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Peach Interviews: Ton Roosendaal

79

pi-ton.jpgLast week I visited the Blender Institute in Amsterdam, where I had a chance to talk to the members of the Peach team (and a member of Apricot as well!). I taped my conversations with them and for the next week, we'll publish one interview each day. Today part one: Ton Roosendaal, Producer for the Blender Institute.

Update: video replaced by Bmud's subtitled version (click the 'up' button in the lower right corner to activate the subtitles)

I only had one microphone so I apologise for the sound quality but I hope you'll enjoy it anyway!

About Author

Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.

79 Comments

  1. Thanks for the post. The short will be rendered in a day... nice! As for the audio, if you want to give me an uncompressed file, I can filter our most of the noise. From a production standpoint audio is just as important as video, if not more. Looking forward to the next interview.

  2. I can't see the video, can you please upload it to youtube or provide a downloadable version (and subtitles will be really nice)?

  3. yeah... awesome job with the interview! feel so special getting my question answered :)

    i'm really excited that ton is thinkin about a special fx project...
    i know the blender motion tracker is in development and can't wait for blender to become a entire visual fx suite :D :D :D

  4. This is what I've been waiting for!! A visual effects movie done in Blender, to make Blender into a Digital Fusion - After Effects - Combustion capable software, and in 4K! Garbage mattes, camera tracking, car chases, explosions, green screen compositing, digital sets with live action actors.

    Here is my attempt at a transcript to the part where this is mentioned, 3:30 min into the interview (someone could help me out in filling in the ?????, which I couldn't make out from the poor sound quality of the video):

    Bart: You realized another 3D movie. What will you do next?

    Ton: After Peach? Ahhhh, we have a secret project going on, called DURIAN. DURIAN is an Indonesian fruit or Asian fruit, smelly and ugly and spiky, but tastes very well. That project is about - no story - only explosions, fighting, everything that's not ????? So lot's of fun and monsters and what ever little boys like to make.

    Bart: Not furry and funny anymore.

    Ton: ?????? 4K. A big sponsor wants to have 4K cinema tested. So we have to render everything extremely detailed ?????? sculpting ??????? but it's not there yet, we have to work on it. Sculpting deformation, sculpting animation, that kind of stuff, and of course 4K compositing. Compositing right now is difficult in 4K. We have to be able to do that. Lot's of luck, big fun. We don't have it completely ??????? has to be done in advance just like Peach. I want to know that we really can complete it before I officially release it. But I think I talked about it briefly on ???????. I also would like to do something with visual special effect film, but the project has no ???????? no plans.

    Bart: Just an idea.

  5. The short version is that the movie project planned for after peach is Durian (a spiky pear looking fruit)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durian

    The goal of the project is 'adolescent mayhem and fun' with highly detailed sculpted monsters (one development goal will be improved sculpt); multires mesh working 'better with everything'; explosions (smoke and flame effects); lots of fun destruction; and 4k rendering rendering and compositing.

    LetterRip

  6. Jasper: Ouch dude! I translated that wikipedia article because i thought it actually had some useful information on something related to what ton was talking about... posting something like that on a message board for everyone to see isn't a good way of saying thanks for all your hard work. be a bit more polite next time man

  7. yup well... Ton needs a good hard boot up the arse for 'allowing' artists to work with as little as 4 hours sleep - these crammed movies are totally unnecessary.
    I thought this was a significant lesson learned form ED.
    What sort of director/manager is so irresponsible to organise this and dismiss the burden as a self inflicted choice for art sake.
    I am tired of hearing obsessive grandiose BS from Ton covering up for unhealthy work conditions
    and I don't want to hear any lame excuses from the artists justifying this either.
    this isn't just stupid its criminal.
    sorry to put it like that...but someone needs to

  8. @crazybus: Vimeo wants you to log in. Someone just upload it to Youtube, please.

