iDidTht: ‘Okay, so before we continue, um what exactly is VFX?’
Rob: ‘You know that scene in Alien where the baby alien monster jumps out of Sigourney Weaver’s stomach and into the camera?’
iDidTht: ‘Only the best scene ever!’
Rob: ‘Totally! Well, that’s VFX. The way they achieved that was by starting with the alien monster close into camera and using a string to pull it back and then they reversed the shot. A very simple and effective visual effect.’
iDidTht: ‘Mind blown!’
Rob explains that VFX is anything that takes it beyond the realm of the ordinary, but that’s not to say it’s all smoke, mirrors and alien babies on strings. Rob is still a Cinematographer at heart, after all, that’s where he started out. Before all else, he searches for the perfect light, the best location and obsesses over the way the light hits an actor’s skin. Once all those pieces come together and look beautiful he’ll then use visual effects only to enhance the imagery. His experience has taught him that if the visual effects and beautiful photography can mesh well together, then you’ve got magic.
iDidTht: ‘What goes into preparing for a VFX or post-heavy job?’
Rob: ‘If you wanna do a visual effects job well you’ve got to be prepared and pre-production is key. You break a shot up into foreground, middle ground, and background.’