Homework Day 3

Please email me your revised bid proposal.  christopher@stanwinstonschool.com by midnight saturday, 4/15/14 by midnight PST

Also please feel free to ask questions in this thread about the final homework assignment



  • AND....sorry Chris.....I'll accept them early if anyone is finished!

  • hey Shannon! Thanks again for everything it has been a blast so far! I apologize again for the bid being so low, I just want you to know that I am VERY SERIOUS about doing this for a career and making a good living at it. I did not want to come of as a lowballer the truth is I just did not know about the pricing and rate. As far as the art I did not intend to come of so crazy, I was just thinking about being original and a little different, and so you know from the simplest to the craziest design I strive for hitting your mark! As for the bid I will give you an hourly rate times 40 hrs a week for the design and maquettes, an a bid with a full breakdown of the rod puppet. My question is would you give me an estimated timeline so that I could pull a total for the bid or should that 100 grand mark be just the rod puppet. If there is any thing else I am missing I would appreciate if you could let me know, sorry for all that I am just so freaking hungry to start my career, thanks for your time sir.

    ps. when and where should we schedule are 1 hour with you   THANKS
  • Also, It has been great meeting the students and seeing all there art, I had a lot of fun talking to you guys! And SPECIAL THANKS to the stan winston crew for making all this happen!!!!!
  • Hey Justin -

    Never apologize my friend!  I'm sure you have heard the expression "Everything clicked" when describing a situation where all of the right elements for a project came into play.  This is another way of saying that "Everything fit" and that is the lesson to be learned.  Never compromise or TRY to change who you are to please a client.  YES, be versatile, yes grow and learn, but in my experience, one of the hardest lessons I had to experience was that I couldn't run away from me.  I am who I am.  I paint the way I paint.  I sculpt the way I sculpt.  I have many weaknesses but I have many strengths.  I love your work and your imagination because it is so unique and that isn't necessarily bad.  You want people to recognize your style and your work.  However, and I'm not saying this to pit you all against each other, I'm saying this just as an example.  If I wanted futuristic space military armor, you wouldn't be the first I'd go to.  I would go to Blue Realm in a millisecond.  HOWEVER, if I needed some kick ass mutants or strange creatures, I wouldn't go to Blue Realm first - I'd see you.  Everything fits a particular situation and even though you can look at LEGACY for example and say they do creatures, robots, etc., they are a collection of artists and designers and some are more suited for tasks than others.  They have the strength of numbers as well as artists.
    For now, don't concern yourself with this.  Think about developing your own work.  Compete with yourself, push yourself. Be the best Justin Freed you can be.
    As far at the hour conference - schedule that with Chris Vaughn.
    As far as the assignment - Figure 4 weeks of preproduction.
    I look forward to speaking with you Justin.

    All the best,
    Shannon Shea
  • Hello Everybody -

    Hope you are all having a good weekend.  Just a reminder that assignments are due this coming Friday, but I'll accept them earlier and issue student evaluations.  Again, schedule your interview times with Chris Vaughn; I look forward to speaking with you.

    Good luck to us all!

  • heyyyyy Shannon,

    Thanks again man, your a real confidence booster, I totally get what you mean I am just hard on my self ya know. In your last post you wrote that homework was due on friday, chris wrote at the top due saturday by midnight. The only reason I ask is with my job and kids I take all the time I can get. Just want to be correct about the deadline. If you can let me know.

    thanks man!
  • Saturday is fine....for all of you!  Just want to get a jump on your student evaluations!
    But if Chris said Saturday - he's the boss of me! ;-)

  • Homework done and submitted! :)

    Now back to real life.  :/
  • Thanks Shelly!

  • Peter CooperPeter Cooper ✭✭✭
    edited March 2014

    Hi Shannon,

    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...      


  • Homework submitted!  Saturdays just aren't the same anymore!
  • Good stuff, Thanks for taking the class American Made Monster Studio!
  • Wow Peter - Let me see if I can answer all of that.

    First of all, when it comes to most motion pictures, budget is divided between (pre)Production and Post Production.  The days of lengthy pre-production schedules have become a thing of the past, and most effects houses are lucky to have 12 weeks (in contrast to JURASSIC PARK where we had a year and a half!).  I made an exception for you because you felt less comfortable putting together a pre-production practical creature build and wanted to accomplish the project with a digital character and that is fine.
    When David Sanger was on the show, he mentioned that bidding a digital creature is not very different from bidding a practical creature, but know this: In general, it is easier to get more money in post (on a legitimate film - not so much a very low-budget film) because once the assets are gathered and assembled, it is much easier to figure out how many shots, how many seconds, how many frames of a visual effect will be needed to complete the film. 
    Pre-production is all guess work.  Until everyone gets on set, it is all theory.  And, as I mentioned, once production "sees" the practical creature puppet on set (I use this as an example, it could be an actor in their prosthetic makeup), it becomes "de-mystified" and then the real work can begin.  The director of photography can begin figuring out the best way to feature the creature and get the shots needed to tell the story. 
    This is in contrast to when the film is done, there is a rough assembly, and between the editor, the producers, and the director examining what they have and what they still need to tell the story.
    So, what I'm suggesting is this:  If you are going to build ANY practical creature pieces you should bid them out as PRE-production/production expenses.  If you want to complete the scene in post production, that should be a completely different bid that includes building the digital creature, rigging it and doing the composite work.  Assume that you have discussed this with production and green screen shooting of elements and on-set plate photography is going to happen as part of PRODUCTION'S expenses - not yours.  Does that help?

