NAME: Debbie Ross
COMPANY: Glasgow, Scotland’s Axis
CAN YOU DESCRIBE WHAT AXIS IS?
Axis and sister studios axisVFX and Flaunt provide animation and visual effects for the entertainment industry, working across film, television, games and theme parks.
The three studios have worked with big entertainment brands such as Halo, Doctor Who, Call of Duty, Monster High, Assassin’s Creed, Alien and Shaun the Sheep.
WHAT’S YOUR JOB TITLE?
WHAT DOES THAT ENTAIL?
My role includes seeking out and securing new work for the studio, predominantly with our game clients, then ensuring we have the best director and creative talent attached. Then I make sure those projects get delivered as promised. Building and maintaining client relationships is a big part of this.
WHAT WOULD SURPRISE PEOPLE THE MOST ABOUT WHAT FALLS UNDER THAT TITLE?
You can be glued to your laptop in Glasgow working on budgets one day and the next you can be in LA talking to a creative team about their content needs. Adaptability and thinking on your feet are surprisingly important.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE JOB?
I love working with our creative teams here in the studio — the evolution of ideas and experiencing the creative process first-hand never fails to inspire me. There are times when things feel a bit magical, like when you know a creative treatment is nailing it or when you witness a sparkling synergy between artists working together. It can be really exciting.
WHAT’S YOUR LEAST FAVORITE?
Dealing with jet lag on long-haul business trips — awake by 4am and falling asleep in my food by 8pm. But it’s a small sacrifice because I get to see amazing parts of the world I’d never see otherwise.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE TIME OF THE DAY?
I’m a bit of a morning person — it’s probably when I’m most productive.
IF YOU DID NOT HAVE THIS JOB, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING INSTEAD?
If it wasn’t for a complete lack of talent I would love to have been a musician. In reality, if I wasn’t at Axis I would probably still be working in live-action TV.
HOW EARLY ON DID YOU KNOW THIS WOULD BE YOUR PATH?
I’ve never had a career plan. I’m still amazed that I’m on the path at all!
CAN YOU NAME SOME RECENT PROJECTS YOU HAVE WORKED ON?
The game trailer for Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III and Destiny: Rise of Iron are the most recent projects to go live.
WHAT IS THE PROJECT THAT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF?
I’m proud of so much of what comes out of Axis, I can’t pick one single project. Most of all I’m proud to be part of the team — the people I work with are why I’m still here 10 years on.
DO YOU LISTEN TO MUSIC WHILE YOU WORK?
Not too often as I tend to like hearing what’s going on around me in the studio. If my headphones are on it generally means “do not disturb,” so music is to block any distractions and help me focus.
WHAT DO YOU DO TO DE-STRESS FROM IT ALL?
I run to and from work — that’s my daily release and has become a bit of an addiction. I also run on work trips. Gives me something to do at 4am when the jet lag kicks in.