Paulo Mateus

What course did you study?

Advanced Compositing for Visual Effects.

How did studying at Escape Studios help you into the world of VFX?

I was trying to transition from Adobe After Effects to Nuke, since Nuke is the standard tool for compositing. And with the help of Escape Studios that transition was much smoother. Studying at Escape Studios prepared me for a career as a Digital Compositor in any VFX studio, giving me knowledge and expertise to use Nuke in a professional pipeline. During the course I was able to improve my showreel and I was recruited by MPC soon after I finished the course. Like I used to say, Escape helped me escape from the small Portuguese companies to one of the biggest in the world.

What are you working on at the moment?

I'm now working for Outpost VFX based in Bournemouth. Whilst working here I have had the chance to work on a wide variety of projects, including the blockbuster film, Life (with Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds)and a TV series called Snatch and Tin Star.

When I worked as a digital compositor for MPC I worked on Alien: Covenant and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tells. 

What's your favourite movie and why?

I have many favourite movies, but probably some of the Alien sequels, especially those directed by Ridley Scott. Because they have all that a movie should have, a good story, good visual effects and they give you that shiver down your spine feeling that's typical from a horror movie. And now, having worked on the latest one, the Alien saga is even more special to me! It was a dream come true, to be part of the Alien team and to be part of a Ridley Scott Movie!

What lessons have you learnt during your time studying and your time working in the industry?

That we never know enough in this industry, there are always new things to learn, which makes this job even more exciting! Wouldn't it be boring if after working for a few years there wasn't anything new to learn in your job?

What were you doing before starting your course at Escape Studios? 

I was working as a Motion Graphics artist and Digital Compositor for commercials in a small production facilities in Lisbon - Portugal.

How quickly after completing your course did you secure your first job? 

One month. I got the chance to start working at MPC London as a Digital Compositor on "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" and "Alien: Covenant". During this time I had a mixture of feelings between happiness and fear, because I was afraid I wasn't up to the challenge, but everything went well! And I'm very excited to see the shots that I created for those movies!

If you had to sum up your time at Escape Studios in one word, what would it be and why?

Success, because Escape helped break into the industry. 

What is your advice for those considering entering the industry?

First try to find the skill in VFX that you really love, whether that's Digital Compositing, 3D, FX, etc...Because this is a high demanding job and you will need to spend a lot of time in front of a monitor until you get the perfect shot, so it's important that you really love what you're doing. And then after you've found the displine right for you, embrace it, fight for it and don't give up until you make it! Because if you work hard enough sooner or later you will achieve your goals.

Paulo Mateus

Studying at Escape Studios prepared me for a career as a Digital Compositor in any VFX studio, giving me knowledge and expertise to use Nuke in a professional pipeline.  

Paulo Mateus