(Mar 02) Lightberg Studios - Berlin-based Lightberg Studios is a fascinating collaboration among innovative filmmakers and musicians. Their comfort zone includes film, streaming, animation, sound and music productions. In this webinar, we meet the Studio's Executive Producer Ferdaus Mohtasebzada to discuss the studio's origin story and the production of the film "Projekt Adler."
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Webinar Transcript . . .
I'm Mark Ross and I'm from GridMarkets. I'm going to be saying a few words today as is Ben Hill from Oracle. He'll be describing the security of the Oracle cloud which GridMarkets depends upon. Most importantly, we have Fertis today from Lightberg studios who will be telling us the story of his journey and Lightberg's journey. It's a really interesting story so looking forward to jumping into that let's get started with me a brief introduction about grid markets in particular so grid markets is a cloud rendering and simulation service we support all the major renders which you can see in the stack on the left blender Houdini Cinema 4d Maya 3ds max and also hopefully your favorite renders as well redshift mantra v-ray Arnold and Renderman it's a super simple solution to use it takes two steps to set up and you can submit directly from whatever your favorite 3d software is so nothing new to learn you can when you do submit you can submit to use one to many machines so obviously the more machines you use the faster your submission will return and it's a pay by the machine hour model you only pay for what you use we have budgeting controls in the solution as well so if you want to control the amount of money that you're spending you can do that with our service and it was built and is supported by artists so we understand your challenges and meeting very difficult and challenging deadlines we've been there as well and as I mentioned the the grid market solution is secured by the Oracle cloud which ben will be talking about in a little more detail okay so just quickly how to get started those two steps that I mentioned first is to sign up to create an account it's free go to the URL at the bottom left there gridmarkets.com signup and you'll be able to fill in a brief form to create your account then you download from our cloud a program called envoy I'll describe what envoy does but those are the two steps after that you're ready to go let's look at what happens once you've been set up the the setup process involves installing envoy as I mentioned and and that will include plugins for whatever your favorite 3d software happen to be so in the example that follows I'm showing that the Houdini grid markets Houdini plugin has been installed and once that is installed then as I mentioned from Houdini you can submit your job directly to grid markets you don't have to leave the Houdini interface and then it will it'll start up the number of machines you specify as well as the render that you're choosing to use once that startup happens and we have received your input files you get this panel here this is the envoy panel which shows you the status of of your jobs at any moment in time and you can see the jobs there on the bottom left and the status is to the right of that and from this panel you can start and stop jobs you you can buy credits this is where you would do if you wanted for example to interrogate the logs of your submission you would click on one of those rows and drill down into the into the logs as your frames are completing they download so you don't need to wait they download to the location that you have specified at submission time a folder that you prefer or whatever it might be and that's it the free trial again is at gridmarkets.com signup if you use this promotion code you'll get a 15 discount on any credits you buy and thanks for that I'm going to head back to Charlie welcome Charlie so you've heard from the wonderful mark but right now we're going to have Ben Hill from Oracle cloud security specialists talk us through how they're keeping all their all the glamorous stuff safe he makes yeah all the sexy stuff secure so please ben take us through how you do that security is sexy that's for sure so thank you Charlie so again my name is Ben Hill I am a global director for Oracle cloud infrastructure so I'm going to be talking a little bit about when Oracle went about launching our generation two cloud offering our approach to security was deliberate and direct we wanted to ensure that it was always on automated architected in and best of all free so let's go over some of the high points on how we went about doing this first of all more secure more security by default now you're asking what does that mean well firstly we designed for isolation we've taken the hypervisor and put it on the network layer this approach separates customer traffic which provides better security and performance and as an added bonus it reduces a risk of hypervisor-based attacks also Oracle cloud infrastructure has what's called separation of duties which means Oracle admins have no access to customers memory space and as it relates to your data and associated storage services we have full encryption at rest and in motion as well as integrated backups for business continuity and disaster recovery best practices so let's go over now our auto detection and remediation capabilities specifically Oracle Cloudguard and Oracle cloud infrastructure security zones so Oracle Cloudguard or otherwise known as OCG provides comprehensive end-to-end monitoring for cloud environments by continuously collecting and analyzing service configurations audit logs and other information and reporting its findings as problems based on either out-of-the-box security scripts or custom security recipes created by the admin and to complement OCG Oracle has OCI security zones which provides a secure enclave within customer tendencies for the most sensitive workloads where security