Friday, December 16, 2005
With the holiday season quickly approaching and the new year about to start, I thought I’d write and post a little thanks to all of my wonderful new/repeat clients, my agents Artist Logic in LA, and all my lovely wife, family and friends who have been so supportive and reflect on the year that was 2005.
Business wise, this has been a fantastic year for my studio, as I picked up several new clients, and continued to produce work for established ones as well! The direction of my studio has been steadily taking me in the exciting direction of advertising, film, and TV. Projects, such as “Surface” for NBC/Universal, and other independent film work in North Carolina have kept the creative gears turning. I still have been producing a lot of successful work in the video game industry as well with the “Ghost Recon: Summit Strike” for Xbox, and after the first of the year, “Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter” for the new Xbox 360 console. Also, many advertising jobs in a storyboarding and illustration role have, and continue to open up for me here on the east coast as well as in LA. All are very exciting!!
Looking forward to 2006, I’m already bidding, and in discussions with a number of large projects in motion pictures, and these look to kick off the new year in grand style! 2006 is looking to continue to build Film Shots Studio’s reputation as one of the premiere pre-visual studios on the east coast with no end in sight. I’m very excited at the possibilities! I’ll also be starting another new project for the video game industry, as well as my new story that I’ll be writing and illustrating for the comic book industry. My inclusion in Mark Simon’s “Storyboards: Motion in art: 3rd edition” will be out in 2006 and will be a fantastic source for anyone interested in learning about or persuing a career in Storyboards. I worked up a number of art pieces for the book so check it out when it comes out.
In closing, a quote and a hope……
“If you want to know how to do a thing you must first have a complete desire to do that thing. Then go to kindred spirits -- others who have wanted to do that thing -- and study their ways and means, learn from their successes and failures and add your quota. Thus you may acquire from the experience of the race. And with this technical knowledge you may go forward, expressing through the play of forms the music that is in you and which is very personal to you.”
~ Robert Henri
I hope the coming year will find you all in peace, tranquility, happiness, love, and fulfilling persuits. My all of your dreams come true. Happy Holidays everybody!!!
Monday, December 12, 2005
My latest interview. This one is for the video game industry!
You can find the interview here - http://www.gamasutra.com/galleries/visual_art/craig_gilmore/index.htm
Friday, December 02, 2005
I'm also starting a small personal 2d cell animation project with two comic book buddies of mine. With some major comic characters..... will keep you posted on this as well.
Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving holiday!
Friday, November 18, 2005
Sorry for the delay in my posts. Things have been pretty busy around my studio "Film Shots". Mostly fielding calls and supplying quotes, setting up advertising and promotion etc. You know....buisness stuff. Anyway, things are still moving along as I...
1) have a new independant film project upcoming that wants me to do some boards and a possible DVD cover illustration for. That would be cool, and a *get back to the illustration roots* project would be fun!
2) In stores soon will be "Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter" for the Xbox 360. I did a lot of boards and concepting for this project so pick up a copy when you can.
3) working on my comic book story as time allows. Im in the layout stage at this point. hoping to produce some finished work after the holidays.
4) Other odd projects. 'Lil bit 'o this, 'lil bit 'o that....
If you have a chance to pick up the latest issue of "Reel Carolina" you will see they are running an ad for my studio. Its a great magazine on fillm and tv production in North Carolina.
I'm putting the finishing touches on a new interview. This time it's for "NC Flix". I'll post it once it's published.
Ill update more as it comes in.
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Monday, October 10, 2005
Finally someone gets it ……
Film and video games are becoming one. Whether you like or not, creatives and developing companies in games must be prepared for the winds of change. I welcome this new direction with open arms. As it is now, most video game companies will not allow artists to work with other video game companies. Some reasons are warranted, most are not. We as artist, have a right to work wherever and whenever we need to to make a living. New contacting policies will allow this, and make it better for all, even cutting down on the cost of development for companies over all. The limitations are unacceptable. Contracting and freelancing *IS* the way of the future in the video game industry. It benefits both the artist and the company. Unionization is also a certainty in the near future and this is something else that artists, and the development/publishing companies must be able to prepare for. Video games are inherently evil in nature when it comes to deadlines and what are commonly known as “crunch time” workloads (often back to back). This is something that goes unchallenged and is *expected of you as an employee of a video game company*. No overtime, just your pre-determined salary as it stands now is all you get. Ok, the standard practice is a few days of "comp time" which is usually an x number of hours (in the case of one employer "40") is equal to "1" day off. Hmmm... where is the math? And where is the *hard-earned* money the artists are giving away? Video games in order to continue to grow and attract the very best talent, and to continue to prosper in the long run, must be aware… Listen...the faint sounds of the war horns are in the distance......time is near and things they are ‘a changin’….
