ADAPT 2007 : Day 4

Posted on September 28th, 2007 in CG Community by Marc Bourbonnais

I finally had some free time during the day to check out some of the presentations at ADAPT. I dropped in the session by Janimation’s Greg Punchatz. He talked about his career change from practical effects to digital effects, similar to what Phil Tippett had to go through in the 90s. Great footage of his work as a make-up and effects artist.

Syd Mead delivered a top-notch speech as always. I’m always mesmerized by his work. The way he explains his thought process is very entertaining. Let’s hope he’ll be back a third time for ADAPT 2008.

I really enjoy the more personal presentations at ADAPT, it is a nice change of pace from the more corporate and technical speeches we see at Siggraph.

For the rest of the day I was busy in my hotel room adding the final touches to my own presentation tomorrow morning. Now I’m wondering if it’s good enough so I can go to the Halo 3 party a few blocks away…



ADAPT 2007 : Day 3

Posted on September 27th, 2007 in CG Community, Working in CG by Marc Bourbonnais

Hey, what happened to day 2?

I was just too busy at the office. I had financing business to take care of, meetings with building engineers for our studio and fun accounting stuff to take care of. To top it all off we are in the middle of sealing off part of our studio floor to start production in October, while the construction takes place on our main space for the next few months.

I finally got to Montreal late today, too late for the presentations but I was able to see old friends and meet new ones. A big hello to VFX World, Dell, Full Sail, Stage 3 Media, Ubisoft, Buzz, Janimation and of course, Softimage.

It’s just like Siggraph; lots of handshakes, swapping production stories and business cards. The big difference is that I feel like everyone’s host since this is my home town. I always wonder, should I point people to Old Montreal? The Olympic Stadium? Schwartz? Mount Royal? St-Denis Street? St-Laurent Street?



ADAPT 2007 : Day One

Posted on September 25th, 2007 in CG Community, Working in CG by Marc Bourbonnais

The 2007 edition of ADAPT kicked off on Monday with a fine keynote address by Phil Tippett. I remember seeing him for the first time at Siggraph a few years ago; he was doing a very informative and pretty funny presentation about his studio’s work on The Haunting.

This time it was about his career and views about his work, from early stop-motion shorts to CG work on Jurassic Park and many others. His talk was very inspiring and he’s a very entertaining speaker. It’s always exciting to see the early work of pioneers in the field, and we were lucky to see some pretty funky shorts he worked on before his professional career. I liked the G.I Joe doll getting jabbed to death by a slithering clay creature…

We were also treated to some before-and-after VFX scenes of The Spiderwick Chronicles, that Tippett Studio is just wrapping up. The shooting for the movie was completed about a year ago right here in Montreal. The designs and model work of the goblins we saw were amazing, and we were privileged to see a rough cut of a completed short scene. Good stuff.

So the week started off on a terrific note. And hey, looking to my right there was Syd Mead sitting in the audience. Great times ahead…



It’s //ADAPT 2007 week!

Posted on September 23rd, 2007 in CG Community by Marc Bourbonnais

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The next few days will be busy. The second annual ADAPT conference starts on Monday in Montreal with the Keynote Address by Phil Tippett. I have a presentation of my own about CG careering on Friday morning. Two of my old colleagues, Robert Moodie and Jessy Veilleux, will also be guest speakers as well as Pierre Raymond, my ex-employer and CEO of Hybride. Just like last year there is a lot of fantastic material to check out and every night has its own cocktail, event or party.

I’ll be busy adding the final touches to my presentation all week. 1:45 hours is a long, long time and I want to give a good show.

I’ll try to have a few reports throughout the week…

See you in Montreal!



WE’RE HIRING

Posted on September 17th, 2007 in CG Community, The Company by Marc Bourbonnais

Finally, after securing a fair amount of funds, starting the interior renovations, setting up purchase orders for hardware and tackling on a number of potential contracts, our available jobs board is open. We are lucky to work with remarkable freelancers and we are hoping to also start building an in-house team in October.

Being a start-up, all the classic CG/VFX positions are available. We are setting up a database that we will maintain up-to-date for anyone that will send us their coordinates and resume. We value every application and even if things do not work out right away it is in our interest to keep in touch with a large network of possible employees and freelancers for future work opportunities.

You can check out our available jobs at www.modusfx.com/jobs.html. Hope to hear from you!



Make Your Mark tour

Posted on September 15th, 2007 in Software, CG Community, Working in CG by Marc Bourbonnais

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I’ll be taking part in the Make your Mark tour from Avid, at the Boston event on October 3rd. The whole tour is a series of free events with panels and presentations on CGI, video & film production and sound mixing. On the 3D side of things, there will be an XSI demo with Softimage’s Chinny. Todd Akita of Psyop will share some insights about working on high-profile commercials.

I will be on the discussion panel with other media professionals to talk about our industry what it takes to make it in the business. There are no magic formulas, but it will be interesting to talk about some of the aspects of our work with my colleagues and the students.



More pieces of the financing puzzle

Posted on September 13th, 2007 in Entrepreneurship, The Company by Marc Bourbonnais

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The largest portion of our financing (for now) comes from the Business Development Bank of Canada. The BDC is a financial institution wholly owned by the Government of Canada. They offer all sorts of long-term financing and venture capital. They will not give away grants, but are willing to share some of the early risks and offer management support to entrepreneurs.

The loans we are working on with the BDC are split into two groups. The last one will cover part of our start-up equipment, if we can prove our project is viable when we will have enough solid contracts. The first one is closer to some form of venture loan, with strict rules to follow. Heck, we’ll even get a penalty if we don’t use the money they are willing to lend us.

My associates and I are ready to take on these rules and an interest rate to boot, since it helps us stay the sole proprietors of the company. We are still looking into other public funding options and we got very good news these past few days.



What not to do when you change registrar

Posted on September 11th, 2007 in The Company, Technical by Marc Bourbonnais

Note to self: do not cancel your old Internet domain account before the transfer to your new hosting provider is completed.

So yes, if some of your mails to modusfx.com bounced back or you got an ugly parking page at www.modusfx.com, it’s my fault. Everything is slowly getting back to normal as our new DNS address is getting through the big ol’Web.



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