Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Some bitter truth about the industry

Yesterday I saw this old thread in mattepaiting.org about interview of Hollywood illustrator/storyboard artist, Sylvain Despretz and interestingly Despretz himself had commented there few days ago. Go through the thread if you have time since it has some valuable information and different views, even Dylan Cole has his say (guess he was active in the forum almost 5 years back).

The more I think about these issues I feel it is notl ironic when someone says you need have a lot of luck or be at the right place at right time. Actually it matters a lot and God knows what holds for budding artists but anyway all one could do is just work your ass off and be persistent no matter what.

Here are few are quotes which I felt very interesting and insightful from his interview hosted at cgchannel.com
"You could say that most people are essentially interested in the Prestige of the movies that I worked on, more so than any objective notions of personal artistry, or drawings, but I guess you can’t ask too much of people."

"I have learned that Professionalism is often antithetical to Enthusiasm, but that when given a choice, it is also more reliable.

'I am a sort of Artistic Rent-A-Friend; “rent” being the operative word.'

"In music, after enjoying a Century of rich and heartfelt compositions in Contemporary Classical, Jazz, Big Band, Blues, Rock & Roll, all disciplines requiring a decent amount of Skillfulness, we are asked to accept Star-Puppets barking to walls of prerecorded sounds…They even have a new name for “ripping-off without crediting”: it’s now called “Sampling”.

There is an another article by Despretz called 'YOU WANT TO BE A HOLLYWOOD ARTIST?'. Even thought it is more based on illustrator/storyboard artist scenario, it still holds lot of things similar for other artistic trades in film industry. I really liked this article and here are few excerpts from it.
Is there a standard path to a career in film arts?
There is no path to a career in the film arts, or any kind of art, for that matter; this should be the first thing art schools ought to tell their students: "We haven't a clue; no one does". The problem for a student or young professional is three-fold:

a) Acquiring experience, to become competitive.
b) Making money just to live, in a way that remains at least on target.
c) Breaking into the "gated community" of show business.

I'm being offered a job today, but I want to hold out for a better one that promises to begin soon; what should I do?
This is a Jedi Mind Trick; the better job may manifest, sooner or later, but most likely, it won't. Common wisdom says that you might consider taking whatever job is in front of you - even if only for the time being. Look out for you; no one else does.
And here is my favorite one and believe me or not this happened to me already few times even in my short career span.
Will talking about money reflect negatively on me?
You bet it will!

You are expected to behave like Van Gogh.

The industrial world relies on Artistic low self-esteem for its survival. The hunched-back, Igor-like, image of the drooling Artist-Geek, chained to a drawing table, is a staple of our business. To complete that image, you need do nothing more than be ashamed of your need for money. People will be delighted.

Learn to identify the euphemisms of the trade:

"We want people who are excited about the project": We are looking for suckers.
"We would like to send you the script before we discuss money": We are looking for suckers.
"We want team players": We are looking for suckers.
"You are so talented": Are you a sucker?
"He's a trooper": He's a sucker.
"We getting a crop of young artists": We are looking for suckers.
"He's High Maintenance": He's figured us out.

Only then, can you identify the only sign that you are dealing with a professional outfit:
"Are you available; what is your rate?": We mean business!
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