is mandatory and always on this helps ensure compute networking storage and database resources comply with security principles such as always-on encryption and no public access and as I said before the majority of the security services are free like multi-factor authentication for user access OCI vault which can be used to store passwords SSH keys and certificates and unlock our competitors OCI welcomes third-party tools you can federate IAM identity and access management policies with your organization's centralized identity provider as as well as even event management systems like Splunk and logarithm via APIs and sdks and that is all I'm going to say about the sexy world of security so I'll pass it back over to Charlie and keep the ball rolling ah thank you I think everyone will agree this will be that that will be the sexiest part of today's boy I hope not well so now we're on to ferdis the main man of the hour again I know I always say it's really special this really is an inspirational tale and inspirational journey about someone who has followed their beliefs and passion and change their path forever so it's my absolute pleasure to be talking to ferdis from lightsberg studios today I guess to show us we can start the wrong way round now is first you have your reel to show us off your the trailer and then we can backtrack about how how you got there yeah we actually have the trailer ready I think great cool please share it play it go ahead Adam That was pretty impressive very very emotive I would say thank you very much for sharing that with us today ferdis so welcome welcome to the grid markets webinar the really happy to have you here so I suppose a bit of background for our listeners and attendees today could you tell us a little bit about who Lightberg are and your journey onto how you got to this film yeah sure so my name is Ferdis I am 27 years old I'm the executive producer of project eagle the trailer which we actually saw and the writer and director of the life is great 3d animated short film which we also created in the lightbox studios and our journey actually started around four to five years ago we were around 50 people 15 sorry people who came together and who came together because of a certain vision because right now as you know we can see a lot of hate and mistrust going on in this world and you can see it everywhere and especially through the last three years or through the last couple of years it even accelerated and yes we as human beings are yeah we as human beings we have a lot of things which actually separate us for example our culture our color our beliefs our ethnics or whatsoever but at the end of the day we have much more common than what separates us for example we are all human beings and we believe mostly in the same universal values for example in family and love and hate hate actually and so our vision is uniting the people under the umbrella of universal values so that's beautiful and I suppose anything my question is chicken and egg was it did you think we want to do this am I going to do this through the medium of film so we're going to start a studio or did you think or did the film idea come first and therefore you started the studio what were your what were your thoughts how did you plan that out well you have to understand that none of us comes from a filmic background for example I personally or me personally I was a web designer and an online marketer a couple of friends from me who also were involved in the Lightberg studios were traders and businessmen so each and everyone was from a different field you can say and it actually started because of the vision so we had all of us that we had that vision and we came together only because of that vision and we tried to spread that so it's you can say the chicken first and then came the egg so I mean I think that's something I just want to kind of hang on to before we start going to the creative side and then making the film is and what's really inspiring is you were had a completely different career as did lots of your colleagues and other fellow creatives very very different you know you were working in marketing your people in what would some people would explain as the very uncreative job of being a trader you know that's that's amazing that that drive for the passion and belief in that in the in goodness rather than portraying hate was enough for you to to go and pursue this project absolutely yeah I've seen sorry okay so you how how did it start evolving then so you're working full time and then did you start doing picking up any training or how did you start dipping your turn into the world of media and entertainment yeah so at the beginning as I mentioned we were from an absolutely other field and at the beginning we had to understand the why of a movie why is a movie how it actually is for example what is an arc what is plot point what is heroes journey and so on and so forth so at the beginning we had to understand that then we separated our team into two one is the the live action field and the other one is the 3d animation field and all of us had online schools which we tried to or where we tried to learn for example me personally I was learning three and the animation at animation mentor for around two years and a couple of other friends of mine were learning the lighting and sound design and so on and so forth so everyone tried to go and you know the different aspects to get the foot in the door after two years we actually started project eagle and the script was even written while I was studying at animation mentor and after around after one week after I graduated I became the executive producer and for around two months we were shooting after one week after we shot the film I had the right and the direct life is great and so it was really challenging because I had to focus on two absolutely different the movies at the same time and everyone from us had to do that so it would