There were some classic quotes up there that we still joke about today on that site. There is nothing you can do about some haters, and I really don't have any free time to even give a crap about what they think. Some artists use anger to hide thier own in-abilities or lack of talent.

What's the hardest part about your job?

Dealing with the fact there are only 24 hours in a day. I also hate having to get rid of people.

Do you still find time to hang out in the trenches of production, or are you more of an exec/director type now who rarely does production himself?

Nope, I'm still in the trenches, but some of the artists here would like me on the box more than I am now.

Adriano-Zanetti
02-21-2006, 06:11 PM
Hey Collin,

if you had a chance to travel through time and remake the vfx of a movie... or maybe even just a single sequence of a flick of your choice... one you really liked or disliked, but that you didn't have anything to do with... which one would it be ? ...and why pleaz ? :)

An other quick question, what type of VFX would you say is the most difficult to achieve nowadays ?

Thanks for your time,

pe@ce

Adriano

ntmonkey
02-21-2006, 06:49 PM
Colin,

Nice that you're doing the QA. Now for the questions...

1. What's it like working with family and who wins in the fights between you and Greg?

2. Can you give an example of what your best guy in the trench is capable of?

3. What's the one word to describe what contributes to Hydraulx's success?

Thanks for your time,

Lu

BillSpradlin
02-21-2006, 08:38 PM
I'm assuming with the move to the new building, you've added more space for the dead hooker collection, if not, then I am truly dissapointed in you.

p.s. Tell your dad I said hi.

Jackdeth
02-21-2006, 09:20 PM
I'm assuming with the move to the new building, you've added more space for the dead hooker collection, if not, then I am truly dissapointed in you.

p.s. Tell your dad I said hi.

Of course we did... and we added a few other things too.

Jackdeth
02-21-2006, 09:22 PM
Hey Collin,

if you had a chance to travel through time and remake the vfx of a movie... or maybe even just a single sequence of a flick of your choice... one you really liked or disliked, but that you didn't have anything to do with... which one would it be ? ...and why pleaz ? :)

An other quick question, what type of VFX would you say is the most difficult to achieve nowadays ?

Thanks for your time,

pe@ce

Adriano

I would fix the space ship shots in Dune. Those things looked like they we made with crayons.

As for tricky effects, I would say water/fluid systems still ranks up there on the hard to-do list.

Jackdeth
02-21-2006, 09:33 PM
Hey Colin, great to see you doing this Q&A

I have one question for you. How does the fact that you own your studio, oppress your need to create? With all the responsibilities that you have regarding management, and all kinds of things unrelated to art, are there moments that you wish you'd rather be an employee instead?

Again its great to see you around here in CGtalk, your opinion is always straight to the point, very mature and valuable.

At one level, no one "creates" thier own art in the film world. All we do is bring other people's ideas to life (either the director's, studio's, ad agency's, writer's, etc, etc), and I actually enjoy that part of the job as an artist and company owner. The fun is taking an idea trapped in someone elses mind and bringing it to reality.

As for being an employee, I still like hunkering down in the trenches as the finish line nears, but I also enjoy the power of sterring the ship through the mind fields as well at the same time. You see, I don't look at my management tasks as being unrelated to the "art," I see at as the only way to make sure the "art" isn't forgotten or destroyed.

BillSpradlin
02-21-2006, 09:52 PM
Of course we did... and we added a few other things too.

Word. Maybe one day I'll stop by and check the new digs out, after you guys get settled in of course. I can harass Vinh as well when I'm there...

Burkester
02-22-2006, 12:33 AM
Hey Colin, Much respect for you and your company. great oppinions

I like your vision on attitude to skill. Also about enjoying what you do, and wishing for more hours in the day ... So often I feel the same.

Questions

>> Other than attitude what are the major problems, or pitfalls that you are faced with from new grad students in the 3D / CG industry, What does hydraulx look for in a good demo reel?

>> Do you have any future plans or wishes to produce your own full feature CG , or do you preffer the versatility of commercials, music videos?

best of luck with the new studio location

surlymonkey
02-22-2006, 02:12 AM
Hey Colin. wow, that work looks awesome. Can you list the artist that worked on those shots?



-------------------------------------------

rajkr
02-22-2006, 03:18 PM
Hi Colin,

My wishes to you!
i'm a newbie, Can you tell me the softwares which you work from day in to day out
at your studio?

organica
02-22-2006, 03:31 PM
Colin,

I think I speak for us all when saying thanks for being here and taking the time on this thread. Referring back to the "SideFX knowledge = easy in" comment earlier, I don't think knowing the software alone would guarantee a job at a major studio.

When recruiting, do you spark an interest in artists with a strong art background, but with a beginner/intermediate level knowledge of Houdini and Maya?

I understand it takes a great amount of time on the software in order to translate the ideas into imagery, but not all of us are power-nerds...yet :D

organica

First post! yeah!

Jackdeth
02-22-2006, 04:39 PM
Hi Colin,

My wishes to you!
i'm a newbie, Can you tell me the softwares which you work from day in to day out
at your studio?

