Artist Spotlight

Stephanie Gadsden

Compositor | Lost Boys Alumni 2018

Demo Reel

Credited on:

and many more...

Visual Effects for me is illusion. From George Méliès to James Cameron and so on. Visual Effects makes every story come to life, every single thing you can imagine can be accomplished and that is magical.

- Stephanie Gadsden

What inspired you to pursue VFX/Compositing?

At the beginning I wasn’t sure if I wanted to pursue Compositing, but I clearly had a passion for photorealism and visual effects in general. I wanted to make the impossible happen on a screen and make it believable. When I discovered there was a specific department that was in charge of blending two different worlds together, I knew I wanted to be part of it! I wanted to be the one creating the illusion of a dragon flying in our sky or a spaceship landing on our planet.

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

I was never scared, but the most challenging part was learning how tools work in mathematical terms. No matter how hard you try to get away from math, it will always be there, and it will make your life easier as an artist! Understanding how a camera works, and how math affects the pixels on your image is definitely confusing in the beginning, especially if you have never worked with cameras or VFX software before, but once you get through it, it becomes second nature! I am glad I had Ganz Ramalingam as a teacher, he was always there to help and explain all these aspects in detail.

What I enjoy the most about Compositing is the process of it. I love every single step. I love the process of receiving my first elements to start comping a shot to when I see it on the big screen, and everything in between. Seeing the final result is very satisfying.

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

The most unique experience I had with Lost Boys was the fact that it felt like a studio! I wasn’t sure if a studio was really like that, but once I got my first job after school I could definitely tell that the transition was smooth. Reviews (dailies) were almost the same, project deadlines were the same, everything was very studio-like. That is very helpful and appreciated as a junior artist who is nervous on his/her first industry job. It leaves you energy to focus on your performance and be less stressed in general.

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

VFX is a passion-driven profession, of course there’s people with more passion than others but I doubt there’s people in there working on this because they had no other choice. The good thing is you will find people with the same passions and interests as you; this will help you to create deep friendships and build projects outside of work if you want. On the other hand, you will also spend a lot of time with your colleagues at work, you will get along well with some of them and some others you won’t. It is human nature and there’s nothing wrong with it. VFX is a very small industry so it is important that you maintain a good and respectful attitude, be cordial, and keep a smile!

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?

I would say go for it, it is nuts that you can have a job on something like this and actually make a living! If you are passionate, you’re going to enjoy every single step! Just keep in mind that it is an endless journey of learning, you will never stop learning, don’t assume you know everything because you don’t! Ask, be curious, and explore. Also be on the look for new technologies and try to learn things that will make you a better future artist!

Thank you, Stephanie! Connect with her now!

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