500 Years ago, craftsmen rarely worked for a “company.” They were contracted for a period of time and then moved on to the next contract. To remain competitive in such an atmosphere, many formed “guilds,” or organizations designed to provide networking, ongoing training, standards, certification, and even some social services among their members. Kings did not post jobs in the “classifieds” to find craftsmen, they contacted guilds who did not compel the employers to hire their members, but simply were the only ones who could produce the work that required a large number of workers that could self-organize.
As the industrial age emerged, many of these guilds faded as machines replaced much of their work. For 100 years, workers “contracted” for much longer periods of time (we called this employment), often their entire career, to one employer who took care of things like development, health care, etc.
Today, the current job market, especially in the film and TV arenas, has returned to “contract” labor and we are much more akin to “craftsmen” than to employees. Many of us work as subcontractors ... we work on a game, a film or a TV show for 6 months and then move on. Our ability to continue this cycle depends on our ability to network with others in our field and to continually learn in a rapidly-evolving industry that seems to transform itself every 6 months. Skills valuable today may be worthless next year
How do you keep up?
The Pixel Corps is a guild for the next generation of craftsmen ... digital craftsmen. We are dedicated to delivering much of what was provided to traditional guild members hundreds of years ago, all of which is needed now.
Currently, we are building the foundation of the guild. To do this, we provide training in the form of live feeds, book readings and production challenges. In the future, we intend to expand our services to include:
• Certification and Standardization - We are slowly building a system that standardizes how our members name their files, organize projects, use tools and approach their work. This provides a “common ground,” allowing them to seamlessly trade work with each other. We intend to make this certification the most stringent in the industry, providing both members and possible employers with a clear guide to a given member’s expertise.
• Combined Resources - As our membership grows in specific geographic areas, we will build “brick and mortar” locations to support these “clusters” with hardware and infrastructure unavailable to most individuals. Few of us need a motion capture system, bluescreen, or a render farm every day – but having access to them when we need them would allow our members to compete in areas currently out of their reach. Combined with a large network of artists, this becomes a very compelling market force.
Bringing the Pixel Corps to Everyone ...
The Pixel Corps is not about simply collecting current computer artists, it’s about providing access to anyone interested in the field: enthusiasts with little interest in a full-time career, graphic artists migrating to greener pastures, visual effects artists keeping up with an ever-changing field, educators staying current with industry trends, students augmenting their schooling, and those who can’t afford traditional schooling but still have the will and drive to enter the industry.
We are committed to collecting these individuals, training them to be the best in the world, organizing them to work more efficiently than any other group in the world, providing them with the benefits of collected effort and, together, taking over the industry ... and while many will struggle in a changing economy and quickly shifting market, our members will drive the change rather than wait for it to come to them.
The easiest way to predict the future is to create it. We are creating the future of this industry.