Director interview: Rupert Sanders on ‘Ghost in the Shell’


For the premiere issue of the Visual Effects Society’s new print magazine, VFX Voice, I set out to cover the effects of Ghost in the Shell. I was lucky enough to speak to visual effects supervisors Guillaume Rocheron and John Dykstra, and a whole bunch of artists from Weta Workshop. I was also able to interview director Rupert Sanders about his approach to the practical and digital effects in the film.

Now that VFX Voice is out – see the cover article here – I thought I’d feature the full-length interview with Sanders here on vfxblog, which covers a lot of the director’s thoughts that couldn’t make it into the magazine for space considerations. Hope you enjoy. Continue reading Director interview: Rupert Sanders on ‘Ghost in the Shell’

The VFX industry is always changing


Nothing really ever stays the same, but one of the fun things about visual effects is how much the technology, artistry and the business changes. There’s also often new ways of hearing or learning about VFX – over the years I’ve got my information from books, magazines, online articles, podcasts, DVD featurettes, tutorials, seminars and of course face to face.

Now I’m excited to be part of a new communication medium – the Visual Effects Society’s brand new print magazine VFX Voice. I wrote some pieces in there on Ghost in the Shell, Westworld, Kong: Skull Island, Cars 3 and a bunch more. Loved the process – and you can grab the magazine now, or read it online at

The Boss Baby director put up with my crazy niece and nephews


Recently I got a chance to do a phone interview with director Tom McGrath, whose newest film is DreamWorks’ The Boss Baby. I was in Tasmania when I did the call, babysitting my amazing niece and nephews. But just because of the time I did the call, I had to ask the kids if they would be quiet for about 30 minutes.

They weren’t.

While I was transcribing the interview there were several moments I’d forgotten about where the kids came up to see and ask what I was doing, and others where they were fighting with each other in the background (and there’s a few moments of me saying ‘Shut up!’, too – thank goodness for the mute button on Skype…).

Anyway, I really enjoyed chatting to Tom, and the film is fun throwback to the look of old-school animation design in some ways. Check it out at Cartoon Brew.

FMX 2017’s programme – a wealth of riches


It’s hard to write a post that will do the programme for FMX 2017 justice. There are just so many great speakers and sessions planned. If you’re able to head to Stuttgart on May 2-5, I’d say, do not hesitate.

This is one of the CG/VFX/Animation/production conferences where you can actually spend all four days in wall-to-wall sessions, or spend just as much time catching up with colleagues and friends.

If I had to list some highlights, they’d be something like this:

Valerian – ILM and Weta Digital have a sneak peek presentation.

Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 2 – Animal Logic and Weta Digital also showcasing their work.

Rogue One – John Knoll’s going to be there!

Animation director’s panel – Kelly Asbury, Peter Lord and more.

Pixar and Disney – pretty much anything they’re doing, from Piper to Moana

Scanline’s Stephan Trojansky on water sims – the studio’s Flowline tools are some of the best

Anything real-time – Epic’s there, as is Unity, and there’s a special automotive thread

Digital humans forum – this is always awesome, and what you get is a lot of frank discussion and research being presented

OK, there’s so much more – check out the programme here: And I’ll be there at FMX, so please come up and say hi.