Novedge: Tell us a little about yourself and Frame 48.
Tom Teller: I was born in Bend, OR before moving to Southern California to attend Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Media Arts studying Film Production. I graduated last May from the program. I am currently working on completing my MBA at Chapman and am in the early stages of starting our company, Frame 48. Frame 48 is a narrative focused production company specializing in branded content, commercial work, and visual effects.
Novedge: How did it all start?
Tom Teller: I got into film making through the action sports world. The sports scene in Bend is pretty massive so I opted to film my friends skiing which led me fall in love with the medium.
Novedge: How many people collaborate on your team?
Tom Teller: The number of collaborators varies based on the project. Our thesis film, Icarus, was a collaboration of over fifty team members. Frame 48 is currently ran by my good friend Julian Conner and I. We run a scalable model allowing us to contract on large teams based on the projects we are working on.
Novedge: Is it true that you all met at Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Media Arts?
Tom Teller: Most everyone we work with at the moment attended Dodge at one point or another. Dodge offers a great environment to learn the medium and does a great job at promoting collaboration between students.
Novedge: We fell in love with your animated short HUM. How did you come up with the idea?
Tom Teller: Hum was inspired by Plato's allegory of the cave and the concept of discovering a whole new world when you are only familiar with one specific environment. We wanted to do something that had a science fiction edge while still being grounded in reality. The story unfolded naturally over the several months of story boarding and writing.
Novedge: What software did you use for this project?
Tom Teller: Our pipeline was pretty straight forward for the project. We cut in Premiere, composited in After Effects, did all of our CGI in Autodesk's 3ds Max, and all of the rendering was done with Chaos Group's V-Ray.
Novedge: How important is it to keep current with 3D software? Are there new software tools that really excite you?
Tom Teller: Every year there are new features implemented into every suite on the market whether you are using Maya, 3dsMax, Cinema4D, or one of the many other tools out there. Honestly I don't think it's completely essential to be current with all of your software. Obviously it would be ideal to have the ability to use the newest patch of each package, but for the most part, the software does more or less the same thing. In my opinion, it would be best to learn to be efficient and proficient with the software as a whole , no matter the version. Novedge: HUM was a rare combination of cutting edge technology and great storytelling. Do you take care of everything "in house"?
Tom Teller: Doing everything "in house" is much more manageable when everyone is a student. No one is expecting to get paid, everyone just wants to make awesome things. With Hum, we had a post-production timeline of roughly two months which really put the pressure on us for VFX and Animation. We were able to get it done by saturating the beginning of the pipeline with heavy animation to get as far as we could early. The asset creation, scene construction and pre-visualization we did before the shoot, also allowed us to get a jump start on post-production.
Novedge: Can you list your services at Frame48?
Tom Teller: Frame 48 offers comprehensive commercial packages as well as contracting services. Most of our commercial work consists of a bid and then taking care of everything in house from the pitch deck to the final delivery. As mentioned before we also do some contracting services for other production houses and filmmakers such as sound Design and Visual Effects.
Novedge: What are you working on right now?
Tom Teller: Unfortunately, I can't get into to much detail as we've got a lot of projects in early stages at the moment. What I can say though is that we are putting a lot of time into getting our footing in the commercial world and have several shoots coming up for clients across multiple industries. We are also writing a feature that we will hopefully produce sometime in the near future. Right now though, the focus is on Frame 48, and getting a read for the market to determine our future trajectory as a company.
Novedge: What does it take to be successful in your field?
Tom Teller: That's a hard question and one I don't feel qualified to answer. I imagine it takes a significant amount of dedication, drive, and vision. Success is an interesting phenomenon that I feel is mostly measured from a third party looking in. The moment you stop and think yourself successful, you have stopped moving forward and innovating.
Novedge: Who would you like to work for/with?
Tom Teller: Anybody and everybody. Everyone has a unique perspective and a life story that you can learn from. Specifically though sitting down with Alejandro Iñárritu or Christopher Nolan would blow my mind. Novedge: Where do you see yourself and the company in 10 years?
Tom Teller: 10 years is pretty long time. If I had to make a projection, I would like to see myself doing what I'm doing now, but on a much larger scale. Hopefully when I'm 32 I'm directing features and national commercials with my best friends, and Frame 48 is doing better than ever in a bad ass office in Los Angeles. One can dream right?
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