Own it like a Girlboss

SO I am on hiatus from the day job at the moment. The last shots wait for notes, and there are always notes. Shots rarely come back from QC (quality control) but when it does happen, it’s usually something very essoteric and usually easy enough to fix in a few hours.

SO the show is called Girlboss, the fictionalized version of the rise of Nasty Gal – the vintage clothing web sensation. Doesn’t sound like my usual does it? No – and that’s why I kind of loved the experience.

While shows like Battlestar Galactica and Defiance had tons of visual effects, shows like those get a lot of leeway in a strange way in that they often show you things you for whiich you don’t have a complete reference. You can get away with a lot because of the amount of “real” gets taken away. In a show like Girlboss, there is nowhere to hide, everything has to be as close to real as possible because MOST of the show doesn’t depend on spectacle. It depends on drama, performance, and humor.

I haven’t really had a job in my career like it – no monsters, spaceships, or other spectacle.

Last year, I had a brief shot at working on Star Trek Discovery, I got a call from a friend and producer I’d worked with before asking if I was interested. TO be brutally honest, my heart really wasn’t in it. My old mentor, supervisor and friend Gary Hutzel had passed away and I know people always say move on and get new experiences but this was after all, my choice.

I decided not to pursue the lead, I had my own goals that were starting to have a lot less to do with prestige jobs and more with my own storytelling. Not getting any younger, etc.

I recently learned the entire in house visual effects team for Discovery had been let go without ever finishing a shot. Kind of feel like I dodged a bullet there.

One of my least favorite things in life is pouring my effort into something that never gets seen. I had already been through that on Blood and Chrome which I worked on with Gary. Through no fault of his own, almost all of my work was edited out of that show. Nine months of work never got seen. It was down to a producer making a broad change to sequences to fit his vision and my work ended up being redone after I had already left the production.

It happens to everyone who works in television or film – massive amounts of work ending up being cut or worse. Actually I don’t know what’s worse and I have never been satisfied with the attitude “at least the checks cleared.” That’s never been why anyone who loves this work does it, so why should it be the rationale for the times it goes horribly wrong. Silver lining? Few people can tell the difference between cheap tin and overpriced silver, and they don’t call it “visual effects” for nothing.

My heart goes out to that team. I know, have worked with, and truly love some of the guys on that team. I know these guys can fly, I also hope they land just as well at other facilities.

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Going “George Lucas” on my comics

Or at least one of them. Redoing an entire issue the way I want it to look. On the left is the redux, on the right the original.

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I did Trouble, Guts & Noir issue 4 years ago on a personal dare – can I make an issue in less than a month? That was the challenge – everything from writing, art and marketing were factored in and while I completed the task I was never really happy with the result.

It was also one of the first comics where I used substantial CGI aids in order to leverage my skills in that arena.

Up until this issue, those paths didn’t cross and it was a personal choice – the challenge used to be more about getting AWAY from CGI. I got a little precious about the process and it was an interesting change.

This was also a beginning to a broader storyline – I wanted to play with one of the tropes of noir in my own way. Ever hear of the “dead girl” trope? I am sure you have if you are a fan of noir.

But the redux is going well – considering I finished the original issue’s art in two weeks (I wrote it and did layouts in less than a week). I am sure it will be finished in time to upload to Comixology. And then I can wait six months for them to wade up to it. Sheesh. It takes them longer to approve single comics than it takes to make WHOLE comics.

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