    @Big Fan: I don't think it is that different from other projects. There are many stories from game developers and FX artists where people were working without sleep to finish a project. You can also look at interviews with animators and you will almost always see blue eyebags. The fact that the animators are not getting enough sleep means that there was a miscalculation between the work duration and the number of people doing it. That's why I wanted Blendernation to ask Ton how they calculated the schedule in the first place.

  9. What an interesting insight into the world of the BF. I am pleased to hear that things are in the works already for the next project. However, I think that the more complex a movie will get the more time will be needed to complete it. Then there is the "are the funds sufficient enough to cover our butts" which is where our beautiful community comes in.

    @ Bigfan: I understand some of your points big fan, but dude I work in Japan and the bosses (in every industry) here don't give a crap how much work you do or how much sleep you get, or how often you can see your family... list goes on, even though by law work hours are 40 per week. I regularly work 60 hour weeks with no extra pay, and at my company part time workers get a little over $6 an hour with no pay increase for the last 15 years...That is the real world for this industry get used to it.

    Actually ever since this project started you've been slamming it and quite frankly I am sick of hearing your negativity towards this project. The team needs support, if you think you can manage a project as complicated as this with limited funding then by all means lead by example if not, then give it a break. sorry to put it like that…but someone needs to

  10. @Bart: Google video is also a very nice option (I've seen videos longer than 10 minutes on Google video)
    I will be waiting for your comment and thanks for your time.

  11. I think the format is fine. Google is a mess. Out of the thousands of people that have viewed this, only a handful have had a problem. I would consider that to be a success.

    Great interview! Thanks!

  12. Two primary problems with the audio, hum/rumble and buzz. The first is relatively easy to remove. The second is a little trickier, but still doable.

    Go back to the original footage and run and FFT or similar filter and cut out everything below 250Hz. Cut with a steep slope. This will pretty much get rid of the hum/rumble.

    Once that is eliminated, find a quiet spot and sample the remaining buzz with a noise reduction filter. Remove it by ~6-9dB, don't try to remove all of it, as you're simply start digging into the spectral content of the speech track and make it sound really warbled.

    Finally, run a compression/limiter filter on the processed footage to bring up the overall gain. Try either a medium setting, like 3:1 and amplify, or "track slam" the sucker with heavy limiting/amplification.

    These processes should make for a reasonably listen-able audio track. While you can do this in Audacity, the filters are not all that great, especially noise reduction, which is simply not flexible enough. Better off with a decent closed-source audio editor. I use the old Cool Edit software, before Adobe bought it and screwed it all up!

    Next time you do make one of these interview videos, stick an MP3 player/recorder by the speaker and "fly in" the audio from it on the video editing software, using the video's audio track for sync reference. Then mute the video audio where needed.

    Needless to say, I've done all these quite a number of times, and it works. :-)

  13. @vidrazor: while do I appreciate the feedback, I really don't have the time to do all that :-( Getting the interviews out daily is already difficult enough :)

  14. By the way, the other videos are quite a bit better - during Ton's interview there was a beamer which made the humming noise. During the other interviews there wasn't (well, except for the secret extra interview with Ton that is.... !)

  15. Durian!?!?!?!?!?!?!!!!!!! Wow that was quick. I think that sounds cool but how do we know it will have live acting?
    Rafster said:
    "This is what I've been waiting for!! A visual effects movie done in Blender, to make Blender into a Digital Fusion - After Effects - Combustion capable software, and in 4K! Garbage mattes, camera tracking, car chases, explosions, green screen compositing, digital sets with live action actors."

    How do we know there will be "live action actors"?

    Any news about it at blender.org?

  16. I'm not sure why the Blender community hasn't started using this service already, but instead of being a poopie complainer, I like to take the initiative route. If you want to help me translate this or just work on more subtitles for me - feel free. I can't understand what he's saying sometimes either.

