I wake up around 8 a.m. and have some coffee. I make it down to the office by nine. I have a studio separate from my home across the yard. I design DVD covers and trade release materials for movies. I mainly work with Universal Studios and I'm starting to do work with Paramount. I didn't always work for myself though.
I worked for the same design firm for 12 years. I started as a production manager, and then I became a designer. We had a lot of great designers and computer operators in the office, so I picked their brains when I needed to know how to do anything.
After doing that awhile, I realized as a salaried employee, it's not a great deal. You work 40 or 60 hours, you get the same paycheck. I figured, why am I working for someone else?
For $6,000 you can get a state of the art computer that is as fast as anyone would need. In general, it doesn't cost that much to start up this kind of company. I had good relationships with my clients and luckily they followed me when I started my own company three years ago.
The first thing I do when I walk into the office is boot up my computers and check my e-mails to see what is in store for the day. A lot of times I'm sending and receiving PDF files. That's how the client and I communicate design concepts. I don't drive much at all except going to the studios. Because I live in Glendale, most of the studios are close by.
Ideally, I see the film before I start working, but very often I start on films before they are finished. I always get unit photography, though, from photographers taking pictures on set. There could be anywhere from 10,000 to 20,000 images. I go to the studio and look at them arranged in portfolios. I could be there four or five hours looking through images and finding the images I want. It's a rather arduous task but it has to be done.
The studio will make a press kit, but there may be only 15 images and I want hundreds, as much source material as possible. From there, the studio gives me the direction they have in mind for marketing the design.
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