Technical Director, Framestore Commercials
Studied: Visual Effects Production
From Builder to Technical Director, Grant Walker made one of the biggest career changes ever. And it was all down to Lord of the Rings. Talk about being inspired. He went from a scaffold to the cinema to enrolling at university in the space of a couple of weeks. Now working at Framestore in the Commercials department, Grant has discovered a new passion. His goal is to take away the stigma that surrounds 3D and make it a viable art form. For him, it’s a creative industry and should be seen as that. So how did Grant get to where he is today? We caught up with him to find out.
It’s all about the showreel
“When I finished university, I was really proud of my showreel. I actually won an award for it. What I didn’t have was the connections and some of the more technical skills required by the industry. On the train back from London to Swansea after a day of taking my showreel into post houses, a friend mentioned that they were going to attend Escape Studios. So, I checked them out on the internet”. As soon as Grant entered the building, he knew it was where he wanted to be. “It was cool and full of people who were similar to me – I liked the idea of being part of that. People understood where you were coming from and had a fantastic relationship with the industry. When I came along to discuss the course, I soon realised everyone knew what they were talking about and that was really reassuring. I left Escape with a showreel that was so diverse – filled with all of the technical skills that the industry was looking for”.
Once he finished the course, Grant wasted no time in getting out into the world of visual effects, and his first job after studying - working on the Poweraid Commercial – was a great experience. “I did everything for that job! The modelling, texturing, shading and lighting, character rigging. It was pretty intense but thankfully, Escape had prepared me for it". What Grant enjoys most is that he’s able to take everything from initial concept to final delivery and is responsible for each of the assets.
Six years in the industry, there’s got to be some highlights right?
“So many!” In fact, Grant wasn’t wrong. We had to be selective before the list became another webpage. So what are his top two? “I’ve got to say that the Coca Cola commercial for Superbowl Nexus was pretty special – it wasn’t just the work that I got to do, it was the buzz that surrounded the whole project. It was the team that made it so great to work on!” It was actually this project that made Framestore sit up and pay attention to Grant’s work and his number one highlight. They explained that they would love him to take charge of creating the Dragons for the final ‘Coca Cola Siege Commercial' “Surely it’s every CG artist’s ultimate fantasy?! It was a real privilege”.