How it all started
I’ve always had a great love for film and animation from a young age. I studied traditional 2d animation at University and went on to become a runner at Cinesite in 2003. I’ve worked my way up through various roles at Cinesite: Library Assistant, Projectionist, Scanning and Recording Operator, Roto and Prep Artist and I am now a Senior Compositor.
Training and my career path
I joined Cinesite with a very open mind about what career path I wanted to take on. When I was at University there weren’t all the specialised courses to choose from that there are today. I knew that VFX was for me, but having come from a traditional art background I didn’t yet know all of the roles working in the VFX industry had to offer. Working my way up through the company I was given the opportunity to see just how many different departments work together to be able to create the work we do. I feel that I’ve been very lucky to work with so many talented people who have all been willing to share their knowledge with me.
Advice for someone coming into the business
Being able to adapt your usual work flow is important. Each group of clients has their own visions and ways of doing things. The way you approach a project can vary greatly from job to job, but that’s one of the things that keeps the job so interesting.
Natural skills which help compositors
It is good to have a keen eye and be aware of your surroundings. Even when out and about, looking around to see how different materials react to their environment depending on various factors such as lighting, time of day/year etc can really help when back at your desk trying to get elements to sit well together.
Making it look real
Use reference material as much as possible. Whether it be client references, stock from the internet or even pictures you take yourself it all helps greatly. The main thing though is for the result to be believable and a real reference isn’t always the way to go. It all really depends on the subject matter and the style of the film.
The most rewarding film I’ve worked on to date
I have recently worked on Ant Man and Captain America: Civil War. Marvel projects really are fun to work on as they are big and bold with lots of fantastic CG to work with. However I also really love working on Bond films such as Skyfall and Spectre for the opposite reason. We want the effects and any CG to look as natural as possible. If you can’t spot the CG then we’ve done a good job!
About the team
I really enjoy being part of the team here at Cinesite. It can be really hard work at times, especially when deadlines are looming, but we always pull together as a team to create the best work possible whilst keeping our chins up! I have been here for nearly 13 years now and in that time I have worked some amazingly talented people as well as making many, many good friends.
The best part of my job
Going to the cinema and seeing your hard work up on the big screen is an amazing feeling.
Venetia is one of our senior compositors; she spends her time combining a myriad of images from a variety of sources (live action, computer-generated images and graphics) to produce a final shot for film. She is one of the final creative steps in the VFX pipeline. Recent projects include Captain America: Civil War, Ant-Man, Spectre, The Man From U.N.C.L.E and San Andreas.