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.

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Editor Quang Vu: one year on at Digipost

What’s your role at Digipost? Where were you before here?

Now I’m an Editor in Digipost, I used to work as a freelancer when I was a student, then I became an editor for a small company for a year. One day I got to know Digipost, and now Digipost has become part of my journey.

How have you grown in the past year?

I’ve made films, and learned about the world of filmmaking.

What’s been the biggest challenge? Or the biggest learning experience?

Every job has its own challenges and also has a different experience, it’s not easy to compare, but I’d say the biggest challenge would be when I work with great filmmakers in a project with a tight deadline.

What’s been the most fun?

The most fun thing is when I feel happy with my film editing and when I see an audience enjoying my work.

What advice would you give to fellow editors or people aspiring to be editors?

Be patient and believe in yourself, trust your film and trust your feeling, sometimes you make a bad decision but you will learn from that and grow your skills as well.

What are you looking forward to this coming year? 

I’d like to learn more about filmmaking and I’m still waiting for the chance to make a great emotional film.

Check out some of Quang Vu’s recent editing work here:

And learn more about this video here.

The Christmas of 2016: Digipost

2016 is a year that most people wished to pass quickly.

But life goes on and our passion persists.   Digipost will enter into the 12th year next year in 2017, finishing one cycle of the lunar zodiac calendar.

At Digipost, nothing can dampen our spirit for our appetite food, a huge part of our culture and this year is no different with our BBQ party for our team.  Only this time, there are gifts for everyone!

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It was fun, games and laughter.  Everyone has a great sense of accomplishment for all the hard work this year and the show goes on next year!

From the team at Digipost, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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The Revolution of Post Production

DIGIPOST 2015We need to evolve.  We need to re-invent ourselves.  Sounds familiar?

These are the words that are commonly spoken nowadays.  With the emergence of technology coming at a breakneck pace, the post production industry is one of the industries struggling to keep up.

However where is decline, there will be opportunities.  Being in the post production business in the last decade and hearing the constant death knell in the visual effects industry, we believe there is only one path to the future.

Revolution.

Talent and passion is key

For too long, the post production business has created many visual effects operators who are simply technically competent on the machine.  Expensive software has made the industry practical inaccessible to any layman.

Technology has changed.  With cheaper software and hardware, there are no more barriers to entry.  For once in a long time, talents who are truly gifted and passionate in the art of storytelling (editors), painting (colourist), digital magicians (online artists, compositors, CG artists) can have a successful career.

They just need the imagination and the right nurturing from the studio.

 

To work in creative teams

The post production process workflow from offline to colour to online & CG to audio works no different from an assembly in a factory.  Often department do not communicate and worst, do not understand the purpose of the project.  Such environment creates a stifling and political work environment.

No practitioner in post-production ever started in the industry wanting to be worker in an assembly line.  Most enter because of a film they seen that inspires them, a fantastical world in a computer game that awes them or simply wanting to creative field.

Break the workflow.  The post production workflow needs to be destroyed totally.  We need to have organic teams that every member to understand the goal of the project.  They need to work in teams from A to Z, from concept to execution.

This brings us to the next step.

 

To possess multi-disciplinary skill-sets and be highly adaptable

The age of specialization is gone.  Factory workers are being replaced by robots, drivers are soon to be replaced by driverless cars and the internet is slowly (but surely) putting traditional advertising and media in decline.

Technology is replacing any job that is repetitive or at one time called a ‘specialization’.  Any position in post-production can soon be replaced by a plugin or a latest ‘easier-to-use’ software.

The new generation of practitioner needs to highly adaptable and possess different skill sets.  With the right tools, they can achieve the same quality that used to take more than 5 people, or even 10.

With the right team, it is amazing the quality of work that can be produced.

 

Build strong partnerships

The supplier mentality needs to be changed to a partnership.  Work with clients who value the creativity and the execution in the team.

If the client partnership lasts only because of a cheaper rate, then that is a partnership that will not last.  Lose them now, or lose them later.  It is only a matter of time.

Be brave.

 

This is not an evolution.  We cannot re-invent ourselves.  Change is all that is left.

Where there is decline, there is opportunity.

So who wants to join us on the new ship?

‘It’s like having a dress tailored for you’

DIGIPOST’s music composer and sound designer Lucia Violino talks about the role of music composition in films and commercial videos.

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Lucia Violino working at DIGIPOST’s audio suit

Can you tell me something about yourself?

I first learned playing violin and piano, when I was 9 years old. From playing music, I gradually moved to composition. I held two degrees in violin and composition at the High Conservatory of Music of Málaga. Later I studied piano and electro-acoustic composition at the University of Music and Performing Arts of Vienna.

After graduation, I started freelancing as an orchestra violinist, a music teacher, a music composer and a sound designer for short films, TV series, video games and web series.

As both a music composer and sound designer, what do you think is the difference between the two jobs?

I don’t think there are many differences between them. Music is an international language allowing people all over the world to communicate. And, sound, in a sense, is also music.

However, when it comes to films, music composition is more about storytelling, reflecting the mood of a specific scene. So, it’s more abstract and freer. Meanwhile, sound reflects a specific action in a specific scene such as opening a door, raining and hitting.

