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…”