Previously on this blog, I wrote about how proud I am to have walked away from my film career as a compositor. I still am proud of that decision, but now the situation has changed and I’m back in VFX, working as a senior compositor at Crafty Apes.
It’s so weird to feel grateful for the pandemic, but I do. Pre-pandemic, all the VFX jobs were locked up in the VFX studios, which were all located in major metropolitan areas like London, New York, Vancouver, and of course, Los Angeles. Doing that work necessitated living close enough to the studio to get there every day. When things locked down for the pandemic and everyone left the studio, that didn’t mean he work stopped. There’s no way it could. Do you remember when we were all stuck at home, hungry for distraction? Those distractions don’t manufacture themselves. All those new streaming distractions during that time were made possible by all of those same VFX workers. But now they were working at home instead of the studio, thanks to herculean efforts by the studios’ tech staffs and careful negotiating by production.
And once it’s possible to work on this material outside the studio, it makes no difference whether you’re doing it in the same city as the VFX studio, or clear across the country. This is where I come back into the story. Compositing is the most challenging and rewarding work I have ever done. But as I wrote earlier, it’s also quite disruptive to the work-life balance. I let it go for seven years. But now I’m back. Remote work makes the balance a bit easier to maintain. Working from home means I can be there for meals with the family even if I’m working long days. I can still drop Noah off at school and tuck him in at bedtime. And we can stay here in Winston-Salem, hundreds of miles from the nearest VFX studio.
I’m grateful for that.