    YOU HEAR ME?? HERE'S YOUR FREAKIN' SUBTITLES!!!!
    http://dotsub.com/films/blendernationpeach
    But in return, I want to see each and every one of you bi-lingual folks translating the heck out of this - and doing it to many of the other peach movies as well. Blender is a GLOBAL community -- remember that.

  17. @Bart: One can break the video into more parts and upload to Youtube, but if there is no time for that why not distribute through .torrent?

  18. @grafixsux
    no I havent slammed this project
    believe me if I really wanted to dump on this and be objectionable you would surely know about it

    the real world is one where we have labour laws and regulations to safeguard the health and welfare of workers - including artists (and even screen writers - a recent occurance in the news)
    these have been built up over many years not to make life cushy but to make sure people have fair and reasonable performance expectations placed on them
    if you are so weak and naive to endure any conditions in the belief that is the way it is or has to be then you possibly deserve your plight despite some well meaning person like myself voicing some concern on your behalf
    really I dont see what is so god dam special about the work of 'artistes' that they should continuously suffer for it as a given
    better then you should go back in time and work 7 days in some grimey factories without safety equipment or a social security safety net?
    perhaps you would like me to visit Amsterdam and break the artists arms and legs so they can be fully qualified to participate in their untouchables caste?

    while I am not accusing Ton of being deliberately a bad employer surely he has to be accountable for the circumstance of the project.
    as little as 4 hours sleep is not acceptable no matter how dedicated the artist
    it is unhealthy and foolish
    if necessary he can unlock the door at 8 in the morning and lock it again at 8 at night to keep these compulsive obsessive fellows from feeding their chronic fatigue and sicknesses.
    this foolish cramming of the movies cant continue.
    I am not just being a militant sob about this either.
    I voiced my dissatisfaction strongly about this during ED and it has reoccurred now in this project
    I am not at all happy about this situation.
    I will consider what I will do about it next.

  19. amoose136:
    I was only hoping that there will be live action actors composited with digital sets and props for the next Blender movie/short film. I don't know this for a fact, I was just hoping. I'm throwing out ideas for what I would really like to see in the next Blender project.

    I have always wanted to learn to composite movies like they do for big Hollywood films, but there isn't much quality green screen footage to practice on. A project like Orange would be able to provide professionally produced raw footage of the whole film on the DVD, so that the entire world could practice on, recreate it, color correct, re-edit, etc. The film would be shot in HD (or 4K or whatever), by a volunteer cinematographer, with Hollywood celebrity volunteer(s) to star in it. Maybe something can be done with miniatures and robotic puppets, but that might be out of the scope of Blender.

    Joel mentioned using a RED ONE camera, which is a modular, 4K digital motion picture camera that costs around $17000. Surly the Blender Foundation could get a camera rental donated to shoot the film for 5 days, along with a grip truck, a crane, a blue screen sound stage, and whatever else is needed. The guys that made "405 The Movie" did it with zero budget, using a DV camera and Digital Fusion for compositing. The Blender Foundation can do that!

    I would like to see Blender become a full Visual Effects Suite. I believe that it can, even right now as it is. It would be nice to have a few more tools specific to visual FX, like traveling mattes, garbage mattes, a camera tracker, etc.

    I hate it when people say they have to use After Effects to complete a Blender video project! I think it should all be done in Blender.

    I'm excited. I love these projects and this community! If a project like this ever happens, I might just quit my job and move to Amsterdam.

  20. While Big Fan could be more tactful with his comments, I agree with his sentiments. Crunch can (and should) be avoided, and lessons learned from ED should have been applied to the scheduling process on Peach. That awful Siggraph 'iron animator' challenge sets a similar bad example.

    The 'To Infinity and Beyond!' history of Pixar book has a really interesting chapter on crunch during Toy Story 2, highly recommended reading.

    As the producer and manager, Ton really should be taking better care of the team. Artists always want to keep working late hours. That is no excuse. It results in mistakes, frayed tempers, burnout, RSI, unhappy people in the long run. Either kick them out the door on time, or reduce the scope of the project. With no clients and little money involved, the Peach team could easily do both.

  21. @Big Fan

    While being appreciative over your obvious concern with workers condition
    anywhere (of course appreciated!)...

    ...I think there is a misunderstanding here somewhere.
    If this was a long-term job or a "commercial" project what you
    said and wrote would make perfect sense!

    But it´s not...it´s not commercial, it´s not even a long-term project.

    What it is - is a fantastic once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get to make
    your own movie or enhance your portfolio and skills to rise above what
    anyone would ever do "in their own private home".

    It´s a small team - and while stressfull and crammed - it is THEIR project,
    the reward for coming out of such a project of such obviously high-quality
    will probably make them wanted in ANY animation/movie company because
    of that invaluable work experience...not to mention the fantastic work behind
    it that is a real-life-proof & certificate of what they are capable of.

    You can go to a hundred schools, take a hundred courses, work with
    a bunch of freelance project - but nothing beats the real-life experience
    they get there. This is a movie that gets more publicity than ANY short-movie
    around - ever - literally! Why? Because it´s done with revolutionary opensource
    software and a bunch of idealists who wants to show the world what THEIR
    creativity can do with software like this, even financed by the OpenSource
    Software...which is nearly unheard of.

    I´d do it too if I had the time and applied and got the honor,
    the PERFECT team was chosen, and honestly - I wish them all the best,
    and I´m sure they will come trough on top!

  22. Guys, the expression 'crunch time' hasn't endured for no reason.
    There is no project at the Institute or at Pixar that doesn't end up in people working 16 hours a day. That is the nature of the beast. Asking for better conditions in these times is like asking a marathoner to spare him/herself in the last kilometers...

    Bmud, thank you soooo much for the subs. I'll be back for the rest.
    Best even it is almost a tutorial on Ton's tongue: now I know, for example that ' Eve cut some agro systems' means 'We've got some Sun Microsystems. Yeah!

    On a side note, since I rarely had any contact with the man, I was able to discover a little of who he may be. I knew that I owed him a lot but now I am a little happier that I do. :)

    Jean

  23. @ MK Feb 4th, 2008 at 5:14 a
    @Ton
    well you're right...OK i was impolite,but Ton Roosendaal is sometimes so hard to understand. He really should work on his pronouncation. Look at all the people asking for subtitles/transcripts! (How polite are they when blaming it on sound recording quality?)
    But actually i don't mind to put a little effort in trying to understand what Ton is saying, it can be done.

    Further...I am really greatfull for the Blender program and respect Ton Roosendaal a lot.

  24. My apologies to those who find my forthright manner untactful.
    Perhaps there are cultural differences here too..
    As always blenderheads love Blender and dont like things said of a disagreeable nature about it. I know this.
    I am not out to antagonise the good folk of Peach or prevent them 'enjoying' their once in a lifetime opportunity but I think we need to take a rational look at this issue.
    Even doing a 12 hour day 7 days to get something done is 84hrs a week.
    That is a lot of hours to be camped in front of a computer screen.
    While I admire the dedication of the team in applying themselves to the task as there predecesors did in their difficult circumstances as little as 4 hours sleep is not on.
    Did that person even leave the studio or did he sleep in his chair?
    Why didnt Ton send him home to have a shower, good meal and a decent nights sleep to be back bright and fresh the next day?
    Some of these guys are pretty young
    I consider it is Tons role to be not only da boss but to be da project daddy as well and send em to bed even if they want to watch late night tv..or just another 5 mins please..
    perhaps Ton needs to be sent home himself..
    I find myself in agreement with @sea comments about the circumstance of having to drive so hard to finish something that has no real requirement other than to please the artists themselves.
    Clearly 6 people is not enough to do the work of a <10 minute movie inside 6 months and 9 would be somewhat closer to the mark.
    I thought that was realised last time.
    It is not just of a matter of a big push in the last week either it goes on for weeks, even months.
    Ton is going to have to find more sponsorship before he embarks on another project because I am sorry to say this is definitely NOT going to happen a third time.

    and I might add we are not going to have it go on anyway but just not talk about it outside the studio either.

