Profile of the month at the NAD Center

Posted on January 14th, 2010 in Entrepreneurship, CG Community, Blogging by Marc Bourbonnais

Every month the NAD Center interviews on their blog one of their former students to get some insights of their careers and views about the digital effects and games industry. They have been kind enough to have me as their profile of the month. I hope some of my advice can be good for the students; you can never have enough pointers on VFX careering.
You can have a peek at my short interview here.



Blog – The Art of CG Supervision

Posted on July 16th, 2009 in Working in CG, Blogging by Marc Bourbonnais

Here’s a great blog to follow if you’re interested - even remotely - in the challenges of supervising a crew of visual effects artists. That’s the role of the “CG Sup”. The Art of CG Supervision is written by Isa A. Alsup, experienced VFX artist, supervisor and manager, and has been quite active since its start last June.

Some of the interesting topics posted include types of shot breakdowns, managing teams, roles of the CG Sup, the current labour situation… Very thorough and informative; definitely worth reading.  You can check out his blog here.



Two Years Ago

Posted on June 22nd, 2009 in Working in CG, Blogging by Marc Bourbonnais

June 1st, 2007 was my last day as an employee and the first day of this blog, intended to follow my steps in the starting up of a visual effects company. Modus FX will be two years old in a few weeks…

We had a good feeling we could get through the market; we have a strong know-how for client relations, project management and, well, making VFX. The things my associates and I have learned about business administration, management and finances are overwhelming. Quickly identifying your weak spots and taking care of them, one problem at a time with clear, concise and easy solutions is key in entrepreneurship.

I’m not saying we’re on top of the world and our digital effects studio is this well-oiled machine, rendering away while I’m sipping a drink by the beach. We’re pumping a lot of hours; stress is high and our space still in renovations. But at least we have satisfied customers (even repeat business!) and we’re delivering our product.



Montreal FX collective

Posted on May 26th, 2008 in CG Community, Blogging by Marc Bourbonnais

An excellent initiative from Benoît Touchette of Vision Globale, fxcollective.com is a brand new site whose purpose is to promote Montreal’s VFX community. The unaffiliated site is part blog, part community forum and gives artists and VFX shops a place to discuss and keep tabs on what’s happening in Montreal.

You can check it out at www.fxcollective.com



Changing agendas

Posted on April 16th, 2008 in Entrepreneurship, Blogging by Marc Bourbonnais

One thing I’m learning these days is to re-arrange my schedule; blog writing is one of the many things I’m desperately trying to find time for.

My associates and I were told two things by our management advisor about starting up a business

  • Every few months, our responsibilities and typical workday will completely change;
  • The pace of our business day will constantly go faster.

And he was right. Our first few months were all about arranging our studio: ripping old carpets, painting walls and getting a few chairs. Then, setting up accounting practices and business development strategies. Followed by buying our first pieces of hardware. Now we are balancing production calendars, staff hours and long-term budget predictions. Hey, at least it means we are in business.

Trying to set up a decent weekly schedule is hard, since our priorities are constantly evolving. My point is, yes, it’s been two weeks without a blog post and I’ll try to get back on track.



A few links

Posted on October 29th, 2007 in Entrepreneurship, Working in CG, Blogging, Movies by Marc Bourbonnais

I just took a short break from posting, after blogging a few times per week since June 1st. To get back on track, here are a few links of interest on VFX, business, smart questions, CG films and yay, being happy:

  • VFXworld talks about the many digital effects featured in the new TV season in the US;
  • The first teaser for the upcoming “Kung-Fu Panda” from Dreamworks Animation is out. I guess we’ll have to wait for the official trailer to see a better amount of CGI;



The best of business posts

Posted on July 22nd, 2007 in Entrepreneurship, Blogging by Marc Bourbonnais

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Ever tried to find good business advice on the internet? Robert May at Businesspundit.com was tired of searching, so he developed a new website that is already turning into a goldmine for entrepreneurs.

Made available just last week, MBA-by-Blog.com is a “best of” compilation of great blog posts about start-ups, funding, management and other business related advice.



A few books

Posted on June 28th, 2007 in Entrepreneurship, Working in CG, Blogging by Marc Bourbonnais

I always have book to read. When I finish one, I have a couple just waiting to be started. I do not have a particular schedule, but I try to read a few chapters every other day. Here are some of the books I’ve enjoyed. You’ll notice that some of these are classics written a long time ago, way before the CG/VFX business even existed. It proves the value of their ideas.

Entrepreneurship

 

Art of the StartGuy Kawasaki : The Art of The Start
A very inspirational book about… starting up. Fun to read and to the point, Guy tells you the basic steps in starting a business, or any project for that matter. This book will give you that extra little push you need to get goin’.

People / Negotiation

Love is the killer appTim Sanders : Love is the Killer App
Great thoughts about the positive aspects of being an all-around nice guy that likes to connect with others. It’s a good depiction of this new era of forums, mailing-lists, social bookmarking and other forms of information sharing.

 

How to Win Friends & Influence PeopleDale Carnegie : How to Win Friends & Influence People
A classic from the 1930’s about general people skills. Forget the modern easy success stories, this is the real deal.

Blogging

 

The Corporate Blogging BookDebbie Weil : The Corporate Blogging Book
A book I read before going into blogging for the first time. The first few weeks of a blog, especially with a corporate flavor, is a crucial step. This book can help you steer clear of newbie mistakes.

Project Management

The Mythical Man-MonthFrederick P. Brooks : The Mythical Man-Month
There are a lot of modern project management books available, many of them dealing with software engineering which can be loosely applied to the CG/VFX industry. This book, originally published in 1975, is the grand-daddy of them all.

PeoplewareTom DeMarco, Timothy Lister : Peopleware
Another classic written in the 1980s when computer programming was starting to be a huge industry. It primarily deals with software management, but you can find great insights on general staff management as well.

 

Making it HappenMackenzie Kyle : Making it Happen
The only book I know that explains project management in precise details through a fictional story. It’s a bit corny like a bad Hollywood script, but it works.

Inspiration

AmazonBrenda Ueland : If You Want to Write
This book was published in 1938 and is about the process of writing. This book is so full of insights on creativity and inspiration that it can relate to any creative thinking.



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