Why did you apply to Luma?
I applied to Luma because it has been my dream to work on movies for as long as I can remember. After checking out Luma's portfolio, I knew it was the kind of work I would love (that and the fact that at the time the main page of the Luma website was two people dressed up drinking beer). I had just finished university and was at the very end of my interview process with Luma and Weta. I decided to go with Luma in the end. I thought working at a smaller studio would accelerate my growth as an artist rather than diving into a position at Weta, which would have been very specialised. At Luma, I can frequently jump between concepting, modelling, texturing, and lookdev among many other tasks. In the span of a year I have worked on a stylized cartoon, a Super Bowl commercial, and three major films.
What was the first project you worked on at Luma?
The first project I worked on was the Coke Super Bowl commercial featuring Ant-Man and the Hulk. The first asset I worked on was a billboard. Since it was my first asset, I went OCD on it and modelled literally every single nut and bolt on it because I wanted to show what I was capable of. When it finally was introduced into the shots it was mostly covered by a tree! It is still one of the proudest moments of my life seeing it poke out from behind the tree in the final shot. Other responsibilities included modeling and texturing a road and making some other background elements in the lab scene.
What has been your favorite project that you've worked on at Luma so far?
My favorite project so far has been Underworld: Blood Wars because I have been able to do a lot of character modeling and texturing for digi doubles which is one of my favorite things to do.
What advice would you give to a VFX student applying for their first job?
I would say only show your best work in your reel. As a general rule, your reel is only as good as the worst piece in it. Look at what kind of work the studio produces and try and create that kind of art style. And lastly, don't ever stop trying to develop yourself as an artist--always work on projects in your spare time and constantly try to improve.
Luma application reel: