On the Mend

I’ve been sick for a couple weeks now, but the antibiotics finally seem to be doing their thing. Updates with slightly more content should resume shortly.

In addition to wandering around in a haze and attempting to sleep under my desk, I’ve been working on graphics for a series of short films about Japanese internment during WWII. Certainly not the cheeriest topic, but interesting nonetheless. I didn’t know much about it going in, so I’m learning a lot from this project — even if I can’t go crazy-creative with the visuals.

I’ve also gotten to design several proposals for documentaries my company’s hoping to put into production. I really like proposals. There’s just something very satisfying about the process: you’re taking something still in the planning stages, condensing it into a solid presentation, giving it a visual style and adding a bit of polish. It definitely makes potential investors go “Oh, you’re really serious about doing this…” way more than a Word document can, and helps everyone involved get a sense of what the film will look like.

I always get really excited about film proposals and they in turn make me excited about the films. :-)

It’s Photoshop Phriday!

This week’s Photoshop Phriday feature on Something Awful was “Reverse Magazines” — take a magazine, find the reverse of the title (i.e. Bad Housekeeping or Illiterate’s Digest), and make a cover for it.

So I had some fun with Cosmpolitan:

A tornado stole my husband!

My first Photoshop Phriday. And I got in! I’m very excited.

Check out the rest of the magazines, though — there are ten pages of covers posted, and lots of great ones.

Stop working for free, guys.

Okay, so user-generated content is all the rage, and there are a million contests where you can make a commercial and win money.

I’m all for the democratization of television and whatnot. Putting your own short films on YouTube is one thing. But here you’re doing a huge company’s work for free. Win $57,000 for your video about ketchup? Sounds great! …until you think about how much Heinz would be paying an ad agency to produce just one nationally-broadcast commercial. But this way, they get a huge range of choices for free (tons of really creative people sent stuff in), and are getting the actual content they use at a discount.

Sure, it would be cool to see your work on TV, especially if you have talent and make interesting, original things that really deserve to be seen. But odds are good you won’t win, and in most of these competitions the company takes ownership of all submitted ideas — whether they pay you or not. One of the cable networks had a “win the funds to make your sitcom pilot!” contest a while back that had some of my friends really excited… after all, they’d been kicking around some of their ideas for years. Then they realized the network got the full rights to every show idea suggested. Even if they didn’t make the first cut they’d’ve been unable to sell their scripts elsewhere. ALWAYS READ THE FINE PRINT. Same goes for most of the make-us-a-commercial gigs. You could lose the contest, then they could re-make your idea later as a major campaign and you wouldn’t see a cent.

Basically, what I’m getting at here is that if you’re any good you shouldn’t be working for free — especially for people who could easily afford to pay you. YOUR IDEAS ARE VALUABLE. Go make something amazing, and don’t do it to sell ketchup.

Documentary Animation | Motion Graphics | Design