Spotlight : February 1998

Go West, Young Man
Written by Todd Vaziri
Producer, VFX HQ

This March, Visual Effects Headquarters turns two years old. It's been an interesting couple of years, and I couldn't be happier with the success of the web site. Actually, the site has been around since November '95, but that version could hardly have been considered an established webzine--it was an anemic, shoddy 10 pages of information. The site has since grown by leaps and bounds; in particular, the last six months have been extremely exciting with the in-depth coverage of STARSHIP TROOPERS, ALIEN RESURRECTION, FLUBBER and TITANIC.

As some of you may know, VFX HQ is a one man project. Throughout the entire duration of the web site's existence, I have held a full time job and produced the site on my free time. In the early days of the site, this wasn't a problem, since the

"...there will be very few updates to VFX HQ in the month of February."

early reviews were basic and coverage was light. At this point, however, producing VFX HQ takes up a much larger chunk of time, ranging between 15 and 30 hours a week.

I'm writing all of this because, in February, I am leaving my hometown of Chicago and am moving to Los Angeles. This is an enormous step, one that is both exciting and nerve-wracking. Saying goodbye to family and friends has been one of the most difficult things I've ever done.

There are two major reasons for this move. One, to pursue a career in feature film visual effects. I have supervised the effects on a number of Chicago independent films, and have directed several film and video projects. I bring a wealth of ideas and enthusiasm to the table, and hope that there's an organization that could use someone with my talents and skills.

Another reason for my move to LA is to expand VFX HQ. Being closer to the action means deeper coverage in the form of more interviews, more articles and more films. The hope is to eventually expand the site with new sections, as well, including a section on visual effects history and another focusing on effects techniques. Contributing writers will be sought to discuss their experience in the industry, or their opinions on particular issues.

As a result of the move, there will be very few updates to VFX HQ in the month of February. I will literally be on the road for a few days, and then be searching

"I promise you, if enough advertising is sold, the 'new' VFX HQ will blow you away."

for a place to live. The reviews for movies like SPHERE, DARK CITY and DEEP RISING will be posted in March, or as soon as things get straightened out.

There is always the possibility that VFX HQ could be produced as a full-time endeavor. The only way this could happen is if enough advertising space is sold. Although recent ad campaigns with SGI, Asset Factory and Primatte have been successful, it wasn't enough to support the site as a full-time project. I promise you, if enough advertising is sold, the 'new' VFX HQ will blow you away. So please, if you or someone you know is interested in advertising a product to the visual effects community, tell them about the advertising opportunities on VFX HQ. It's a great way to get their message to the tens of thousands of effects professionals and fans that visit VFX HQ every week.

Hearty thanks go out to all the readers of VFX HQ. To the longtime readers, who have watched VFX HQ grow from a piddly, clunky 10 page web site to its current state of over 350 pages. To recent readers, who have enjoyed the extensive coverage of such films as TITANIC, STARSHIP TROOPERS, FLUBBER and ALIEN RESURRECTION. To those who have communicated with me and sent in your comments and questions.

On a more personal level, I'd like to thank some of the people who have helped me in measureless ways with ideas, inspiration, and support over the years (this is, by no means, a complete list, folks): Jenny Arata, Aaron Au, Johnathan Banta, Russell Darling, Sean Cunningham, Owen Hammer, Kearsley Higgins, Bob Hoffman, Christopher Horvath, Sarah Jackson, Jonathan Katz, Bryan Libbin, Van Ling, Tom Nawara, Eric Silverberg, M. Ruth Vasquez, The Entire Vaziri Clan, and Toby Wilkins.

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All text Copyright © 1998 Todd Vaziri, unless otherwise noted