be possible without the help of all these great artists and people who actually helped us only on the feature film around 100 people when was and in the animation short film around 50 people that's amazing and and we'll touch on life is great you know shortly but that was going to be my next question so it started off with 15 and the trailer you showed us looked so impressive I had you know practical effects visual effects had everything that you would wouldn't expect 15 guys who worked in very different industries went online did some courses I mean there has to be some built-in talent there as well I mean it looks incredible but how did you so the other people that came in and worked on the project how did you drum up interest how did you was it through your own network that you communicated or was it by the internet or how did that happen well our main source was actually the LinkedIn because you know it the LinkedIn you can find a lot of creatives and we try to reach to nearly everyone and try to con convince the people from our story and also from our vision and we had a lot of people who actually you know rejected because we could not pay so much of salaries and for the most of the people we could not pay them so we have to convince them and try to show them why we are they're doing what we are actually doing so it was quite a trip but I think you know as you've spoken about the the passion and where the why of the projects and with you guys putting so much into it as well and to be you know you had your own careers you were putting a lot on the line for yourselves as well I would imagine that those volunteers who were on the project were buying in and believed in your belief system as well and were quite empowered by that yeah yeah I hope so because at the end of the day 100 150 people came in and it was it was quite a journey you can say because it was really the hardest work of all to get all the people together who are actually also uh really creative and really talented because it's really hard to combine that actually if you work for free so it was really a challenge but at the end of the day thankfully we were able to went through it's I mean it's just it's just brilliant it's such a great story and with them with these volunteers that came on as well do you still are you still in touch with them do you have now this community of of talking about the film or just about I'm sure it's bred a lot of great relationships were they mostly german based or were they all over the world all over the world I am also still in the connection with the most of them but they are everywhere in the us in UK in Germany in India in China everywhere all over the place I think it shows what an innate passion and vocation this is for people because they're not in the they're not in it for the money right sometimes most of the time you know it's only once you reach a certain peak in your career maybe but it is it's not only the content and the story sometimes I think it's the actual love of doing this work what was it that made you turn to animation did you have a passion for animation before you decided to do animation mentor was that were those just the cards you were dealt yeah at the beginning it was only in interest you can say but after one year it was for around that one year it was really a struggle for me because it's animation is really hard work and I could not imagine how much hard work is actually is but after one year I really loved it and until and now and for me I really love animation and you know it's a really something like a passion you can say so I think that takes me quite nicely on to our next clip we have to show which is because you weren't content in just doing a feature film also I had to do an animated short as well which again it's just the the calibre of the projects are just insane to when hearing about stories so Adam are we able to share a clip of animated sure perfect thank you Thank you we just saw a snippet there but first is it available on Youtube for people to watch we'll have to send it in the link and so people can watch the whole the whole thing so that's amazing so I've got a few questions it's going to be kind of coincide with that but what did you when you first started out and you had this idea of your feature film did you always have the goal to do an animated feature as well or was it like well we're doing this film well I might as well try to do this as well what how did you come to that decision it started actually it was the idea to get the foot in the door to understand the pipeline how it works what kind of fields you actually need to create a live action film and also an animation short film and the feature from at the end of the day is in short film in a much bigger scale you can say so it was a more to get the foot in the door and to understand all these concepts of the live action film and also from a animation film so you took on the role as animation director on this film didn't use so how was that for you to go from doing animation mental and learning about specifically character animation I suppose to learning everything the lighting the compositing and having to have a say over that yeah it was really challenging at the beginning and it was only possible with the help of all these great talents for example we had a couple of people who helped us who actually work at MPC in Disney in DreamWorks and jellyfish and all these people came and they all consulted me and helped me and all of us and you have to imagine that for all these movies everyone from our team had to do at least in two or three jobs and we all had to learn at the same time so it was every time a process and actually the learning process and you mentioned pipeline there obviously pipeline is incredibly important and integral to an animated project did you did you have any help with that have consultancy did you get the suppliers and software on board what what what did