The company uses Maya, MentalRay, Inferno, Syflex, Realflow, Massive, photoshop, shake, finalcut, etc, etc.

As for me, my main piece of software is Maya, MentalRay, and Inferno.

Jackdeth
02-22-2006, 04:47 PM
Hey Colin, Much respect for you and your company. great oppinions

I like your vision on attitude to skill. Also about enjoying what you do, and wishing for more hours in the day ... So often I feel the same.

Questions

>> Other than attitude what are the major problems, or pitfalls that you are faced with from new grad students in the 3D / CG industry, What does hydraulx look for in a good demo reel?

>> Do you have any future plans or wishes to produce your own full feature CG , or do you preffer the versatility of commercials, music videos?

best of luck with the new studio location

-One of the biggest pitfalls with many students is thier total lack loyalty, and lack of fore-sight.

-I wouldn't ever do a fully CG movie, I perfer blending live-action with CG.

SteveNewport
02-22-2006, 05:08 PM
you say you prefer blending live action with CG.... why? Also, if you think that opinion could change, what would it take for you to be swayed to the opposite?

do you think green screen acting is convincing enough most of the time? Animated acting? Do you think either of these have equal potential with being of supreme quality so in the end it's simply a matter of opinion?
Thanks for taking the time, props

Dutchman
02-22-2006, 06:37 PM
Hi Colin!
First of all: I don't know if you noticed it yourself, and I don't wanna seem to be 'selfish' or so, but I saw that you didn't answer some questions on the first page... Otherwise it's so sad that only the other ones are answered... :shrug:

Its so very cool that you're "one of the big guys in the current VFX-industry". The fact you still have time to be on CGTalk proves how much passion you have for your work (well... in fact every CG artist should have that passion, but sometimes I wonder/doubt if the people in the ILM (or other) VFXfactory also have that much passion...). Setting up an own VFX-compagny, and growing out to be one of the biggest and working on the best feature films, would seem impossible, but you prove that it is possible!

My questions to you:


Did you ever concidered to do feature film direction, instead of 'only dealing with the VFX'. I notice for myself that you learn and do so much on VFX directing, that you almost are a real director yourself! Have you never been attracted to do films that don't contain (visible) VFX at all, but that you'd just love to work on that movie?
How is it to be more like a coordinator/owner of a vfx-studio, instead of working in it yourself? Do you like the responsibility without playing a big part in the creative process? Or do you still deliver input into the creative parts?
How is it when a client likes a shot in its current state and says "it's finished in his eyes", while you don't think it does look finished/polished yet? Can such shots satisfy you when you look back on them?
Do you like the idea of "doing as much as possible in post" (such as relighting, retexturing etc), or do you still better trust the "lets do it all in 3D"-methods? Do you think that the technology will lead to it, that a director can say what to tweak and that you do it realtime? Or is that yet the current workflow (on the Infernos)?
What do you think to be a good way to get a job in the CG industry? Around here is not one VFX studio (in Holland are just 2 'big compagnies), and the advertising studios don't seam to have interest. I'm selftrained and studying Industrial Design now, but in my spare time I keep doing CG. Do you have clear ways/tips to get people seriously looking at you. I have been doing lots of non-profit CG work/graphical work for 3 years now, and it's getting time to get some profit of it! :rolleyes:
Thanks for the time and lots of luck and fun on upcoming projects!
-Gijs

dax3d
02-22-2006, 06:43 PM
Hi Colin,


Thanks for all the great info...good reading so far.
I noticed your comment on loyalty, and was curious. I've only been around for about a year, but are the studios or fx houses loyal? It seems like they'll drop you at a moments notice. I am very loyal to those who are loyal to me (if that makes sense), so this would have to be a two-way street right? This is not a comment on your studio, I'm only familiar with your work (love the Perfect Circle Outsider video by the way) and wanted your view in general.

Thanks

Jackdeth
02-22-2006, 08:29 PM
Colin, you're known on the forum for having a pull-no-punches opinion in many matters, which is very refreshing. I have a lot of respect not only for your visual prowess but your level-headed industry sense.

What is your opinion of the the level of ability prevalent in the new wave of people looking for work? Is it ample, or is finding strong reliable talent a diamond in the rough?
I recall you mentioning once that finishers are the hardest people to find. How do you handle people that can't push that last 10 percent?
Since you and Greg run/own the company, do you find yourself having to step out of the grunt work to oversee others?
What part of the process do you enjoy the most?
Could you give an example of a common Hydraulix day?
I'll leave it at that for the moment.:)

1) Not too good. There will always be a few gems out there, but there seems to be a lot of people coming out of school that don't have the "heart" to do this full time.

2) They don't last. Even though we do a lot of work our core team is still small, so if you can't finish your shots you won't stay around. That does make it hard for us to find people, but it also gets rid of lots of internal politics and in-fighting that bigger shops have between artists and mangement once quality problems become obvious.

3) Every day. I have to wait until night fall, or really early in the morning before I can jump on the box.

4) Mental Ray Lighting, and live action directing.

5) For me its work, work, a quick match of America's Army, eat, work, CoffeeBean, work, eat, work, sleep.