*Please check out this article published by my buddies over at Digital Artists Management - http://www.digitalartistmanagement.com/ and Digital Artist Management Consultants - http://www.damconsultants.com/… and contact them should you need the very best in artists placement. Great guys and great jobs for a changing marketplace.
*originally published in the Digital Artists Newsletter*
THE CONVERGENCE OF FILMS & GAMES: A Staffing Dilemma
Over the last several years, there have been numerous discussions, debates, and panels dedicated to the convergence of the film and game industries. Much of the dialogue has been centered on plot development, photorealistic graphics, licenses crossing platform lines, and whether or not a game will ever be able to make the player cry.
While all these points are certainly valid topics of discussion and the lines are coming ever-closer to merging, a topic that is seldom discussed is “What is the best staffing methodology for facilitating this convergence?” Although it may not be a flashy subject for a panel at GDC or E3, the benefits associated with Hollywood 's practice of hiring product development specialists into temporary, on-site, full-time contract positions is gaining considerable traction within the videogame industry.
Up until now, the game development community has focused almost exclusively on hiring artists, animators, designers, and engineers into full-time positions. This methodology has prevailed because of the desire to secure and retain top development talent, protect intellectual properties, and keep innovations and proprietary technologies confidential until products ship. But in order to meet the development scope for next-generation content team sizes and budgets will likely double or even triple. While there will always be a need to hire and maintain a core team of key players on staff, it is becoming increasingly difficult and, in some cases, unnecessary, to have the entire development team employed in permanent positions. Film and effects houses have long seen the value in contract employment because of the project-oriented nature of their work. Similarly, the project-oriented nature of games development could likewise benefit from utilizing temporary or contract resources on a broader scale.
For employers, hiring contractors immediately eliminates many of the HR, benefits, and insurance costs inherent with hiring each new employee, especially when the staffing agency assumes the liability issues associated with co-employment. Under this scenario, the staffing agency is responsible for the contract employee, including all HR-related issues, payroll, state and federal taxes, workman's compensation, unemployment, and liability insurance, while the employer gets much-needed resources to alleviate workload and bandwidth pressures on the typically heavily burdened permanent staff. Contract staffing also provides a lot of flexibility for employers to test-run candidates before making a permanent hiring decision based on an interview, a demo reel, or a gut feeling. When the contract is done, there are no false or misconceived expectations, and the employer has the options to move on, renew the contract, or convert the contractor into a permanent employee. Moreover, utilizing contract employees can help companies avoid much of the awkwardness and negative publicity that often results from layoffs and downsizing at the end of a project because most companies cannot financially sustain the entire development team once the product has shipped.
For individual developers, there are some equally compelling benefits to the contract employment model. From a creative perspective, contracting affords the opportunity to work on a variety of different projects over the course of one's career while broadening one's network of contacts. Contracting can also provide a stop-gap between permanent employment stints since it's always nice to receive a paycheck while you're looking for a permanent job. Most notably, working on contract often allows an individual to get the proverbial “foot in the door” with a studio that may have otherwise been reluctant to make a permanent commitment upfront.
So while the debate over the impending union of film and games content marches on, the benefits of a convergence in hiring practices are becoming increasingly clear.
Thursday, September 29, 2005
I'm trying to juggle some small assignments until the bigger ones come through in a couple of weeks (they said) and in between my comic story which is going well. I've been tied up and it seems I haven't posted my "semi-regular, but working on posting more frequently" update. Thanks go to Allison who reminded me that yes, people are reading this. That's good news, so I'll try to update more. Lastly, make sure to run over to my portfolio site which I updated with some new production art. www.flickfolio.com/craiggilmore/.
