Garman Herigstad once gave me a slew of advice years ago, and every bit of it has proven useful to me over the years. So when he voices an opinion, I listen. Such is the case in his most recent blog post where he discusses dailies.
Dalies are at the heart of VFX. It’s where artists get feedback and develop their eye. It’s where production is kept on track. It’s also where seniors develop opinions on their artists, where directors evaluate their teams, and where critical choices are made.
My best advice for artists attending dailies for the first time is to be quiet and pay full attention. Take notes, as Garman suggests. Keep your mouth shut unless your input is needed or asked for. Never lie, never try to spin anything, never be defensive or explanatory – just listen to the instructions that are given, ask questions if anything is unclear, and be professional.
The people evaluating the work are almost always aware of issues or concerns an individual artist is not exposed to – a VFX sup may be thinking about continuity with other shots, upcoming changes, or criteria passed down from a director. The leadership attending or running the dailies may also not have much time, or the viewing theatre may have other teams waiting, so the general rule is to let the person(s) making decisions quickly and accurately evaluate what they are being shown, make a decision, and convey that decision as directives for action.
And always, always as an artist address the notes you are given. The people giving notes remember what they ask for, and nothing infuriates a director or VFX sup more than to give the same notes over and over. If you are dialing in towards a result, ie if the notes are on the order of “more” or “less,” that’s ok. But if the notes keep coming back as “where’s the fix?” then you are probably pissing someone off.
Anyway, it’s a good read, on an important subject, from a knowledgable source worth listening to.