Artist Spotlight

David Koss

Compositor | Lost Boys Alumni 2020

Demo Reel

Credited on:

and many more...

I've come to think of visual effects like a really good magic trick. It's about making people believe that what they are seeing on screen was filmed in camera, even if they know it's not possible. It's all about getting people to suspend their disbelief.

- David Koss

What inspired you to pursue VFX/Compositing?

What really inspired me to pursue Compositing was watching the amazing content that people like FreddieW and Andrew Kramer could make on their own, without access to special software. Of course it’s also because of the amazing VFX I saw in all the movies I watched growing up, but I never really made the connection that what I was seeing on screen was something that was within my reach. When I saw a small creator on YouTube making their own cool VFX content, or maybe just a clever edit of a well-known movie, it made me realize that maybe this was something I could do too.

What was the scariest or most challenging part of learning Compositing?

There was a point at school where I really wasn’t sure if I could learn and understand everything that I needed to. It felt like too much information too fast, and I was really worried I wasn’t improving at all. But then one day things just started to make sense to me, and I realized that I had been learning that whole time.

I really enjoy the creative problem solving that is inherently part of the job. No two shots are the same, so I always have to be thinking of new solutions for new problems. It's really great because I'm always learning, and every trick I learn is something I could use on my own projects in the future.

What was unique about your experience with Lost Boys in comparison to your previous education?

Looking back at Lost Boys, the thing that stood out the most to me about the whole experience was that everyone who was there wanted to be there. In my previous education, I never got the sense that the students or the teachers wouldn’t rather have been doing something else with their time and energy. It’s really great getting to spend a whole year surrounded by people who love learning and what they are doing.

What is something you wish people knew more about VFX/VFX Artists or Compositors/Compositing?

It’s tough to explain to people exactly what Compositing is. If you are an FX artist, you can say that you make the explosions, but the compositor would have to say they integrate the explosions. It’s easy to imagine the shot without the FX, but it’s tricky to understand what it would look like without any compositing done to make them fit into the shot. Oftentimes if the compositor does a good job, you won’t know that anything was done to the shot at all. This is especially true in the case of paintouts or removing objects, and the work that goes into them can be under appreciated.

If there is one piece of advice you can give to people who want to pursue a career in visual effects, what would it be?

Be as specific as possible with your goals. Decide on a discipline, and don’t just try to learn “visual effects”. It would be impossible to become a master of every aspect of visual effects, so don’t waste your time trying. It’s better to find one part of it that fascinates you, or that you really enjoy doing, and focus the vast majority of your effort into pursuing that as a career.

Thank you, David! Check out his demo reel.

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