BCazzell
02-22-2006, 08:57 PM
1) Very few people that vocalize here seem to have any clue about how this industry really works. I think the fan boys and the assholes scared the "ones that know" away. I don't see any way of fixing that. People always act like jerks on the internet because they think they are safe hidding behind some fake name, so many professionals don't bother any more.

Hit that one right on the head. :)

appppo
02-22-2006, 11:40 PM
Hi.
How should I pronounce "hydraulx" exactly?
Hidroulikks?

>>5) For me its work, work, a quick match of America's Army, eat, work, CoffeeBean, work, >>eat, work, sleep.

I often play pipeline, and killed so many noobies :D

hightillidie
02-23-2006, 02:25 AM
Just to let you know your reel has been an inspiration to me and I always look into your site when Im dire need of some awesomeness.



Just wondering, how do you land the jobs you do? Youve worked on Constantine, The day after Tomorrow, did they look for you? Or did you send in a reel?
What was your favourite VFX job? Do you do any free lance or personal work?


Thank you for your time, and again amazing portfolio and reel. Have enjoyed your works for quite a while now.


Do you play any other games than AA? Whats it like to play a game and know you've worked on TDAT? I know stupid question... lol. :)

Jackdeth
02-23-2006, 07:30 AM
Just wondering, how do you land the jobs you do? Youve worked on Constantine, The day after Tomorrow, did they look for you? Or did you send in a reel?
What was your favourite VFX job? Do you do any free lance or personal work?



Every job is different. At first you have to fight and beg and fight for every job, and then later on you only have to fight. It has taken years to get the company to the point where people cold call us, but we still hit the pavement everyday trying to find new leads. If you get lazy, or you think too highly of yourself, then you are asking for trouble. We aim at 3 targets; this week, two months from now, and nine months from now. As long as you keep hitting those targets then the cash flow stays stable. Long term jobs pay less but they let you sleep better at night knowing that cash is coming in, where as short term jobs have a huge payout but you have no idea when/if they will ever happen.

As for my favorite jobs, I really liked working on DAT, but I'm really excited about X3 and 300 that we are doing now because of the cg characters.

MasterZap
02-23-2006, 08:10 AM
Hey Colin!

Long time no speak! ;)


I'm curious what file formats and resoltuions you normally work with, i.e. what kind of data form does the studios give you plates/sequences in, and what format you deliver results.

Also I am curious about how you go about things like matching light responses of cameras/film/etc, if it's through elaborate specs from film manifacturers squeezed through rocket-scientist formulas... or by eye, and tweak in comp?

I also wonder about how often you get a lighting reference, and in what style it is (i.e. hold out of a maquette, gray/chrome ball photo, and if it's HDRI or just "shoot the damned chrome ball lets move on NOW!" ;) )


/Z

maxx10
02-23-2006, 01:05 PM
Hi, Colin, first of all let me tell you that I've always enjoyed reading your posts here on cgtalk and, of course, watching what you've accomplished on DAT and Constantine and the others

On with some questions:

- How many artist work at [Hydraulx] and how are they subdivided between 3d, compositing and editing?

- Do you prefer specialized artists (a modeler, a lighter, an animator and so on) or people that can manage an entire shot?

- What's your position regarding "off the shelf-but customizable" software versus proprietary solutions like the ones from ILM, DD, R+H.... Do you feel somewhat limited or you develop smaller custom cut tools?

thanks for the time you're taking answering all these questions

P.s. - post some pics of your new studio :thumbsup:

neofg
02-23-2006, 03:48 PM
Wow, man! That's really interesting! What wonderful works...

Ca u write something about landscape creation? How u work to create a landscape, how u work with skyes, horizon...clouds, animations... Can u rite a secret or a help?
Too much? He He... :) Thanks...
Good art!

young_927
02-23-2006, 05:15 PM
Hi colin~

I just wanted to know your opinion on next gen game art?
or your overall opinion on the difference btw game art and film art?

do you think artist will be easier to trasition from game to film/ or from films to games easier?
or do you still think its 2 different things?

thanks!
young

SteveNewport
02-23-2006, 05:22 PM
I find it hard to be confident and display confidence about my work when pitching an idea for the exact reason you posted of seeming to have too big of an ego. How do you display confidence, the belief in your own idea and the quality thereof without seeming like a cock-ass. What turns you off to potential working artists? What's good to see?

Miroku
02-23-2006, 06:55 PM
5) For me its work, work, a quick match of America's Army, eat, work, CoffeeBean, work, eat, work, sleep.

Nice ;)
I worked on America's Army for a little over 2 years. Cool to see the fans are still out there.

adonihs
02-23-2006, 10:55 PM
First off, amazing work on Day After Tomorrow, I remember when I saw the first 4 min clip of it on TV, I was stunned at the visual effects.

Secondly, your personality is amazing. Not only are you blunt, but you speak straight up. You dont bullshit and I respect that. I know what you mean about the assholes that front themselves on this site, or any art site to bring others down. I commend you on that.

