The legacy of Star Wars just keeps on giving. Not only were the films blockbusters, they set a new standard for filmmaking and set an entire generation on a path to filmmaking.
One of the features in this month’s issue looks at how pros got their start (page 20). Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark were turning points for many, including Andrew Kirejew, VFX supervisor/partner at Toronto’s Township & Company. “For me, it all started with Lego and Star Wars,” he says. “It then progressed to model airplane kits. I would attach my kit airplanes and Lego models to fishing wire and smash them all together.”
He started shooting video in high school — “all kinds, music videos, art stuff. We had a Video Toaster and I’d shoot videos, add effects, do some animation in LightWave, and put it all together.”
He ended up going to film school at Sheridan College. “I wanted to create visual effects from the get-go, but they didn’t have anything like that at the time. We had to choose from film, video and multimedia majors; I took multimedia.” After graduation he interned at Axyz in Toronto. “I worked my way up from intern to partner in 10 years, from Henry to Flame and everything in between.”
Late last year he partnered up with Ron Gervais, Dave Greene and Axyz to start the new studio Township & Company, a multi-disciplinary design, animation and VFX studio.
Jim Geduldick, shooter, VFX artist, compositor, got into this business from his start as a sponsored skateboarder and snowboarder. That’s him pictured.
“As a kid growing up skating, my first camera was a Fisher Price PXL 2000, and I was always in awe of visual effects with all the early ILM work. Later on I was a sponsored rider and always had a camera to film friends, and if I didn’t wind up qualifying at some of the events I just filmed everyone. I wound up teaching myself how to edit all the footage. I was capturing and using graphics programs like Photoshop and After Effects.” No schooling involved; he was self-taught.
Geduldick says a lot of the art and culture of skateboarding and snowboarding shaped his influences. “Some opportunities came about because of skateboarding/snowboarding as well — a lot of people in skateboarding cross over to commercials, music videos and features, like Spike Jonze, Ty Evans, Jose Gomez and Stacey Peralta.