Strive for Greatness in the New Year: What Not to Do as a VFX Artist

With the close of another year and beginning of the next, many of us will spend time reflecting on our work from the previous year and ponder the projects that lay before us in the New Year. The task of any filmmaker in any area of the movie making process should be to create that final shot, scene, short, or feature film that will elevate the standards of what filmmaking is in the eyes of their respected audience.

Often times a VFX artist is the “last stop shop”, the polish crew designated to mop up boom mics that dipped into shots or add an explosion to bring production value to the scene. In any case, it is important to strive for greatness in all areas of the movie making process.

So whether you are a creative professional, a YouTuber, or an aspiring filmmaker, here are three things to avoid in your work to help you make the best art you can make in the New Year.


1. Don’t settle.

This is an important point in any area of the film business. The flaws and imperfections you see in your shot, if they can be fixed, fix them! You will feel better about your work, and your audience will appreciate it as well.

The goal of a good VFX artist is to create something that the audience doesn’t notice. This may seem humbling, but it is the truth. If people can’t tell when they are seeing something that was added in post, then you have done your job well. If you determine to not settle for half-finished work in the New Year, then you will see a major rise in the quality of the art you produce.

2. Don’t give up!

This is particularly for the independent crowd, but is worth stating for everyone in the entertainment business. You may not have met your goals for 2016, or landed in the studio you wanted to, or maybe you are just unhappy with your work. Don’t let this be the year of quitting.

Consider rebranding yourself, putting together a new reel of the work that you do like, or redesign your company logo. Let 2017 be a fresh start, not a time of giving up. Creative blocks will come and go, but if you can push through those times, and learn what you can from them, you will become a more balanced artist, able to conquer whatever challenges may arise.

3. Don’t do what everyone else is doing.

Nothing screams “lack of creative inspiration” like the same old stuff. Do something new! Pick up a filmmaking book, take a class, or get out of your comfort zone in some way to learn new things so that you can implement something fresh into your work. Hollywood has fallen into this pitfall for as long as movies have existed.

A studio creates a unique movie that audiences love, so naturally other studios try to repeat the magic of that movie, and then suddenly you have 10 movies being released that have the same humor, look, gags, and rating. This may seem like giving audiences what they want, but in reality, it extinguishes what audiences are really looking for, which is uniqueness.

This is not to say that you can’t gain inspiration from the work of others or create something of a similar genre; just find ways to add a new twist or spin that will make your audience feel like they are seeing something for the first time. The library of assets from ActionVFX is a great place to turn to for help in this regard. With plenty of unique stock footage, it is easier than ever to create an epic shot that your audience has never before seen.

Let 2017 be the best creative year you have had yet! Pour the coffee, download ActionVFX stock footage, and dive into the New Year, striving for greatness in all you do.

First time here? ActionVFX creates action stock footage for VFX and filmmaking, centered on user feedback. (We also have some great free stuff!)

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