Third, this question is mostly for my friend. He's into CG too, and ill check back on this to see if you responded so I can show him. What do you suggest for him? College? A Degree? Or to jsut work on his reel and show it around? Whatst he best tip to motivate him?

Thanks, and keep up the amazing work

Jackdeth
02-24-2006, 08:12 AM
Hey Colin!

Long time no speak! ;)


I'm curious what file formats and resoltuions you normally work with, i.e. what kind of data form does the studios give you plates/sequences in, and what format you deliver results.

Also I am curious about how you go about things like matching light responses of cameras/film/etc, if it's through elaborate specs from film manifacturers squeezed through rocket-scientist formulas... or by eye, and tweak in comp?

I also wonder about how often you get a lighting reference, and in what style it is (i.e. hold out of a maquette, gray/chrome ball photo, and if it's HDRI or just "shoot the damned chrome ball lets move on NOW!" ;) )


/Z

What's up Zap!

For movie stuff, we usually get the files on DTF2 or LTO in a Cineon or DPX format, which is also how we deliever stuff as well.

We design all of our 3d renders for the comp. Everything is broken into passes, there is almost never a pure beauty pass. Its faster and eaiser to get the 3D looking perfect in 2D.

We just bought one of those Spheron HDRI cameras. Its ****ing amazing. 26 stops of exposure at a 4kx30k resoulution.

Jackdeth
02-24-2006, 08:14 AM
Third, this question is mostly for my friend. He's into CG too, and ill check back on this to see if you responded so I can show him. What do you suggest for him? College? A Degree? Or to jsut work on his reel and show it around? Whatst he best tip to motivate him?

Thanks, and keep up the amazing work


Tell him its all about the reel. It doesn't matter if he is schooled or not, it all comes down to the reel and his personality. As for motivation, all new artists need to understand it takes YEARS AND YEARS to get even slightly good a CG. I've been doing it for over 15 years and I'm still learning new shit every day.

Jackdeth
02-24-2006, 08:21 AM
I find it hard to be confident and display confidence about my work when pitching an idea for the exact reason you posted of seeming to have too big of an ego. How do you display confidence, the belief in your own idea and the quality thereof without seeming like a cock-ass. What turns you off to potential working artists? What's good to see?

Ahhhh, the ole' catch 22...


This is all about the fine art of balance. Having an ego isn't bad, and when dealing with tough clients or people working for you, you need it to be able to exert a show of force and confidence. The trick is knowing that you aren't always the smartest person, and even dumb people can have great ideas. You also need to know that sometimes you have to lose a battle to win a war.

Cock-ass's and ego monsters don't do that. They think they are always right even when presented with evidence of the contray, which goes to show thier cock-holer-ly.

Jackdeth
02-24-2006, 08:26 AM
Hi, Colin, first of all let me tell you that I've always enjoyed reading your posts here on cgtalk and, of course, watching what you've accomplished on DAT and Constantine and the others

On with some questions:

- How many artist work at [Hydraulx] and how are they subdivided between 3d, compositing and editing?

- Do you prefer specialized artists (a modeler, a lighter, an animator and so on) or people that can manage an entire shot?

- What's your position regarding "off the shelf-but customizable" software versus proprietary solutions like the ones from ILM, DD, R+H.... Do you feel somewhat limited or you develop smaller custom cut tools?

thanks for the time you're taking answering all these questions

P.s. - post some pics of your new studio :thumbsup:

We are between 60-70 people right now, but we are still building up. It's a pretty even split between 2d and 3d, with support people filling out the rest. I'm sure by summer we might be just under a 100.

I like generalists because I can throw them at anything, and I don't need to worry about them running out of stuff to do.

We make alot of our tools and shaders now. We don't have thier massive R&D staffs, but we make do with what we got, and there are several programers and coders building tools everyday. I can see where smaller shops have a harder time without having a coder on staff. Almost every job we do uses our custom shaders, database, render manager, etc, etc.

The pics for the studio will be up in 2-3 weeks once we move in. I think people will dig it. We went a little nuts with the place. :)

mental
02-24-2006, 02:41 PM
Hey Colin,

The next Tool album is coming out this Spring. Will we be seeing a new video from the Brothers Strause?

What was the toughest job Hydraulx has ever worked on?

And finally...

Is there a Jilldeth and what are her measurements? j/k :D

-mental :surprised

KahlanAmnell
02-24-2006, 04:50 PM
Colin,

Thank you very much for taking the time to answer all of our questions.
Your a man to admire.

- What are your future hopes for the business? Who are your current rivals and furthermore, who would you like rival in the future?

- You have already answered most of my questions but one i am sure most aspiring artist would like to know is.... What is the range of income for beginning designers and animators just hopping into the feild, or does it depend on who you work for and your specialized skillz

RobW720
02-24-2006, 06:24 PM
all was going well then someone asked a "how much money" question...

Lorecanth
02-24-2006, 11:35 PM
skipping over the money question.

I'm going to shoot a question about mental ray to you colin. I know you guys are a big mental ray studio, have you gotten to try out the various buffer output systems?