So........the last topic today is........
My workflow step 3) Thumbnail sketches and the art of drawing really small....
Well, after I have all the script broken down into all those circled paragraphs etc. I will draw a number of small boxes next to each circled section to draw a visual "note" to myself about what I want the panel to do. I've often heard from my fellow artists that these rough thimbnails are notes only I can decipher, and indeed they are no more that scribbles and shapes for the most part. Honestly, sometimes they are so rough even I, look at them later and go "what the....is that a foot or a hammer?". At this stage of the game, that is all that I am interested in. I'm thinking about action, timing, composition, camera movement and clear storytelling. Not correct proportion, setting up vanishing points and the later stuff. So I will go back through the script, and basically draw all the key frames of action. I like to think of each one of these drawings in animation terms of being "keyframes" that will later have "breakdowns" and "inbetweens". When this process is done, for the most part, all of my job as a storyteller and the hard (but fun and challenging) part of the job is through because in my mind, I know exactly what I need and want to draw at this point. All that is left is to draw out the panels in the appropriate size and demensions, with all the eye candy added in i.e. correct perspective, figure proportion, drapery, lighting. All of this is no more than proverbial "icing on the cake". This brings me to the next step which will be posted later.....
#3) Approval stages, and finishes or "grab your director and tango"
Thanks for reading, until next time...
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Since some people have asked....I thought I might talk a little bit about my workflow process as it relates to storyboard and comics. I'll have to break this up into sections as I will only cover one part of the development at a time.
1- Circles and words-
When I get a script, the first thing I am interested in doing is taking it and breaking it down into bite size digestable images. There is certainly a lot of information in a normal movie script so what I do (and this goes for comics as well) is take a Colerase blue pencil and read the script. As I go, I circle sections of the script that I think would make a cool image, always keeping in mind that the story is the thing. A cool image alone is great, but in storyboarding and comics every image has to have a purpose and move the story further. So each image *has* to supply the viewer the visual information to tell the story correctly while at the same time suggest camera angles, sets, animation, special effects, all the things a production would need. So I go and cover the whole script and in the end I have a bunch of circled "panels or frames" that I would draw out later. Also during this phase, I'll often write little notes to myself as to what I would like to do.
Next time....... 2) - Thumbnail sketches and the art of drawing really small....
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Of course I'm a little biased with this because I'm a storyboard artist, but this really bothers me.....
Why is it that filmmakers *want* storyboards, but view them as a *luxury* part of the development cycle, so "we won't have them". I can't tell you how many people I have spoken with that are doing a film, but "don't have the budget" for *one of the most importaint parts of *ANY FILM DEVELOPMENT CYCLE*?!! They look at it like its an option. That statement cannot be further from the truth, and I pity any filmmaker who thinks this way. In fact, that addition of storyboards is most importaint factor in pre-viz, and in reality *saves* the production money in the end by simplifying, *clarifying* the filmmaking process. Look at all the greatest filmmakers of our time, the ones you say are your inspiration and influence. *They* used/use storyboards, and saw them as not just a "luxury", but as a necessity. Wake up people....You call yourselves a real filmmaker, but you don't use boards for your production.....hmmmm........let's think about this.....and start preparing for the inevitable loss of time and precious money that your production will inevitibly rack up for *not* having them. Think about it.....
I've purged my system....
Monday, September 12, 2005
Haven't posted in a while. Its been hectic around here in the last few weeks, but all is getting back to "normal" it seems. I just got the go ahead from my publisher to delve head first into the comic book story I want to do. Not that it matters. I intended to do it anyway, even it it was going to see the published light of day, BUT, this helps the motivation factor for sure. I'm already making some headway on it, so I'm happy. Its a return to the medium that started it all for me career wise, and one I haven't worked in for about 10 years. I'm excited again, and find myself flourishing creatively, after a number of years of being disheartened with the comic book medium as a whole. After.... I've been thinking of possibly shooting a short film version of it after its complete. The comic book story will basically be the shooting storyboards any way, so will be ahead of the production process. Of course I'll probably have to do additional boards but thats what I love to do so no work involved. I'll talk to some actors and scout set locales this fall. Once again just thoughts right now, but definitely something I am interested in following up on when its done and persuing. I've been finding myself going more and more towards film as my career progresses. Its a natural step and the industry I was intended to work in since birth. A culmination of all my talents and experience, a place to stay challenged, and a comfortable place to call "home". Time will tell...... my creative wheels are always turning. More later!
