Sources for Tools & other Products

I wanted to write this discussion as a User of Stan Winston who's had multiple accounts but created nothing. I usually find my roadblocks at finding the tooling needed for the job. 

With Jeff Bezos' Amazon erasing the small gadget websites from ranking, I think it would be helpful to work with small companies to offer tooling and products to students. For example, I've wanted to build animatronics, many people sell Servo's but lets all avoid  giving our dollars to Jeff Bezos. His platform teaches nothing and eventually kills the little guy.  Even after the little guy creates a store on the platform, Mr Bezos will get his dollars if you do not advertise.

What I'm asking for as a user of Stan Winston is a line item list of where to find the products needed to complete a tutorial. And this list to not include Amazon links. I think there is a product for Stan Winston to offer kits that include the tooling or products needed to work through a tutorial. 

-Thoughts?



Comments

  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    Hi Merlin,

    Hunting down tools and materials for special effects has always been a challenge, even for the professionals.  Brand names change, products get discontinued, old models get replaced with new ones, or things not being available in rural areas or some countries.  It's an ever-changing landscape.

    It's difficult for us to link out to any specific products as those links often don't last long, and with things changing all the time, there is no way to keep up with it.

    That said, we are always here for you and if there is ever a specific tool, material, or resource you need to find we will do our best to help you hunt it down.  

    /Chris
  • Merlin JacksonMerlin Jackson Los Angeles , Ca
    Hey Chris,

    There are many tutorials and as I look through each course, I can only image me as a student searching for the tools used. I'm doing a price comparison of some products but again I think Stan Winston can make it easy for us students by listing items needed for the course. I slowly discover the tools needed as I work through the class. But it would be helpful to have the items needed before the course began.

     I'm on Stan Winston but then have to search a few different sites for the product being used. I get distracted and lose focus when I can't find the product and often leave the site or video. Today I looked for the Gold-N-Rods Link Chain Cable and the DoBro 4-440  Ball Socket. I couldn't decide on what site to use because I also needed HS-53 Servos and HS-82 MG servos for a course. I think I have to use to separate sources for the items needed that is okay. But I think it would be helpful if Stan Winston worked with these small companies on getting students and hobbyists these products and tools. I also have to find a source for the small brass tubing and brass plating. I will find these products but, I'm about 6 hours in my search if you don't include my venture to the Big Box Store. Only recently after calling a customer service number from a product requested in a video did I find out that i had a local vendor for casting products. Reason why I'm reactivating my account for the 3rd time. This time I'm more serious. And trying to avoid amazon.

    I'm confused by Amazon because they'll charge small business to advertise to rank hire on their application. And in the past Amazon would start selling that same product at a lower rate. Anyways Mr. Bezos is doing well enough. As  a maker and a hobbyists it would be pretty badass if you worked with the vendors who sell the professional tooling and equipment.  Every tool someone has in their hand I have to acquire if i don't own. I'm okay with that, but again my account sometime ends before i can acquire all the tools.
  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    edited August 2020
    Hi Merlin,

    Each course page has a materials tab that lists off all tools and materials used during the lesson.  If you ever spot a tool or material that does not make the list please let us know and we would be happy to add it.

    As you've already found in your searches, materials are often sourced from many different locations just for a single course.  The time and resources required for us to work with all those vendors to provide materials to our students for all our courses would take focus away from producing new lessons and operating the school.  

    Special effects work often requires using tools and materials that are intended for other uses or made for other industries, and the variety of tools and materials across all the disciplines (sculpting, painting, makeup, fabrication, animatronics, hair work, mold making, casting, etc.) is both monumental and perpetually changing and growing.

    Sourcing tools and materials is not only an ongoing challenge for students and educators but a significant part of the reality of being an artist working in this industry.  One we all get frustrated with from time to time! :)

    /Chris
  • Merlin JacksonMerlin Jackson Los Angeles , Ca
    Thanks Chris,

    This is the first time I've every read through the materials tab. Actually grabbed everything I needed. Not sure how I missed the tab all these years. Maybe I seen it before, but couldn't afford the tools. Anyways thanks for pointing it out. I actually wouldn't have noticed it , if you had not mentioned it.

    -Merlin 
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