So frustrating. We're trying to make a movie here and damn it, the semester's going to end before we're done. Shoehorning an animated production into an academic schedule is trying enough, now we're facing the problem of trying to rekindle a crew for the spring to get this show finished.
So we're going out. But we're not going out soft. We've set three very challenging but definitely achievable goals for the end of term:
1) Finish all the animation for Operator. This will amount to every animator finishing about two shots a week for the next month. This is about twice our current pace.
2) Finish the destruction of the tower sequence (u7) in FX. This is all the cracking glass and water and other nonsense. It's about 24 shots, maybe 20 or so have complicated FX in them.
3) Finish a trailer to show in Hampshire's "end of semester screening."
This work is testing me as a director, not to mention as a teacher. There's little room left for "try this out and let's take a look" kind of stuff -- now we have to have focused work towards a known goal or else we won't hit our deadlines. That lack of breathing room means that folks need to know the technological stuff cold, because we can't afford big steps backwards due to error. So the handoffs have to be much more carefully done now and it means many more small meetings where we go over approaches before they're tested for real. I think this is a change for the better, but it's exhausting for me to keep up with what amounts to about a dozen or so different subprojects going on at once.