Monday, August 22, 2005
This is just an update post, some general stuff, and more general stuff....
Last weekend my mother and fater in-law visited for a few days. We went to Wilmington for a few days since they had never been to the Atlantic ocean. They live in California so thier only beach experience has been cold ones up to this point. They were happily suprised at the water temp out here in NC. We also went to the battleship NC and did the walk through tour. I highly reccommend this tour and the battleship is quite inpressive. Just thinking what those men went though on a day to day basis is incredible! Go do the tour when you can!
I'm fielding some new storyboarding assignmets. Good projects, and new clients so I'm very excited if they come through. Its still early in the game, just quoting presently, and working out details.
I finished the first draft of my personal project. A comic book story called "Time and time again". I'm going to do all the writing and illustration work on this one, so I'm excited! Spoke with publisher Desperado Publishing, and they are interested in publishing it when it is done. Hopefully that will be in a decent timeframe. Looks like it will cover about 5-6 of illustrated pages to tell the short story, so that isn't too intensive and as long as I have time I should have it done soon.
That's it! More later!
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
GOV. EASLEY ANNOUNCES NEW FILM INDUSTRY INCENTIVES Move is Designed to Increase State’s Competitiveness in an Industry Vital to N.C.’s Economy
RALEIGH – Gov. Mike Easley has authorized a provision to provide tax credits to companies that produce movies or television series in North Carolina. The film incentive package, included in the budget he signed on Saturday, is designed to help North Carolina remain a top competitor in the movie and television industry.
“North Carolina has been very successful in bringing filmmakers to our state,” Easley said. “Last year alone, the film industry contributed $235 million in direct spending. This new economic development tool will make North Carolina even more attractive as a location for film production as global competition increases.”
That $235 million economic contribution was enough for North Carolina to retain its No. 3 ranking in U.S. film production behind California and New York. The 17 feature films, 71 television projects, and countless TV commercials shot here in 2004 generated 20,000 production jobs for North Carolinians.
The incentives, which are expected to cost about $5.4 million a year, allow a production company that spends at least $250,000 in the state to receive a tax credit equal to 15 percent for all the goods, services and labor it purchases in North Carolina. The maximum a company can receive is $7.5 million for a feature film, which would require an investment of $50 million.
The new incentives, which were proposed by Sen. Julia Boseman (D-New Hanover) and approved by the General Assembly, have already helped NBC decide to make a new television series, Surface, in the Wilmington area, and contributed to the announcement that Will Farrell will star in a NASCAR comedy to be filmed in Charlotte.
For more information about film production in North Carolina, contact the N.C. Film Office at (919) 733-9900 or visit its website at ncfilm.com.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Tuesday August 9th - In an nut shell.....The House approves the budget by 1 thin vote. But due to the amount of State Employee Raises causes Governor Easly to threaten a Veto, which sends the Budget back to the House.
For those of you interested in the wording of the Film Incentive package as it exists in the budget... Look on Page 339 (Section 39.1.(a)) Click here for a PDF of the Budget as it stands now.
Monday, August 08, 2005
I've been super busy lately! I just completed 6 painted concepts for the upcoming NBC television show "SURFACE"! What a blast that was and I'm looking forward to working with them again soon! Just finished storyboards for a new industry text/reference book "Storyboards: Motion in art" published by Focal Press, and written by Mark Simon. It will be out in the fall, so go to your local book store and check it out! Im also doing storyboards, set and prop designs for the new video game that I'm working on which unfortunately I cant reveal as of yet. Also, my last game "Ghost Recon 2: Summit Strike" is out on the shelves as of this week. I was the lead storyboard artist and lead cinematic character animator on that one. I'm in the process of updating my personal website, which will be much more all inclusive with examples of my work. Ill be sure to let you know when its complete. Thats it! Back to the drawin' board!