    @jongle yes I agree from what I have seen they are doing themselves proud but they dont need to suffer for it
    it is Tons responsibility to put together a project that has high standards for the artists well being as well as their bringing out their talents skills and creativity in a high standard movie.
    I cant think of a reason why open source studio should be associated with sweat shop
    practises that people seem to think is an acceptable norm

    just talking out loud
    yours
    Big Fan

  25. @Big Fan: you're only assuming they're 'suffering'. This is absolutely NOT what it looked like to me when I was in the studio. Everyone's having a great time and if anything, they're driving themselves to work hard because they all want a perfect result - not just Ton.

  26. sorry bart but this is the last time this goes on
    you are a good loyal fellow and I know you mean well
    but even in the noble pursuit of artistic perfection we are going to have basic standards observed
    if Ton cant focus on what that entails himself I will see that he has some regulations placed on him from outside..
    dont want to say that and I hope it wont be necessary but..

  27. The wisest thing I can probably do is to completely ignore BigFan.
    But to prevent misinformation being spread, here's a note for everyone else: there's no way BigFan has access to the studio or to anyone involved here, he is making his assumptions based on our jokingly comments, friendly bantering and the playful atmosphere here. What goes on here is pure passion, the quest for excellence, and the drive to pay back to the community what we've been asked to do.

    -Ton-

  28. My movie, my responsibility, my choices. I'm a 29 year old freelancer, which means I make my own decisions. Ton provides us a workplace, computers, food, apartments and so on. But that's all. He DOES try to get us out earlier, but since we're not employed here he can't force us.

    Big Fan, if you're really concerned about our well being... thank you. But if you want to accuse somebody, accuse me. I am responsible......... and 29 year old.

    Sago

  29. oh no, no, Ton you listen to what I am saying and take it on board please
    you know full well this is not a joke and I wont let you pretend you didnt say they are working 16,18 even 20 hours a day
    this is not a private matter
    you broadcast this on the internet for the world to hear
    you try to get away with just a little too much my man...
    I dont want to hear crisis management and denial BS
    I want to hear you commit to healthy work practices and that means bigger teams doing less hours

    @sago - yes I do have your welfare at heart, and the people who come after you, but no you are not responsible for the project

  30. Big Fan smells a bit like one of the 100.000.000 unemployed lawyers worldwide who throw lawsuits at random people in order to get fed. I've seen (smelled?) them before :)

    On the whole, while I normally complain exclusively, I must say that complaining about someone's pronounciation (in a serious manner) is a pretty bad excuse for oneself's inability to understand a spoken foreign language.

  31. @BigFan: sounds like sour grapes to me.

    Let's revisit a classic: http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?t=98565&highlight=Project+Peach+found+talent

    The truth is, every great enterprise requires an equivalent amount of sweat. If you love what you're doing - for the money, for the vision, for the experience, for your portfolio, etc... - you'll put in the sacrifice.

    I think you have a very skewed view of what the spirit of OpenSource is. Again, not free beer. Ask RMS.

    If you really want an "All-Internet-Volunteer-Movie-Project" to work with, why not talk to Martin Hash? BTW, notice how I didn't mention the word: Open?

    Get your business house in order before spouting off at the mouth.

    @Peach: Time's-a-tickin'...
    And thanks for all the great work! I can't wait to have everything solidified. Props to the creative team! But, really, big warm hugs to Brecht and Campbell! And to all of the BlenderDevs!

    Cheers!

    p.s., @BigFan: you obviously do not "enjoy" exempt status. If you did, you would understand the realities of being a salaried worker - the company owns you 24/7. Don't like it? Get another job. Bitching about it? You'll be out of a job.

