Catching up with Clement!

Clement

We caught up with Clement who has been a tutor in Compositing at Escape Studios and has worked at Milk VFX on the recent VFX Oscar winning movie Ex-Machina!

What work have you done with Escape Studios?
My involvement with Escape Studios as a VFX instructor finds its roots in my own journey through the film industry over these past 16 years. I have a double technical background as cinematographer and digital compositor. I first worked for 11 years as camera operator on high profile productions such as Harry Potter, before shifting to visual effects and compositing. The main drive behind this career development was my willingness to direct films and tell stories of my own. I wanted to master the skills and techniques of both the shooting, the film set but also the digital post-production, the world of visual effects, as one doesn’t go without the other anymore. There’s only a few number of people in our industry who can confidently claim that kind of ’hybrid profile’ with equal capacity to bridge different segments of the filmmaking process. And I’m now chiefly that kind of person. I’ve been extremely determined and ambitious but I’ve also been lucky enough to cross the path of significant people who recognised that determination and helped me along the way. So teaching for Escape Studios and Pearson College London is the most natural and legitimate way to give back and share my knowledge and unusual double perspective of the film industry.

How were you involved with Ex-Machina?
On the ground of my dual profile and experience of the film set and digital compositing, I was hired by Milk Visual Effect to work on Alex Garland’s Ex Machina, recently awarded with the prestigious Oscar for Best Visual Effects. I’ve been involved  both on set and behind the computers, assisting Visual Effect Supervisor and Head of 2d Department Sara Bennett in her work. The beautiful CG elements were created by the team at Double Negative in London. ExMachina has really materialised for me the chance to bring together my competence as cinematographer and visual effect artist, so the Oscar recognition makes this project all the more meaningful to my eyes and in regard of my own technical journey.

Do you have any other interesting projects in the pipeline?
My next projects actually coincide with a big step forward in my professional development as it will be in capacity of film director. In 2013, I managed to win the London Sci Fi 48 hours film challenge, previously won by Gozilla’s director Gareth Edwards. My participation to the competition was originally just a way to warm up and test myself as a director. The surprise win provided a boost to my confidence in directing and brought a little bit of attention to my work. So hopefully from this point onwards it will be all about directing films but without forgetting the essential technical roots that lead me there.

My typical favourite films are the ones that place the characters and the story at the centre.

Although I’m obviously very technical, I’ve learned along the way that the best lenses are the characters and the best visual effect is the story. The technique has to remain discreet and withdraw in the background, only to serve the narrative, not the other way round. I believe in films which are about emotion, meaning and intentions not show off because that’s what makes stories universal, when they touch everyone.

So, as for a title? Why don’t you try and watch Anna Karenina, Solaris or of course ExMachina! ;)

Ex-Machina

What's your favourite movie and why?
My typical favourite films are the ones that place the characters and the story at the centre. Although I’m obviously very technical, I’ve learned along the way that the best lenses are the characters and the best visual effect is the story. The technique has to remain discreet and withdraw in the background, only to serve the narrative, not the other way round. I believe in films which are about emotion, meaning and intentions not show off because that’s what makes stories universal, when they touch everyone. So, as for a title? Why don’t you try and watch Anna Karenina, Solaris or of course Ex Machina! ;)

If you had to sum up Escape Studios in one word, what would it be and why?
Escape Studios in one word is UNIQUE. It’s the only visual effect academy of this kind. Not only Escape is located in the world leading hub and environment in terms of VFX, London, but it also provides this unique approach of bridging a pool of eager talents and the film industry. It’s called Escape because it allows anyone with enough determination and commitment to bypass the usual glass ceilings in this industry.

What is your advice for those considering entering the industry?
Be determined but not arrogant, be focused but not self-centred, be different but not pretentious, and above all be curious.

What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on a very exciting series, involving parallel worlds and virtual reality. Watch this space ;) 

Find out more about our range of courses in VFX, Games, Animation and Motion Graphics. Visit our short coursesundergraduate or postgraduate degree pages to view our full course portfolio.

My typical favourite films are the ones that place the characters and the story at the centre.

Although I’m obviously very technical, I’ve learned along the way that the best lenses are the characters and the best visual effect is the story. The technique has to remain discreet and withdraw in the background, only to serve the narrative, not the other way round. I believe in films which are about emotion, meaning and intentions not show off because that’s what makes stories universal, when they touch everyone.

So, as for a title? Why don’t you try and watch Anna Karenina, Solaris or of course ExMachina! ;)

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