After an almost two year absence from local production, former Cutters’ general manager John McGrath came back in full force as a partner in one of the city’s first wholly dedicated 3D and CGI shops.
McGrath has teamed with former Cutters colleagues, CGI designer Brian Bullock, and general manager/ editor Jessica Simmon at re:think post. As lead facilitator of the six-person-and-growing company, McGrath will “keep things together under pressure, and focus on business development and growth” says Bullock, who founded re:think post a year ago November.
During his industry hiatus, McGrath renovated his Hyde Park house and then fulfilled a long-held dream of leisurely hiking wilderness trails in national parks with family members.
“When I had the opportunity to get back into the business, I spoke to quite a few people about 3D and CGI and asked who they thought was the best shop in town, who came to mind first, and they responded with a blank look,” McGrath says. “For the really different work, they said they looked to the bigger shops on the Coast.
“Because CGI is simply the hardest image work there is to accomplish, many Midwest post houses have shied away from making the investment necessary to compete with the large shops on the coasts and overseas,” he says.
A locally-based international resource to serve the creative community
McGrath and Bullock share the vision that the Midwest creative community – “for whatever requires magical and complex imagery” – would be greatly served by having a local and regional 3D effects/design resource available, “not just to crank out frames, but to partner with them from the start of the creative process,” McGrath says.
“We focus mostly on design and integrate great design into editorial pieces,” says Bullock. “We unhook the physical restraints of physical cameras, which allows us to live more in a virtual world and do things a physical camera cannot do.”
Both McGrath and Bullock have all the creative and technology chops to pull it off. In addition to being Cutters, Inc. general manager for 20 years McGrath was the managing director of Cutters Sol Design division, where he partnered with Bullock, was director of CGI.
Video game development part of Bullock’s background
Earlier, Bullock, who admits he is a video games fanatic, worked as a video game developer at Williams Electronic Games and at Midway Games as a member of the team developing its sports game division for six months, where he learned how to use “fantastic software.”
McGrath says 3D isn’t like the rest of the postproduction realm. “Behind every great 3D shop is rack after rack of rendering computers and very complex workflow management software that enables 3D to be timely, flexible, collaborative, seamless and awe inspiring,” McGrath says.
“Working in 3D requires not only creative genius, but a few mad scientists behind the curtain as well. Brian is one the very best at creating photorealistic images that blend perfectly into glass acquired footage. That’s why he was the right person for me to team up with.”
Planning a staff and facility expansion
Re:think post’s recent CGI work includes the Emmy-nominated spot “I Run” for Team World Vision/Nathan Brown Productions, the Addy Award-winning interactive piece “Zero” for Herman Miller/ Fairly Painless Advertising, Trek’s 2011 international flagship spot/Aurum and Singha Beer/GERTRUDE.
Over the next few months, McGrath and Bullock will be assembling an expansive team of 3D and CGI design experts locally and throughout the world. Re:think Post is presently in temporary offices at Ogden and Ashland, but will be in permanent new space closer to their agency clients by the end of the year.
Contact Brian Bullock, founder/director, at 708/289-1059, email@example.com; John McGrath, partner/facilitator, at 312/286-9333, firstname.lastname@example.org and Jessica Simmon, 773/316-9828, email@example.com. See www.rethinkpost.com.