  32. @Alexander
    sorry I couldnt actually make sense of your last paragraph

    @inazuma
    the truth is what you are writing there is a nonsense

    Ton has to temper his project ambitions so that he has the resources to carry them out
    He needs to look after his artists wellbeing not just make big perfect cinema.
    No sensible person would have any difficulty identifying that weeks of work with as little as 4 hours sleep is excessive.
    Doesnt matter what you do that is unhealthy.
    We dont allow pilots to fly like that even if they live and breathe aeroplanes.
    We dont allow people to practice medicine just because they think think they can.
    We have rules and regulations to make sure everyone gets looked after and especially those people who would do things against better judgement.
    This public scrutiny is not a bad thing.
    People outside the situation can be objective and make a fair assessment
    We need to confront this mentality that says this is an inescapeable reality of making movies at Blender Studio
    I dont want to have artists do this again.
    I dont want potential sponsors to look at Blender and say they dont want to associate their name with conspicuously substandard practices.
    I dont want parents to look at the studio and decline to send their son or daughter there because they come home a run down zombie.
    This matters not just for the artists themselves but for the repute of Blender and open source.
    Already Blender struggles for credibility against main stream software.
    We dont need people looking and saying ' oh yes Blender well.. second rate software..shoestring studio..no regard for artists.
    This is wrong
    I dont like to take Ton to task about this but clearly it doesnt impact his conscious and it should.
    Next project he has to fund a full 9 people at the studio.
    If he cant do that he should cut back the movie.
    If he cant limit himself and the people he gathers to reasistic goals then someone outside the situation is plainly going to have to do that.
    yours Big Fan

  33. p.s.

    to end on a helpful note I think it would be a good idea if Ton takes some time at the end of this project to compose a Voluntary Code of Practice for Blender Studios

  34. @BigFan: Doesn't it bother you that absolutely no one agrees with you? The artists are the ones who came
    up with the story and the schedule. They're the one who chose to do this. They probably could have done a
    shorter story if they were that worried about working long hours. This is a collaborative project.

    So, if the artists say they're not being abused, and if everyone else says so. . .don't you think perhaps its
    you who is wrong? You have to realize this isn't a commercial project. It's a non profit one, done to
    benefit the community as a whole and also advance the artist's career (it certainly did so in a major way
    for the ED artists). It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to really prove your artistic worth to the world. There
    are probably thousands of artists who would kill to be on a team like this.

    If the team members really felt they were being mistreated, I'm sure we'd hear about it given the online
    presence some of them have.

    Joe

  35. no it doesnt bother me to speak out about this and no I am not wrong
    a drunk driver is the last one to admit he isnt capable of driving and yet it is abundantly obvious to everyone else on the outside that is so

    what we have is a lot of falacious reasoning why these people should carry on doing exactly the same excessive number of hours all the while justifying their compulsion to produce art while half awake
    I see absolutely no difference in Peach, driving a bus or playing golf in that normal people do not do this 20 hours a day for weeks on end no matter how much they like it
    I very much doubt that any member of the Peach team would actually want to do this schedule given a choice.
    All I actually see in the posts is fatigued heroes saying how it was a big week and sigh a few more to come...
    I think it is quite sensible to question why this has happened - again- and if it is absolutely necessary - which it isnt.
    Ton doesnt want to acknowledge this issue or talk about it
    ok I accept that- its in his nature to be somewhat blustering and dismissive but this is an issue that needs addressing despite his happenstance.
    It is obvious to me and it should also be obvious to him that he has to fund the projects better so that the team can be bigger and therefore the individual workload less.
    We shouldnt have this situation where yet again other artists have been ringed in to help meet the self imposed deadlines
    The artists are not the producer.
    Ton has put together this mini studio and the buck stops with him to organise and manage it to be a success and this includes looking after his team and distributing the work fairly.
    This idea of self sacrifice and being only opportunity to pursue artistic perfection is just deluded nonsense.
    I wonder how many mechanics -who are possibly just as fastidious about cars as Blenderheads are about art - would spend say 20 hours a day repairing cars with the idea that this was there only opportunity to prove to their company they are worthy of promotion

