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I hope you've been keeping well. (I'm going to miss you guys when this is over... )
I have a few questions regarding my revised bid breakdown.
It's been a tricky one for I've approached this differently from before. Due to my lack of practical effects experience, I find it difficult to know how best to get the costs down while at the same time produce practical creature effects that will still look real and amazing for a tighter budget. (Although I quite like the idea of designing and costing a creature suit that holds 3 or 4 people for shots involving closeups and actor interaction complete with rod puppeteering.. )
For this instance, I'm quoting for the likes of pre-production creature design and the relevant creature build costs for post-production only (Both digital and miniature puppet photography - think a stop motion horror movie tribute!). This includes creature concept work costs (both practical and digital,) and the production costs for a finished fully rigged digital creature model ready for animation production. Do I need to touch on post production? IE: animation work (estimated time and costs involved), compositing, layout and lighting costs etc?
I realise if this was happening for real there would be considerable prep time to figure out green screen work on set, does this need factored into the build? I think I get a little confused between build costs only and actual production costs, at least in relation to what needs to go into this bid.
I think the pre-production end of things inclusive of the creature build, in this case a fully rigged digital creature, will be do-able for much less than $100,000. But when the project eventually hits post production regarding animation character work and compositing etc... well, the cost will go up significantly. Does a studio rate go in at this point in favour of actor's costs, puppeteers and makeup etc? Or do I put in individual rates for whomever is involved in post-production? There are so many separate costs for the various elements in the VFX production team, (ie: TDs, animators, modelers, layout, lighting, texture artists etc) Or, would there be a TD or VFX supervisor team on set, that I would put down at an hourly rate?
Should I worry about that or just concentrate on the build costs for the concept work, Marquette builds, rigged digital model and puppet miniature?
One last question, should a break down of pre-production costs go in as a separate section, before the breakdown of the script elements?
Thank you in advance Shannon, I hope I wasn't too long wounded...
Thanks for getting back to me on that. As always, that was quality information and clarified a lot of things, thank you. I still have to pinch myself a little, knowing I'm getting this information direct from you. I love the Stan Winston School
I especially liked how you describe pre-production as guess work and until everyone is on set and working stuff out, it's all theory. I totally get that. Regarding your time on Jurassic park however, keep the stories coming! All nine of your Hollywood squares would happily sit around the camp fire I'm sure while you tell us your stories from the trenches. 18 months though... wow!
I do remember David Sanger saying the bidding process was very similar whether your bidding practical fx or digital. I think that's where I'm getting confused and its a lack of first hand experience I guess, at least with features. Knowing where to draw the line between pre-production work and post, is an area I'm still getting my head around. Pre-production in my mind could perhaps still be rigging tests and various R&D on muscle dynamics or tentacle animation tests, or whatever it is... Tell me to slam the brakes please if necessary!
So, If I'm bidding on Pre-Production project work and this time I'm bidding on more the concept end of things, I still need to go through each shot via the script that is relevant to the creature effects involved and relate that to the Marquette sculpts/concept artwork I or the team will produce for each shot?
I'm conscious of the fact that in regards to a Marquette sculpt for example, that sculpt might relate to a number of shots and I might be putting in 'allotted for' many times throughout the bid break down. But different shots will require a new series of artwork, so that should still be described and costed in the bid?
The likes of a digitally created creature model, with rigging controls ready for production and fully textured etc, that should not go into this bidding process, because that is post-production territory ?
My approach this time around is producing Concept artwork inclusive of creature designs, Marquettes (both clay sculpted and digital), relevant mood boards and storyboards.
To mix it up a bit, I had a miniature hand puppet created of the creature, that would be sculpted and cast etc This would be used for close ups that require more gore and blood and work in conjunction with the digital creature fx work. This is still pre-production right, so I'm costing what it will take to create and build the puppet and nothing else? The puppeteers and technical teams will do their thing in post production, should their relevant hourly rates be clearly stated towards the end of the bid or should that be left out because it's post production work and not specifically set work? I'm weary that a lot of post work will need to be done for this to work, but as you said, assuming I've had discussions with the producer/s and director and everything has been green lit prior to post production, then all I am bidding on is the puppet build, period.
Really sorry for all the questions of late, having trouble learning how to integrate the concept artwork to be carried out into the bid for some reason. It seems very different from bidding on FX items that need made for actual production purposes. Getting more definition between pre-production and post-production was helpful though. If I breakdown all concept artwork needed shot for shot as described already, then the producers and director can see exactly what they're going to get for each scene description regarding artwork and costs. I think I know where I'm going now, I'll revise what I have and get this right. It's been an emotional learning experience!!
Seriously though, thank you again for your post, it was very helpful.
All the best,
Hi Shannon and Chris... this is just a heads up to let you know my homework assignment is going to be delayed. I've had to prioritize wrapping up on work projects and mfa time, it's been hectic. Apologies for this. I'm looking forward to posting my homework as soon as possible however. Will be up later this Sunday.
I know, I know... I flunked.
Justin, love your designs.
I'm in the process of (re)revising my bid, I've implemented a 3 man/woman suit for the main creature in place of pneumatic construction etc. I'm looking at your design (the guy in the middle), and thinking he'd work beautifully as a one guy in a suit job.... saving even more on costs! It never occurred to me early on to actually design something, a little smaller so as to aid in potentially reducing costs. My creature, despite the fact he's alittle slug like and can squeeze into tight spots, his overall design is big and bulky.
Seriously, love your designs, quality thought processing and artwork. Inspired dude.
Hi Shannon and hello everyone, happy st. paddys!
Shannon, I emailed through my revised bid. (yay)
Here is the concept work for my week three homework assignment. I had fun working on this fella. I couldn't resist doing a little digital marquette work for this round building on the concept work from two weeks ago. It's mostly the main forms, very little in the way of detailing work as yet. If I get the time this week, I'll give him some poses and post them. I'm totally open to crit & feedback.
This has been a great ride and I'm going to miss it when it's over. I've learned a lot during these past few weeks and a lot I've learned from seeing everyone's work alone. I've a lot to do regarding my own brand and website in the meantime. Hopefully we can stay in touch! I loved seeing everyone's work and I'm totally inspired by all of it. Thanks everyone.
It's been emotional.
Thanks Shannon and Happy Birthday! March 17th eh? Glad to hear you're on the Guinness. I hope you washed it down with alittle Bushmills whisky. hehe
Charlie, do you mind if I gate crash at Monsterpoolza? That's been on my radar since I found out about it last summer. (Here at the Stan Winston School as it happens!)
Actually - Shannon, quick question, is there any difference between Monster Polooza (March) and Son of Monster Polooza (October)? Outside of the obvious fact that almost everyone's favourite time of the year is closer in October.