Role: VFX Coordinator at ILP
My name is Andrea and I'm a VFX Coordinator at Important Looking Pirates in Stockholm.
A simple way of describing the role of a coordinator is that they ensure that information flows between all sides of a production, and make sure everything is running smoothly. They are the right hand of the producers/production managers, but have a lot of contact with the artists as well.
The producer is basically the main boss of a project, this involves areas such as budgeting, planning and lots of client contact. Meanwhile, the artists are the ones who carry out the work that has been planned - this involves everything from on-set data acquisition, to modeling and rendering, to compositing and delivering the final result.
As a VFX coordinator, it's important to have an understanding of all the different workflows and departments in both roles.
Being a 90's kid it was impossible to avoid Disney movies, Pokemon, Batman, etc., and subconsciously I fell deeply in love with animation. I dreamed of working at Disney, having no idea what that actually meant. As I got older I watched a lot of behind the scenes material from films like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Narnia etc, which really intrigued me, though I still didn't understand how you would get the chance to work with it.
Well, it didn't matter. My plan wasn't to work with movies anyway. My plan was to become an industrial designer.
But when I was scanning the internet for design programs, I stumbled upon LTU's Computer Graphics education and I realised that VFX was the industry I wanted to get into after all. It became clear to me rather quickly during the education that animation and rigging was what I enjoyed the most. I also really liked managing projects even though I didn't really think about it - little did I know that this was my true calling.
In my final year I had an animation internship at the animation studio Milford, which evolved into a permanent position as a Production Coordinator and later on Junior Producer. The learning curve was epic.
After Milford I got offered the role of Post Production Manager at Stiller Studios, a motion control/green screen/motion capture studio. Stiller was about to produce their own feature film, shot entirely in their studio, and they wanted me to be the "VFX link". During the production I was involved in everything from script development, VFX planning, shoot preparations and execution to jumping around in a mocap suit.
It was fantastic to gain on set experience, and with that an understanding of how big an on set crew actually is. So much knowledge is involved in so many different areas to create a film - even before the VFX company get their hands on the material.
As mentioned in the beginning I am currently working at ILP, which is the biggest company I've worked at so far. This puts a different kind of pressure on me as a coordinator. There are more people, more shots, more tasks, as well as more structures and workflows you have to learn.
But there are also bigger projects. One of my first projects was Mandalorian season 2 which was of course incredible to be a part of.
My advice for someone new to the industry(regardless of your area of expertise) would probably be to listen and be humble. Ask questions. Never be scared to ask questions! It's way better to ask one extra time (even though you think you're annoying) and make it right, then mess up because you didn't. Don't be scared, people are nice and asking questions means you care about doing a good job. Good to remember is also that feedback is feedback, not criticism.
But most important of all:
Be a teamplayer. The industry is smaller than you think.
Good luck, you're gonna be great!