[FRAMED] Lead Shot Creator at FPS, Alex Karonis, London

Framestore
5 min readMay 9, 2024

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If you could travel back in time, which film, TV series, advert, or immersive project would you love to have worked on?

Would’ve loved to work on Gravity! The Matrix trilogy is also up there.

Which Framestore character do you feel you’re most like?

Rocket. Close to his friends, always having a laugh but dedicated to his goals.

What fictional world or place would you like to visit?

The Oasis from Ready Player One.

Your career highlight to date:

Previzing pre-credits for James Bond No Time to Die and animating my own shots afterwards. The team in London is absolutely incredible and insanely versatile.

Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in VFX?

My father is a big film buff and has made a home theatre when I was young. I’ve watched films all of my life, learned a lot of English through films and fell in love with VFX that way. So in that regard, I’d say my father!

The DREAM project would entail:

Talented artists, killer production, big budget and Dennis Villeneuve directing!!

How do you explain what you do to someone who doesn’t work in VFX?

We are the first people to start creating the film in a 3D environment. We use storyboards to get the feel of a scene, create rough sequences from scratch and send it to the director for feedback. We keep talking to the director repeatedly until they’re happy and they’re ready to use our work as a strong blueprint to film it for real!

Describe your career journey into the exciting world of VFX.

After I graduated in Sydney Australia, I started freelancing as a generalist in the commercial world for a couple of years until I decided I wanted to try working in a big VFX house. Moved to London to give it a shot and worked for a couple of months at BlueZoo as an animator, before finding a home at Framestore in the IA department. After a couple of years there, I learned FPS had been born and I asked if I could be transferred. Since then I’ve worked as a shot creator on multiple projects before being promoted to Lead. I’ve also supervised a couple of smaller projects at FPS during my time as well.

What does the day in the life of a Lead Shot Creator look like?

On a normal show as a Lead, I start the day talking to my producers and supervisor to prep for the day ahead. Dailies is followed with all artists jumping on ready to show their work and to be briefed on new shots/sequences. The rest of the day, I’ll be offering feedback to the artists, helping them with any problems that arise and working on my own shots in between. Later in the day, we normally have an editorial session to compile all the work together and see what can be improved/updated before our great producers package it all up and send it to the client for review!

Framestore is, to you, in three words:

Social, Talented, Impressive.

What's the best thing about your work environment?

It will sound cliche, but the people I work with! Everyone I work with is a generalist which means everyone has an understanding of everyone else’s job, which makes for a great work environment but also great chat after work at the pub!

Framestore is great at:

Offering opportunities; tailoring your skills to the project at hand; advancing your career; and forging life-long connections.

Favourite artform?

Film.

Favourite image?

A painting by Nicholas Harding who’s an Australian painter. It’s a painting of the Australian bush that has highly contrasted bold brush strokes that really bring out the eye-sizzling detail of the Australian forest.

What’s your favourite movie/ series/ advert/ immersive experience and why?

Waaaay too many to actually write down. For drama, I enjoy any Denis Villeneuve film, especially Enemy, Arrival and Sicario. Gladiator needs to be here as well. I remember watching Collateral with my father numerous times, so for that reason, it’s now on this list too!

What is the last piece of art (e.g. music, film, TV, writing etc.) that inspired you?

My friend Melody Wayfare (ex-Framestorian) has recently released her animated short film “Taking the Bus to Mount Olympus”. It’s a 2D film that she has made entirely on her own, which took her 6 years and 9000 drawings! Seeing this dedication and beautiful film has truly amazed and inspired me.

How do you unlock your creativity?

I rewatch a film I liked and haven’t seen in a while and normally see it under a completely different light. Some films I can switch off my brain and just watch it, but when I start thinking about how a particular sequence was filmed, or how they’ve framed certain shots, I feel an urge to create something new. Otherwise, I watch a brand new film of course!

From where do you seek inspiration?

Did I already mention I watch films?

Who in the industry do you admire most and why?

People who exceed at their job and whom people also look up to. I also really appreciate generalists as they understand everyone else’s problems, but also have the skills to create things from scratch.

Share the best piece of advice you’ve ever received:

As an animator: using movement you’ve already animated to animate other parts of that rig. Also, embrace baking animation (in certain cases). As a shot creator: Always look at the big picture and edit your shots together. As a lead: Maintain strong relationships with the people around you.

What tech/innovation could you not live without?

A TV/projector to watch films and play games. I’ll add my PS5 here as well…

What tech/innovation deserves the hype?

Airfriers! I’ve been gifted one and it’s been amazing…

What tech do you need that hasn’t been invented yet?

If I were still in Australia, it would be a device that gets rid of all the sand that’s on your body when you’ve left the beach. At the single click of a button.

Alex Karonis, you’ve been [FRAMED].

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