Happy New Year! It’s already been a busy one at HGP! I still haven’t introduced you to all of our team, but first I need to give you an update on our First 15 Project, my work to create 15 short films. For the next installment, I’ve been working with my good friend, Joseph. We’ve got an idea to put together five to six short films, each four or five minutes long, and they’ll all come together to complete one story. And, for this one, we’re thinking about not only releasing it and seeing who likes it, but we’re also thinking about combining it into one full episode that we can use as a pilot to pitch to the likes of Amazon and Netflix. Who knows what shape it’ll all take, but whatever we do with the film, it’s just fun to think about new ideas, dig into our creativity, and be ambitious.

We’re really excited about this next challenge in storytelling and filmmaking. Our goal from the start has been to create stories we’re interested in and then find people who are willing to go on the journey of making it with us. We know that, for us, if we try to create something we don’t believe in, then we’re probably not going to make something creative enough for people to want to watch.

Now that we’ve taken on this next goal of pitching to a distro company, I know this short film isn’t just practice and that I’ll have to push myself, both creatively but also in terms of production value and the quality of my writing. We’re really going to have to find and bring everything together–equipment, setting, actors, etc. (Side note: if anyone reading this blog wants to act in this next project, send me a reel!)

Our first script is almost done. I won’t give away too many plot details here, but suffice it to say there a dark haunts, a vigilante anti-hero, and various pre-apocalyptic settings. So, stay tuned for updates! We’ll keep you posted here on how the shooting is going and our progress toward a picked-up pilot, and what it looks like to try and get your foot in the door with these streaming platforms!

Now, after that exciting update, it’s time to introduce you to another member of the His Grace Productions team (drum roll please): Ryan Young! Below is a Q&A with Ryan and the skillz he brings to our team.

Q&A with Ryan Young, animator extraordinaire.

Hi, Ryan, thanks for doing this. I think we should just jump right in, no niceties or small talk. So, tell us about how you became a part of His Grace Productions?

Well, I met Jake through a friend. I was working on a shoot for an Antioch music video and needed a slider—so I went to Jake! We got to talking and he mentioned that he’d seen some of the motion graphics I’d done and that he needed help with a 3-D, motion graphic video and animation for a project he was working on. I helped with that and have been able to help with several projects since then.

At His Grace, we do a lot of live action, filming people and places for our productions, but could you tell us a little about why it’s important to have an animation component?

Animation is a great way to be engaging and a really good tool for promoting a product/service/event. It’s also very flexible, because we can control the colors and story in a way you can’t necessarily do when filming live action. We can also add animation to live action, which just adds a new level of creativity and engagement for an audience. With animation, we can pack a ton of things into a one-minute video.

Exactly, animation is a tremendous value add to our customers and the products we create. So, doing animation, you’re not necessarily on “set” or doing behind the camera work are  you?

Not really. I do digital animation, which lets us add a whole new element to our work and another way to meet our clients needs. I do 2D animations, which let us add illustration to piece and bring a lot more to our storytelling. I also digitally build 3D models. With these, I can basically sculpt a product to a client’s liking and allow them to highlight a product in ways that live action doesn’t necessarily let you. For example, we recently worked with cement barrier company to build a 3D replica of their machine and show it at different angles and in different ways that wouldn’t be possible by filming it alone.

How did you get into animation like this?

Like a lot of us, I started doing film in high school, and specifically I started to learn the program After Effects. I had to learn it for a high school show, and really just taught myself–with the help of YouTube. I’d watch videos of someone creating an effect and then I’d try it myself. After high school, I went to Baylor and started to learn a lot more. Along with After Effects, I started editing live action and eventually got a minor in film and digital media (I majored in entrepreneurship). While in school, I would help with video production at my church, and when I graduated I got to work for the church full-time doing video production. So now, along with working with His Grace Productions, I get to work alongside my church’s 17+ ministries and produce videos for their events and to promote their services. The more I’ve worked on this, the more I’ve realized that I’m just naturally a visual person, and I continue to realize how visual life is in general. There are just so many options and ways you can be creative visually.

What’s been your favorite project to work on?

Actually, it was probably the one for the cement company. It was just really interesting and fun. I got to work closely with the client. They brought in models for us to see and replicate, and we also got to go to the facility where they manufacture their product. Creating a model for them was really intricate and challenging, but I think it came out really well–and more importantly, so did they! The process of building that 3D model was fun, but so was getting to work hand-in-hand with the client throughout the process to give them a product they really love. Just in general, I’m really liking learning about different styles within 3D motion graphics and all the different techniques there are–for example, right now I’m doing a lot of 3D-neon looks. Motion graphics are just so versatile, and I love to add supplemental graphics on live action video to make it really stand out or even make a full-on cartoon that tells a story in a fun way that live action can’t always do.

Why do you like working with His Grace Productions? What sets it apart?

I think Jake is great at communicating with clients and understanding what needs to get done and how to get the client a great product. He has a really great creative mind but is also really good at seeing the big picture when it comes to what the client needs; if a client doesn’t have a great idea, he’s good at steering them away from that but making them happy.

Lastly, tell us a little about what you like to do when you’re not creating 3D models or animation?

Hmm, well, I play guitar and enjoy that, and I just like to hangout with friends, watch movies (I’ve really enjoyed Doctor Strange lately. There is so much going on in that movie that, at first glance, you don’t think of it as being animation but so many of the effects that make that movie special are animation). I also just like to come to Pinewood and read and hang out–right now, my favorite authors are Malcolm Gladwell and Brennan Manning.

It’s so fun to see people operate in their God-given talents and thrive!  So, now who needs a little animation in their lives? Click the contact button below and we’d be happy to explain a bit more about the process.

Ryan is just one member of our great team at His Grace Productions. We’ve assembled an amazing great group of talent so that we can make sure to meet all of our clients’ needs. Make sure to subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss our posts about the rest of the team! And, if you’re ready to create videos or a commercial to generate even more revenue for your business, let us know!