Christian Manz is an award-winning Visual Effects Supervisor with nearly 20 years' experience. He's worked extensively across television and film including: Harry Potter films (for which he received a Bafta Nomination), Love Actually, The Big Bang Theory, Primeval and Nanny McPhee; and is currently working on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Christian will be speaking at Flourish - our professional development conference for makers and designers - about his career journey and how it is possible to work and earn recognition within the creative industries. We quiz Christian on his work, inspirations and what he wished he knew at the start of his career.
Could you tell us a bit about your work?
As a VFX Supervisor I am creatively in charge of the team producing the Visual Effects on a film - usually about 1000 artists working in companies all over the world. I work closely with the director from early pre production to design the key elements of the film be that animated creatures or digital sets and environments. I am on set every day during the shoot to advise on the best way to film sequences involving our work before moving into post production where the finished shots are put together. The job involves a huge amount of collaboration with everybody from the Director and Production Designer to the Stunt Co-ordinator and Director of Photography. I will be on a project on average for 18 months to two years.
What are you working on right now?
I'm in preproduction on the sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
What are your inspirations?
I am inspired by many things in the visual arts be it a film or television series, or an exhibition I have seen and enjoyed. All of these things can be the basis of ideas which find their way into the projects I am working on.
What is the ‘tool’ you can’t live without?
Sadly not that much of an artistic tool - these days I would say my computer. The ability to do visual research on the internet, read scripts and play around with images in tools such as photoshop to sell an idea.
What do you wish you’d known when you were just starting out in your profession?
If I had my time again I'd probably go the same route in my career - often the thing I wish I could have more knowledge of in advance would be how good a film will turn out. Sometimes you can spend a lot of time working on something with a lot of passion that doesn't live up to expectations.
If you could learn a new craft technique what would you try?
I'd love to hone my skills in photography or try out something more sculptural - there are so many great artists doing this digitally now as well as physically and I'm always in awe of the work they can produce.