|'The'oh shit I dont have a logo', logo design done at 4am. So chances are in time this will change.|
The reason I am opening Academy FX is that I got a little sick of trying to cram the 'career' side of my art into 3 or 4 hours a night. The idea of dedicated premises with plenty of space and no interruptions make this a very good idea. Also my name can be like a lead weight at times (in both good and bad ways), so this to a certain degree gives a fresh start. Although I would also be a number one mug if I did not capitalise on it as well. It gives me a permanent base of operations, even for times when I am working away as I recently did at Screen Scene in Dublin working as 3D Supervisor on the film Last Days On Mars.
One thing I am proud of, is that unlike many other businesses these days I didn't use a 'Kickstarter' campaign to fund it. I personally think it's a little cheeky to ask the same people to fund setting up your business that your going to later ask for more money to buy things or services from you. I know many disagree, but that's the way I have always seen it. This also means I have complete control and no one can come a knocking at a later date expecting a handout due to funding a Kickstarter campaign lol.
Academy FX will be based in a rather fitting location, it will be the art wing of a now closed old school I went to 24 years ago. (I also had more hell there than anywhere else... so there's more than a small degree of karma here coming and kicking the people who said I would never amount to anything in the guts I freely admit.) It's the place that I 1st learned to draw using perspective & proportions, paint in watercolours (badly) and the very 1st place I ever tried my hand at traditional sculpting (a bust of Julius Caesar just in case you're wondering..it was never finished), and 3 mins slow walk from my current home.
The school has been closed many years now..so when the opportunity came up, how could I say no? It was almost like it was written in the stars or something. Although I don't believe in such things, the omens seem good, even more so as my main work room (and my desk) will be exactly where I used to sit in my art classes aged 13 over 24 years ago. Which I find more than a tad ironic.
Although I have always worked long hours as a freelancer, that also includes working from home, often with both kids running around so that isnt what I would call 'optimised' work time. So many things I haven't had time to do from a work perspective, I now will and resources to do it.
Academy FX its best thought of it as sort of a multi headed Hydra. Or to put it another way.... the way my brain works. It will act not only as a studio producing 3D concepts and assets (both digital and traditional), but also allow me to teach people one site in a proper working environment that I have control of. This was a working comprehensive school for many years so it is indeed (and probably rather uniquely in this field) a proper learning environment as well. It also gives me time to develop existing code / software of mine and push boundaries in that area to provide services not provided elsewhere at the same speed as well. It will not be a company releasing DVD's etc for sale because I already have existing agreements for that, plus that side of things takes a lot of man hours for less financial reward than is prudent for the time spent.
The plan is to bring people on board as needed and use the network of people I have after many years in this industry. What you won't see is it on every site and forum on the internet constantly. (Although you may see a new series of free videos and a few DVD's etc to give me an excuse to test equipment and setup. Of course that also helps to raise its profile, that I freely admit.)
There will also be some services and things I do there that are not things you usually see me doing or maybe even know about. It basically allows me to go pedal to the metal at my speed and work in the way I know works best. So think of it as extended freelance in an office, but with more resources, a chroma rig, area for Marquette development, tool creation and a few other things...and corridors, lots of corridors.