If I ever need to really “understand” something related to visualization or virtual production, I talk to Ron Frankel. There are certain people I’ve met during my tenure at AWN, people who have a knack, a gift if you will, of being able to explain often complex ideas in a succinct and understandable manner. And make it interesting. Ron, I dare say, could probably describe the inner workings of a cyclotron in a way that would actually make sense, in a way that would make anyone suddenly feel a career in Physics was now possible. Even desirable! Alas, I am neither succinct nor understandable. But after a conversation with Ron, I always feel a wee bit smarter.
As the founder and creative director of Los Angeles-based Proof Inc., Ron has been a seminal figure in the ever-expanding feature film visualization business for more than a decade. With a wealth of experience leading teams on some of the biggest, most effects-laden features, Ron understands first-hand the value that collaborative storytelling, design and visual development efforts can bring to a film. Over the course of several interviews in three different countries, Ron spoke to me at length about the art, technology and business of feature film visualization, as well as the dynamics, the politics and the growing awareness of its value within the filmmaking world.
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That’s the opening gambit of new web series The Gamblers, an innovative show from Fourth Wall Studios that lets — or practically forces — viewers to place grisly bets on which characters will live or die.
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