“Jack of all Trades, Master of None.” Whoever came up with that saying never really thought that Jack would get into the Creative field. Sure, if Jack was trying to be a Doctor, or similar, we would much appreciate him focusing on getting that one specific type of surgery spot-on-right. But once Jack stepped into the ‘Creative’ world, the more he knows about everything, the better he is.
As beginners into the world of Filmmaking or CG or VFX or Digital Art, a person can put on horse-shades towards trying to understand how the other departments work. Statements like “I want to be a CG artist. How does it matter to me how filmmaking works?” or “I’m going to get into Direction, I don’t need to attend these CG, VFX classes!!” are rampant.
Thinking like this not only would shut doors towards any other calling that one may have found one has, but it would also limit the learning one would get from their chosen field.
Without knowing the potential and limits that every other department has, it’s difficult to take even an educated guess as to what is and is not possible. Take for example an eager student who takes on a freelance gig of creating a 5 min shot and agrees to an unrealistic deadline that the client puts up. What he doesn't realize is that the client wants some elements created in CG, some extensive backgrounds Digitally Painted and a whole lot of VFX to get it all to look cohesive. The people who he depends on for getting these elements done may give him unrealistic timelines of their own. Or say things like, “To get this quality of output in so little time, you need to pay a lot more.” Being at their mercy not having a basic understanding of his own gets him in a tight spot when its crunch time on the deadline and his reputation in on the line with the client.
A basic understanding of each department also goes a long way when you find yourself as part of a team where people say stuff like, “This should be done by the other department, it doesn’t come under my line of work.” As a team-head, one needs to understand department capabilities in terms of time efficiency and resources required to know which department should be roped in to get the job done.
At FX School we make sure that your 'Foundation' is rock solid. A good overview into every department gets the ball rolling and the student is armed with enough knowledge to know just what department should be called upon in a real world scenario.
But you can only take the horse to the water, it’s the horse that has to drink. So drink up!