Visual Effects Artists aren’t generally the best speakers. Most of us talk in a strange form of jargon that is only intelligible to fellow sufferers of the VFX virus. How many digital artists can explain what they do to their Mum before her eyes glaze over and she says "that's nice, dear" before changing the subject?
Demonstrating software can be a dry business at the best of times. It isn’t a recipe for crowd-pleasing speeches. Still, with so much of our industry being technology-led, it’s essential to keep up with the newest releases, lest you get left behind in the race for pipeline efficiency and a speedy workflow.
|Yesterday's river View. Earth hath nothing to show more fair...|
|County Hall: formerly London's seat of government, now full of fish. Photo:Wikipedia|
|The Palace of Westminster - on the other side of the river|
The GLC may be long gone, but the magnificent County Hall building is still with us. It was built between 1911 and 1922 in the Edwardian Baroque style, the last gasp of high imperial self-confidence before architecture fell under the spell of modernism. Today, County Hall hosts an odd variety of attractions including the London Eye, The London Aquarium and the London Film Museum.
|Grand staircase at County Hall|
And, since we were next door to the London Film Museum, the corridors were filled with bits of old movie sets. Here's one from one of those end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it pictures that comes out every summer.
|Lady Liberty is in the house|
|IKEA Chair - real, or CGI? Who can tell?|
|The UK's largest TV animation studio|
We also heard a fabulous talk by Framestore's Diarmid Harrison-Murray who directed the excellent title sequence for Skyfall. It took me back to some not-so-happy memories of Soho VFX work as he explained having to work 3 days without sleep in order to get the job done on time.
|So secret even the artists weren't allowed to know|
When he was asked what was the biggest lesson he had learned in visual effects, he said this:
"You have to get used working with clients. They will routinely mess up your beautiful work, make stupid changes. Being able to do this - and not scream into a pillow - is a vital skill to learn. And that goes for all client work".
Amen to that.
As I left the building, I could not resist poking my nose into some of the empty and apparently unused offices that line the endless wood-panelled corridors.
|My new office?|
I found a nice blue one with stuccoed walls and a huge fireplace that rather took my fancy. Maybe I'll turn it into my new office. County Hall is so big and empty, I'm sure no-one will notice.