1st Edition

Visual Effects for Indie Filmmakers A Guide to VFX Integration and Artist Collaboration

By Shaina Holmes, Laurie Powers Going Copyright 2024
    376 Pages 40 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    376 Pages 40 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book provides independent filmmakers and VFX artists with tools to work collaboratively and effectively on their low-budget films. 

    Experts Shaina Holmes and Laurie Powers Going define common VFX needs and demystify the process of incorporating VFX into all stages of production. The book covers every step of the process, including when to consider using VFX, basics of 2D and 3D methodology, budgeting, virtual production, on-set supervision, and more. It provides tips and tricks to common VFX questions, such as color management and file types, along with practical solutions for the production team while on-set working with VFX scenes. The incorporation of testimonials from indie filmmakers and VFX/post production professionals brings a voice to both sides of the table and provides real-world scenarios for the techniques described. The book offers realistic lower-budget alternative solutions to achieving big-budget vision. 

    This book is ideal for students on a micro budget and independent filmmakers on low to mid budgets working with visual effects for photorealistic film, TV, and short-form projects.



    Part I: The Fundamentals of the VFX Process

    1. What Are Visual Effects?

    2. The Craft

    3. The Team

    Part II: Integrating VFX into the Filmmaking Process

    4. Pre-Production

    5. Security Concerns

    6. Finding the Right VFX Team

    7. Is VFX the Best Approach?

    8. Planning for VFX Before Production

    9. Production: Camera Matters

    10. Production Practices for Cost-Effective VFX

    11. Shooting Common VFX

    12. Working with Specialized Production Teams

    13. Fix-it-in-Post Consequences

    14. VFX Needs While on Set

    15. Post Production

    Part III: Emerging Technology

    16. Virtual Production

    17. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning



    Shaina Holmes is a VFX supervisor, producer, and artist with more than 200 feature film and television credits, as well as an Assistant Professor of Television, Radio, and Film, specializing in visual effects and post production, in the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Over her career, Holmes has worked for major studios and indie facilities, including Deluxe, Method, Encore, Company 3, Alkemy-X, Crafty Apes, Nice Shoes, and Custom Film Effects. Holmes’s area of research explores how mentorship and collaboration can help create inclusive visual effects labor practices. This is reflected both inside and beyond her classroom. Students and alumni can apprentice either for her company, Flying Turtle Post, which focuses on post production and VFX for the indie film community, or within the student-led post production mentorship groups, Syracuse University Post (SUP!) and Park Post.

    Laurie Powers Going is an independent filmmaker, VFX supervisor, artist, and writer. Laurie started working in the VFX industry in 2000 after graduating from Vancouver Film School. She went on to work on many studio blockbuster and indie films at various facilities in Hollywood and around the world including Sony Pictures Imageworks, Sandbox VFX, Worldwide Effects, Factory VFX, Crafty Apes, and Mighty Coconut. Laurie owns Deacon Finn VFX in Austin, TX, where she specializes in VFX for independent productions.

    “Visual Effects for Indie Filmmakers brings all the elements of the visual effects process into focus for indie filmmakers and students. If you want to be a professional and/or wrap your brain around ‘how’ the magic is created you’re in the right place.” —Matt Wallin, V.E.S., http://mattwallin.com/VCUarts

    “This is a bang-up terrific book. If you’re doing indie film, every so often you hit a single moment that’s worth years in experience or film school. Reading Holmes and Powers-Going on VFX is exactly that. It’s got all the how’s and why’s and lays out very on-the-ground knowledge that’s real-life usable. A practical manual for indie filmmakers that will make you smarter, more skillful and show you all the tricks.” —Ross Klavan, screenwriter, Tigerland et al

    “I wish this text existed before I ever attempted to make a film. So many young directors venture into filmmaking led solely by their creative drive while being completely in the dark on the technical aspects they will need to utilize to bring their visions to life. This book is their flashlight.” —Kevin Kölsch, director, Starry Eyes, Pet Sematary