Week 7 – Production Manager, Producer, Animator, Effects TD
The job of a production manager is actually very similar to that of a normal project manager. As the management of a project, they mainly create and follow up the detailed schedule and progress nodes of the project, and are responsible for the budget or quotation of the project.
If it involves hiring external artists, such as hiring freelancers or working with a third-party company team, such as equipment leasing or venue rental, the production manager also needs to draft contracts or business agreements.
In the internal team, they liaise with the VFX artists and technical directors (TDs) from all parts of the VFX pipeline to see that work is completed on time.
They are also important in communicating with the producer of a company shooting the live-action footage and producing the film or TV programme.
Since production managers must follow up the entire project from beginning to end, production managers are often hired by VFX companies or studios rather than freelancers.
A film producer is a person who oversees film production. Either employed by a production company or working independently, producers plan and coordinate various aspects of film production, such as selecting the script; coordinating writing, directing, editing; and arranging to finance.
Producers are managers, collaborators, enablers and problem solvers who can be adaptable and flexible to the needs of a production. They find the story/script, acquire funding for the project, attach talent, drive the project through principal photography, post-production, and find the right people to help steer the film to its ultimate destination – the audience. Unlike any other participant the producer is attached to the film many years after it has been exploited over each media outlet, the job is ceaseless, all-consuming and immensely rewarding – which is ultimately why producers are born and not made.
There are many different types of animation, including 2D, stop-motion, 3D hand-drawn and computer-generated, but all roles call for high levels of creativity and passion.
An animator produces multiple images called frames, which when sequenced together create an illusion of movement – this is known as animation. The images can be made up of digital or hand-drawn pictures, models or puppets.
Animators tend to work in 2D, 3D model-making, stop-frame or computer-generated animation. 2D animators, by drawing or shooting frames of images, and then synthesize continuous animation. The work of a 2D animator is very hard, often a short animation shot of a few seconds needs to draw many images. A 2D animation is an animation form with a very long history, and it still exists in various animation studios or film companies around the world today. Among them, Japan and the United States have relatively large industries.
Compared with a purely hand-drawn workflow, 2D animation can also use software to make moving shots.
A 3D animator uses 3D software technology to animate the model made by the model artist. This part of the work is mostly bone binding and keyframe setting. Although the drawing work of 3D animators is reduced, the work of moving the model is still very cumbersome and burdensome.
Computer-generated animation features strongly in motion pictures (to create special effects or an animated film in its own right), as well as in aspects of television, the internet and the computer games industry.
The basic skill of animation still relies heavily on artistic ability, but there is an increasing need for animators to be familiar with technical computer packages.
4) Effects TD
Effects TD means effects technical director, visual effects technical directors work on set to ensure that elements such as explosions and action sequences work within the parameters of the visual effects required from the footage. They assist the director in capturing a scene that will work most effectively for the VFX team and then lead the team through the post-production process.
The FX TD will often write the code with which the VFX artists create the effects, problem-solving solutions particular to the production. They work closely with the VFX Supervisor, ensuring the seamless rendering of effects for the screen.
The FX Technical Director works under the supervision of the FX Supervisor to create realistic particle and fluid effects for live-action film and television. They will often work on set to ensure the footage is filmed in the best way for special effects to be inserted during the post production process. These include fire, smoke, moving water, air debris, snow, clouds, steam, etc.
As well as overseeing the completion of the FX sequences, the FX Technical director will create code for customized tools required for the production.