from the desk of the coo – aug 5, 2021
What a remarkable summer it has been. I’m a little blown away by all we accomplished as a team. Vacations were had or are about to be lovingly embraced. Training – honest to God, skills building training happened here. “Marketing” or our version of it blew the roof off this place. So many varied projects came through our doors from short films and quick uploads to welcoming back a pilot that went to series and meaningful conversations with long time clients on how to innovate, as well as new clients who’d heard about us from all over, also looking to join us here in the future of post and production in the cloud.
Every day has made a difference. Every day has been a new challenge, a new excitement, a new reason to be proud of ourselves and each other, or a moment in which to learn and grow. Out of 52 weeks in a year, we each go through our own weight and burden to carry or relief and respite to enjoy. But I am insanely grateful for how I’ve seen us support and encourage one another as we see weights fall on each department – the work is incredible, but how you care for and stand in the gap for one another is the real work, and you’re masters at that. Thank you.
Send some serious love to VFX who is currently carrying more weight and battling through harder than I think we have ever before, and they’re doing it like straight up Avengers. They reached a tipping point several weeks (if not months) back and the onslaught of new work coming at them from every angle is both inspiring and a little terrifying, but my word is this team awe inspiring. And Avital… that’s all I likely need to say. You know her, you know her remarkable brain and the amount she manages, tracks and keeps moving forward. You have built and supported so much in under two years time.
Every last team here has been operating at an absolute mind blowing pace, quality and care. I don’t know how to say it any differently or how to sound like less of a broken record, but again: thank you. It is an immense humbling to work alongside you.
- TED LASSO STRIKES BACK! – Not only has Ted Lasso returned to AppleTV with its second season, it’s done so with a huge groundswell of fandom behind it this time out, and near universal acclaim (99% on Rotten Tomatoes!)…oh, and don’t forget all that sweet, sweet DFT PreVis, VFX, and Dailies work that helps bring this vision to life on a much, much larger scale this year.
And speaking of bringing things to life, congrats to our own Nancy Jundi, who supervised the animation of Earl the Dog in the first episode of the season! How cool is that? Scoring as the animation supervisor for one of the best shows (and one of her faves) on television? That’s dream stuff! BBQ stuff!
- TED LASSO ON THE DROP @ DFT! – While on the subject of what brings Ted Lasso to life, our very own podcast—The Drop @ DFT— launched a season dedicated entirely to the magic behind the mustache! Nancy has assembled an absolute murderer’s row of guests, from DFT-ers to Lasso cast and crew, for a labor of love that digs deep into the heart of the show, and our connection to it. And a massive round of applause to Travis for building an insanely cool set in the parking lot in under 48hrs of the mask mandate coming back – hero stuff right there. If Season One of The Drop highlights what we do here at DFT in a granular, hyper-educational way, Season Two then shows those DFT workflows in action, and how they’re applied to the production of a series. Check out The Drop Season 2 trailer!
The Drop has been an exciting and novel way to communicate to the industry and world at large the hard work and incredible results that happen at DFT daily. Listeners have been snowballing (nearly 1000 episode downloads–which doesn’t count video or streams on platforms like Spotify and iTunes!) and the word is spreading! If you’d like to watch, or listen, you have a few options:
- MEDCA Visit – We had Sean Tajowski back in house this month to tour the facility with his team of infrastructure and security rock stars. They had spent the week looking at a number of facilities in Los Angeles to further architect the future of collocation, remote work, securing the cloud and so much more. They were blown away with what our one tiny house does under one roof and, hopefully, we’ll have some additionally cool news on this front in the near future.
- Training Bonanza: Shout outs to Erin & Avital for the architecture of an incredible program that helped maximize our summer and educational opportunities to make us stronger. Our entire team, from Dailies, to VFX, Online and deliverables is faster, more interdisciplinary and interdependent than ever. Huge thanks to them for the planning and foresight to achieve so many long held goals in this one summer, and to the whole of the Creative Services team for teaching and sharing what you know with your colleagues.
- Pulls, Pulls, Pulls: Shoutout to Paul & Markley for killing the VFX pulls giving our underwater VFX team hours, and in many cases days back for alleviating this bottleneck. This is a massive, MASSIVE step forward for both teams in efficiency and what truly makes DFT a beast of a machine for our clients – we work hard, but even more important is that we work smart. As a team, this joint effort is a big one to be proud of.
- Kirkman!!!: This Dailies hero quickly became an archival hero! He, Erin and Ramy went through everything piled up back there from the years past (so much NLA… so, so much) and began sending volumes to their proper homes. We’ll miss you, precious LTOs, but we’re also glad you have your home.
- Team Dailies: Shoutout! The HotC, NLA, and the Home Ec Dailies pods are in place (thanks, Tim!) (and everyone be sure to say hi to the new PA, Feddy, as Evan moved up to Apprentice Editor!)
- HUZZAH, THOMAS!: Congrats to Thomas being inducted to the Colorist Society AND for completing color on another short film, Raymond, which was Directed by Home Economics Editor Scott Ashby!
