March ’08

The First Wednesday of the Month seems to have made it into lots of our members’ and friends’ calendars as we have had an excellent turnout for the first two events. We kicked off the year with ‘Mapping the ‘Verse‘, a session that looked at business models for user-generated content. This session was based on a paper I gave at the Communications and Policy Research Forum in September 2007 (full papers from the conference) and there was a request for further reading on the topic. The books I referred to in the talk are listed in the references at the end of my paper and I highly recommend the book The Long Tail by Wired’s Chris Anderson.

Our session this month was by Anthos Simon and Rebecca Dunn from Efilm. We had a request from industry to cover more technical areas, especially for compositors so I asked Anthos (who is just THE guy to talk to about these things) to give us a session that covered everything from film stock, aspect ratios, colour space to D/Is. They were very generous with their time and experience and brought excellent handouts (PDFs attached here) for reference.

eFilm Digital In Path

(download PDF)

Format Resolution Chart

(download PDF)

As you might have noticed, the events calendar has shifted a bit. This is in part due to my being in Oslo for their film industry’s big conference in digital visual effects ( In my absence Nick Hore (Animal Logic) and Peter Giles (AFTRS) have very kindly agreed to step in and run the 02 April session on showreels. They will be bringing example reels to provoke discussion and inspire but we recommend also that members step up and offer their own reels for feedback. As I have said before at other sessions on reels, feedback is your friend but your friend is not always the best place to get feedback. So if you are keen to get comments please contact Nick ( or Peter ( and let them know that you are planning to bring your reel. DVD only, thanks.

The other reason we have moved the events schedule a bit is so that the April session ties in very nicely with the New South Wales Film & TV office’s DVFx Placement Scheme deadline of 12 May. ( This scheme is an excellent opportunity to work at feature film standard with some of the world’s top DVFx studios (which, happily, we have based here in NSW!). So check out the guidelines and put in an application.

In May we will be fortunate to have Mike Seymour presenting the Red camera. I am sure you have all been reading about this and Peter Jackson’s and Alex Proyas’ plans to use the Red for their next projects. Mike runs VFXPhD and writes extensively for DMW. He is a strong advocate for the Red and we are very lucky indeed to have him join us on 07 May.

I’m hoping to have a good panel together to do a session in June about working with clients and then the rest of the year should unfold as per the updated events calendar.

We look forward to seeing you on The First Wednesdays and in closing I am very sorry to let you all know about the passing of a friend of SIGGRAPH’s, Peter Rasmussen. As many of you will recall, Peter and Jackie Turnure were the creators of Stolen Life, Australia’s first feature length machinima which we screened with a Q&A session late last year. Peter was the writer on the feature films Mad Bomber in Love and In The Winter Dark. I first met Peter when I invited Stolen Life to premier at the 2007 Sydney Film Festival’s digital strand and was grateful that he and Jackie were able to participate in the AFTRS Digital Factor Seminar last August. We became friends through this series of events and I must say that I found Peter to be one of those true gems; always generous with his time and deeply insightful about storycraft and filmmaking. He passed away on Saturday, 8 March 2008 and we are all the poorer for his leaving. On behalf of the membership, I thank Peter for giving us his time and the benefit of his experience in a session for us.

On that sad note, goodbye for now. I look forward to seeing you all in May for the session on the Red camera and hope you all get a fabulous amount of inspiration to re-do your showreels and submit them for the FTO’s DVFx scheme on 12 May!

All the best,


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