you yours what did you kind of center around on your pipeline well for the pipeline actually we just started with the google drive and as you can imagine with google drive you kind of get some some kind of chaos because it's it's not working how you want it and then we had to do everything manually because for example shotgun was for us really expensive and we could not afford that so we had to do everything absolutely manually so when a shot came in we had to save it everyone else had to delete it and then we have to so it was really it was really challenging and in terms of I mean I think that's just an amazing point anyway actually before I go on to my next question is how accessible are these software for people that are either trying to do passion projects or trying to get off the ground you know it that's that raises a really good point but did you did you use Maya what were the other software that you used to create the project were they open to you to use yeah for the 3d animation we had a Maya for compositing we had nuke it was free for use because of full hd and for modeling and texturing we also used Maya and all the other software which we actually used well from the creatives themselves who actually had the the licenses and that's really great and we've got a few questions coming in I'm just going to flag that I'll start asking questions in about four to six minutes and I look at my clock but I just wanted to also follow up about funding and and how you you know lots of people want to make films whether that's feature animation shorts and that's the main issue right you've got to get the cameras the equipment the people the kitten I know that you were very lucky to have lots of people who believed in your project and helped but did you get any assistance with funding was that also a big part of your job or was that the people who were the traders beforehand they were just given their drum up money roll exactly so it came from our businessman you can say the people who are in the bad times from the business aspect so our CEO in charge in Jamaica he actually also tried to get as many people in as possible and he actually was able to get some fundings which were quite okay and we could until now finance everything but we have to be really really careful and yes you can make a movie with really really less but it's you know it's quite challenging but it is absolutely possible and you can see it in our case and yes we had also fundings but it was in a comparison with what we actually needed it was really really less and what are your goals for the future do you have the next project ready to go are you is it in your head what's next yeah we actually already wrote the screenplay for the next animation short film and for the next feature film we also have a small idea or a certain idea but actually we need the fundings for that because okay maybe we could go with the same way trying to reach the people and asking for help and but you should not go with that forever because everyone has to pay the bills and it should be a certain kind of help only to reach our goals of spreading unique and universal values and actually we need the fundings for sure yeah I mean that's it's interesting isn't it because as we've spoken about it's a passion and people aren't driven by money and all that which is great but also it's quite exploitative because they are willing to do it without money but also we need to create and have local and regional and helping young filmmakers start out and do need their help from the governments or whatever creative industries bodies it is to be able to progress and also help those that maybe you know especially on these films that you're working on you might have a really great talent that doesn't necessarily have is able to afford to go to school or to be able to that you know this is how they're learning is by doing these sorts of jobs and yeah by having the backing of government-funded initiatives that is it's super important so behind you that I wish you all the luck with with that funding but we I have some questions for you through some burning questions so the first one is from who's safer and I hope that's how you pronounce your name if you've watched these webinars before you know I'm not the best how long does it take you to write the script shoot the whole movie and finally editing everything um so for project eagle we wrote the script in around three months and we had the production time of in two months and the post-production it's around now one and a half years where we still are in the kind of post production and for the animation short film we needed around two weeks because it's only five minutes and the entire process of you know in the 3d animation it's kind of everything is going inside of each other it took us all in all nine months it's amazing it is what you can do in those months so thinking about we're talking about the funding a little bit wanting to be able to pay and eventually I suppose get people and your staff at Lightberg would you be open to working with other studios or who would commission you to do something or they would pay you so therefore you wouldn't have those money that money to go forward and work on your own work on your own projects yeah for us it's obviously both possible because we actually want to get the foot in the door and wherever we can learn wherever we can get some you know get the learning process out of it we are really willing because nowadays all the major studios are creating incredible movies and they want to learn from them how are they creating these and what is the actual process and all this kind of stuff so we are absolutely willing for that that's great I think as as we've shown especially how your movies have got made it's all about collaboration and learning from each other another question we have from the audience do you have advice for others who are looking to start passion projects yeah I