I am an artist first before anything else, and I wanted to be part of an art form that still values and trusts human involvement. In a fully CG-animated film, you may say the characters feel real, but in stop-motion they are real. LAIKA is one of the few places still pushing for storytelling and breaking the rules for what animation is supposed to be.
My job is to light CG shots to help them blend well with what is shot on stage, to help push the narrative of the story.
Working in Visual Effects at LAIKA is a joy and a challenge, as we are doing more visual effects on Wildwood than we have on previous films. I just love and support the work of all my co-workers. I sometimes want to cheer in the VFX shot review meetings.
VFX definitely adds a lot to the already beautiful animation coming from the stages. VFX is like that extra spice you add to a nice Jamaican or Creole curry dish.
Visiting the stages is what I most enjoy. It is so lovely to see the beauty of things you can touch, and it's nice to see the work everyone is doing over there. It really does give me a burst of renewed energy after a long day. And let us not forget LAIKA’s onsite mental health professionals, massage therapists, coffee shop, and yoga classes!
I feel well cared for and appreciate all the diversity. I think every one of us brings a little bit of ourselves into the things we do at LAIKA. The work-life balance here is great. People are their authentic selves and free-spirited.
If you are passionate about being part of a story-driven studio, I say keep updating that application and never give up. Timing is everything in this industry. By keeping your eye on the prize while getting your skills up to the level you feel most pleased with, you will get where you want to go.