ReDefine Centre Stage – Interview with Yohann Abraham

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 Yohann Abraham, General Manager at ReDefine India.

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

As a child, I was always fascinated by movies like Superman and Star Wars, which used VFX to create awe-inspiring and realistic visuals. I was always curious about how these effects were developed and contributed to the cinematic experience. This curiosity sparked a passion for VFX, which ultimately led me to pursue this career.

I studied computer graphics and animation in college, where I gained the skills and knowledge necessary to excel in this field. I loved the idea of using technology to create breathtaking visual effects that could transport audiences to different worlds and tell compelling stories. 

Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to work on a wide range of projects and collaborate with talented professionals, and I am constantly inspired by the incredible work being done in VFX today.

2. What’s the best thing about being a General Manager?

The best thing about being a General Manager at ReDefine is the opportunity to work with talented, creative and technical teams globally and be at the forefront of cutting-edge technology and innovation. I love overseeing all aspects of the studio’s operations, from managing the budget to collaborating with clients and building a strong team culture. Contributing to groundbreaking projects that inspire and entertain audiences worldwide is incredibly rewarding.

3. Tell us about a career highlight!

Working with the best creative and production talent across different time zones, nationalities, and departments on award-winning shows has been a personal highlight. I’ve learned the importance of collaboration, communication and leadership — as well as the need to leverage innovative technologies to create groundbreaking work. I am passionate about contributing to the ongoing evolution and advancement of the VFX industry in India.

4. Advice for anyone wanting to become a General Manager?

First, focus on building a solid foundation of technical skills and knowledge. It’s important to understand the VFX production process, from pre-production to final delivery, and to have a deep understanding of the software and tools used in the industry. This will help you communicate effectively with your team and make informed decisions that drive successful projects.

Second, develop strong leadership skills. As a General Manager, you will manage teams of talented people, and it’s essential to motivate, inspire, and guide them towards achieving the studio’s goals. You must have a solid understanding of team dynamics and communication styles and remain flexible and adaptable.

Third, cultivate business acumen. General Managers need to understand the financial and operational aspects of running a successful VFX studio. This includes managing budgets, negotiating contracts with clients and vendors, and developing strategies for growth and expansion.

Finally, always continue learning and growing. The VFX industry is constantly evolving, and staying up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies is essential. Attend industry events, read industry publications, and connect with other professionals. This will help you stay on top of the industry and position you as a thought leader and innovator in the VFX community.

Remember to stay curious, be adaptable, and never stop learning; you’ll be well on your way to achieving your goals.

6. What is your favourite movie? 

Top Gun and Top Gun: Maverick.

6. What about your dream project? 

An iconic franchise such as Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, or Avatar.

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

I would love to work in all of the ReDefine studios across the globe for a day. Experiencing each studio’s unique dynamics and work culture would give me a valuable perspective on how they operate and the best practices they employ.

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

Innovative, collaborative and inspiring.

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