Quantium
02-25-2006, 12:36 AM
Hello Mr. Strause. Thanks for answering some of our questions, very insightful and informative!

I just had a few compositing questions:
1. Along the lines of another question, which file format do you find to be the best in working with for film production in terms of best overall quality, ease of working with it in post, best results?
2. Which compositing program do you enjoy the most besides the higher end Inferno systems?
3. The "must-need" skills a compositor should have when entering the field, more specifically, which ones do you use more in the film industry?

Thanks again, and great work on The Day After Tommorrow!

Jackdeth
02-25-2006, 05:13 AM
Colin,

Thank you very much for taking the time to answer all of our questions.
Your a man to admire.

- What are your future hopes for the business? Who are your current rivals and furthermore, who would you like rival in the future?

- You have already answered most of my questions but one i am sure most aspiring artist would like to know is.... What is the range of income for beginning designers and animators just hopping into the feild, or does it depend on who you work for and your specialized skillz


Our rivals are all the usual suspects. We bid against everybody, but obviously each studio has it's own strengths and weakness, so sometimes we win and sometimes we don't.

As for income range, the range is so wild and varied that it's impossible to define easily. The differences between employees, freelancers, co-owners, owners, etc, etc, is too extreme to list.

Jackdeth
02-25-2006, 05:15 AM
skipping over the money question.

I'm going to shoot a question about mental ray to you colin. I know you guys are a big mental ray studio, have you gotten to try out the various buffer output systems?


We haven't played too much with those because we have our own pipeline for breaking renders up into seperate passes that we are already used to. I think we'll take a look at it after we get a few of these movies in-house finished.

Julius
02-25-2006, 11:28 AM
Hi Jackdeth, your one of very few i scroll a thread just to look for that certain avatar and their opinion.

I know the industry is totally different from what we see on cgtalk, I have just completed a 6 month internship over here in Australia with a popular government funded program.

Anyway, I've been teaching myself and looking out for another gig however i'm still unsure on what area I want to specify myself. I read one of your replies above that you like generalists so you can throw everything at them. Now i'm always told down here that we must specify and because I'm unsure what i just want to stick with and because i enjoy the entire process (except uv mapping lol) then it's kind of hard to get a studio job they tell me.

1. I'm a generalist myself and I think if I'm going for FX animator then why is it a bad thing that i'm just as good in other areas aswell?

2. Mental ray pipeline. Do you guys use GI/FG? and if you do how far do you go when it comes to render time?

3. I know you guys would have a farm but is a artist expected to be able to render frames without the use of a farm?

Thankyou for your time it's great to see a professional as yourself posting regularly.

Julius

FUG1T1VE
02-25-2006, 08:18 PM
2) They don't last. Even though we do a lot of work our core team is still small, so if you can't finish your shots you won't stay around. That does make it hard for us to find people, but it also gets rid of lots of internal politics and in-fighting that bigger shops have between artists and mangement once quality problems become obvious.



Is this becoming a necessity for artist working in smaller shops. I see that many artist that move into smaller shops begin to pick up other skills aside from what they already know.

IE. an expert animator, learning compositing,modeling, etc.

AmyScott-Murray
02-26-2006, 10:14 AM
Hi Colin

Huge, huge respect for the attitude, the hard work and the skill :)

My question - do you feel that recent graduates have enough/not enough experience of working on group projects?

I ask because I'm directing a small group film at college atm and we're enjoying it so much I was thinking of making my final year film in the same way... will it impress potential emplyers that I can work well with other ppl, or would they rather see what I'm personally capable of on my own? (Of course i'd do a proper shot breakdown on my reel etc).

Thank you very much

Amy Scott-Murray

beaker
02-26-2006, 09:36 PM
-One of the biggest pitfalls with many students is thier total lack loyalty, and lack of fore-sight. Could you expand a little more on your loyalty statement? I'm not a student or just out of school but have heard this from a few people. Personally I don't get it coming from an employee POV (unless I'm misunderstanding your statement).

Most employers give me very wishy washy start and end dates, so I don't see how I can be loyal and keep consistently employed at the same time? If I'm not putting out feelers a month or so ahead of time before the end of a job I may or may not be employed for 1-6 weeks after a job is over. I'm always told "oh we are bidding on this job or that one and we want you on this next job if we get it". I have heard that a million times and it is a 50:50 chance of happening so I must always look for other work no matter how much of a guarantee it is that they will land that show.

Shows are given out and pulled in the blink of an eye in this biz depending on much bigger forces way up the chain at a large studio. Employers want us loyal but they can't be loyal back because of this. What is your take on this?

Jackdeth
02-26-2006, 10:35 PM
Could you expand a little more on your loyalty statement? I'm not a student or just out of school but have heard this from a few people. Personally I don't get it coming from an employee POV (unless I'm misunderstanding your statement).

Most employers give me very wishy washy start and end dates, so I don't see how I can be loyal and keep consistently employed at the same time? If I'm not putting out feelers a month or so ahead of time before the end of a job I may or may not be employed for 1-6 weeks after a job is over. I'm always told "oh we are bidding on this job or that one and we want you on this next job if we get it". I have heard that a million times and it is a 50:50 chance of happening so I must always look for other work no matter how much of a guarantee it is that they will land that show.

