Nicholas Illingworthhas worked for leading studios including MPC and Double Negative (DNeg); he’s shared his background details with us, including why he chose the creative industries, an insight into some of the films he’s worked on and advice for anyone looking to get into visual effects.
What course did you study and when?
Nicholas Illingworth studied the Advanced 3D 6 week course at Escape Studios
Why the creative industries?
I've always been creative exploring various disciplines of art from a young age. While having a fine art background, I was always fascinated with mathematics and physics. Initially I went down a more technical route, which ultimately led me to Effects. Effects is a perfect blend of technical and creativity. A lot of what we do is grounded in physical reality, so having this technical knowledge is hugely beneficial. I've been working in the industry for over 10 years now and spent the last 5 years working at Weta Digital in New Zealand.
What are you working on at the moment?
Last year was an incredibly busy year. After finishing the Guardians of The Galaxy: Vol2 I jumped straight into Avengers: Infinity War, followed by Maze Runner: The Death Cure. Maze Runner was a great project to work on, we had such great feedback with the director and special effects team. We heavily researched the physical values for particular effects and made sure our tools and solvers were all physically based. Those tools coupled with the data provided by the on-set special effects team, we were effectively able to recreate their practical recipes digitally. There were numerous shooting restrictions on that movie for safety and budgetary reasons, so we were required to perfectly recreate, generate, and integrate these digital effects with the practical onset ones.
How did you get into the industry and is there anything you would have done differently?
My first entry position was in camera at Framestore. Camera was a great place to start as it underpins so much of what we do, and I got to learn all aspects of the pipeline from that position. I'm still using knowledge I picked up back then, so I wouldn't change my entry into the industry. While it wasn't where I wanted to be, it was a necessary stepping stone into gaining the knowledge and experience required for my next position.