Dinosaurs and Robots and Jets! Oh My! Communicating an AR experience in a 2D format.

Here is a fun little project we did with Waterproof Studios (http://waterproofstudios.com) earlier this year. Waterproof handled the heavy-lifting (Models, Environments, Animation, Lighting, FX, Comp) and we provided the in-house VFX Supervision and Creative Direction for a series of short commercials that have been cut into a 60 second spot for your viewing pleasure here: 

We had the usual production challenges with this one (tight schedule, last minute changes, plates from the shoot that needed some extra love), but we had a great time putting it together.

From a creative standpoint, the biggest challenge was figuring out how to show the immersive quality of the Augmented Reality app in a traditional TV spot. Does the Dinosaur pop out of the phone? Is it puppy dog size like on the screen or does the dinosaur blow up to its full size and run rampant through the theatre lobby? In the end, we decided to put the characters in the fantasy world instead of bringing the AR elements into the real world. Although this is an AR app and not a VR experience, it was a good creative solution to help us hit the demanding schedule as well as communicate the wonder of a good AR app. 

Thank you Waterproof for bringing us along for the ride.

Paul Furminger
And the award goes to...

Hey check this out (click on the image for the source link, but be prepared to scroll):

Our very own intrepid Creative Director, Paul Furminger, has been nominated for the work he did at Darkhorse10 as a VFX Supervisor on the season 3 finale of Dark Matter.

The last time Paul was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award, it was still called a Gemini. That was back in 2005, when Paul worked with Steve Hodgson, Abel Milanes, and Rosmary Conte on season 2 of The Collector at Rainmaker VFX (now Method Studios Vancouver).

From 2005 to 2018 - that is quite a spread. For most of those intervening 13 years, Paul has focused primarily on game trailers and cinematics. Darkhorse10 was a brief re-entry into television before he shifted back to an even mix of IP development and games outsourcing work at Fish Flight Entertainment.

Before Dark Matter season 3, Paul had just finished directing the space cinematics for Mass Effect: Andromeda, so he was able to bring key learnings from ME:A directly into his DM work, especially the big space battles in the season 3 finale. 

It starts with a plan.

Are you wondering why we put storyboards on our "Work" page? It's because we visualize the final product at every stage of creation and we build towards it. We follow the plan.

Remember that Al Capone quote? "To succeed in America you need 3 things - A smile, a gun and a plan. If you have to give up one, give up the smile. If you have to give up two, give up the smile and the gun. But whatever you do, don't ever give up the plan." Not one for paying taxes, but very wise with his words that Al Capone.

At Fish Flight, we follow the plan. We believe that production will always present technical challenges, late notes from key stakeholders, wild changes in scope, etc. etc. etc. The only way to make space for these eventualities is TO FOLLOW THE PLAN.

We build the plan with our client and make sure that everyone understands where we are going so we can get there together. Is there any room for ideas? Of course, there is. But anyone can come up with fantastic ideas. What makes our ideas better is that we only change what can be changed within the scope of the plan. Every stage of production presents new opportunities to be creative, but we don't pitch ideas that destroy the foundation of every previous stage. We build on each previous stage. At the end of the project, our solid plan has given birth to a solid foundation that cannot be pulled down by all the technical challenges, late notes, hard deadlines, scope changes...

An amateur directs in circles, exploring every angle at every stage with no clear focus. A professional directs in a straight line, with a singular vision, and they get to the finish line first with the best looking product. Next time you are making something, try starting with a plan. Then, test and adjust that plan through every step of creation without pulling it apart. Did your project turn out horrible? Yes? Good! You are just getting started. Rome wasn't built in a day... Now, do it again!