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Behind the Title: Method VFX supervisor Alvin Cruz

NAME: Eduardo “Alvin” Cruz

COMPANY: Method Studios (@method_studios)

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY?
Method Studios is an artist-driven global studio that offers high-end visual effects for the film, commercial, television, gaming and design industries.

WHAT’S YOUR JOB TITLE?
Visual Effects Supervisor

WHAT DOES THAT ENTAIL?
A visual effects supervisor is the person who determines creative and technical approaches for the job. He or she also helps with the bidding process and follows the project through from the shoot until delivery to the client.

He or she is the team leader, and, in combination with the producer, the person who stays in contact with the client/director. Together they make sure that the communication flows and ensures that the client and artists are happy with the project.

WHAT WOULD SURPRISE PEOPLE THE MOST ABOUT WHAT FALLS UNDER THAT TITLE?
Getting dirty on set. People often don’t think of the actual shooting part. Once on set, I am part of the whole crew. I’m constantly changing from computers to cameras to pen and paper. Determining which set of gear/tools is necessary is an important part of my job as well.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE JOB?
I enjoy all aspects of my craft. I personally favor the sense of teamwork that develops during a big project. Meeting and getting to know new and interesting people is a big plus.

WHAT’S YOUR LEAST FAVORITE?
I think working too many weekends in a row.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TIME OF THE DAY?
Anytime, but preferably when it’s sunny!

IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE THIS JOB, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING INSTEAD?
Well, this is a difficult one. Directing, I imagine. Or maybe I would be doing something totally different, possibly along the lines of a clay artisan.

HOW EARLY ON DID YOU KNOW THIS WOULD BE YOUR PATH?
I came into visual effects work through my work as a director. I was lucky that I got a job as director as soon as I finished my film studies. I was working on a bunch of security videos for an airplane company where we had to do several bluescreen shots, and I wanted to try to comp them. Then I reached out to my friend who showed me how to do it on the Flame. I went back to the office and I pulled out the keys by myself on an old Discreet (now known as Autodesk) software called *effect. I did pretty well, and since then I knew that I wanted to follow the path towards visual effects.

CAN YOU NAME SOME RECENT PROJECTS THAT YOU HAVE WORKED ON?
I’ve worked on the latest campaigns for Volvo, Land Rover, Mortal Kombat and Motorola.

Milk02

WHAT IS THE PROJECT THAT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF?
I think the five ads I worked on for the MilkPEP campaign (above) where I was the VFX supervisor. It was a big responsibility knowing that it was the first time that the Milk Processor Education Program was moving on from its nearly 20-year slogan “Got Milk” to the new one, “Milk Life.”

It was a challenge to create shapes that resembled milk while keeping it appealing, combined with very high-speed footage, liquids, loads of renders, assets and edits. The team of four compositors and five Houdini artists did amazing work — I’m very proud of the final look.

NAME THREE PIECES OF TECHNOLOGY YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT.
I like to think I could live without technology, but the three that I love most are: my camera; a quality hi-fi with a good DJ mixer; and my smartphone.

WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS DO YOU FOLLOW?
I have a good selection of people and groups I follow on Instagram and Facebook — I visit Logik, the Autodesk Flame group everyday on Facebook.

DO YOU LISTEN TO MUSIC WHILE YOU WORK?
I listen to music all the time. In fact, producers and other artists often come to my suite to listen to music. Every musical style really, from Bossa Nova to Major Lazer. Plus, Pulp, Andrew Weatherall, Michael Mayer, Little Dragon, She & Him, George Michael, Ivan Smagghe, Prince… that’s just to name a few.

Tip: Aretha Franklin – Get It Right (12″ Disco-Funk) is a tune that always inspires to get the job done.

WHAT DO YOU DO TO DE-STRESS FROM IT ALL?
Ridemy bicycle, chat with friends, and spend quality time with Julio, my dog.

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