ReDefine Centre Stage – Interview with Pablo Franquebalme Alvarez

Get ready to give a standing ovation for our new profile series, ReDefine Centre Stage! In this series, we’ll be shining a light on the spectacular individuals who work across our global studios. Every two weeks, a different team member will take the stage to share their experiences, insights and advice. Today we are chatting with Pablo Franquebalme Alvarez, Lighting TD at our Montreal studio. 

1. How did you get your start in Lighting? What inspired you to choose VFX as a career?

I started my career as a Prep artist at a studio in Mexico. While working there, I got the opportunity to help as a lighting artist for one of the company’s commercials and I fell in love with the discipline. I then asked a couple of friends who were already in the industry to mentor me for a few months while I created my demo reel. After that, I got the opportunity to work as a lighting artist on one of Mexico’s biggest commercials.

I think what inspired me to get into VFX was watching Jurassic Park with my grandparents when I was a little kid, and later, when I watched How to Train Your Dragon. It confirmed that I wanted to create amazing movies with magical creatures.

2. What’s the best thing about being a Lighting TD? 

For me, the best thing about being a Lighting TD is helping directors achieve their cinematographic vision while also adding a little ‘extra sauce’ from my own artistic perspective.

3. Tell us about a career highlight! 

A career highlight was working on Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. It was a wonderful experience and I had the opportunity to work on one of the most challenging shots of the movie – where the Glass Onion structure explodes!

4. Advice for anyone wanting to become a Lighting TD?

Start by gaining a strong foundation in the fundamentals of lighting, cinematography and visual arts. Study lighting principles, colour theory, composition, and the interplay of light and shadow. Familiarise yourself with industry-standard lighting software and tools, such as Autodesk Maya and Houdini. Create a portfolio showcasing your lighting skills and artistic vision, including a variety of projects like still images, animations or personal projects to demonstrate your ability to create different lighting moods and styles.

Remember that building a career as a Lighting TD is a journey that takes time and dedication. Embrace every opportunity to learn, practice and grow as an artist and technician. By honing your skills, building a solid portfolio, and connecting with industry professionals, you can increase your chances of success in this dynamic field.

5. What is your favourite movie? 

My favourite movie has to be Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

6. What about your dream project? 

Two of my dream projects would be a ‘Gears of War’ adaptation or an animated movie someday. Because I’ve worked in VFX so far, I would love to experience working on the Lighting of a feature animated film.

7. What ReDefine studio would you like to work in for a day?

I would love to work in the Barcelona studio – both the city and the people are amazing.

8. Finally, what are 3 words you would use to describe ReDefine?

Adventurous, imaginative and collaborative.

ReDefine is definitely a great place to be. I have enjoyed every single day here, the work is truly rewarding. The teams share a great bond and that’s what makes it a great place to work.

Shilpa Bhanushali Head of Production (Animation)

We have top-of-line professionals who are not only creative, but also fun to work with. It has created a lot of possibilities for reinventing workflows.

François Schneider Global Creative Supervisor, North America

The people who form ReDefine have come from varied experiences and all have the potential to develop and deliver world-class projects.

Viral Thakkar Creative Director and VFX Supervisor India