A chat with Steven, one of our compositors in Montréal...
Taking a break from his seat on studio floor in Montréal, MPC Compositing artist Steven O'Connor fielded a few questions about life at MPC, transferring to Montréal and what gets him excited about his job. If you want to work with Steven, we're now hiring for an amazing slate of shows so email email@example.com for more details or apply online.
What is your name, job title and how long have you been at MPC?
My name is Steven O'Connor and I have been a compositor for MPC for about 2.5 years.
What and where did you study?
I studied at the C.E.G.E.P. de Cégep de Jonquière in Production and Post-production techniques for 3 years.
How did you get started in VFX?
Autodesk held interviews at my college close to graduation and I was hired as a quality analyst on their colour correction software: Lustre. I stayed there for a little while transitioning from quality analyst to beta program manager for the Flame Premium suite (Flame/Smoke/Lustre). At some point, after being in contact with people working directly on the movies, I became tired of testing the visual effects software and wanted to try my hand at it. I was hired by a start up company as a Smoke compositor and after a few months changed companies to learn Nuke.
What single piece of advice would you give someone looking to get into the industry?
Hold on. The few first jobs are the hardest to get. After a while, you're not running after companies, they are calling you to come to them.
What excites you most about your job at MPC?
I am most excited about working on the movies that, as a kid, I would have wanted to see on the big screen. I would have never thought in a million years that I would one day work on movies such as the X-Men series or The Jungle Book.
What’s your favourite shot that you’ve worked on?
My favourite shot would be from the Jungle Book. It's the shot where Mowgli is under Kaa's hypnosis (above) and is about to be eaten (right where Baloo begins to fight to save Mowgli) I am very proud to have worked on this shot (and the entire show!)
How did you find the relocation process?
I moved from the MPC Montréal office to the MPC London office... back to the MPC Montréal office. The relocation looks scary but is actually not. You are accompanied every step of the way for paperwork and the team helps you settle in with good advice on what to do when you first get in the city. And if there is a problem, MPC has got your back.
How would you describe the culture at MPC Montréal?
The Montréal team is very friendly and inclusive. People from anywhere and any language quickly integrates with each other and there are often groups that form to go and eat out... or have some drinks! Unless somebody really wants to be left alone, it's usually very easy to find friends.
How would you describe your team?
The team is friendly and supportive. Everyone is approachable and is ready to give a hand when needed.
What fun stuff do you get up to at MPC?
Whether it is paintball, a BBQ (recent MPC Montréal event pictured above), or a sugar shack trip, there is often opportunities to get out of work and blow off some steam. On top of that, beer-o-clock on Friday and the 'Monthlies' company meeting are always a great deal of fun with drinks and snack.
Which 3 words best describe your job?
Diverse. Challenging. Rewarding.
Image from Jungle Book copyright The Walt Disney Corporation