Mon, 29 August 2022
VFX supervising Stranger Things is the latest in a series of remarkable achievements for Justin Mitchell. After trying his hand at acting and lighting, Justin moved into animation and VFX, scoring credits on Charmed and Final Destination 2. In 2008, Justin joined Scanline VFX, where he’s worked on a succession of incredible projects, including 2012, Super 8, Iron Man 3, Tomb Raider, Cosmos, and The Nevers.
Justin talks about how he’s seen the industry shift since he started working in it, with Scanline expanding from 10 to 1,300 people, and the emergence of streaming platforms, virtual production, and artificial intelligence. He also reveals how he’s learned to lead a team and explains how he uses Scanline’s proprietary software to create and revise shots according to directors’ wishes.
Mon, 22 August 2022
Mike Romey, has an incredible talent for uniting the creative and technical aspects of productions. Before he’d even landed a full-time job, he’d already animated an advertisement, set up a curriculum, and created an interactive CD-ROM for a laser printer (yes, this was definitely the 90s). Then, his career took in successively bigger projects, from planetarium shows and Time Square electronic signage to content for Disneyland’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
Today, Mike has taken his talents to FuseFX, where he’s rebuilt the VFX studio’s pipeline with cutting-edge software and smart integrations. In this deep dive into his career, Mike reveals how he’s constantly innovated pipelines and tackled some (literally) huge challenges. He also talks about how he pioneered a virtual production system at Zoic Studios for TV series V and Once Upon a Time, and gives his thoughts on new trends in the VFX industry.
Mon, 15 August 2022
Isaac Irvin’s incredible VFX industry adventures have taken him across countries and over oceans. From enthusiastic beginnings at Texan TV stations, he moved to Scotland to work on TV series and game cinematics, before returning to the States to flit between studios including Digital Domain, Method, Marauder, and Psyop on projects such as Speed Racer, Iron Man 3, Robocop, and more.
Today, Isaac has taken his big-screen VFX experience to the fast-paced, tech-heavy world of commercials. He talks about evolving from the limitations of software in the early days of VFX, to Real Steel’s perfect pipeline, up to the seemingly limitless possibilities of real-time rendering. He also talks about a nerve-wracking meeting at DD, and how he joined a particular VFX house at exactly the wrong time. Isaac is open and funny, and it’s clear that he’s lost none of his initial enthusiasm for all things VFX.
Mon, 8 August 2022
As an executive at Disney in the 90s, Bob Bacon witnessed the rise of CG, supporting the production of increasingly big-budget blockbusters, including Beauty and the Beast, Mulan, and Lilo and Stitch. He then joined Elton John for Gnomeo and Juliet and moved to Paramount for The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge out of Water.
Now, Bob is Head of Studio at Virtue Animation, a Web3-based company inspired by his time working for the late Kobe Bryant. Bob details how the traditional animation studio system works, how fragile it can be, and how he’s continually innovated new workflows that can deliver both creativity and cashflows. He finishes with insight into how NFTs and crypto are revolutionizing and democratizing the entertainment industry.
Mon, 1 August 2022
Sean Devereaux has fulfilled his childhood dream of making movies, and he started and sold a software company along the way. After being inspired by a viewing of The Wizard of Oz, Sean got a break at Digital Domain thanks to fellow alumni Jonathan Egstad. After working on movies including How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Vanilla Sky, he returned to Boston to found Zero VFX, which has created shots for American Hustle, The Equalizer, and Patriots Day.
Sean also discovered the financial and practical benefits of cloud computing, leading to the development of Zync, which was subsequently bought by Google. Sean reflects on his incredible career with contagious enthusiasm and a knack for storytelling. He recounts some great stories involving directors Peter Berg and Antoine Fuqua, and reveals how his work ethic helped him get hired by Digital Domain. He also reveals some of the important life lessons he’s learned, from how to balance creativity and finances, to how to deal with directors.