    Thanks Pete!

  • Hi Shannon,

    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. 

    (Geez louise!)

    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,


  • Just sent in my homework email. 

    Thank you again Shannon and everyone who participated in this class. I learned a lot through all the guests and just checking out what everyone else is up to and how they are promoting themselves and focusing on their special areas they are interested in. Now it is just a matter of sorting through all of my notes and putting them to use.

  • 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. 

  • Peter - What I'm trying to discern is whether you understand how to present a bid, and then how to alter it based on production input.  So, I'd say if you want to bid pre-production only, than leave the digital beastie out and just bid a maquette and design elements and any full-sized pieces you think might be needed on set.  If you want to only bid post-production - assume that, based on your input, production has filmed some practical pieces and you would only do the digital shots required to finish the sequence.  Or, if you want to take a stab at both, please do!!!!

  • Than YOU Brian - I really can't wait to see more from you!

  • Hey Shannon! Sent the bid to chris. I gotta say this class was the best money I ever spent. You sir have pushed me to want to be the best Justin Freed I can be and really own that style YEAH! So here are the new designs I did for the creature, hope you enjoy! Thank you so much again, can't wait to talk YOU ROCK MAN!!!

    ps   All the best to all the students, it was so great getting to meet you guys and see your work.
  • 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.

  • hey Pete, thanks man your too kind. I am really glad to see that you get inspired by what I do, WOW! As far as my thought processes I try to mix nature with character and then turn it upside down until some different falls out! Also I start with the skull of what ever I doing and go from there. Imagine you start with a human or say deer skull and take the imaginary "warp" tool to it by streching , pulling, and squishing it around while keeping it balanced to get a whole new skull. Then if you have that much character in the skull, when you add features and hair ect. you will have that much more of a unique individual! Hope that helps, keep in touch would love to talk more and maybe work together some day.    thank you again for your kind words.
  • Justin, 

    We didn't get your email at the end of the last seminar! Ours is
  • Hey Nancy, Sorry about that, my e mail is     justinfreed@hotmail.com
    Great meeting you guys, impressive work!
  • Peter CooperPeter Cooper ✭✭✭
    edited March 2014

    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.

    Post edited by Peter Cooper on
  • Thanks everybody!  Your evaluations have been submitted by me to the school which kind of means I'm no longer your teacher!  I'm advising most of you or consulting with you via Google hangout soon, but now I feel we can just chat.  Pete - LOVE the creature design...very nice!  And I want to say that I'm really proud of all of you!  The industry is in very good hands if you are all a cross-section of it.
    Looking forward to our quality time very soon!  And thanks Peter - I should say Happy St. Patrick's Day to you!  Yesterday was my 52nd birthday so I took the day off, drank too much Guinness, sang a song or two in the local pub and had a great time!

  • Whoa Pete, great digital maquette.  I'm going to send you a message about something...

    Happy belated birthday Shannon, and once again, thank you.  This course has been mind opening, and it has been a fantastic opportunity to work with you, the SWS team, and all of the fellow students.  Let's all PLEASE stay in touch.  I'm blown away by the skill of everyone in this class, and am glad to now have all of you in my contact list!  Feel free to contact me at charlie@bluerealmstudios.com and I will definitely be following everyone on here and social medias.  Now that it's all "over", Saturdays have become boring once again... I'm still up for a Google Hangout to watch Jurassic Park ;)

    I'm looking forward to our chat Shannon, and hopefully many more afterward.  One of these years Devin and I will get out to Mosterpalooza and we will all go out for drinks!
  • Hey Charlie I have to email you - might have a small project stand by!

  • 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.

  • They ARE different.  Son of Monsterpalooza as the name suggests is MUCH smaller than Monsterpalooza.
    Some folks like it better because it is "more manageable" while others like it less because it isn't the GIGANTIC event that the Spring Monsterpalooza is.  I do know that sculptor, Mike Trcic (he sculpted the JP T-Rex among other things) is doing a panel in October.  I'm not sure whether I'll be there in October or not.  Will most probably be there at the one in a week or two.

  • Thank you Shannon, I received your feedback today and i'm thankful for your words.

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