    As far as Blender advancing artists careers I very much doubt anyone would seriously consider it a must have career move.
    Far more likely that studios etc are interested in someone who is competant in big name commercial programs
    I accept though people are addicted to Blender and cannot concieve of Ton doing any wrong even accidently however it simply is not necessary to run people into the ground doing these projects.
    I cant express it simpler than that.
    If people want to show me that Blender truly is something suitable for professionals and that Blender studios can hold its head high with the best them then demonstrate to me that these projects can be well managed to look after artists health too

  36. Big Fan, you seems to me like a person who's like to pick arguments for your own enjoyment. I strongly doubt that enough insight to judge the working condition at the blender studio or Ton what so ever.

  37. Whole filled with good sense, great interview.
    I have the same feeling than Jean (IamInnocent)

    Félicitations les amis!

    note: Good idea, the song in background, it's really relaxing and suits very well with the interview's topic.

  38. @gustav
    well no actually
    remember Ton volunteered this information out of his own mouth for everyone to hear
    the fact that I object to this situation and say so isnt picking arguements its actually showing concern for others - heavy going though it is...
    you will remember Bart organising humanitarian aid for African villages?
    well I speak out for the good of self destructive artists and other vanishing species

    @ahee
    lost your bet
    please send your $ to the artists mission
    they run a subsidised coffee withdrawl program for old burned out cg artists ;o)

  39. Apparently, according to Big Fan here, you guys are all total idiots who are naive and ignorant in the ways of the world, totally helpless to preserve yourselves, and he is the lone mature adult, and an intelligent shining knight of truth who is here to rescue you from your own folly, sweep you off your feet with his manly charisma and then sit back in triumph as everyone tells him what a good, smart person he is and how wonderful and live-saving his ideas are.

    [comment partially deleted - no personal flames]

  40. Wow!

    Another fine mess seems to exist. I like how BigFan has tried just about every approach to illustrate the point and has been unwavering in the face of such adversity.

    I would remind all the people who are arguing that since everyone thinks BigFan is wrong, BigFan must be wrong; not so long ago a lot of really intelligent people also believed the earth was flat, and even more recently that it was the center of the universe. Majority does not make right. Have you driven on the freeways lately? Also, I'm a salaried employee who now gets overtime if I work more than 40 hours a week because so many companies would put someone on salary and then work them to death that the Government stepped in and put a stop to it.

    To Sago, Ton and the rest of the Peach team: I've caught myself working long hours on a project. It was my choice and no one forced me, coerced me or applied any time constraints to me. The difference is, I'm only representing myself, not a group, institute, business or foundation. You guys are part of a group, voluntary or not, employeed or not who have come together to reach a common goal. It's up to you how you reach that goal and to provide an example to others seeking to do the same (like it or not).

    Ton, you don't know me and have no reason to listen to me, but I hope that you will consider what I'm saying.
    You have supplied a safe haven for these artists to come together to make this project happen. While legally (for now) you may not be under any obligation to look after the welfare of these people, morally, you are. Set a shining example. Show how a project can be completed on time, within budget and without putting your group's welfare at risk. Just because these guys will work themselves to death for something they believe in, does not mean that you should let them. Shut the power off at the main and put a lock on the panel if you have to! Are you the warden or just another inmate in that asylum?

    Artistic vision can become the most addictive 'drug' there is (second only to religion). I've seen people sacrifice everything thing they have for it, some even their lives and for what? A statue? A painting? A 9 minute CG film? Let's put things in perspective, shall we? When the movie is made and everyone goes home, how will they home? Exhausted and not wanting to even look at a computer OR rejuvenated by the satisfaction of completing what they have set out to do.

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