Yolanda Charlo

What course did you study?

3D for VFX (12 weeks)

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

I would not have the jobs I have had if I did not attend Escape. I still feel astonished at how much we accomplished in so little time. Thanks to Daniel Shutt I got my first job. I am so grateful to him, for his dedication and his passion. For helping me so much with my reel and with how to make the best out of it and for helping me to be confident and believe in myself. I am also grateful to Mark Spevick who not only taught me dynamic shots but how to keep learning even when I am not at Escape anymore. He not only taught me dynamics. He taught me how to keep learning even when I am not at Escape anymore. I am currently trying to learn Houdini which I have unfortunately forgotten, I still can hear Mark in my head saying "you want to do cloth, get a model of anything and make it look and move and feel like silk, like jeans, like cotton... then you know how to do cloth". Grateful to both of my teachers! I could not have had better teachers!!!

Where are you working?

I am working at The Asylum Studios in Los Angeles. Since I finished at Escape Studios I have been a generalist for live action shows and tv movies working on dramas and children shows. I supervised a 90 min animated feature and helped with Sharknado 5. As a freelance you have to be a multitasker and the more skills you acquire, the better. The Asylum has a fast pace and it is pretty amazing the quality of their effects considering the time given. I like that. I like the challenge but I also like having the time to make a shot look right. Right now at the Asylum I am focused on the parts of the movie that require 3D dynamics.

What are you working on at the moment?

Sharknado 5 - it's a sci-fi and tv movie. The company I work for is called The Asylum. They had an old version of a tornado made in 3D that they loved. But they only had the renders and not the 3D scene which prevented them of getting more camera angles. And they also had a problem of scale. They needed it bigger, so I was brought in to recreate the "master tornado". As soon as it was clear the tornado was made in 3D Max, I started to get familiar with the software. In one week I had replicated the tornado and made it bigger and the following week I added the sharks.

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

Don't try to make it perfect, it will never be perfect. Aim for perfection nevertheless. Always make sure your skills are sharp. Never stop learning. Focus on what you want and learn one thing at a time. Learn things you want to do, it's ok to know things that a company may require but do not get lost on that. Focus on what you want to do and master that skill. Your time at Escape maybe be the best time of your life. It will be intense but it also will be the only time in which EVERYONE in your group will be invested in what they are doing. Work hard Monday to Sunday while you are there. And yes go to the pub on fridays :)

What work are you most proud of working on and is your most notable achievement?

Heroes Reborn, working with paint effects and mastering krakatoa particles. I never worked with Krakatoa nor paint effects before. And I was honored to work in such a big title with the producer of the original series. It was fun and challenging. And it was the time I realized of how much I like dynamics over anything else.

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


I was finally learning to do what I wanted. I was seeing progress and I could not even believe my own potential, The people; teachers and students became my family. And they still have a huge place in my heart. I remember that time like the best time in my life.

What's your favourite movie and why?

Oh boy... what a complicated question. I think my favourite movie of all time has to be "gone with the wind". Go figure... not really a VFX movie. I like that I still laugh at the jokes, that they had to make what 42 - 50 dresses to burn them and stain them for continuity... I like the old technicolor colors. My first VHS movie I owned was Jurassic Park. And since I work in the VFX industry I have a different taste, I can like a movie because of the story and I can like a movie just for the beauty of the FXs. If you haven't seen Wonder Woman yet, no spoilers, the FXs are simply beautiful.

I was finally learning to do what I wanted. I was seeing progress and I could not even believe my own potential, The people; teachers and students became my family. 

Yolanda Charlo