How adversity brings us closer together

Insights from our Creative Director for VFX - Viral Thakkar

 

In the VFX and animation community, we are lucky to have wonderful and caring colleagues. When disaster strikes, everyone rallies around to help each other out and keep their spirits up. I have seen a lot of this over the past couple of weeks at ReDefine as our teams persevere through the current situation and have witnessed it during my 19 year career in the industry as well. I have faced an office fire, recessions and company bankruptcy which made me reach big lows but also showed me how important it is to care for those around you.

Some years ago, before my time at ReDefine, I was on a two month shoot across Europe when I got a devastating call from Mumbai. A major fire had taken place on one of the floors of the studio I was working at, due to a circuit that had been shot. It was terrible to hear this when I was away from the studio. You feel completely helpless and like you can’t really do much to support your colleagues from so far away. Thankfully no one was hurt, but our workstations were burnt and what was even worse was that we were in the middle of completing a big project which was due to release soon. When I returned from Europe, I found out that the owners had decided to shut down the company due to massive losses. At that point, I had only one option left – it was to not give up and to set up my own company. In only a couple of months, I was part of a fantastic company that had recruited 250 artists.

Around the same time as the office fire, the economy was going through a recession. They do say that trouble never comes alone. During this time, I realised even more how important it is to care deeply about those around you and that this helps you to get through your own troubles. For a whole year, I started taking pay cuts so that our artists on lower salaries could get paid too. It was a very harsh year but also a very important learning experience. It will stay with me forever as it helped me to create a great community through care and consideration.

As we go through the current situation with our teams at ReDefine, I remember all the lessons I have learnt during my career and ensure that I give my team all the encouragement and motivation they need to go through the difficult times. We are all in it together and we will come out stronger for it. Adversity shows us the importance of caring because without a sense of care, there can be no sense of community.

TESTIMONIAL

“SCREAM presented a wide range of VFX challenges from adding photorealistic knife blades and blood to action sequences to cleaning up special effect makeup appliances to building dynamic and seamless exterior set extensions — all elements that the look, feel, and realism of the movie hinged on. It was no small task and from the set work to the finished product, we were consistently amazed by ReDefine’s creative approach to problem-solving, their energy and enthusiasm for the process, and their steadfast attention to detail. All departments and their teams truly elevated this project beyond our wildest expectations and we can’t wait to work with them again.”

Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett – Directors, Scream-5

TESTIMONIAL

“The animation for Rock Dog 2 was produced during the global COVID pandemic. Despite the technical challenges and complexities of the entire crew working remotely from home, the regular communication and collaboration between Splash Entertainment and Redefine’s experienced teams has resulted in a movie that we are all extremely proud of.”

Mike Young – Executive Producer, Rock Dog 2

TESTIMONIAL

“ReDefine really delivered for me and HBO on this project; starting fully remote before the pandemic started, then continuing to make deadlines we needed up through delivery. I appreciated Serkan’s patience with changes that came up, and would definitely work with ReDefine again on a similar project!”

Karen Heston – Additional VFX Supervisor and VFX Aesthetic Supervisor, The Undoing

TESTIMONIAL

“The visual effects for Brahmastra will pioneer new techniques and processes that have not previously been seen in movies for the mainstream Indian film market. Having worked with DNEG, and now ReDefine, I know that together we are creating amazing visuals that reflect a quality and calibre that audiences have come to expect from big budget Hollywood films.”

Ayan Mukherjee – Director, Brahmastra

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