would say the most important advice I would give is you have to be patient and you have to understand why you want to do it because at the end of the day you will have really hot days and you will have a lot of options or opinions where you from the people you will hear like what are you doing but you have to run you have that to run you have had to run at the end of the day if you are a patient and if you are believe in what you are doing you will hopefully achieve it so you have let's keep running sorry I keep on forgetting that I'm on mute so I'm quickly going over the old the old zoom classic and we have another question from husaifa who asked do you need a lot of money for the animation films as well or is it primarily for the non-animation films if you create a short film it's they're not so much needed actually as I mentioned and you know most of the people only worked for free so we could have a lot of the money but if you create a feature phone on 3d animation based I would say you even need much more than a live action feature film because it's really much more complicated it's much more intense and you need for every aspect you need the people and yeah I would say for 3d animation feature film you need a much more and for the feature films yeah I mean to put it into context the company I worked for did an animated feature and I think we went up to nearly 400 people for just one feature and and that was a lower budget it was I say lower budget it was around 30 million so it was still it was a relatively nice budget but compared to Pixar and you know those those guys nothing so but like you say you've got to take into account the the heavy data the there's just so much storage and rendering and that all costs money and then you've got all the people it's yeah there's a lot which I think when watching it I had my niece asked me once if I made the whole of the film which I was I obviously took credit for it you said yes of course I did of course I did yeah it was just me yeah it's always quite surprising were you surprised when you did the short to discover quite how labor intensive it was absolutely absolutely I really felt like it's well you actually know it there will be hard but I could not imagine how hard it is to create that and you know I lost all my health because because of that you know putting all the people together at the same time and learning it and from all of us it was really the same it was really being so priced how much work it actually is and how much you have to struggle yes yeah I mean how where how were your experience did you have your personal experience I suppose how do they differ from doing live action to the animated show um for the live action you have obviously a couple of other kind of problems you can say because once you shot your shot it's over you cannot change it you cannot go back and like some tweaks for animation you can go back and try to change and I would say both have a lot of difficulties but animation is truly another story it's it's not something it's really hard I would really say it's really hard but it's obviously possible for everyone but you have to have the patience and you have to have a certain goal otherwise it's really it's really hard i have one final question for you what are the top things you would recommend to focus upon when starting up the studio i think you mentioned it there patience it sounds like exactly at the end of the need patience and you need a certain kind of a vision why you do it and once you have that all the people you will see that will come automatically only because of your focus and because of your why everything will come by itself obviously you have to struggle and you have to be behind of it but you will see everything will out of nowhere all the people are coming I could I never imagine that so many people are really willing to only work because of a certain vision but it's obvious you will find everywhere all these people so you just have to have a clear why then it will work trust me well thank you so much I mean it's a story that somewhat puts me to shame because you've just achieved so much and just gone with what you believed in and I I'm sure you've inspired many people on this webinar today and will inspire many more with those that will watch it afterwards not live so thank you so much and I apologize profusely again for being late and running around trying to find an office and lots of things I won't bore you with but thank you it's an incredible story and I'm sure we've not seen the last VM there's going to be lots of things I look forward to seeing what you make so as we finish up on this one I don't know if you want to say goodbye to everyone as well furthest just thank you thank you yeah it was also really a huge pleasure thank you the great markets for having you giving me an opportunity thank you very much and yeah hopefully they will see us once again oh we will should do one in a year or two years so you've got we got all those films out the way and we can we can do a follow-up see what else so as we end this one we come on to what's happening next month here we have it not even next month in 20 days and the 22nd of march Neil Scholes it will be will be joining us he is a director and artist for commercials promos tv and film he's the founder and creative director of Valkyrie Beowulf in London so he's going to be on my time zone which will be very nice so you can sign up for this webinar by visiting bigmarkets.com forward slash webinars which is also where you can watch all the previous webinars as well should you wish and you should wish because they're absolutely wonderful and I believe where they're where their other credits do I need to do a promo update no okay we don't need to do that well thank you very much for joining it's been really fun it's been wonderful and see you all again in 20 days thank you Charlie thank you for this thank you everyone thanks everyone bye