Meet the Artist: Colin Strause, [Hydraulx]

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  02 February 2006
Originally Posted by beaker: . 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?
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Light & Stuff
Think for yourself, question authority.
 
  02 February 2006
Quote: 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
 
  02 February 2006
Originally Posted by BillSpradlin: 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.
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Colin Strause
http://www.hydraulx.com/
 
  02 February 2006
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?
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BREAK
 
  02 February 2006
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
 
  02 February 2006
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
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--JS3D--

Last edited by Droolz : 02 February 2006 at 04:03 PM. Reason: spellin'
 
  02 February 2006
Originally Posted by beaker: 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
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Peter
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Environment artist blog - iPhone 2D Shmup Ultrablast!
 
  03 March 2006
Originally Posted by Droolz: 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.
__________________
Colin Strause
http://www.hydraulx.com/
 
  03 March 2006
Originally Posted by Sinjitsu: 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.
__________________
Colin Strause
http://www.hydraulx.com/

Last edited by Jackdeth : 03 March 2006 at 06:37 AM.
 
  03 March 2006
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?
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organica
 
  03 March 2006
Quote: 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
 
  03 March 2006
Question

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
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Last edited by MasterZap : 03 March 2006 at 08:12 PM.
 
  03 March 2006
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?
 
  03 March 2006
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.
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Bucket Watcher
 
  03 March 2006
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
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Lazhar Rekik
 
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