New VFX Supervisor at DNEG Montreal

New VFX Supervisor at DNEG Montreal

New VFX Supervisor at DNEG Montreal

VFX Supervisor Stephane Paris has joined the team of DNEG Montreal.

Here is our interview with him:

What is your background?

I had a ‘regular’ French geek life. I grew up in a family that was not really into movies, but as a nine-year-old I caught the creature-making bug after watching Steven Spielberg’s E.T. in 1982. The following year, I was blown away by Return of the Jedi (I know, I started with the last of the original trilogy). After leaving school, I started my career in France working in make-up effects and scale modeling. I also constructed sets and built props, to supplement my living. I was mainly working in theater, and on TV specials and commercials. It was after building medieval armors for a short film, that a friend first introduced me to the world of computer graphics and convinced me that my background would be a bonus in CG design. 

This led me in to a role in CGI at Ex Machina Paris, where I really learned what was required to become a 3D modeler. After working for most of the visual effects studios in Paris, and following the suggestion from a friend, I moved to MPC in London. There, I worked on my first Hollywood film: ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’. For this show, I created digidoubles and CG environments. I was also promoted pretty quickly to the role of Lead Modeler and then to Modeling Supervisor. 

Three years later, I was hired by Cinesite, also in London, to be a Modeling Supervisor. While there, my work modeling a snow leopard for a pitch, helped Cinesite win work on ‘The Golden Compass’. After a few shows, I was promoted to CG Supervisor and I worked on the Emmy Award-winning mini-series ‘Generation Kill’, where I was able to be hands-on with everything on the show.  

After five years at Cinesite, I took the opportunity to experience the Canadian way of life and I joined MPC in Vancouver, where I was CG Supervisor on ‘Man of Steel’ and DFX Supervisor on the Nova Corp final attack sequence in Marvel Studio’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’. After this, Cinesite offered me the position of VFX Supervisor in their new Montreal facility, which they were putting together. I worked on some very nice shows there.  

But eventually, I felt I needed something new; I wanted to work for a company that I never worked with before that had a different work logic and new challenges, and I was pleased to accept an invitation to be part of the DNEG family. Now, DNEG Montreal is now my new home.

What is your best memory and project as a VFX Supervisor?

Meeting Steve Begg, the acclaimed VFX Supervisor, while working on ‘The Commuter’, is one good memory. I had a great experience, from shooting through to final delivery. It was hard and challenging, but the teamwork was amazing. So far the smoothest show I’ve ever worked on was ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’. Smooth is not a regular thing, so that makes work on that show particularly special. The on-set experience on the Elton John biopic ‘Rocketman’ was amazing! My interaction with director Dexter Fletcher and the Director of Photography, George Richmond, was so productive. Every show is so different. Then add to this the fact that you’re always working with new people, and that makes each experience on every movie pretty unique.

What did you enjoy the most on set and then during the post?

On set, I love the interactions with the all the departments to achieve a goal and find solutions to everyday challenges; that feeling is amazing! The same happens in post-production, when all departments are in symbiosis and are able to face any situation and provide amazing sequences.

We sometimes enjoy perks too. On ‘Man Of Steel’, I spent two weeks shooting elements in Plano, Illinois, from a helicopter for the Smallville Battle sequence. That was a first for me and I loved it! Also, witnessing the live explosion of a mock-up gas station was a really awesome experience, too.

What was the most unusual note that you received from a client?

I don’t remember really unusual notes from clients. Sometimes it’s hard to find the correct words to describe something magical or something that doesn’t exist in real life; that can lead to some funny comments. And sometimes, the addition of tiredness doesn’t help communication.

You have lived in different big cities, what did you enjoy the most in Montreal?

Montreal is kind of like a mix of different cities; it’s North American in its structure, but culturally European. There are lots of festivals, museums, theaters and parks activities, too. Winter was the biggest challenge I had to adapt to. I had never been confronted by anything similar where I lived before, and I have lived in many places. We make a big deal out of it but, in the end, with proper gear, you barely feel it.

What is your first project at DNEG?

Unfortunately I can’t discuss titles at the moment, but we have some great projects in the line. It’s a very exciting time to be at DNEG in Montreal.

About Vincent Frei

Founder & General Manager of We Are The Makers

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