Happy Year of the Rooster!

A new year is upon us! Here are the condensed versions of a year worth of blood, sweat and creativity:

DIGIPOST SHOWREEL 2017 from DIGIPOST VN on Vimeo.

DIGIPOST CG Reel 2017 from DIGIPOST VN on Vimeo.

 

And just for fun, a glimpse at the people behind the curtain and what they’ll be up to over the break: 

Rahul Kallankandy – Visual Effects Director

“Going to Bali. The energy around the time of Tet is beautiful. Saigon is decorated with lovely flowers and artwork. There is a very positive vibe and the general feeling is of happiness and joy.”

Tran Quang Tuan – 3D Artist

“Travel with my bike. Visit friends along the trip.”

Nick Jones – Senior Editor

“For Tet I will be in Vung Tau. I enjoy seeing families come together. I’ll enjoy trying to practice Vietnamese with my inlaws.”

Duc Duong – Editor

“I spend most of my holiday time with my family and my friends. I have a plan going out of city and climb mountain on second day of Lunar New Year, third day i will visit my old school teacher.”

Reinier Blommaert – Audio Department Senior

“Moving!”
Tu Chung Han – Online Assistant 
“I will spend several days for cleaning the house, repairing, updating stuff (computer, electronic machine…), buying new clothes, prepare money to give family, relatives.”
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DIGIPOST SHOWREEL 2017

It’s 2017! It’s the time to reflect. To introspect. To look back on a stimulating year of change. Here is a quick compilation of our body of work. Excellently curated with impeccable editing to showcase just the right moments. This is how we compress a year’s worth of blood and sweat. Here are the final outputs minus the stress, drama, hate and love involved in creating our magic.

Thank you to all the clients who put their faith in us in 2016 and we look forward to more exciting collaborations.

In the words of Thom Yorke..

“This goes
Beyond me
Beyond you

We are
Just happy to serve
Just happy to serve
You”

Hit the full screen button and grab a cà phê đá.

3 things CG artists wish people knew about the job

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A CG artist working at DIGIPOST

As CG (computer graphics) is practically everywhere these days, there comes a question: are we taking it for granted?

Therefore, we sat down with Sophon Seangkaew, a senior 3D and VFX artist at DIGIPOST, asking him to share what he thinks people are likely missing about CG.

Timing can make it or break it.

Creativity and techniques aside, timing is very critical in CG.

Depending on effects and techniques, the whole process – modeling and texturing, animation and rendering – can take you some time between a few days and a few months.

For instance, rendering a CG that is three seconds long, the shortest possible length to show the effect, can take up to six days.

Without giving a careful consideration to timing, you may find yourself waiting for years before your dream project can be finished.

Good references are a key.

Unlike other artists who thrive on spontaneity, CG artists cannot go into creation without a proper plan for execution.

Starting a CG job headfirst is a recipe for disaster.

Sooner or later, you will find yourself working on something without having a clear idea what it is going to be or when it is going to end. Even if you can finish it, what you get in the end will hardly justify all the time and efforts you have spent.

That’s why a good CG artist will spend time finding a good reference before starting anything. References can give you ideas about what you want to achieve and how long it should take.

CG is a fun job.

Unlike many other jobs, CG artists watch cartoons and films to do their job. It is one of the most fun jobs in the world.

Unfortunately, many artists are suffering from it, because due to unclear reasons, people mistakenly think CG as a tool not an art. They think CG people are there to create what they want, instead of discussing about what is possible and what is not in a given schedule.

When artists are not allowed to have a say in what they are creating, especially what they have expertise on, it kills their creativity and energy.

‘O Color, Why Should I Bother?’

Here’s the reason why you need to hire a professional colorist to grade your works

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A screenshot from Bobby Nguyen – The photographer, a short film produced by RICE and color graded by DIGIPOST

Since “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” was released in 2000 and became the first feature film to get fully digital color grading, color grading techniques have gone through a huge evolution.

Nowadays anyone can color grade their works quickly and effectively like a pro with the assistance of advanced software. Or, so the software marketers have been telling you.

That has raised a critical question: if color grading sounds that easy, do you still need to pay high prices to hire a professional colorist to do your works?

Definitely yes. Here’s why.

In order to add the emotional engagement to your works, and big one at that, you do not need someone who masters grading techniques only.

