5 Questions with: Meagan Green


Meagan Green joined Luma 4 years ago as a Roto/Paint artist and quickly worked her way up to becoming a Lighter/Compositor at our Santa Monica studio. We chatted with Meagan to find out all about how she landed in VFX, her favorite part about working at Luma, and her big tips for aspiring visual effects artists.

How you got your start in this industry?

As a kid, I loved movies and watching making-of and behind-the-scenes specials. Growing up in the ’90s, I was head over heels for Jurassic Park, The Matrix, and early Pixar movies, so I decided on film school. I earned my BFA in Film and Animation at Rochester Institute of Technology, and my MFA in Visual Effects Compositing at the Academy of Art University. AAU has an outstanding compositing program. In our graduate classes, we created VFX for indie films, saw our work screened at Sundance Film Festival, and even got to work with industry legend Phil Tippett on his dark stop-motion series, Mad God.

Soon after graduating, I landed my first industry job and hopped on a bus to LA for a short contract in stereo conversion. My goal for my next move was to get into Luma Pictures. I admired the quality of their work and the projects they worked on. When I saw that Luma was hiring, I reached out to a friend who worked there and was ecstatic to get an interview. I got my foot in the door as a roto/paint artist in 2015 and worked my way up to lighter/compositor, learning Katana on the job. I’m fortunate to have been here ever since!

With Phil Tippett
With Phil Tippett

What’s your favorite film that you’ve worked on and why?

Definitely Spider-Man: Far From Home! I’m a big fan of monster movies and creature design, so I was really excited to work on the Molten Man sequence. The shots were the most complex and challenging I’ve had thus far. Compositors would be working with the plates of Liberec, CG or 2.5D set extensions, CG crowds, CG props, FX explosions, smoke, and fire, and of course our characters Molten Man, Spider-Man, and Mysterio.

The show was a huge, fast-paced, exciting, and collaborative effort with all hands on deck. I learned a lot from my team members, and also had the pleasure of mentoring some of our junior artists. I had a lot of fun compositing Molten Man. He has so many details that create his final look - reflective gold surfaces, glowing lava, flames, embers, smoke, the interaction of his light with the environment. I also appreciated that a lot of the FX we added were enhancing in-camera special effects. CGI is so limitless that it can get too over-the-top. I really like seeing imagery that’s grounded in reality and tangible, practical effects.

What’s the best part about working at Luma?

The dogs! Just kidding - the office pups are adorable, but the best part of Luma is definitely the people. We have a talented and fun team that is passionate about creating amazing, high-quality visual effects. Everyone is eager to learn from each other, to share tips and tricks and ideas, to improve our pipeline with each project, and to become better artists and a stronger team.

Being a tiny part of bringing these stories to the big screen has been a dream come true for me.

What inspires you?

Great storytelling inspires me. I’ve always been a bookworm and movie buff. I appreciate a good story with deep and interesting characters, something that moves you and stays with you. Being a tiny part of bringing these stories to the big screen has been a dream come true for me.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to an aspiring artist?

Always be learning. The technology of visual effects is constantly evolving, and there’s so much we can do. Keep up with software and techniques, seek feedback, and learn as much as you can from other artists. Ask questions and see how others would approach a shot, solve a problem, or make something better. I’ve learned so much this way, and it’s knowledge I’m eager to build upon and share.