After debuting its season premiere on December 30th, we are now already three episodes into Season Two of "The Orville," Fox's sci-fi "dramedy" on which I have been working as Visualization Lead for over seven months. It has been my longest stretch on a project in a leadership capacity, and I have immense pride in the work the team at Pixomondo has been able to accomplish this season. Episodes air every Thursday at 9PM PST on Fox, and my first episode of the season is coming up on January 17th! I hope you will tune in and share your thoughts online. You can view the project page for it on my website here.
Although I have never written a yearly write-up post on this blog, 2018 was a banner year for me in terms of projects, so I thought I would take a moment to briefly mention them here:
May: Avengers: Infinity War, Deadpool 2, Solo mashup poster
August: The Predator
December: Aquaman, Season Two of "The Orville" (I began work on this show starting with the fourth episode, which airs 1/17/19)
Avengers: Infinity War was a great way to reconnect with the franchise that kicked off my film career, and the team I joined was remarkably talented. It was a humbling reminder that if you don't feel at least a little self-doubt every day at your job, you might not be trying hard enough to do great things. The mix of hard work, fun, and fitness that the team achieved on the project was possibly its most impressive aspect, and the fact that it was incredibly successful at the box office was the icing on the cake. It and Deadpool 2 remain the gold standard for me in terms of the right balance to strike for overall team harmony.
Deadpool 2 had a very similar team spirit to Avengers: Infinity War, but with a smaller, more intimate team. Our output was enormous by the end, and I attribute the calm and light-hearded mood of our workdays to the great job our previs/postvis supervisor did with setting a low-stress tone from day one. Seeing the footage come in for our postvis made us laugh every day, and it was the first time I've animated a body ripping apart in a slow-motion explosion, so there's that.
I completed my months-long pet project of a Big Trouble in Little Corellia mashup poster a few weeks after Solo: A Star Wars Story hit theaters, and the level of support it received was very nice to experience. Due to copyright law, I am not allowed to sell copies of it, but it will forever be on the internet for people to enjoy.
The Predator was a great experience with Shane Black and his team at the Fox Studios lot, but I switched off the project early on once production left the country, and many revisions were made after that, resulting in a finished product that I nearly didn't recognize. Despite this, there's still nothing like working on a film lot to me, and I regained a new respect for the original Predator as we watched, and rewatched the original to analyze what made it the classic it remains today.
Venom and Aquaman were brief stints for me, but I enjoyed animating these comic book characters. The level of commercial success each enjoyed in theaters was a big surprise to me, but it serves as even more evidence that passionate comic fans remain a box office force to be reckoned with.
Finally, "The Orville" had its season two premiere on December 30th, and as of this writing I am still working on layout for upcoming episodes. I am very excited to hear how next week's episode is received, because that was the one where my time on the series as Previsualization and Layout Lead began. The episode airs next Thursday, January 17th, at 9PM PST on Fox. It airs the same night as the Season Two premiere of "Star Trek: Discovery," which I also did previs on, but that write-up is yet to come...
Here's to making 2019 a year filled with valuable experiences, useful skills, exciting projects, and lots of joy.
Thanks for reading.
I am a Visualization Supervisor and Senior Animator in Los Angeles with over eighteen years of experience in the entertainment industry. In my spare time, I create illustrations and visual art.
WHAT IS VISUALIZATION?
Visualization is a process that creates an early version of a project quickly and relatively inexpensively, usually through computer animation. It is common in the entertainment and technology fields, on projects like films, television shows, commercials, VR experiences, and theme park rides.
"Previs" artists create a film's digital blueprint early in preproduction by 3D-animating sequences in the computer before shooting begins, normally around the time of casting. Frequent iterations allow for story ideas to be explored, and alternate The detail provided by this blueprint is crucial for the film crew to determine how to best film the story.