You need someone who is also an artist, or a painter in particular. Someone who has a taste and an eye for colors. Someone who knows how to choose the right color to provoke desired emotions from audience.

And, that taste is something natural. Either you have it or you do not. Just like in arts, it’s one thing that you can paint, but whether you are a talented painter is another thing.

“Color grading is about shaping the emotional effects of a scene, rather than just fixing technical errors happening during filming such as lighting,” Laura, a colorist at DIGIPOST, said.

“It’s like sculpting,” she said.

In an old interview on the breakthrough color grading of “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” Randy Starr, VFX producer at Cinesite, which did the film’s VFX, once said color was like a character in a movie.

“As a character, it let you feel the period of time. It let you feel the heat in the air. It let you feel the sweats on the body. And that’s something a filmmaker couldn’t capture on a camera.”

In other words, without a professional colorist who plays as a good director to bring out the best of that character, your works are never complete, emotionally.

It’s time to break that prejudice towards Vietnam post-production

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A screenshot from a TVC completed by DIGIPOST

Director Luong Dinh Dung recently told local media that he sent his highly-anticipated movie “Cha cong con” (Father and Son) to South Korea for post-production. He said most of local directors had their works posted overseas, since post-production technologies in Vietnam are not comparable to other regional countries.

The claim is not new, as similar statements have been reported in local media over the past decade.

But how correct are the claims? Is it true that after more than 10 years, there is not a singular improvement in Vietnam’s post-production technologies at all?

It’s not.

The high-profile movie “Tam Cam: The Untold,” released at the end of August, was praised for its visual effects that were created by Vietnamese artists. Major newspapers such as Thanh Nien and Saigon Giai Phong have reported how Vietnam’s post-production technologies have been on par with regional and even Hollywood standards in recent years.

Vietnam’s young artists even have upped their game and created an animated short film, using the latest 3D Virtual Reality technology.

“These days, how advanced your technologies are no longer matters in post-production,” Andy Ho, executive producer at DIGIPOST, commented on the evolution of post-production. “Anyone who has money to spend on high-end software and other top tools can create standard effects.”

“Post-production is now about professionalism,” he said. “What distinguishes a top post house from average ones is how professional its workflows and personnel are.”

A Ho Chi Minh City-based post house with more than 22 years of experience and a team of international professionals, DIGIPOST, for instance, has provided services for both local and international film studios.

Now, however, due to business reasons, DIGIPOST only makes post-production for feature films selectively, like when its services are meant as a support for young filmmakers, Andy said.

“While feature films demand longer workflows and more complicate technologies, they take post houses longer time to recoup investment, compared to TV commercials,” he said in an explanation why DIGIPOST has focused more on TVCs in recent years.

“When the post-production market grows, DIGIPOST will expand its range. Meanwhile, it will continue to focus on the sector of TVCs where it has proved to be a leader in Vietnam,” Andy said.

A Short Perspective on Story Telling by Nick Jones

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Since the dawning of time, people have been telling each other stories. Stories surround us everyday, from the films and television that we watch, to the books that we read, the photographs that we see and the music that we hear. Even in our day-today lives, we are telling stories when we recall a funny incident with our friends at a bar, or repeating a bit of gossip we’ve heard about so-and-so. Our world is built around stories, they educate our children, terrify our parents and amuse our friends.

It is film, among many other forms, which posits itself as one of the most impactful and accessible ways to tell a story. It is in the editing process where we see a story grow and develop…it’s often said that if production is where the film is conceived, then post-production is where it is born.

In fact, film is a relatively new way to tell a story; it’s only a little over 100 years since the pioneering experiments of Eadweard Muybridge and Thomas Edison at the turn of the 20th century changed the way we tell stories forever. In that time, film, it could be argued, has evolved more rapidly than perhaps any art form in history (if we are to include the advancements in CGI). It has become a complex and sophisticated medium, allowing audiences across the world to see and experience everything from heavenly dreams to maniacal nightmares.

Like never before, creating film has been democratized. Access to editing software is getting more and more easy, cameras are getting cheaper and more people are willing and eager to learn the craft. Today, each day, filmmakers from all over the world, from every social-class, from practically every country, of all abilities and of all ages, share and upload new video content on a unprecendeted scale. Never before has artistic output being so readily shared and available to watch. Never before have there been so many stories accessible to digest.

