3. Are all Online Artists also Motion Designers?
Don: Absolutely not, they are two separate skills that each deserve enough time. Not a lot of people can do both.
4. To get the most out of the post process for a commercial, what do you suggest is the best practice for clients and directors when working with Online Artists?
Don: An initial briefing with the director, even during the pre-production stage, would be invaluable, especially in terms of understanding their vision. Then by the time you get to the Offline phase, you should be involving your Online Editor, even if it’s just bouncing off ideas. Mark (Mark Ash, Ludus’ Offline Artist) will often grab me to look at potential editing challenges that could be heading my way, but by discussing this early on we can already find a solution during the Offline phase. Because I have already seen the edit ‘in the beginning’, I have already found the solution of how we are going to work around it or fix it by the time I work on it. We are lucky because we (Offline and Online Artists) have access to each other in the same company, which is rare. In terms of Motion Design, which is a totally different phase of the post process, try and provide your Motion Designer with the artwork for the credits and logos early on in the production process and the results will be so much more impressive. Motion graphics can be worked on way before the edit already and deserves time to craft, and if it is awarded that time, guaranteed the result will be better.
5. Have you ever had that, that people start briefing in the motion graphics before the shoot.
6. On average, how many days do you get to work on a commercial in the Online edit suite?
Don: It depends on the complexity and size of the project. In general, maybe a day or two for a 30 second commercial that needs some simple sky replacements or to remove some blemishes. But there are jobs that are more intense that require about a week.
It’s here where Ludus’ Offline Editor, Mark Ash, jumps into the conversation and adds: ‘Don works incredibly fast, I would say for someone who isn't Don it would take exactly double that time.’
7. So, what makes for a good Online Editor?
Don: Experience teaches you how to know when to use what programme to achieve the highest quality results and in the quickest time. That is what it comes down to. A good Editor will pick up where the challenges in an edit are far quicker, which means the get to solve them faster.
8. What programmes do you work on in Online and Motion Design?
Don: At certain times in my professional career, certain programmes have been more prevalent, because that was all that was available. It’s all relative, and all are tools to get to the end result with what the operator is comfortable with using. For some, it is Flame or Nuke and for others like myself, it is After Effects. There is not one right answer, only the right tool used in the right hands. After Effects can do so much and continues to grow because of its versatility in adaption. It is the best motion graphics package, but it’s not only a motion graphics package for those who push its boundaries to the extreme. If Premiere and Photoshop had a baby After Effects is the result. Things are changing so quickly; they are not the same as they were ten years ago or even 5 years ago. It’s not necessarily about the programme that you work on, but rather about having the experience to know when to jump between the software to get the best results. You must have a real passion for the work to be into this stuff I guess, haha. All I do is work, live and breathe these programmes. When I'm at home I'm doing stuff artistically and creatively to keep myself focused and sharp on the programmes that I use. The more I use those tools, the faster I am at what I do. I am sharpening my sword all the time.
9. What do you do to keep yourself sharp in the editing suite?
Don: I do art work and some animations of my own. It's just for the love of it. I have a background in illustration and I think it helps to keep my eye adept to certain details.
Artwork by Donovan Smith.
10. What should you never say to an Online Editor or Motion Designer?
Don: 'That is good enough...’
Wanna (s)talk some more? Check out Ludus on IDIDTHAT or company website.