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EP 17 - Octavio De Lellis - Simulation Expert

Octavio De Lellis has over 20 years of experience in the VFX and post-production industries. He has worked across a range of diverse roles, from modeling, to animation and lighting, to creative direction and directing. Octavio's years of working in post-production also mean he has nurtured a deep familiarity with the inner workings of the advertising industry. This knowledge, coupled with a strong design background and a keen eye for detail make him an outstanding problem solver. Over the last 6 years Octavio has specialised in Fluid Simulation.

Topics Discussed
- Growing up in South America
- Starting out in visual effects on Farescape
- Starting, building, operating and closing a small studio.
- Tips for starting up a small studio
- Salaries rates and payments
- Running small teams & creating 3-D for advertising
- Transitioning into liquid and particle work
- How to brief a liquid simulations job
- How to produce a successful particles project


EP 16 - Lara Hopkins


EP 16 - Lara Hopkins : Framestore

Over the last 25 years Lara Hopkins has worked internationally in production and talent management across most areas of animation and VFX including stop motion, cel animation, VFX + CG features, commercials and immersive projects. Starting her career in production in Adelaide at claymation specialists Anifex, she then moved to Sydney to produce commercials at Animal Logic. After a short stint at Advertising Agency Saatchi and Saatchi in Hong Kong, Lara joined Framestore in London as a Senior Producer in Advertising. In 2003 she moved to a CG artist manager role in Framestore's feature film division, covering both artist resource management and recruitment in CG and compositing. Heading back to Sydney she became Studio Manager for Rising Sun Picture's Sydney office, moving then to Dr D Studios to head up the recruitment team. She then returned to Framestore, moving to New York in 2012 to expand their film division, and also crewing Framestore's new offices in Montreal, Los Angeles and most recently Chicago. Lara is currently based in Sydney and consults exclusively for Framestore. She is also passionate about supporting gender diversity in animation and VFX with a strong belief that the best teams are those that are balanced.

Topics Discussed
- Framestore
- CV, cover letter and Interview
- Dr D & George Miller - building a studio of 800 artists 
- Leadership, negotiations, recruiting and future jobs
- Explore the issue of women in the industry & Having kids
- 27 years in vfx / animation and working overseas


EP 15 - Annabel Dundas

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EP 15 - Annabel Dundas : TILT

Annabel has been Founder and Creative Director of TILT for nearly twenty years and the company has a portfolio of impressive projects and highly regarded clients globally. Having worked around the world she has been influenced by many cultures and therefore has a broad understanding of different markets and how audiences perceive communication. Although small, TILT has worked with some big name clients, producing some award winning projects.

Topics Discussed
- Running your own studio
- Being a top freelancer
- Early career - working overseas
- Tilt - London  
- Tilt : Melbourne
- FIFA and World Cup
- Broadcast design industry : Budgets, sustainable and the future
- Women in the workforce - Explore the issue of women in the industry
- Side-sizing Tilt Melbourne
- The Future


EP 14 - Darren Price

EP 14 - Darren Price : Mighty Nice  

From 2001-2007, Darren Price established the 3D studio for Nexus Productions in London, then went on to win a BAFTA for his first short movie “Potapych – The Bear Who Loved Vodka”. Moving back to Sydney, Darren set up and built Mighty Nice into an internationally recognised creative studio delivering award-winning animation. Working on “This Way Up”, the short film was nominated for an Oscar for best animated short and won numerous film festival awards. He has directed hundreds of acclaimed TV commercials and co-directed ‘Bottersnikes & Gumbles’ in 2015-2016, a twice Logie-nominated children’s series. He is also co-creator of preschool TV series ‘Kazoops’.    

Topics Discussed
- Running your own studio
- Being a top freelancer
- Early career, building Nexus 3D Studios - London
- Building an animation studio - Mighty Nice  
- Pipeline and studio development
- As a creative director : Maintaining quality
- Developing series animation content : The process
- Projects : Bottersnikes and Gumbles and Kazoops!
- Projects : ‘Square Peg’
- Inspiration


EP 13 - James Hackett


EP 13 - James Hackett : Studio Hackett 

After working in London for five years James established Studio Hackett (formerly Hackett Films) in the early 2000s, and has gone on to build an incredibly diverse portfolio of work. The studio’s work has won multiple awards – there’s even a couple of Arias sitting in the office. James and Studio Hackett have carved themselves a unique place in the Australian production industry. James’ skills and experience have enabled Studio Hackett to work in sectors that range from broadcast TV to educational games. His expertise is the lynchpin between story and design. James loves getting to the heart of a character and is happy directing live-action talent or animated characters. He has recently written a young adult science-fiction novel, Ectogen, to be published soon.

