Dom Secures Fortnite World Cup Gig With Help From Elburz and The Learn TouchDesigner Accelerator
“Elburz helped me develop my technical abilities and sell them to clients in a way that got them excited. So excited, in fact, that they can’t wait to hire me. I was hired to run the live show for the Fortnite World Cup in large part due to my time working with Elburz in the Learn TouchDesigner Career Accelerator Program. Thanks to Elburz, I’ve accomplished in six months what would likely have taken five years otherwise.”
– Dominique Davis
For years, Dom had worked on the technical aspects of live stage and performance production. And he’d been successful, working with big brands like Mazda and at massive events such as SXSW.
But as time went on, Dom found himself struggling to push beyond the static, inflexible installations he’d been creating.
“I was getting bored with how non-flexible I was when I was doing the two hundred to eight hundred person shows,” explains Dom. “I wanted to create stuff that reacted. Like it wasn’t just me pushing buttons, it was the application reacting to a scenario in the room or environment and using sensors even.”
“Then a friend introduced me to TouchDesigner, and I was hooked. From motion tracking performers to syncing audio with real-time visuals to multi-projector setups that reacted to user input, I knew this software was the way forward for me, both creatively and professionally.”
Overcoming Hurdles on the Road to Success
While things were going well for Dom, there were struggles. “I didn’t know many others who were using TouchDesigner, or working with interactive tech and immersive media on the level I wanted to,” says Dom. “This made it really hard to see what the bigger picture was. While part of the problem lay in overcoming technical challenges, the bigger issue was understanding how the business side of things worked. I didn’t know how to land the bigger, more complex gigs. From scoping larger projects to convincing potential clients to pay me tens of thousands of dollars to create installations for them, I needed help if I wanted to advance my career.”
Dom Hires Elburz, Hits Career Goals 10x Faster Than Expected
For Dom, The Learn TouchDesigner Career Accelerator arrived at the exact right moment. “I’d been following Elburz’s blog for a while, and had chatted with him a few times,” says Dom. “So when I saw the offer for The Career Accelerator, I jumped on it right away. I figured I could hit my goals a lot quicker with the help of someone who’d been successful building a career with TouchDesigner for over a decade.”
Little did Dom know just how far he’d be able to advance his career in six months…
“As a result of working with Elburz through The Accelerator, I’m probably five years ahead of where I thought I’d be right now,” says Dom.
“There are several reasons for this. Understanding where to invest my time in learning technical skills has been super helpful. For instance, understanding how and when to combine Python with TouchDesigner’s Node-Based programming has been huge. Elburz has also help me shift to more of a holistic, system architecture mindset that’s been really important for building out tools and apps that are responsible for running large-scale installations and live shows.”
“Sales and contract negotiation has been another thing I’ve learned from Elburz. While many people are willing to help with technical TouchDesigner questions (to a point), there aren’t many who will open up about things like rates, sales cycles, and how to read and negotiate contracts. Elburz is a master at this, and is completely transparent with what he’s done in the past, what you can expect in terms of rates and deliverables, and how to go about negotiating a deal that’s win-win for you and the client.”
“But at the end of the day, having someone there who’s seen it all has had the biggest impact. From concerts to installations to consulting and teaching, Elburz has done it all. So having him in my corner advising me has truly been invaluable. Without his insight, I can’t imagine how much money and time I would have wasted trying to build a career on my own. But WITH his insight, I’ve landed some pretty incredible gigs, including working on the Fortnite World Cup.”
Going forward, Dom intends to continue his work with Elburz, further refining his practice with an eye towards creating large-scale, narrative-driven installations.
You can learn more about Dom at https://www.psychojelly.com/.