Nonetheless, many themes of dramatic work, tragedy, comedy and revenge for example, we still see in cinema today. There are several fundamental components about how to construct films with these themes: character arcs, key plot points, character depth etc, and these elements can be studied ad infinitum, from books and by watching films, however, I want to recognise that, aside from these things, film has the awesome power to affect.

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I’ve always felt that the strongest stories are the ones that say something, about life, about society. Stories have the ability to make us look inwards, and to discover things about ourselves that we might not have had the chance to otherwise. It can challenge our preconceptions, and give us new perspectives, on both an individual scale and a societal level as well.

As an editor and filmmaker, I try to follow the Free Cinema Manifesto which, in part, states that: “An attitude means a style. A style means an attitude.”In essence, this means that your own attitude to a subject should inform your style and visa versa. Similarly, the The Free Cinema-ists also wrote that “No film can be ‘too personal’” meaning that there is no limit to the amount of “yourself” or your personal experience that you inject into the film. This makes films uniquely personal expressions, and on several degrees connect us in our common “human” experiences of life.

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So for me, telling a good story is about putting ‘oneself’ into a film emotionally or psychologically. In addition to this, I think using film’s power to connect to people, it’s a good way to say something unique, to make a critique or to voice an opinion.

So here’s the Free Cinema Manifesto (abridged), as written in 1956 by Lindsay Anderson and Lorenza Mazzetti:

As filmmakers we believe that

No film can be too personal.
The image speaks. Sound amplifies and comments.
Size is irrelevant. Perfection is not an aim.

An attitude means a style. A style means an attitude.

An article by Nick Jones.

Digipost Showreeel 2016

The Digipost Showreel 2016.

Through our decade of post production service in Vietnam, we have bonded during late nights rushing to meet clients crazy expectation, have silly conversations on the meaning of life, bitch about all the ‘if only’ scenarios. At the end of the day, we just want to do a good job for our clients. We like to hear the sweet word of ‘approved’! We like the handshake and thanks from our clients when we achieve an impossible deadline. We like to sit back and watch when we do amazing work.

Watch our showreel for 2016 (yes it’s done!) and remember behind every commercial is a story behind on how we got it done:)

Believe it or not, we actually love what we do! So compliment our artists, our producers and our work. We actually love to hear them!

 

 

Building a future with Content.

DIGIPOST Content Development department was launched in early 2015, specializing in web documentary content.

Our Content team is the founder of RICE ( https://www.youtube.com/ricechanneltv ), an online channel featuring original web series by filmmakers in Saigon and other cities in Southeast Asia. Our team is made up of a collective of filmmakers who are given freedom to create content independently.

With the quick growth and success of our channel, our team is embarking into 2016 looking for more filmmakers who want to create content, unrestricted by conventions, and taking on projects that need documentary style content.

We have developed successful web series like ‘You Are Here! Saigon’, ‘Saigon Mad Men’ and ‘Young Saigon’.

Contact us (andy@digipostglobal.com) if you want to produce or collaborate on content for a single video to an entire series!

Check our reel and support our work.

Vibrant new talent from Milan, Davide Pini, the new colourist in town!

Fresh from the plane off Milan, Davide Pini looks to add more vibrancy to Saigon with his colouring skills!

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After graduating in architecture at Politecnico of Milan, Davide Pini specializes in analog and digital photography. With his deep knowledge about color theory, he begin to work for private clients as a DOP and photographer. At the same time he joins the AIC as junior member taking part in internships and meetings with several well-­‐known Italian DOP and Colorists in Europe.

In 2014 he began his career at EDI, one of the most important Post Production house in Milan, working for clients such as Sky TV, Fiat, Philip Morris and others.

In 2015, he decides on flying halfway around the world to be Digipost in-­‐house Colorist.
Outside of work he remains attached to the passion for photography, cinema and music.

Check out his works!

Kungfu-loving editor returns to Vietnam!

Welcoming the latest member to our team, kungfu-loving Boon Le!
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Boon graduated in 2008 with a degree in Video Production emphasizing in editing. He has been creating web content for CreativeLive for the past four years and now has transitioned into the world of promotional video production with Digipost.

During his days off, Boon enjoys creating automation Videos for YouTube and speeds time watching kung fu movies with his wife.

Check out his reel!