Shows are given out and pulled in the blink of an eye in this biz depending on much bigger forces way up the chain at a large studio. Employers want us loyal but they can't be loyal back because of this. What is your take on this?

Maybe we are just different than most places, but when we bring junior artists on board, we do so expecting them to be around for a long time. They aren't project hires, so the goal is to home-grow new talent that is tuned to our pipeline. It's really hard breaking into this biz, and it really amazes me how relaxed and arrogant some people get once they get thier big chance. I wonder if the schools are teaching them that it is easy to get a job, so they don't seem to care if thier behavior might get them fired, or that they can bail in the middle of a project after we've invest a lot of training into them. I've seen this enough times (not just at our shop) that it feels more like a trend than just a few bad apples.


The sad fact is that it's making me less inclined to hire junior artists, but then I'm reminded that the ones that did work out our some of our better artists on staff today.

beaker
02-26-2006, 10:50 PM
ahh, yea, that makes more sense.

I full heatedly agree about putting in your time when your new to the biz (swimming with sharks is my favorite example). Yes your making crap money but it will pay off in the long run. Put in a year or two at the place that got your started and then go somewhere else. Bailing after 3-6 months because you got 1 movie credit and now can get a job elsewhere is bad taste.

I was refering to people saying this about regular seasoned artists, which I think is BS.

BillSpradlin
02-27-2006, 06:29 AM
. Bailing after 3-6 months because you got 1 movie credit and now can get a job elsewhere is bad taste.


I would agree that if one were to bail after 6 months and finishing a project for the sole purpose of just working somewhere else is indeed in bad taste. However, there are certain cirucmstances that this would most certainly be justified. Due to working conditions, the overall attitude of the employers to the employees, etc are all factors that if favored in the right direction (or in the negative direction if you will), would make it quite acceptable for one to leave that studio. Also the very simple question of whether that person feels they fit into that environment is something that weighs big on the decision to stay or leave.

Some people also just like to freelance. Go from one job to the next and work on a lot of different projects. It's certainly not a negative thing if that's what that person wants to do with their career.

I actually have a serious question for ya Colin. How long do you think the industry can sustain it's current rate of underbidding, underbudgeting, and under scheduling jobs? The productions are getting shorter (time wise), the shots are getting more complex, and the budgets are getting smaller. How long do you think it will be before we see a major change in the way things work in our industry overall?

PROVIDE3D
02-27-2006, 02:38 PM
I actually have a serious question for ya Colin. How long do you think the industry can sustain it's current rate of underbidding, underbudgeting, and under scheduling jobs? The productions are getting shorter (time wise), the shots are getting more complex, and the budgets are getting smaller. How long do you think it will be before we see a major change in the way things work in our industry overall ?

Oh... I do really want to see an answer on that as well.


Martin

Jackdeth
02-27-2006, 03:07 PM
I actually have a serious question for ya Colin. How long do you think the industry can sustain it's current rate of underbidding, underbudgeting, and under scheduling jobs? The productions are getting shorter (time wise), the shots are getting more complex, and the budgets are getting smaller. How long do you think it will be before we see a major change in the way things work in our industry overall?

That's a tough one. I don't think it's going to change for a while because the studios are getting away with it, so there is no reason for them to do it any other way. The real issue is the rising cost of actors, which now eats most of the budget, so the stuidos need to get the film to market as fast as possible to start paying back the loans. I think the only thing that might cause a major change is if a few high profile movies choke under the tight schedules, but even then Hollywood rarely amits it's failures and just keeps pushing on with "buisness as usual" attitudes.

With that said, these crazy schedules projects are a niche market that I enjoy. Its fun and scary all at once, and if you can pull it of you become a hero.

Bonedaddy
02-27-2006, 05:45 PM
I'm curious as to whether show producers and studio flack even realize the pressure they're putting the effects crews under. I'm sure some of them do, but I've definitely gotten the impression on a few shows -- especially since Lord of the Rings came out -- that the people making the decisions had no clue the amount of work they were creating. Sometimes I wonder if the truncated deadlines are not a case of the studios not understanding our end of the industry, and assuming we're BSing if we say it'd take a long time. After all, if Weta can do all that in a year, why can't Boutique Shop X?

Of course, I'm not the one talking to the studio, so my experiences are very colored. Be interested in your views on the matter, Colin. Do they do it because they can, or because they don't understand? Or both?

Sinjitsu
02-27-2006, 08:16 PM
Hey Colin,

Long time listener, first time caller.

I recently sent out a bunch of reels trying to escape my current mistake of employment (And have successfully done just that). I have been in 3d for some time now, primary broadcast news etc..., but do alot of homework with character creation and animation.

Now... my skilllset is fairly broad as I started out as an AI programmer some years ago and worked my way in... from web design and avid editing, but have no formal education minus 2 years of film school that couldn't be completed due to lack of funds, having to find work, etc. etc. etc. (You know the drill)

My question is... industry wide, do you feel it is better to send a reel showing your broad experience (Meaning 2d painting, Interface, Character Creation, editing, Compositing etc.), or to pinpoint what they are looking for and send a reel that demonstrates just that?

