Directing A 3d Short. In Other Words, Please Kill Me Now!
March 25, 2011 5:42am CST
I've directed a couple of 3d short films and most of which has complete newbie members when it comes to creating an animation short (4 to 5 minutes total runtime). Some never really got finished and there's this other one I'm doing right now. This team reminded me of the first team I joined, which was based here in my country. I remember I was originally begging to take the rigging and animation spot because that's where I excel. During the first few weeks, they gave me a "go" on rigging but someone said that the positions are flexible so I had to be ready if ever there's a shift in positions. I just thought alright, they can put me on animation, modeling or compositing and I think I'll do fine but to hell with that, I was darn wrong. They assigned me as the director! At that time, I haven't directed ANYTHING my entire life so I asked them why they're putting me there. They simply said they needed directions so I agreed. Directing newbies is really a drag. I remember some users already starting on animation when there aren't even any concepts for the characters. I remember some started presenting me test animations and test renders of environments they've made. I said, "Stop modeling first, the concepts aren't finished yet and your models might get scraped off." I couldn't give a straight answer to them because I, too, weren't sure of what the concept artists were going to come up with. The whole thing just blew to proportions of different sizes and shapes and the whole project didn't pull through. :( Right now this happened again but this time I'm a co-director. Thank God, though, there were others who also understands how to be organized and everyone was doing their part patiently.
25 Mar 11
Lol! I can completely relate! I haven't worked in film, animation or live action. I have, however, directed theatre plays....over 50 of them by now. I remember the first time I directed. I felt exactly the same as you! Sometimes it was more like beating my head against a wall than anything. I had no clue what I was doing but somehow, someway, I made it through. You'll get there. The first time is always the hardest. I found it best to never let them see any hesitation on my part. Even if I didn't know something, I acted like I did. Spoke with a firm and commanding voice. The key is to always stay open to what others have to say. Listen to them and if you agree, implement what they said. If you don't agree, thank them for their input and explain why it just won't work. People want and need direction. It may not seem like it, but it's really true. They want someone to be in charge. A lot of them, particularly "newbies", don't understand how their part fits into the big picture. That's a huge part of being a director. Showing them in subtle and not so subtle ways what the big picture is. I've had to deal with my share of the "diva" or "know it all" types and they are the most challenging. Again, I'm always sure to listen to what they have to say. It can be frustrating, that's for sure but always look at it as a learning experience. Take what you've learned into the next project and just keep building on it.
25 Mar 11
You must be handling it well by now. Well, to put it simply, it's like I'm directing a bunch of kids. Or more like babysitting.. I had to say things specifically so they'd understand it and I found out that you need to have a reason for anything you have to say. Thank God it all has to happen in a forum. If it was in real life I'd be tearing my hair off.
26 Mar 11
Wow 50 theater plays! I've only directed one and I'm on the process of directing my second one starting this April. It's really a pain, the process, but the whole experience and the outcome are the things that really makes it all worth it.
• Leon, Mexico
4 Apr 11
Well I think we need a lot to improve our lives, in order what we have experienced before. I think we all have at least one faillure in our history, so we should try harder to avoid failures again. Don´t you think so? =) Blessings!... Dainy
26 Mar 11
I'm somewhat like in the same situation now "Stop modeling first, the concepts aren't finished yet and your models might get scraped off." I smiled when I read this because the play I'm working on right now, the script, is really not complete yet and its in the process of restructuring but our schedule is now affected and the show dates are nearing. They expect me to produce an outline of my planned work outcome by Monday. Impossible people. I guess were directors now. Where could I possibly watch your first ever directed shorts?