I have been in the Vfx industry from last 22 years. I started as a 3D generalist at Animagic studios then worked with studios like MPC, Framestore JV with Anibrain and Maya as a VFX Supervisor and Compositing Supervisor, during these years I worked on many award winning projects and with Oscar award winning Directors.
I also teach in MBA Colleges as a Professor for Advertising & Animation.
Below are few questions asked by clients.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are the VFX Supervisor role and responsibilities?
The VFX Supervisor is responsible for the production of
visual effects on the project that is assigned to him. A key consultant of the project’s Director, he is responsible for the technical and artistic quality of the shots. The standard of quality is established during his exchanges with the Director and production staff. He must, therefore, understand and interpret the Director’s intentions and also be conscious of the project’s budget constraints set by the production team. He works in collaboration with the Post-Production Manager on tasks such as budget and planning.
· Prepare the visual effects production breakdown
· Participate in pre-production meetings
· Follow proper methods like concept art, storyboarding and 3d animatic.
· Anticipate problems and present solutions adapted to time and budget constraints
· Recruit and manage pre-production teams, if necessary
· Supervise the filming of VFX sequences: retrieve filming information, oversee the necessary on-set installations for the filming of sequences
· Recruit and manage teams for production
· Maintain communications between the Director and the production team
· Support the coordination team to maintain the pipeline’s efficiency and allows the artists and TDs to achieve their production objectives and deadlines
· Identify additional tools necessary for production; find and develop solutions in collaboration with the TDs
· Evaluate the utility of new tools/software that are
available on the market
· Monitor technological developments.
Thoughts on collaborating with other VFX supervisors.
Yes, we have to collaborate with other VFX supervisors if
the scale of the VFX project and work is demanding. Especially every studio has its own shoot supervisors. However, there has to be one Senior VFX Supervisor who takes final calls.
How you assign your work to multiple studios and how do
you divide the work among them?
Studio choice is mainly depends on their availability and budget. However, it is difficult to find a single studio with all expertise, every studio has different expertise so mainly work distribution
happens based on the type of work. First, we categorize the work e.g. Clean up job, creative job, like the concept and matte paints, 3d set & character modeling, animation, FX & crowd multiplication, etc.
The terms and conditions you present to the studios when you assign them with work.
No compromise on quality and deadline, payment in stages based on the progress of the work, they have to follow the production pipeline designed by the VFX supervisor, producer & DI house, sharing asset and setup files at any time, complete transparency, need to understand the list of key artists and their profile who will work the project, no frequent team shuffling
of the key stakeholder, VFX supervisor access to the studio and mainly studio should not work as a vendor but should work as a creative house and should add an additional value to the entire project.
The production programs you use.
We use Proprietary tool and Shotgun but Shotgun is
advisable since globally studios, producer and directors are using it, so compatibility is good again you can rent out that software on a monthly basis.
Also, the knowledge from studios which you would be open to share with the producer.
Hmm, before giving any work to the studio, should visit the studio and meet the technical team, due to the sudden demand in the overall VFX work because of Netflix and Amazon there is
continues talent shuffling happening and there is a lack of talent these days to cater VFX work but this is all VFX Supervisor and Producer role to cross-check vendor properly and be ready with plan B on any given time, also should make the VFX contract carefully with the studios.
The details you prefer receiving from the director’s and DOP’s end for smoother production, on-time delivery, and best output.
Exact shooting schedule in terms of how many months we will shoot and shooting schedule of complex VFX sequences to prepare a shooting related task, how much time will be given to VFX post-production after the final edit because time is the major factor based on which entire planning is depending on.
DOP plays the major role, VFX supervisor and DOP should
sync regularly with each other and plan every individual VFX shot to avoid further complexity. Mainly I prefer the same family of cameras for multi-camera setup, if not possible, have to balance all color as per DOP before passing them into post-production also require balance grade and approximate final grade from DOP and DI house.
Some of the challenges you faced in your previous experiences, which we could avoid in the current scenario.
Every project has different challenges, but still I least out a few common points,
· The client gives significantly less time for VFX post-production, the ideal time-frame is required is between 7 to 10 months.
· Not getting timely feedback on VFX work from the concerned person since no studio can afford to make the team sit idle in the absence of proper feedback and it also impacts the schedule.
· Nowadays studios avoid transparencies on the progress of
work since they are overloaded with multiple works and have a lack of expertise, so we have to always ready with plan B if we notice the any studio dragging the entire schedule and hiding real things.
· It is being noticed that the artist doesn’t work on actual director/VFX supervisor notes in the absence of proper pipeline placed in the studio, which wastes significant time and effort,
· We should not allow to start work without having a proper ref and inputs, most of the time we don’t have specific references in that case studio first have to design few master shots from each sequence and needs to take approval from Director/VFX supervisor before applying the same effect on the entire sequence.
Also, if there are any other details that you feel would need to be mentioned from your end, kindly feel free to do so.
Director, VFX Supervisor, DOP, Producer and Production
designer should work as a team from day one, involve VFX supervisor to design set as per VFX requirements, which will save the significant wastage of money and time.