- Asset Panda!: We’re very excited to roll this out in the coming weeks, which will help us to finally track all assets, both hardware and software, with precision. A huge shout out to Justin for taking this on, Tim and Erin for keeping us sane before Asset Panda, Travis, Amy, and everyone who’s helped keep us in asset tags with some semblance of inventory cataloging!
- Promo Teams: Thanks to our friends at Ted Lasso, we’re now doing regular GeoPost pulls for their Marketing team! Erin was an absolute beast in supporting Katelyn and the Lasso team to get the bevy of promo requests across the finish. Give that lady a high five for the wild success she’s made this experience.
- You get an upload, you get an upload, you all get an upload!: In another Erin bridge being built, our Spincycle friends have continued to promote us and refer their peers to DFT for expedited uploads back to various parts of the world. Coolest yet might have been the BBC! Thank you Erin for this pretty cool means to meet and work with others and to our Night Ops team for making those transfers happen without a hitch.
- Dailies pods galore!: There are so many opportunities queued up for this and next month across L.A., Las Vegas, Atlanta and Puerto Rico, that we are definitely juggling a lot. Send a nice note to dailies@dft if you get a chance, cuz these folks are ramping back up for one wild fall and winter.
- B-52s: Yes, those “Love Shack” / “Rock Lobster” hep cats, indeed! Andrea beasted her way through a seriously awesome proof of concept for the band and the director of their documentary (who’s currently directing Gossip Girl!). The band is likely to use all avatars during voice over interviews for the documentary, so this is an insanely cool opportunity for Team Cinecode to take on a feature length doc!
- OFMD: The pirating continues! Our partnership with PreVis Pro has been a tremendous success for this team of DPs and it’s been wild to watch their progress with our assets in their iPads to create scenes themselves. Dylan has spent eye blistering hours reducing polygons to make this happen, he and Andrea have gotten to create some insanely cool character, sets and looks, and God bless Gregory for being the conduit between so many moving pieces and people to keep all running smoothly and the clients insanely happy.
- NCIS LA: “This season we’re going to look for more ways to drive the story forward in Post.” Oh snap! Season 13 will do a lot of marrying PreVis with VFX and we are here for it! Our initial sessions with NLA have been an exciting blend of education and creativity with some serious StoryVis, which is kinda nice after so much SafetyVis and TechVis this past year, which is a massive source of gratitude to have had so much of those!
- Home Economics is going BIG for season 2! Team cinecode busted butt on a massive model and the lead characters that will absolutely blow you away once we can share, but this was another pretty amazing collaboration between our PreVis and VFX departments.
- Umbrella Academy: What a comeback! They’d mostly wrapped the PreVis side of things, but turns out we’re in for one heck of a S3 finale!
- Open Enrollment! If you wish to make any changes to your medical coverage, i.e. switch from Kaiser to Blue Shield , switch from Blue Shield to Kaiser, add dependents, remove dependents, or just sign up for medical coverage with DFT, now is the time. If you have any questions regarding Kaiser or Blue Shield, please let Renita know. If you do not wish to make changes, no action is needed. All request for changes must be submitted by August 25th.
- Blood Drive: United Armenian Congregational Church (across from DFT) is having a blood drive on Thursday, August 19, 1-7pm, and has invited us to participate. We are in a major blood shortage so every donation makes a big difference. To sign up, visit https://rcblood.org/2Tnojh4
- Open Door Hours: Every Monday and Wednesday from 3pm to 6pm Nancy will be keeping her schedule open for anyone in the company that would like to book time to talk about anything DFT (or maybe Ted Lasso…). We know that the best ideas come from the team as a whole, the biggest challenges often go unheard because it might not seem that anyone listens – so please, don’t hesitate. Book time and she promises not to film it for The Drop (unless it gets wildly nerdy and must be documented for posterity).
- WanSerene is back as a monthly benefit! Some of us were skeptically cautiously giving about them a retry, and hands down, across the board, they are being fantastically cautious with sanitization, masking, distancing and ensuring space. While it’s not the most familiar experience to stay masked during a massage, it is most certainly better than not getting a massage! Which is something most of us need after quite some time without. Book a one hour massage, email Amy & Nancy with the date and type (or cost) and we will write you a check to have with you the day of your visit!
- Hiring: Oh my rockets! DFT is growing! Massive shout outs across the board for this moment of opportunity. Ramy, Erin, Amy, Travis, Avital and so many of you have done mega groundwork with staying sticky to clients past, present and future that our Fall/Winter is shaping up to be quite busy. We’re accepting resumes for:2-3 VFX Artists (Freelance or FT)
1 GeoDailes Operator
1 Jr. Creative Editor (with Online Potential)
1 In House Coordinator (Post Finishing Experience)
1 Front Office Assistant
1 Game Engine artist (Freelance – ask Nancy for link)
No one is leaving our team; this is all growth and some roles are currently dependent on securing the previously mentioned shows, but we’d love to meet your people! Please have them send resumes and reels (vfx or editorial) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Sadly, spikes are up and masks are back while indoors. Please wear your mask any time you’re not solo in your own office (or les toilettes) and be mindful of distancing in common areas. We also ask that anyone traveling by air does their part to either work from home for a 3-5 day window upon their return to watch for symptoms and/or stays solo, in their office or bay with the door closed as much as possible.
As always, thank you for reading!