Interview with Joe DeRobbio of Creative Motion

Creative Motion Visual StudioED – The Eerie Digest Magazine will now take our readers behind the scenes to show you how some of the great movies produce some of their magic. We are talking to Joe DeRobbio and his company Creative Motion. Joe tell us something about your company.

JD – Creative Motion is a Visual Effects company that my Partner Edward Saldana started this year.  Both of us have been in the business for several years with another company that was primarily an editorial house that had a visual department however with that company closing its doors we decided to go directly after the visual effects market.  Creative Motion offers a full service menu including pre-visualization through final delivery including 2D & 3D design, animation and compositing, as well as matte painting and motion graphics.

Joe DeRobbioED – What does your company do behind the scenes to make movies work?

JD – Wow  ok good question, there are so many aspects to making a movie when it involves VFX.  I’ve seen many film producers make the mistake of not having the visual effects supervisor in on all the preproduction meetings and when they start shooting they run into a plethora of technical issues.  That’s why we here at Creative Motion  insist we are brought in at the beginning during preproduction and sit with the director. Many times we will make a pre-vis of the shot so the director can get a better feel of the camera’s POV.  A pre-vis is an animated version of the shot using low res animation to see how the shot will look and what can be done to enhance or improve the visual aspects of it.  It is usually done on more complicated shots where by doing the pre-vis will save an enormous amount of money due to changes can be made before the actual footage is shot and adjustments are easy and much less expensive.  I would recommend to any film maker or production house making a film with technical VFX to always budget in for pre-vis as it will save you big in the overall budget.

ED – I understand that visual effects are not the only thing Creative Motion creates for the screen, what else do you offer?

On The Set of Ghost RidgeJD – When we set out to create Creative Motion we needed an competitive edge so I was able to utilize my contacts abroad to form a strategic alliance with a large VFX company  overseas which allows us to compete in economies of scale that most VFX companies cannot.  We can save production houses substantial money which makes us not only attractive but gives them the value added component they are looking for.  Combine that with our strong relationships here in Hollywood and “POW” its straight to the moon!!!

ED – What are some of the latest projects that you have worked on?

JD – Our latest project was Monster Mutt  produced by Drac Studios.  It was a really fun project and working with the guys a Drac is always guaranteed to be a good and rewarding experience.  On this project we dealt with the large animal puppet where we had to make visual corrections to the animation.  Our most challenging endeavor on this film was the transformation of Cyrus (bad guy played by Zack Ward) form himself to the monster and vice versa. I think the kids will really enjoy this film.

One of my pet projects we also just finished the editorial and VFX for is a short/TV series pilot called Ghost Writer.  It is about a woman who is a reporter for a travel magazine and oh… she can see ghosts (spirits).  She travels around the globe in search of the greatest places to visit, the problem is that everywhere she goes she runs into a trapped spirit that needs to tell their story of how they we murdered, wronged or for whatever reason to be released from there earthly ties so they can move on to the other side.  It is quite compelling and has great storyline potential.  I am one of the Executive Producers along with Eileen Grubba and Marlene Buffa.

Ghost Writer will have some awesome and technical VFX shots in it (go figure right?) and I would encourage all to check it out.

ED – we also understand that you work in conjunction with other companies and many studios. Can you give our readers an insight to your many connections?

JD –  Yes absolutely, I work side by side with an exceptionally good digital media house Plaster City.  They are the number one place in Hollywood for the RED workflow and handle all Digital media. As for services, they have 2 Pablo’s and 1 IQ, Scratch and SpeedGrade for color and DI work.  Along with Final Cut Pro and Avid for editorial and finishing, Episodic and feature film Dailies, on-set DIT for both 2D and 3D production, Screenings and screening services for studios, DCP packaging, etc etc. They are a real power house.

I also work with Drac Studios whom I mentioned earlier.  These guys are the guru’s when it comes to Special Effects I mean come on they did Passions of Christ, Mask just to name a few and the fact that they really get it when it comes to getting the job done on time.  Its funny people always confuse special effects with visual effects and I always say this “the difference is you can touch special effects and you view visual effects… capeche!!!”

ED – Is there any projects in the near future that you are working on?

JD – Actually I could tell you but then I would have to kill you!!   Ya know what sayin…eeh?

ED – We have created a program with eight Universities to promote writing with their students. Some of these students would love to work with film companies. What advice would you give to them?

JD – I would give them this advice.. Until you are on an actual set and gain that experience to see first hand what goes on behind the scenes you are doing yourself an injustice.  It is so un-expectantly different than what you think it is.  For me the first time I stepped on a set I could feel the adrenaline running through my body, it was so exciting and it was then I knew I would always be doing something in the film business.  From an experience stand point it is so invaluable to understand the mechanics of how it all comes together so keep you eyes open don’t be afraid to ask questions and most important think artistically and see what happens.  Ciao!!

ED – Joe our staff and readers at The Eerie Digest Magazine would like to thank you for the time that you spent with us today. We wish you and your company much luck, and hope to hear more about you in the near future.

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