The visual effects industry can be a challenging and meticulous field to get into. While there are many twists and turns in every career, the industry can be rewarding, and being a VFX editor gives you the knowledge of different parts of the studio which can help open the door to individual career paths in the field.
1. Know the Technical Side
This is super important. Before entering the VFX industry, you will need to know the technical aspects of the software you work in. Since the studio I work in is a Nuke/Hiero-based studio, I have had to learn Hiero like the back of my hand. If you are aiming for the editorial side of VFX, make sure you know how to make EDLs, XMLs and online short-form projects. Make sure you know your way around the color pipeline as well. In time when all these aspects come together, your speed will follow and it will become second nature to you.
2. Have a Strong, Impactful Reel
Whether you are a VFX artist, a compositor, or a VFX/online editor, have a reel of your work and make sure you put all the strong work up front. Your reel should be about 90 seconds — and make sure you start and end with a bang! If you are an editor, make sure to nail those transitions and keep the reel interesting. If you are a comper or a VFX artist, add before and after transitions to show what you are capable of while working. Your reel will be the make-or-break for you to get hired. Normally when we see people’s work, we always look at the reel first and then the resume, to make sure they are as good as can be, which brings me to…
3. Get Attention and Make Connections
This is what will seal the deal. Do not be afraid to reach out to different studios or people in lead positions. They were where you are (and I was) once upon a time, and they will be understanding enough to help you and at least get you a connection with the right person or a toe hold in the industry. Keep your options open and you never know where one conversation will lead you to. In fact, the VFX job I am currently at, I got from a connection at this studio, and have been here for two and a half years. So make sure you make connections and know people, I can’t stress that enough!
4. Become a ‘Swiss Army Knife’
Once you are confident enough with your main niche, don’t be afraid to learn new things and expand your horizons. Work on your creative editing chops, learn multiple software and learn how to color, or composite — you never know when any of these skills will come in handy and will get you out of a pickle, or get you a promotion because you are so flexible.
5. Ask Questions! Make Mistakes!
You will make mistakes, but you will bounce back by asking questions and making sure you learn to not repeat them. The more you learn the better you get! So the only way to do that is to make mistakes, fail and become better. There is always room to become better, so be better.
Ashish Raisinghani has sustained and contributed significantly to projects across many genres and industries as a versatile VF Editor. A graduate of the Savannah College of Art & Design, he is currently a senior editor at Ingenuity Studios. He has worked with major brands such as Disney +, HBO, Hulu, NBA, PlayStation, ABC, AMC and Showtime and in close relation to Company 3 and Fuse FX as part of the editorial team at Ingenuity. Notable projects include Emmy-award winning television series The Walking Dead, Modern Family, Euphoria and This Is Us. His work has been featured by outlets such as FilmFare, VoyageATL, Post Magazine and Weekly Voice.