3408971728_c9545a2cd5_o_banner© Jakob Montrasio

VFX Supervisor

Industries:
VFX
Personality type:
Organiser
Departments:
3D computer animation

The Lowdown

  • Evaluating which part of a production will need visual effects
  • Ensuring the VFX shots are filmed correctly on set
  • Negotiating with the production crew and budget to discuss the feasibility of the VFX work
  • Leading a team of artists to see the final VFX shots to fruition

Is this role right for me?

For this role, you will need to:

  • be creative and imaginative, with fresh, original ideas
  • be able to display charismatic leadership skills
  • have on-set experience, with strong negotiation skills
  • be able to discern where VFX would be needed in a production, and how it will be created in the final composite
  • have excellent design, layout, colour and composition skills
  • be proficient in professional compositing and VFX software such as Maya, Cinema 4D or Nuke
  • be willing to work beyond a traditional 9-5 schedule, and work abroad
  • respond to creative and artistic direction from creative teams and Directors
  • lead a team of artists to fulfill a brief within a schedule
  • manipulate photography, illustration, graphics and typography to execute creative ideas and meet a brief
  • work closely with all departments on pipeline improvement and development
  • assess, review, and feed back on work in progress

What does a VFX Supervisor do?

Working with the director or producer of a project, the VFX Supervisor will decide on the VFX needs for every shot. For bigger productions, sometimes prototype effects may be required for the director to examine before production.

During production, the VFX Supervisor would need to spend time on-set making sure the shots that require visual effects are being filmed correctly to allow for a clean edit.

VFX Supervisors are the leaders of a team of artists in the visual effects studio. They are responsible for ensuring the creative aims of a director or producer are met. They need to maintain a good relationship with their own artists, the editor and the client to ensure the end result is exactly as intended.

Will I need a qualification?

Yes, a qualification that proves your ability in visual effects will be key when looking at supervisor positions. STEAM skills (science, technology, engineering, arts and maths) are key, so any qualification that validates your experience in those roles will help.

Your negotiation and communication skills are also just as important as your previous credits. A strong VFX Supervisor will be knowledgeable, accommodating and easy to work with, but willing to argue a case and will not sacrifice the quality of the final piece.

What’s the best route in?

VFX Supervisors have typically gained a lot of previous VFX experience before transitioning as a supervisor. Many graduates will enter junior roles in small companies before transitioning into VFX Supervisors. Some move up from junior on-set roles after spending time in the tracking, scanning or rotoscoping departments.

A strong technical background is key, though the position itself will need a creative flair.

If you are considering taking a VFX course in higher education, the following courses have been rigorously assessed by the VFX industry and awarded the Creative Skillset Tick for the high standard of education they provide and the degree to which they prepare you for a career in VFX.

VFX courses awarded the Creative Skillset Tick 

Where might the role take me?

VFX Supervisors typically go from project-to-project, overseeing various different films and assignments. As they improve, they will be offered bigger and bigger projects, with the best having responsibility for many millions of pounds worth of visual effects work.

Interested? Find out more…

For more information on job roles in the creative industries, take a look at Hiive's job roles.  

Websites

 

  • Art of VFX posts news and interviews from within the VFX Industry
  • Video CoPilot hosts tutorials and resources for new VFX Artists
  • Conrad Olson runs a blog with breakdowns, interviews and musings on the industry
  • FX Guides posts news and guides for VFX industry

Publications

  • Cinefex  contains illustrations, interviews and news
  • Stash Media Worx delivers the latest animation, VFX and graphics projects every month on DVD

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