ReDefine Centre Stage – Interview with Stoimen Stoyanov

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 Stoimen Stoyanov, Lead Compositor at our Sofia studio. 

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

My journey into compositing might seem unexpected, given my initial path towards music composition. However, the allure of visual storytelling proved irresistible. Music and VFX share a similarity – the goal of assembling diverse elements into a harmonious whole. I started as a ‘dust buster’, which was my  introduction to film cleanup and ignited my fascination with image manipulation. VFX felt like a long-lost passion, and its magic kept me hungry for knowledge.

I then collaborated with a Bulgarian studio, which provided valuable training and enhanced my skills in compositing. This experience transformed me from a learner to a mentor, guiding fellow artists and improving my craft through real-world application.

My trajectory in compositing embodies a masterpiece under construction, blending experiences and creativity. This divergence from music led me to an unexpected artistic symphony – one woven from imagination, technology, and captivating storytelling.

2. What’s the best thing about your current role? 

Being a Compositing Lead is akin to solving a captivating puzzle, where diverse elements converge to replicate a cohesive reality. I’m enthralled by the intricate dance of light on surfaces, pondering how each reflection and refraction contributes to the whole.

Collaboration is at the core of my role and I aim to foster dialogue among departments to enhance visual effects. Observing and discussing different problems with the leads and supervisors from other departments like Build, FX DMP and Lighting deepen my appreciation for the artistry involved.

My broad curiosity has given me a unique mental map, connecting departments to create harmonious effects. This enables me to lead the compositing department in crafting visually stunning and emotionally impactful narratives.

In essence, as a Compositing Lead, I navigate a dynamic journey, fusing creativity and technical expertise to weave mesmerizing visual tales.

3. Tell us about a career highlight! 

A defining moment in my career emerged about two years ago when I found myself on a film set — an experience that bridged my VFX world with the physicality of filmmaking. From a humble wrangler, I ascended to lead the second unit’s effects. Balancing the roles of Compositing Lead and VFX Supervisor, I engaged deeply with the Director and director of Photography, melding their vision with technical finesse.

The experience was a whirlwind of challenges and triumphs, shaping a broader skill set and an invigorated creative spirit.

As the project concluded, a profound sense of accomplishment prevailed. The memories of those intense days remain a testament to my unwavering dedication to pushing boundaries and my ceaseless passion for the art of visual storytelling.

4. Advice for anyone wanting to get into a senior leadership role?

For those aspiring to become Compositing Leads, I offer two pieces of advice: approach your work with the curiosity of a child and nurture a reservoir of patience. Embrace curiosity to explore uncharted territories and innovate creatively. Cultivate patience to navigate setbacks and refine your craft. Remember, this dynamic blend of curiosity and patience will ultimately lead to rewarding outcomes where your artistic vision takes shape, and your dedication yields captivating effects.

5. What is your favourite movie? 

The Blade Runner franchise and 1492: Conquest of Paradise.

6. What about your dream project? 

My dream project envisions immersion in a production similar to the visual masterpiece of Dune.  Practical effects would take centre stage, mirroring the intricate interplay between cinematic storytelling and tangible creativity. 

This convergence of practicality and imagination epitomizes the captivating essence of my dream endeavour.

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

ReDefine Mumbai and Barcelona. 

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

Passionate, collaborative and technologically-advanced.

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