Thursday, January 19, 2012

32Ten Studios Splash!

After four intense months of planning, a core group of investors and artists have launched a new production facility under the auspices of 32Ten Studios. The task was as exhilarating as it was monumental, in both the scope of the various challenges involved with an entertainment startup and degree of complexity involved therein.

What's not stated in the article is our vision for post-production and academic training support, one of the many overlays that we plan to implement at 32Ten.

My personal dream has been to create a magnet for intellectual property, both in the creative and technical sense, artistic application of design principles as dictated by a commercial market, and a hub for community in which all of the aforementioned may hope to grow and thrive. I tried to create this space in academia. I accomplished some positive outcomes using this philosophy, but because I could not ultimately control the context of collaboration in a for-profit program, my efforts fell short of my intended mark.

I had looked at other academic or short-form immersion programs in the greater bay area, including AI, Expressions, SFSU and Berkeley. SFSU and Berkeley were rooted in tenured programming that didn't see the value in application or layered collaboration. They are still teaching the methodologies of the 60s. The other for-profits were wed to their menu curriculums, fixed in place by their vanilla approach to portfolio development and inability to see larger pictures.

I pitched the idea of immersive, connective production training to Tim, Greg and Anthony Shafer, who were looking at their options after the closing of Kerner Optical and StereoBox. They saw value in creating a specialize training facility for artists that were marginalized by big box academic programs. Not only could we reach out to BA and MA grads for portfolio re-tuning, but we could help guide those junior college, community college and state college transferees before they took the more expensive trade school plunge. In addition to seat training, we wanted to go beyond exercise or tool work, and provide a cultural and business indoctrination for those artists who felt courageous enough to start up their own boutiques.

Not closing any doors to opportunity, we agreed that educators could benefit from immersion (like Sony's IPAX program of the early 2000's), as well as off-shore subcontractors who wanted a piece of the ever growing image-making pie. In a few short years, I truly believe that the film markets in India and China will be looking for domestic talent to contribute to their pipelines, not the other way around. Preparing for the new global animation and visual effects production paradigm is paramount in our mission.

Securing the old ILM C Building, 3210 Kerner Blvd., was essential to the fundamental establishment of this creative space. In no other place in the world can you find such a concentration of extreme passion and ultimately, raw technical delivery of creative vision. I knew that this would be a once in a lifetime opportunity: to establish a community of artists with a shared understanding of the industry, both past and present, with the connective force of history underlying the mission statement of the company.

Anyhow, I wanted you to know. I wanted those of you who have been with me since the beginning, since I was building the small VFX program over at the AAU back in 2005. Those years have certainly prepared me well for this next step in my academic and creative career. I hope you will stay with me.