Also... how often do you find or even consider that a portfolio/reel may have been falsified? I lost a job opportunity a few years back to someone who had done just that.

Thanks,

Cr0we

Droolz
02-28-2006, 02:56 PM
Hey Colin,

Like most here I've appreciated your previous posts, allways useful, sometimes a little abrupt ;). My question is this:

What's your position (as a company) on the internet? More and more of my work now is sliding into online: production values and budgets are getting higher, bandwidth is getting to be less and less of an issue, the last project I did felt more like a short film production than a website. Do you see yourself ever getting involved in new media, or are you purely focused on the more established markets?

On a much more personal note, and please feel free to ignore this, do you have kids / family? I ask because I'm interested to see if you've managed to find equalibrium between doing sometihing you love, and being with someone you love ;).

Jules

urgaffel
02-28-2006, 10:56 PM
ahh, yea, that makes more sense.

I full heatedly agree about putting in your time when your new to the biz (swimming with sharks is my favorite example). Yes your making crap money but it will pay off in the long run. Put in a year or two at the place that got your started and then go somewhere else. Bailing after 3-6 months because you got 1 movie credit and now can get a job elsewhere is bad taste.

I was refering to people saying this about regular seasoned artists, which I think is BS.

But doesn't this come back to your earlier post about not knowing if you'll be working or not? I mean, if you're hired on a project basis, expecting you to stick around just in case you're going to get hired on a project basis a second time seems like a slightly stupid attitude from the company. "What?! You're not staying even though we can almost maybe probably give you another project contract for maybe possibly 6 months? How dare you leave?!" See what I'm getting at?

If you're hired with a clear schedule and the company is straightforward with what they want from you (such as Hydraulx seem to be judging by Colins post) you're definitely a dick if you jump ship... Just seems to me like it depends a lot on where you get hired.

Just to make one thing clear, I'm not defending jumping ship unless you have a very good reason, just pointing out that sometimes circumstances can be slightly mitigating :)

Jackdeth
03-01-2006, 05:11 AM
Hey Colin,

Like most here I've appreciated your previous posts, allways useful, sometimes a little abrupt ;). My question is this:

What's your position (as a company) on the internet? More and more of my work now is sliding into online: production values and budgets are getting higher, bandwidth is getting to be less and less of an issue, the last project I did felt more like a short film production than a website. Do you see yourself ever getting involved in new media, or are you purely focused on the more established markets?

On a much more personal note, and please feel free to ignore this, do you have kids / family? I ask because I'm interested to see if you've managed to find equalibrium between doing sometihing you love, and being with someone you love ;).

Jules

If there is enough money involved than anything is possible, but I don't see it happening anytime soon for us. I just don't see how the budgets can sustain a larger shop with overhead.

I' m married with a 1 year old, and it can be tough balancing the two (as I'm typing this late at night from the office), but I had the advantage that my wife used to be our senior 3d supervisor and coder. So she has a better understanding than most woman, so I guess I'm pretty lucky with that. Not to mention, she still helps me when I have a compiling question. :)

Jackdeth
03-01-2006, 05:16 AM
Hey Colin,

Long time listener, first time caller.

I recently sent out a bunch of reels trying to escape my current mistake of employment (And have successfully done just that). I have been in 3d for some time now, primary broadcast news etc..., but do alot of homework with character creation and animation.

Now... my skilllset is fairly broad as I started out as an AI programmer some years ago and worked my way in... from web design and avid editing, but have no formal education minus 2 years of film school that couldn't be completed due to lack of funds, having to find work, etc. etc. etc. (You know the drill)

My question is... industry wide, do you feel it is better to send a reel showing your broad experience (Meaning 2d painting, Interface, Character Creation, editing, Compositing etc.), or to pinpoint what they are looking for and send a reel that demonstrates just that?

Also... how often do you find or even consider that a portfolio/reel may have been falsified? I lost a job opportunity a few years back to someone who had done just that.

Thanks,

Cr0we

I say keep it broad, but organize the content into the specific catagories.

As for bullshit reels, I see them all the time. I can't tell you how many times I've seen the same shot on 4 different reels with each artist claiming they did it all by themselves. It's sicking because you hire someone based on a reel, and then you find out they suck in the middle of production. It really has made a lot of the old timers here bitter about new people because we see so much lying these days.

Oh yeah, the other thing that drives us nuts is seeing when everyone is calling themselve the CG of VFX supervisor when they were just a regular 3d artist. I've even seen students already calling themselves VFX Sups without even working on a single real project. :banghead:

organica
03-01-2006, 12:32 PM
Yep, long hours. I know how it goes. I used to work for special effect companies that had the philosophy that "you can work however long you want AND whenever you want, just a s long as you get the work done and perfect".

I found my paychecks having and average 120 hours to 220 hours on them. But I loved it (and the foam rolls and puppet fur made nice beds too :) ).

