Winner's Story: Thomas Rule Meets Robert Deas
Double Negative, otherwise known as 'Dneg' to its very laid back, extremely creative and intelligent designers was a day that the MyKindaCrowd winner, Thomas Rule met with his career idol, Robert Deas. Thomas entered our Shaeffer 'write your future' challenge in which he wrote to Robert Deas who is a leading visual effects artist who has worked on major blockbusters such as Harry Potter and the Prison of Azkaban, The Dark Knight, Happy Feet, and many, many more!
Robert was a lecturer at Bournemouth University when he discovered that photographs could be faked, and as could film, this is how he uncovered the visual effects industry.
"I was a mile away when I was actually sitting when I discovered this, I cycled down the road and enrolled on the MA course, and did the MA course for a year" Robert Deas
Thomas's interest in visual effects first began when his dad introduced him to simple animation software to which Tom said it was "a bit like wallice and gromit"
After this Tom took the initiative to download an animation and effects software called 3D MAX, to which he experimented with more and developed his interest for visual effects further.
The afternoon at Double Negative day began with a guided tour of the offices, which is over four floors in the sought after area on Shaftestbury Avenue in Central London. We walked around watching the staff rack their creative brains on the next big movie of 2012/2013. Thomas then had a private viewing of all the things Dneg do and how to get involved into the visual effects industry! We sat in the room where the designers and artists usually have their "dailies" meetings, they review their work and are also given second opinions to improve and change their effects. During the presentation, Tom was shown the different area's of visual effects, which courses he should take at a-level and the best universities to go to study.
Tom was then taken upstairs and met with Robert, where he was busy working on the next big movie ; a secret which we can't disclose just yet! Tom and Robert watched and analysed the motion capture together, with Robert explaining how it works and what they were looking for in this particular scene.
We observed how the motion capture works and saw a young girl kitted out in the motion capture suit, fully equipped with sensors! After several takes, to get the perfect position, and the perfect caption, Tom sat down with Robert and quizzed him with all the questions he had buzzing around his mind.
The first question Tom asked was about the average day in the office, as Robert explained, it became clear that working at Dneg is just as exciting as it is frustrating as design work and other movies always creates challenges for visual effects artists ;
"with every film we are trying to push the boundaries,it's the greatest source of excitement, and the greatest source of frustration"
Of course Robert explained that overall working in VFX is very exciting and rewarding.
"we are actually creating something out of nothing, that's very rewarding"
We had a chance to sit down with Tom at the end of the day and he told us about how he felt about the day and the MyKindaCrowd challenges. Tom explained that he was quite surprised when he won, and didn't expect to win at all. When talking about Robert Deas, Tom said,
"it's quite inspiring hearing his views about the job, having had the insight what it is like to work in this kind of area"
Tom is still going ahead with his plan to apply to university, some which were on the suggestion of Dneg and would still like to be a visual effects artist, specialising in modelling "¦and to work at Dneg! ;
" some of the models"¦they are amazing "“ so detailed and really life-like, being able to do that would be really cool"
We asked Tom what his favourite part of the day at Double Negative was, and he replied
" definitely recording the motion capture"¦and then seeing this little thing, as if it were alive"
MykindaCrowd and Tom had a fantastic afternoon at Double Negative and we would like to thank everyone at Dneg for inviting Tom and us.