Creative Success in the Global Entertainment and Social Media Industries - Jason Manley

By ROHIT SHIRKE | 29 December, 2010 - 17:42

After having worked for about 180 companies over the past 11 years, Jason Manley is a true legend and one of the most active entrepreneurs in the gaming industry. He has founded the online portal and the Art Department which help and nurture and guide budding artists. He is also the founder of Massive Black art studio. The experience of working with so many companies was definitely reflected in his presentation.

Jason started his presentation by giving a quick introduction of the work that he has done over the past years. His first major project was which was one of the first online places to learn art on the internet. His second project was a full scale art development studio called Massive Black and his most recent project 'The Art Department' is an online learning place for artists from all over the world. Artists can have one on one interaction with tutors; TAD is fast growing and now has over 200 registered students.

Massive Black game art studio has worked on some of the best and most successful games in recent history. Even when the gaming industry was going through a rough patch Jason's unique way to approach the problem certainly proved beneficial for the company as he said, " Most studios has a sales team but I had an events team. We kept on organizing small events and sometimes we would collaborate with some of the big events. It proved beneficial for us as it kept the projects flowing. When the gaming market was stuck up, we moved on to movies, TV shows and graphic novels."



Massive Black is an extremely successful studio today with multiple offices in the US. The team recently established a studio in Shanghai as well. "Always calculate where you are going, and if you get stuck up anywhere then keep on diversifying", Jason asserted.

Jason's presentation was very insightful and encouraging. He urged young artists to not just concentrate on their art but to give importance to networking as well. "When you read gaming magazines on play games, make a note of the art directors and other lead artists, look them up on LinkedIn and Facebook, send them formal requests and show your work to them. If they really like you then they will probably hire you. After all the art industry is all about how strong your portfolio is", he explained.

Biggest key for IP development is to start small and this is what all emerging artists should look forward to. You make lesser mistakes if you start small and it's easier to learn from your mistakes", Jason added.

Jason's Master class was simple yet sophisticated. He played a video from the legendary movie 'The Lion King'- The 3 minute clip of Mufasa's death. 

At first he simply played the clip and it felt like a simple clip from a movie. But when he played it for the second time, Jason dissected the clip scene by scene explaining the colour changes in every scene and how they have an effect on the characters.

"Disney has been doing this for years. It's not just the character but the overall experience including the background and the camera angles that give the essence to the character. The appearance and the expressions talk a lot about a character and make sure that you do not go wrong with that", Jason said.

Jason's experience certainly reflected in his presentation and his professional and precise comments were keenly noted down by artists who were overjoyed with the presentation.