Media producers face many challenges, depending on the requirements of the project. When Ridley Scott directed Blade Runner his challenge was to create a world of such texture and depth that suspension of disbelief would not be required. His production team made vast quantities of practical props for set dressing, down to the labels inside clothing — things that would never be seen on camera, but nevertheless would have a cumulative effect of creating a real, tangible sense of place to his vision of Los Angeles in 2019.
I’m not Ridley Scott. At Operation: PUG we have one constant motto, droning in the air on a loop like a mystic chant in a monastery:
There Must Be A Shortcut
I wear many hats in O:P. Visual effects have always held a special place in my heart, so when the time comes to do effect work for the cartoon my first instinct is to dive in and create everything from scratch. That’s when Creative Kevin gets called into the office for a quiet word with Director Kevin about the time efficiency of such an endeavor. Thankfully they both share the same office so it’s a short trip.
An open secret of most media production is that everyone uses stock footage in some capacity. Look at the credits at the end of any Marvel film and you’re sure to see Getty Images in there. Rarely is that stock used whole-cloth — often it’s just an element or a reference that’s used to generate something else, but a key factor to bringing in shots in a reasonable amount of time is the second motto:
Don’t Build It If It’s Already Built
Most professional-level stock outlets (which includes not just footage but After Effects templates as well) can be fairly pricey, but I was pleased to find www.productioncrate.com, which has a very reasonable all-you-can-download-for-a-year fee. Their catalog is small, but it has a lot of the things we need for O:P so they’re our stock footage supplier of choice. No, we’re not getting a kickback. Like us, they’re small and plucky so I just wanted to give them a shout-out.
All this is leading to me saying that the shots done this week went much faster than expected as I was able to offload some of the heavy lifting to stock elements. We’re still on track for the “in a few weeks” release window for Ep 2, and I’m pleased.