VFX Producer, US
VFX supervisor, Animation and Gaming, India
FX Technical Director, Moving Picture Company, Canada
Layout Technical Director, Moving Picture Company, Canada
As a VFX Producer, I spend most of my time on feature films, but I've also worked in Broadcast Television and our Marketing division. The most time-consuming part of my job, and the part I love most, is managing VFX shot work and working directly with our VFX Artists. Whether we're working on a green screen driving car comp, doing matte paintings, taking a warm Atlanta day and turning it into a snowy Christmas scene or adding muzzle flashes, blood spray and explosions, it's the most creative and exciting part of my job.
I've worked on so many cool projects over the past few years that it's difficult to pick out a favorite. It's always great to work on a film that has a director, an actor or cinematographer who I admire; such as Darren Aronofsky on "Noah", or Vince Vaughn in "Delivery Man", "The Internship" and "True Detective". Now I'm really excited to work on the upcoming project of one of my heroes - and someone who's inspired me as an artist for decades - Warren Beatty.
I've recently moved into our huge Sunset/Gower facility in Hollywood - six floors and a labyrinth of hallways and stairwells. Once I got my bearings and finished my Harry Potter-style map to get around, I found I much preferred working in this big building. There are so many different people who work in so many different departments, and so many artists who all have their unique talents - it's been amazing to get to know and work with them.
On a daily basis I have some key responsibilities, including planning how to manage delivery on schedule, managing a crew with varying skillsets efficiently, and helping to create the right kind of atmosphere to working artists.
If I had to describe it in a word it would be 'colorful' - there is nothing monotonous about the job. Every day I have to meet with different people to solve different issues. There is so much going on in fact that I find it very hard to decide which is the most exciting project, as each has its own excitement factor. But I'd say things like hair and fur in DreamWorks' TV series (Things like King Julian and Puss in Boots), or the FX in things like Bravely Default for Square Enix, or work on the Alvin Series or on BioWare titles.
For me, it is definitely Technicolor's work environment which gives you the freedom to think creatively and also encourages and supports you when you are doing something inventive or challenging. Personal growth is the single biggest opportunity your get here. With different types of work at different scales and with different challenges, you need to stay up to date and learn new things each day.
My job is basically to produce digital effects (things like smoke, fire, explosions, water and so on). In order to do this, I work with many different other specialists who are part of the overall pipeline. That's what I like about that job - it requires communication, relation skills, but you also need an artistic eye along with a logical mind in order to troubleshoot and organize.
My most exciting project was the very first one I worked on. Everything was new and I learned so much. Fast and Furious 7 was my first feature movie, and having to deliver high quality work for something that would be screened in theatres was a huge excitement. I made great work buddies on that project too - my lead was a great guide and the artists I worked with were highly invested and smart, great at finding tricks and workarounds to get the right result.
The best thing about working at MPC is being part of something global. It feels like a big team taking a project from scratch to finish. It's not always easy, but because we are all from different cultural and work experience backgrounds you can consistently develop your ability to adapt and to understand many different approaches at work.
Being able to progress in a career is crucial to me, and I really feel like the company values effort and investment. I've been lucky enough to get more responsibilities and autonomy and to step up from my junior position. It definitely motivates you when hard work gets noticed, and the company definitely puts the effort in to allow us to shine here. We have great computers, software, amenities and everything you need to make you feel comfortable and be able to give your best.
Being a Layout TD for MPC is a great gig. I have now worked on two films (The Finest Hours and Monster Trucks) both of which were very challenging and exciting. I work with some very talented people and I get opportunities to work on amazing projects. As well as this, we have a very fun and creative work environment. It is great to relieve the pressure by enjoying the various social activities organized in the Studio.
We have to be very methodical in Layout. There are many intricacies later down the pipeline that will affect how everything needs to be setup. In Layout we assemble scenes with the necessary assets for that particular shot or sequence, (characters, environments, props, vehicles and so on). We then 'block-out' primary animation that will later be refined by other departments. We are also responsible for creating different cameras and camera rigs/setups as well as 'set-dressing' scenes with preliminary versions of effects and some environments.
The best thing about my job as a digital artist is getting to be a part of and contributing to some of the biggest films being made. I'm very proud of the work we do here.
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