"The most important thing about my job? That I still get to blow stuff up!"

When Sue Rowe, Cinesite’s senior VFX Supervisor on John Carter, came in to talk to our students it was like a breath of fresh air. Reassuringly, despite having masses of technical and creative responsibility, her fundamental joy is much the same as the students studying with us – that blowing stuff up is what still excites her.

We got a behind the scenes preview at the work involved in creating such a large scale project that is John Carter. From pictures of her on set in the Utah desert to an old Woolworths warehouse where the majority of the set was built, we got to see what really takes place behind the scenes. “Essentially” explains Sue “My job is to act as a conduit between director and the VFX team. So that everything is translated correctly. What the director wants, we have to deliver. And I have to think quickly, on set there are up to 100 people milling around and it’s my job to keep my eye on the prize, thinking about the stuff I know my team will need. Things like lighting, the height of the set, layout, technicalities of scale. There’s certainly lots to consider and record.

I remember being told that the wings of the ship needed to be like that of a mackerel shining and glimmering in water. When I relayed this to my team in the UK it was met with a mixture of panic and excitement! But that’s what I love about the job – it’s always a challenge. It’s a creative and technical expedition every time.”

A massive thanks to Sue and Cinesite who are going to be part of our VFX and Compositing Industry Coaching scheme beginning April where they will mentor our students. It’s a great to be working so closely with industry-leaders to ensure we provide our students with the exact skills that they need.

So what was the No.1 highlight for Sue when making John Carter? “Well, he didn’t wear very much…”

4 Comments Bethan Lofthouse

Posted by
Bethan Lofthouse
Wed 11 Apr 2012: 8:56am

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  • Paul Wilkes:

    Hi Chris

    Good to hear from you, hope you're well.

    Having already worked with DNeg, MPC, Framestore and The Mill on previous courses, we are really pleased Cinesite have kindly agreed to coach the April VFX and Compositing courses. This mean they have given us a couple of shots for our students to work on as a test - the students will submit their work, then will be lucky enough to go down to Cinesite to get a live critique of their work on these shots and their personal projects from one of the senior team there.

    We're just working on lining up the companies to coach the upcoming VFX and Comp courses for the rest of the year so get in touch with me directly and I can give you more news as I get it.

    All the best

  • chris collins:

    Hi Paul,

    Are you able to post some more details regarding the cinesite industry coaching?

  • Paul Wilkes:

    Hi Karim

    Cinesite will be industry coaching the UK compositing and VFX courses.


  • karim bentebbal:

    Just want to find out if Sue and Cinesite will be part of the UK team or US, or both?

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