Topics Discussed
- Working in the industry and getting a job in a studio
- Essential must haves for freelancers
- Mastery of skills versus balance
- Tips for creative directors around creating ideas
- Managing your studio in times of heavy workloads
- Being a good manager / creative director
- The benefits of mentoring and how to make mentoring work for you
- Creative writing has a passion project
- Benefits of writing to a creative professional or studio


EP 12 - Peter Viska


EP 12 - Peter Viska : Viskatoons

Peter Viska has been a major part of the Australian animation industry for 38 years, where he has kept abreast of technology to be a content creator and producer for global television networks, international advertising agencies, online games and small businesses. Steeped in a history of loving satire and cartoon humour, Viska graduated to animation from a career as a political cartoonist and illustrating the famous Far Out, russel Sprout!, All Right, Vegemite! and Unreal, Banana Peel! series of books. 

As head of the MICKEY DUCK Animation Co., he directed and produced animation for the advertising industry (Freddo Frog, Target, Telstra, Bloo Loo, Heinz, i-select and the TAC) and for 15 years was major supplier of animation for The Australian Children’s Television Foundation (The Greatest Tune on Earth, The Hedge and Mr Snip, Lift Off, Kaboodle). The association culminated in the production of Li’l Elvis Jones and the Truckstoppers, which was his original concept and the first Australian – French animation Co-Production.

A global presence necessitated a name change to VISKATOONS. He co-wrote and directed the hugely successful MonsterChef for ABC3. Peter was also the Art Director for the award winning casual game, Jolly Rover. Peter is the Creator, Director and Executive Producer of Jar Dwellers SOS. Peter was Executive Producer of Film Victoria supported Suspect Moustache (SBS). He received the Australian Cartoonists Association Stan Cross Award for Animation Cartoonist in 2014. He leads a team of award winning animators and designers who push the boundaries of animation and fun.


EP 11 - Grant Freckelton


EP 11 - Grant Freckelton : Animal Logic

Grant has been working in the Visual Effects and Animation industry since 1998, as an Illustrator, Art Director, VFX Supervisor and Production Designer. Most recently, Grant was Production Designer on The LEGO Batman Movie and The LEGO Movie. Prior to this, Grant served as Art Director on Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, Directed by Zack Snyder, for which he won an AFI ACTAA award for Best Visual Effects. This followed his previous collaboration as Visual Effects Art Director on Snyder’s 300, for which he won a Satellite award for VFX.


Episode 10 -  Gareth O'Brien


EP 10 - Gareth O'Brien : Buck Sydney 

Gareth is the Creative Director of Buck’s Sydney studio. After studying design at Massey University he freelanced in Wellington for a few years before moving to New York. Here he joined an eager 4 man crew at Buck NY which he saw grow to a team of 40 odd artists. In 2015 he moved with his family to Sydney to open the doors to Buck’s 3rd studio.


Episode 9 -  Tim Dyroff

EP 9 - Tim Dyroff

Tim is a multi-award winning Creative Director, Designer, Compositor and Editor. He brings over 20 years experience in the creative industries and is the founder of boutique production house Resolution Design. Tim is a unique Directorial talent able to combine performance; animation and visual effects work in a confident and fresh approach. Tim has received local and international acclaim for his imaginative visual work and direction.  &


Episode 8 -  James Cowen

EP8 - James Cowen

James is Founder and Creative Director of Yes Captain, a design led motion studio based in Melbourne. With 20 years experience across feature films, television, advertising, music videos, shorts, events, documentaries and digital, James takes a no bull shit approach to creating entertaining, narrative driven, emotive design and animation. James is also Co-Founder of NodeFest - Australia's dedicated motion design event.  &


Episode 7 -  Glenn Melenhorst 

Above images courtesy of  Iloura

Above images courtesy of Iloura

EP7 - Glenn Melenhorst

With a background in design and traditional 2D animation, Glenn has refined his skills over the last 28 years and now oversees many film projects as a VFX Supervisor at Deluxe’s Iloura. With his vast knowledge of film production and his commitment to creative excellence, Glenn supervises Iloura’s projects from concept to completion. Most recently, Glenn oversaw the Iloura team that delivered a significant suite of work for the Emmy Awards winning “Battle of the Bastards” Season 6  Episode 9 crescendo of HBO’s tentpole series Game of Thrones. NOTE : Since we recorded this interview Iloura has merged with Method Studios.