In your opinion, why do we need music composition for commercials?

Although it is common that people use copyrighted music libraries for commercials, I think that practice may compromise the identity of their works.

If you want the best for your works, you have to ask professionals to compose music specific for them. It’s like having a dress tailored for you – you are the one and only person who can wear it beautifully.

However, in order to create a perfect music score for a commercial, it is not easy. Music composers need a good reference and understanding about the product and commercial in question. They also need to bond with everyone involved in the process, including clients and directors, to understand what they want. Open and good communication may help a lot.

Once they know what people are expecting from them, music composers will find slots in the expectations to fit their ideas in. It may sound time-consuming but it’s the best way to find the best solution in post-production industry.

Meet DIGIPOST’s newest colorist

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Please tell me something about you.

My name is Laura F. Knieling. I’m from Spain, where I finished my study in Audiovisual Media. I came to work in Vietnam about one month ago.

Why Vietnam?

I first visited the country on a vacation five years before and loved it so much. So, I decided to come her to start the adventure of working far away from my hometown.

It’s nice to work at DIGIPOST, where people are very open and helpful like a family. I think that homey feeling is very important in such a demanding environment as a post house.

Do you remember the moment you decided to become a colorist?

I always love painting and colors, so when I watch films, I often found myself wondering how that scene could have such a specific look. I was especially intrigued by the cheeky grade of “Drive” by Nicolas Winding Refn, and the elegant, discreet and effective grade of “There Will Be Blood” and “The Master,” both by Paul Thomas Anderson.

I assumed the impressive looks were created by the Director of Photography until one day I realized that they were the creation of colorists. I also realized that I wanted to and could become a colorist.

Is there a gap between your imagination about the job and its reality?

It is more difficult than I thought at the beginning. Once I started doing the job, I realized how many techniques and work are involved. I also realized that there are many ways to do things in color grading. In other words, it is much more complicated, but also more exciting.

It is also different when you are a professional colorist. My first-ever project was a short movie. As a freelancer, I had total control over the work and schedule.

Now, as a professional colorist, I have to meet the expectations of all people involved in my project, including directors and clients. But, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t nice. In fact, it is more challenging and demanding. It helps shape my grading skills and ideas about colors. When people feel happy with the results I deliver, I do too.

I want to keep running and running, improving and improving my skills. I want to make the best.

So, to you, what is color grading and colorist?

As a kid I used to paint, but for different reasons I stopped it and for many years I didn’t took a pencil again. Now, years later I see the color grading as a second opportunity that was given to me to get in touch again with the world of color, accompanying another passion: the audiovisual world.

To me, color grading is a craftsmanship. It’s like molding wax or carving wood. You get the “raw” (in a color meaning) product and you polish it with discretion and care.

You can watch Laura’s showreel here:

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.

‘Editing is an artistic creative job,’ says DIGIPOST senior editor

An insight into the job of our senior editor Nick Jones

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Nick works at his office at DIGIPOST

The first time I came to Nick’s office, it was for the interview.

In a not so big and gloomy room, there were only two giant monitors, a few wall pictures and a small sofa. It looked minimalist and quite lonely. But, the man, who welcomed me with a bright smile, looked so comfortable and happy in it.

As soon as we sat down for the interview, I couldn’t help but ask him right away the question that had bothered me, since I first read his brief profile on DIGIPOST’s website.

“How come an English Literature major from a UK college ended up being a senior editor at a post house in Vietnam?”

“By chance,” Nick said, smiling.

“I first became interested in editing films, when shooting and editing a fashion film for my friend,” he said. “I had previously edited a lot of behind-the-scene videos. But, it was not until then had I realized how fascinating it was to shape a story.”

“I felt so free. While there were rules to follow, I could follow my feelings as well,” Nick said.

He then started freelancing. And, like most of people in the post-production industry, where the hierarchy was strongly integrated, he started with small projects such as music videos and short films, and low positions.

But, it is never easy to do a good job. It is even harder to do a good job as a professional.

Working around tight deadlines, Nick spent countless hours a day sitting in front of monitors. He had to go through hours-long footage and a lot of related materials to find a good story to tell, sometimes just within just 15-30 seconds.

“It took a lot of my personal time, but I wouldn’t change it,” he said. “I know that the harder I work, the better the outcome will be. And I love to know that I am doing a good job.”

His hard work and patience over years were finally paid off, when his expertise started bringing him jobs with big clients such as Adidas, Comedy Central, Future Cinema, Marks & Spencer, and MTV Networks.

Nick spent about 8 years working as a freelance editor in London, before coming to Vietnam and working at DIGIPOST through a friend’s recommendation.

A senior editor now, he has never stopped learning, from other professionals, from books and from films. In fact, since he started working as an editor, the only training Nick has ever taken was advice from more experienced professionals.

“Passion asides, a good editor must have broad understanding about the world around him. Failing to do that, you’ll fall behind,” Nick said. “The more you know, the better you can shape a story. You need to know what you are talking about.”

Although the job demands lots of work and time, Nick said he felt “lucky” to be able to do it.

“Editing is an artistic creative job. I would never exchange that feeling of accomplishment when seeing how ideas on paper develop into something lively and knowing that I am a part of that process, for anything else.”

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.