March 2005

Original images courtesy of  Pendulum - All Rights Reserved 

Part 1:
Making Movies

Part 2:
From Idea to "Birth of the Film"

Part 3:
Planning the Project

Part 4:
The Shot Pipeline

Part 5:
Putting the Pieces Together

IRIDAS customers Rob Taylor and Mike McCormick are driven by the passion to tell stories. San Diego’s Pendulum Studios is about creating the right pipeline to tell each story that comes their way. And to keep their creative chops sharp, the two founders make their own short films, most recently an entertaining animation called Arrest Assured.

This is the story of how Pendulum made that movie.

What gave you the idea to make this movie?

Rob: Our mission is to tell engaging stories, and doing a piece like this – where we’ve got full creative control – really allows us to spread our wings.

Mike: Along with fostering our own creative goals, Arrest Assured was intended to demonstrate our ability to develop a pipeline of this scope and quality.

What was special about the pipeline?

Rob: Mike and I have had the privilege of consulting at animation & digital effects studios around the world: one lesson we learned is that there is no such thing as a single panacea pipeline which works for all productions. The project and situation must determine the pipeline.

We spend a long time at Pendulum in planning and pre-production. Once we have a clear picture of what a project demands - and literally mapping it out with flowcharting software - we can make crucial pipeline decisions, from hardware and software purchases to hiring and training.

Mike: The funny thing about all this planning is that we get a lot of the stress over with at the beginning of a project, rather than at the end. The whole process buys us more time and freedom in production, not less.

What did you want the Arrest Assured pipeline to show?

Rob: Well, we designed it so that it would be possible for just the two of us to get the entire thing done, parallel to our regular ever-increasing workload.

With this in mind, we feel comfortable showing it to our clients and telling them ‘if we can pull this off with just a couple of artists, imagine what we can do with our entire team focused on your project!’ It’s a fun and eye-catching film and it’s great proof of our capabilities.

Rob Taylor

Rob handles the lion's share of the studio's business and project management tasks along with his creative passions: compositing and co-directing with McCormick.

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