Willi G.

Computer Graphics Supervisor
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Willi G.
Computer Science
Computer Science
Undergraduate
Derwent
1989
United Kingdom

My employment

Computer Graphics Supervisor
Industrial Light + Magic
United States
Creative arts and design
Large business (250+ employees)
2001
2014

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A day in the life of a Computer Graphics Supervisor in the United States

Supervising visual effects computer graphics production for Hollywood movies.

What I do

Lead R&D and develop the production pipeline during the pre-production period of the visual effects for a movie. Produce key shots. Supervise the team of digital artists during visual effects production.

Skills I use and how I developed them

This job was a great combination of the computer science knowledge gained during my degree at York with my love of the arts and film.

What I like most

Working in a fast-paced creative environment.

What I like least

Visual effects production is becoming less technically challenging and more financially squeezed.

What surprised me most

The modesty and humility of the artists at ILM, who are amongst the most talented in the world.

How I looked for work

I originally got into visual effects (at the Moving Picture Company in London) through a friend, and got the job at ILM through a friend. Personal contacts are very important!

How I found out about the job

Personal contacts

The recruitment process

The hiring process at ILM typically takes the form of a 30-minute interview where we view the show-reel of the candidate's previous work and then discuss it in detail. I was lucky enough to avoid this because I was known to the manager hiring me.

My career goals when I graduated

I always wanted to combine my love of the arts with my love of technical problem solving.

My career history

Early in my career I tried both straight software engineering and TV post-production, before eventually finding a way to combine these things (computer graphics).

What has helped my career to progress

Finding a niche I loved and was good at. And friends.

Courses taken since graduation

Went through the BBC's training program. Started, but never finished, a PhD.

How my studies have helped my career

By far the most useful thing I ever did was my Computer Science BSc at York.

What surprised me about my career so far

Ending up in San Francisco working on Hollywood movies.

Where I hope to be in 5 years

Leading a team at Google/YouTube (where I am now).

My advice to students considering work

Dream big! Cultivate friendships and personal connections.

My advice about working in my industry

Start somewhere small and work up to bigger companies. You'll have a much more rewarding experience starting somewhere small where you can develop a wider range of skills and have more impact.

Other advice

Love what you do. You only get one life to live.

Contacting me

I'm always happy to answer questions on anything and everything.

Next steps...

If you like the look of Willi’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Willi a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Willi to be your mentor.

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