I have been working in the Animation movie business since 1986. Starting in Dublin (Ireland), I trained and worked as an animation cameraman and completed numerous feature films for major studios in the industry. These studios included Sullivan-Bluth Ireland Ltd (Don Bluth) and Universal Pictures/Amblimation (Steven Spielberg).
My first camera experience was on the hit movie "The Land Before Time"; in the following years I worked up to Senior Cameraman and then held the position of Camera Supervisor at Universal Pictures. From 1986 through to 1997, I completed many projects (movies & TV series) in the traditional way prior to the digital era of Animation movie making. I gained a very good reputation for the quality, ingenuity and professionalism that I brought to my work.
Since 1997, I successfully transferred my traditional Animation knowledge into the digital domain to continue working in the business. My extensive experience with camera work and scene planning was a natural base to enable me to fit into the new working pipeline in the Compositing department. I adapted very quickly to using a computer instead of the traditional Animation camera stand, and found it very rewarding to integrate my camera skills with the new possibilities on offer with the different softwares available to complete our movie projects.
Having worked successfully at various studios around the world, I have shown that I have the ability to adapt to new working conditions, work with different programs, learn new programs quickly when necessary and fit effortlessly into whatever working environment is required. Those experiences, along with my many years in the business made me an ideal candidate for supervising projects overseas, compositing, in-house production management and Technical Supervisor roles also.
My role as overseas Compositing supervisor:
My main role would be supervising the compositing. This involves me viewing/checking every single scene in the movie as they are provided for me.
I would then make one of the following three decisions:
1. Approve the scene and pass it through for output
2. Make any necessary adjustments myself and then pass it through for output
3. Make my retake notes for what I would like fixed by the original compositor, and
have them come to my station to view and understand my comments properly.
As has been my overseas supervising experience, it would be up to me to approve each scene to a satisfactory standard and then transfer it back to the producing company that I work for via hard drives or FTP for the director to give their final approval on. Each scene would then get a final ok from the director and I would mark it off as totally complete at the service company, or the director would ask me to correct the scene to his instructions, this tk.2 would then be complete as required and sent again to the director for their approval.
Where possible and schedule allowing, I would hold all my approved scenes until I had a complete sequence before shipping them back to the director. This means that I can check a whole sequence together instead of just individual scenes, by doing this I can find and solve any continuity issues that may arise. This of course would save the director and editor a lot of time also.
I would follow this procedure until all scenes and any necessary retakes have been completed as per the director’s wishes, this has proven to be a very time and cost effective way to complete the digital portion of the movie prior to editing.
The role of an overseas supervisor is very demanding, it requires dealing with different cultures and ways of working, one needs to have patience and understanding and also have very good organisation skills. It also involves being able to provide answers and solutions to any problems that may arise in all other departments to ensure the smooth production flow of the movie. In my many years of supervising projects in Asia I have displayed these qualities, this along with my strong knowledge of the business ensures that my role in each project is completed successfully to the highest possible standard. Over the years, my work at the service studios in Asia has had a major influence on the success of the movies that I have been involved in, both the visual look of the movies and also ensuring the schedules and production output is adhered to. I have supervised projects in the following locations in Asia: Taipei (Taiwan), Bangkok (Thailand), Suzhou, Shanghai & Shenzhen (China), and I was also the sole supervisor for a movie in Budapest (Hungary).