-Is this the same philosophy you have your crew work?
-Do they have flexible hours as long as they get the work done?
-Is this the general consensus/attitude among many cg houses?

francescaluce
03-01-2006, 05:21 PM
I had the advantage that my wife used to be our senior 3d supervisor and coder.

.how many women do you have in your studio ?
.what y'think about woman in cg works ? except
for your wife, of course, do you think we do it better ?
:)

ciao
francesca

MasterZap
03-01-2006, 07:00 PM
Colin

Do you think you'll be showing up at SIG'06 even tho it's in Boston?

I have a few more drinks to buy you ;)

francesca: Of course you do it better. Don't women always? Men just brag more, that's all. But there's the old Swedish proverb "empty barrels make the most noise" so us men should probably shut up ;)

/Z

dickma
03-02-2006, 12:01 PM
Hi Colin,

Does your company accept overseas applicants for work or internship? if yes, what are you look for? And what is the difficulties when work with them?

And what is your POV about some studios depends more about the applicants to knows about some specific 3D softwares, than their artistic value on their portfolio become less important? Do you think some studios will spend time to train them to suit their workflow if there is difference in workflow?

slipknot66
03-03-2006, 05:53 AM
Hello Mr Colin
Well, just wanted to say that i am a big fan of your company Hydraulx.
I loved the GodSmack Video Clip, would be really cool seeing Hydraulx producing some SlipKnot video clips too.:thumbsup:

lazzhar
03-03-2006, 08:14 AM
I enjoyed reading your answers and old post.Just wanted to congratulate you for your acheivments in all aspects and wish you good luck as well.

Cheers:)

Jackdeth
03-03-2006, 04:11 PM
Hi Colin,

Does your company accept overseas applicants for work or internship? if yes, what are you look for? And what is the difficulties when work with them?

And what is your POV about some studios depends more about the applicants to knows about some specific 3D softwares, than their artistic value on their portfolio become less important? Do you think some studios will spend time to train them to suit their workflow if there is difference in workflow?

It hard working with overseas artists because of the visa issues since 9/11. Even with a degree, it can very hard to get the government to allow the artist to work.

Most companys need artists that can use existing tools. I wouldn't hire a lightwave artist because we only use maya, and I don't have the time to re-train someone on big software packages. Doing training on small software, like syflex or z-brush, is common because it only takes a little bit of time before the artist can be productive.

dickma
03-04-2006, 05:46 AM
Thanks Colin.

I'm still remember the Coke ad with Warcraft and S.H.E.

Despite of the 9/11 problem (actually I hate George Bush more) and other visa restrictions, what are you looking for, if you accept overseas applicants? Or what qualities should an oversea applicant have?

I may be more focus on other countries like Australia or Europe but well, it should be happened after many years of time.

And what do you think if it is a good strategy if studying aboard for animation and trying to get a job after graduate? I learn animation skill by myself, but I find it is hard to improve myself and get into the industry.

Yes, I need to shift my toolsets :P .

codenamejyn
03-04-2006, 08:13 AM
Do you have artists presenting "WIP" everday?

Does it affect you if an artist's "WIP" present some elements that are dodgy?

Do you believe that when an artist present something dodgy that they are a bad artist that could not judge their own work?..or do you believe it's part of the process?

Is it important to you for an artist present what they did in a day just to see how the work evolve or direct to?

You as a person who have got your hands dirty doing real production shots. How differs would your comment on a artist work would be comparing to a, let say a producer? Do your make comments based on your core understanding of the work done or shoot your comments blindly?

You present a work and almost everbody could have at least one aspect to comment.Let say your receptionist made a incredible comment would that make the person to replace your artist?

Do you believe that saying and doing is two different thing? Have you ever encountered situation where an artist or your self realized that you had underestimated what you have commented only after get you hands dirty?

Do you prefer artists that shuts his/her mouth most of the time but gets a work done?

A lots of question still but I'll stop here.

Nazirull
03-05-2006, 09:38 PM
Hi Colin,

Interesting insights to a newbie like me.

A vast portfolio you and Hydraulx have. Very impressive.

How would you see the industry in the coming years?

edit: I cried when i saw the DAT iceberg sequence on big screen for the first time....

igorstshirts
03-07-2006, 12:21 AM
Hey Colin... Could you maybe tell us a little more about that opening iceberg sequence? That blew me away! I could not tell what the hell was going on.

EDIT... I hope I didn't come off as too pretentious by my initial post. You seem way laid back by your answers. Thanks.

barryk50
03-17-2006, 04:37 AM
Once again Mr. Strause thanks again for taking the time to answer some of our questions.

My question to you is do you guys accept internships? If so, what do you look for in the student? I currently go to the Savannah College of Art and Design where I am working 3d and VSFX for my major. It is about time to start thinking about looking for internships.

Thanks again.

leigh
03-17-2006, 07:28 AM
I am sorry guys, but I am having to end this Q&A session!
Many, many thanks to Colin for his participation :thumbsup:

(I am sorry, this should have been closed a while back but I've been so busy with a deadline at work that I forgot about closing it!)