School: LaSalle College Vancouver
Grad Year: 2006
Program of Study: Digital Film & Video
Company Name: Ubisoft
Job Title: Camera Specialist
Primary Responsibilities: I am the director of photography for the scripted events (cutscenes) that lead the player through the story. I create all the camera direction, animation and compositions.
Describe a Typical Work Day:
A typical work day starts with a fully motion capture scene put into my lap. I observe the blocking of the actors and also read the script corresponding to the scene. I start thinking of the best way to tell the story through the use of lens choices, camera movement, composition, pacing and shots that will cut together nicely. I either animate cameras at my desk or I go into the motion capture studio and use the virtual camera depending on the scene and time constraints. After that, I send them off to an editor. When the editor starts cutting, the editor and myself will sit together and brainstorm ideas. My typical work day usually includes a bag of chips around 3pm too because I am addicted to those.
What accomplishment(s) are you most proud of?
I am most proud of the aggressive rollerblading videos that I have been filming and editing since I was 16 years old. It got me into this whole career I have now.
What are your creative inspirations or influences? Who are your heroes?
Nowadays there is so much creativity floating around. Just look at Vimeo. It is overwhelming the amount of talent out in the world right now.
If I had to pick right off the top of my head what things have inspired me the most in terms of films it would be Koyaanisquatsi, City of God, my friend Joey McGarry’s rollerblading films and anything made by Michel Gondry. I get inspired alot by watching music videos as well.
My heroes are my family, my friends and Bruce Lee.
What do you enjoy the most about your career?
I love the amount of creative freedom I get. I am very fortunate for that and never take it for granted. I also love the people I work with. It is refreshing to work with so many talented people from different wakes of life.
How did your education at LaSalle College Vancouver help prepare you for your career?
They always hammered into your head how important it is to network. They also showed you how to get into the mindset of being an artist. I would love to give a shout out to Rob Wenzek (if he still works there). Best teacher!
What advice do you have for people beginning their careers in your profession?
Don’t pass any opportunity up. If you get an opportunity to do a weird documentary on some crazy random subject, go and do it. The reason I say this is because you never know what kind of people and networks you could get yourself into. Some of the people I have met along the way have hooked me up with some awesome gigs, which have eventually led me to where I am today. I am not saying to take every crappy film job you see on Craigslist, but DO always keep an open mind. Networking is important.
Your profession is constantly evolving, from the technology you use to new career opportunities that didn’t exist five years ago. What trends do you see on the horizon that will affect how you do your job or your profession at-large?
Video game cinematics are a very serious thing nowadays. It seems like companies (like the one I work at) are hiring completely seperate teams just to handle the “movie” side of the game. This is going to change the job opportunities available. Lots of people from film are being hired into the game industry for their expertise. It is all merging and becoming one.