If you could travel back in time, which film, tv series, advert, or immersive project would you love to have worked on?
There’s a lot of great ads for PlayStation from the late 90s and 00s and for me, my favourite would be the ‘Double Life’ spot.
Which Framestore character do you feel you’re most like?
It’s got to be Pikachu.
What fictional world or place would you like to visit?
Purely for nostalgia reasons, I’d say Hogwarts.
Your career highlight to date:
I had the pleasure of producing a title sequence for Forward Festival 2019 with a good friend and Director, Raj Davsi. It explored the power and strength of standing out from the crowd, hence the title The Odd One Out. The sequence also managed to bag a Staff Pick on Vimeo.
Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in VFX?
I’ve always had a deep interest in video games and I fused that with my Fine Art degree to pursue this career and get networking and meeting people in this industry.
The DREAM project would entail:
The dream project would be anything involved in skateboarding. Perhaps something within the live sports space now that skateboarding is finally part of the Olympics.
How do you explain what you do to someone who doesn’t work in VFX?
My role in particular focuses on bringing a client’s vision to life and exploring the art of storytelling with the perfect combination of technology and immensely talented artists. While the glamorous sounding parts are happening I’m also responsible for the overall budget and managing those costs and the team working to deliver the project.
Describe your career journey (into the exciting world of VFX)
My career began working as a Rep for illustrators at an agency. In this role, I had a little black book of contacts and spent a lot of time in advertising agencies and with brands seeking commissions for the artists within our roster. It then evolved into working at studios rather than agencies and handling a variety of projects and new business/client development. I’ve worked in a number of fields from illustration, motion design, traditional VFX through to my current focus on Immersive projects.
What does the day in the life of a Senior Producer look like?
There are a number of daily calls that I start my day with to chat through previous, current and future tasks within my Production team, the artist team and then there are project specific stand up calls. These enable clear communication between everyone on the project and a chance for production to update the artists on current goals and sprints based on any client feedback for example. As well as this I work closely with the Heads of Departments and Creative Directors on new pitches to figure out creative approaches and the all-important time and money questions.
Framestore is, to you, in three words:
Supportive, Empowering, and Creative.
Best thing about your work environment?
For me working in the Immersive space is a constant education which keeps me engaged and hungry. The tech is constantly advancing which means no one project is ever the same.
Framestore is great at:
Pushing you to achieve some incredible work. You’re never on your own but encouraged to go beyond your comfort zone with the support of the team around you which for me always produces great results and a full sense of achievement with each project.
My degree is in Fine Art and I spent the majority of my time painting. I’ve always been a fan of both the life and works of Basquiat but currently am really enjoying works by Terry Urban.
My favourite image would have to be this photo by Matt Price of Louie Lopez.
What’s your favourite movie/ series/ advert/ immersive experience and why?
My favourite (and somewhat embarrassing) movie would have to be The Last Action Hero. I can’t count how many times I watched that as a kid and it was peak 90s Arnie.
What is the last piece of art (e.g. music, film, TV, writing etc.) that inspired you?
I saw a clip about 6 months ago of Jacob Collier conducting an entire audience of choral teachers to sing the most epic harmonies and just found it so moving and quite symbolic of how working together brings out the best results. Here’s the clip for anyone interested — https://vm.tiktok.com/ZGJbDg4bP/
How do you unlock your creativity?
It can depend on the task but usually one of the following three things, a long walk with the dog, being together with a group of friends or by listening to some guilty pleasure Nu Metal at high volume.
From where do you seek inspiration?
I have to say, TikTok has to be one of my go-to places for inspiration and references to most things these days.
Who in the industry do you admire most and why?
I’m going to be biased and say the artists and developers within my team for their constant ability to problem solve and make incredible work.
Share the best piece of advice you’ve ever received:
“Eat at a local restaurant tonight. Get the cream sauce. Have a cold pint at 4 o’clock in a mostly empty bar. Go somewhere you’ve never been. Listen to someone you think may have nothing in common with you. Order the steak rare. Eat an oyster. Have a Negroni. Have two. Be open to a world where you may not understand or agree with the person next to you, but have a drink with them anyways. Eat slowly. Tip your server. Check-in on your friends. Check-in on yourself. Enjoy the ride.” — Anthony Bourdain
What tech/innovation could you not live without?
It’s nothing crazy but I feel like my PlayStation is something I couldn’t live without. I’ve been into video games forever and regularly played multiplayer games with friends but I think during lockdown it really showed its importance to be able to connect with friends when we couldn’t meet up and still feel that sense of togetherness.
What tech/innovation deserves the hype?
Stating the obvious but I’d have to go with Unreal Engine. It’s a constantly evolving world and with the majority of my work utilising the ever-expanding options it gives me and the team something new to explore with every project.
What tech do you need that hasn’t been invented yet?
Teleportation would be pretty amazing. No more destroying the planet with planes and can visit friends and family all over the world. Not sure I can expect that anytime soon though!
James Yeo, you’ve been [FRAMED].