We had no idea how big will be the advendure
The Computer Graphics (CG) industry is, at the moment I write this, unstable. It asks its members to hunt for job all over the world to follow the studio migrations. The studios, themselves, hunt for subsidies, as required by the production studios (1).
CGStudioMap was actually an answer to this particularity but not only.
Even if I started to talk about it earlier in the past, the project actually started late December 2009. I was sitting on my bed, preparing my next SIGGRAPH (2). This time it was in Los Angeles. Los Angeles is a great place for computer graphics fanboys. You can find prestigious and impressive companies, settle in studios that show off all props you fantasy about.
I wanted to visit them. I really did. I found myself in the need of gathering details about these locations and started to look for solution that internet could provide me.
A custom google map was an answer to my needs.
Here we go! I added some studios on my own and shared the project on a mailing list I knew some professionals were keeping an eye on it. I was really surprised to find out that many other members of the industry were facing the same need. After only one full day, I received more than one hundred requests to add some more. The community was really enthusiastic and was supporting the effort.
After only couple of week, the custom google map hit its limits. The map was flooded by an army of blue markers. A search engine was obliviously necessary at this stage. Also, users wanted to be able to filter results depending on criteria like location, name etc.
At this moment, I gained my pennies by working full time as pipeline developer for VFX companies. I knew that I didn’t have the time to train myself to build the website. I then contracted TryltWeb, the company of Laurent Ripoche, to take care all about development. On my side, I focused on product development and community management.
Emails, social networks and meetings were about to be my daily bread from here.
Funny fact, I didn’t join the SIGGRAPH this year and actually didn’t visit Blizzard, Disney or Dreamworks offices even when I went to the SIGGRAPH 2012 at Los Angeles. I hope I'll have the pleasure one day.