Seeing escapees working on Hollywood blockbusters is a regular occurrence here at Escape Studios, and 2014 promises to be no change from the usual schedule, as we recently spoke to escapee Simone Cilliani who has worked on one film we’re particularly looking forward to; ‘300: Rise of an Empire’, set for release in March 2014.
Tell us a bit about working on '300: Rise of an Empire'.
Working for a big company like MPC is an opportunity to improve your skills and of course find out new ways to do things within VFX. The CG Supervisor (Sheldon Stopsack) and my team leader (Kevin Mah) at MPC were super-friendly and drove me all the time to reach to the best results I could. MPC has a large variety of tools; one of these is Flowline, specialized software for working with fluids. It is really complex to learn and to use; I saw people become totally mad working with it! But nothing can stop you if you have patience and willpower.
What company did you work for on the project?
As I mentioned, I worked for MPC on 300: Rise of an Empire, but during my time in VFX I’ve also worked for Jellyfish Pictures, currently I’m at Framestore but I hope to increase this list of employers as I travel the world!
What was your role on the team?
I'm an Effects Technical Director, and my speciality is fluid simulation, but I'm planning to increase my skills in other areas such as destruction and explosions. You have to be prepared to do everything, in and out of your ordinary task list, sometimes all of it in a small amount of time too. For 300: Rise of an Empire I worked mainly on big blood simulations (which meant I worked on a couple of really cool hero shots).
What are you expecting from the Movie in terms of Public Reaction?
It’s really hard be a sequel of a successful movie like 300. But 300: Rise of an Empire has all the right cards to compete with its predecessor. Bear in mind the saga is inspired by the graphic novel of Frank MIller, which makes it a really different genre of movie.
Tell us about your time at Escape.
Well, Escape was my springboard; I met a lot of good friends all with the same interests, I found that sharing ideas can sometimes be more important that following a lesson! It’s important to have fun, and chill out with likeminded people.
What course did you study with us?
Visual Effects Professional.
How did your time at Escape help you in a real life post production environment?
Even if my actual work is effects TD, knowledge of the whole process of a VFX shot is really really useful, Escape has a name for itself in all post houses and you’ll probably end up working next to a fellow escapee at some point!
Anything else you'd like to add?
If you see me around, feel free to offer me a beer and I will tell you the 'bloody secrets' of a CG blood!
Has working on some of the biggest movies that the world has ever seen grabbed your attention? (silly question?) Want to ge tto work on creative projects of this scale? Then look at the Escape Studios 3D Foundation course, to get started on the road to blockbuster glory!