Hi my name is Phil and I am a 3d,vfx and motion graphics artist. I work from my small studio at home for a number of clients in and around London. I left the BBC about a year ago after 4 years working for bbc sport, bbc news and RedBee media. Whilst at the beeb I was part of a BAFTA award winning team and nominated for BDA awards for various projects.You can see my work daily as the BBC Breakfast title sequence.
I completely love what I do .
How did you get into your field?
I spent lot’s of money and trained at London’s top visual fx training studio “Escape Studios”. I was trained by complete 3d ninja’s that had worked on big film titles. Once the course was completed I spent 6 months getting a showreel together and worked on various unpaid projects until I was offered a job posing 3d models for the magazine “striker”. I travelled from Cambridgeshire to Wolverhampton every day for 4 months…that’s how desperate I was to get a job in 3d.
Define the word “creative”!
From my point of view its someone that doesn’t view the world around them as linear. A “creative” person picks apart how it was made and how one could reconstruct it in a fabulous new way. Its looking at stuff upside down and inside out.
Its having the passion to want to create even without a budget.
Who are your main influences and why?
Im influenced by other studios that manage to pull something great out of the bag in limited time and where they could of cut corners they didn’t, they went the extra mile, why? Because they want stuff to look cool.
The guys that originally made the short for district nine. They did it because they had a great idea and just wanted to shoot some footage and add some effects to show there idea….done kind of well out of it once Peter Jackson found them.
Describe a day in your professional life.
Coffee then coffee, check emails, respond, take a brief from client, create initial anamatic or images, wait for feedback, coffee.. , discussion with client about way forward. Start fleshing out scenes, working out cameras, optimising for quicker render times, coffee, animate, lights camera action bed.
What are the biggest professional challenges you face on a daily basis?
Keeping up with the big studios, everyone one wants there stuff to look really high end but without the budgets. Keeping clients happy and well informed whilst trying to actually create the job.
Do you ever have a creative block and if yes how do you deal with it?
LSD works wonders, no seriously creative blocks are tough, but you got to speak to others get there angle on it and thrash it out . Don’t be afraid that someone elses angle helped you get to where you are. But give that person credit. Sometimes though just get up and leave your desk, go for a walk. Music helps too.
What types of assignments / creative briefs do you get excited about or you are attracted to most?
If someone came to me and said I need a scene where to spaceships are fighting a big laser battle through a cave system I think I would fall over with delight. Alas it never happens. A clear brief with a storyboard and a client that knows what they want is about as perfect as it gets.
I really like doing idents and promos for tv my favourite has to be the Bravo ident (on my reel) as they wanted a gladiator room that showcased upcoming shows. They wanted moody lighting and torches with fire…really like that allot.
Could you tell us something about your work process?
I sometimes get to create the idea myself based on a clients brief. Here I draw from inspiration from other productions..or I just start to draw stuff.
I move on to create a storyboard. Sometimes this is hand drawn , sometimes it’s a photoshop job. I would also attach a mood board and then get all this to the client whilst talking them through my idea.
Once that part is finalized I would create an anamatic “wireframe” animation to show to the client and move on to actual production form there.
What is one of your earliest memories of being creative?
Drawing over desks at school, and being repeatedly punished for it. (sandpaper and lunch break cleaning desks)
What would you have done differently during your career so far and what advice would you offer to others?
If possible start before you have too many commitments. I didn’t, I started with a mortgage and kids, it didn’t stop me but I always needed more money than my fellow friends in the industry. When they were taking jobs as runners in the film industry I couldn’t afford to do that.
Would you advise people starting off in your field to continue in education and develop, or go out into the world and learn in the field?
I was educated late in life and paid a lot of money to do so. The other guys and girls in the class had degree’s with honours etc…I didn’t but that didn’t stop me from excelling in what I do. Just be the best you can. Advise can only be given dependent on the individual and the direction they want to take.
Never give up.
Do you know of any websites links that other creatives like yourself might find useful?
Regarding freelance are you available?
Yes I am available and please feel free to contact me, and I can also travel to you if that helps. For Cambridgshire I work on a daily rate of £250 pls vat.
Do you have any software training relevant to your field?
Maya, After effects, Mocha, PFTrack, Mental Ray, Photoshop, Illustrator
If you would like to contact Phil regarding any freelance work please feel free to contact him.
Mobile Number: 07540 726616
Email Address: Phil’s email address
Like Phil’s work and would like to keep upto date?
You can follow him through his different channels below.