1- can you introduce yourself and tell me a bit about how you started in visual effects?
My name is Konstantin Listratov. I’m a CG generalist with more than 15 years of mixed experience in tv commercials, feature films, broadcast design, and even mappings and evens support. I was always fond of classic art and free paint doing tons of sketches since I was 6-7 yrs old. I`ve started in CG at the beginning of 2000th(when I was 16-17)mostly as a hobby in 3Ds Max creating full CG videos mostly for fun. It was a tiny company with 4-6 employees. I did everything on that project: FX, modeling, lighting, Mel scripting, and even character animation. For the past years, I was moving from company to company, getting more and more experience. I lived in worked in Moscow, London and Wellington. At some projects, I used to work as a CG generalist, at another – as compositing artist. Sometimes it was supporting production as an onset supervisor. At the same time, I was interested in business processes and all kinds of managing things. This interest pushed me in the production team as a CG supervisor in a very stylish and super challenging broadcast design company N3design(www.n3design.com). This turning point brought me to where I am now. Co-owner, founder and VFX supervisor of a small Russian VFX house Trehmer Film (www.trehmer.com\film)
2- how was your beginning? Challenges you faced
I`ve started in a tiny feature film VFX company (5 employees) when I was about 20 yrs old as a CG generalist. My first project was a local Russian low budget feature film with tons of visual effects in it. I worked in 3Ds MAX only and my test task was to do destruction in Maya. So I had a month or two to learn Maya and to complete this task. It was FX: crashing stone statue. It was very challenging by the year 2003-2004. My tools were Maya shatter and Maya software render. But I succeed and that was my first step into the world of CG.
3- what made you start up a VFX house? What was your motivation?
I`ve got enough experience traveling the companies: working as a CG artist infamous VFX houses such as Weta and Dneg managing projects in Russian studios as a supervisor, doing some managing. I`ve worked in summary in more the 10 studios and I have plenty of ideas to implement. And the only way to do it freely is to build my own VFX company and to arrange the whole process the way I see.
4- tell me about your company?
Trehmer Film is a part of Trehmer Companies. The first one was a commercial department, it was established in 1996 and was called “Two wings”. The second company is a Trehmer Production which was founded in 2011. And Trehmer Film was created as a film department in 2015 and in 2016 turned into an independent company with its one name Trehmer Film as a brand. We do visual effects mostly for feature films. For the past 4 years, we created visual effects for more than 20 feature films. We keep growing! We started the first year with less than a hundred shots and 5-7 artists on board. This year we already delivered more then 1000 including 200-300 of them sophisticated full CG shots and we have 35+ employees in the office. We do a lot of research and pipeline developing making us a little bit different and unique. For example, we created a super artistic friendly scattering system that we called Taiga and implemented it at the “T-34” film to created huge landscapes with forests and fields for aerial shots especially.
5- any memorable shows you wish to share your experiences?
There are 3 shows which are very important in our history. The feature film “The Monk and The Devil” which gave us life and occurred the first show for our company. I`ve started as a contractor supervisor\producer in Trehmer and my goal was to build a small team and to deliver about 80 shots in 4 months. I still appreciate it very much because exactly this show brought Trehmer Film a life. I`ve cut a reel and started meeting with producers. Very soon found new projects for us. The second show is “T-34″ feature film. We had enough time for RnD and art. We created previz, concepts, and developed proprietary toolset. And the third film is “Saving Leningrad”. Another WW2 movie but with water this time. We had several full CG stormy sea shots. That was super challenging show eating terabytes of disk space and lots of render farm nodes.
T-34″ feature film.
6- these days health has become an issue for artists, what are the programs related to health and care are provided to the artists?
To be honest we are not a super huge facility with 500+ artists to develop any special health care programs. But what I`m trying to do is to keep an eye on schedules and on some personal artists who are ready to go with OTs to do their best for the current show. So I’m trying to give comfortable personal schedules especially in crunch times and the ability for the artist to solve their own daily needs. I think that the psychological statement of my employees is even more important than formal attending the gym three times a week for example. Probably this is the reason why people are coming here to Trehmer Film and do not leave us since we have lots of running shows.
7- what do you expect from artists?
First of all, i prefer to consider our profession as an artist. So I would like to see a little bit of artistic vision in everyone in the company even in TDs and coordinators. Because many of us forget what are we doing: the films, magic on screen, a new wave of art but not the lines of code and bunches of nodes. I expect to see how people implement their background, experience, education and etc. in achieve a super nice image.
8- plans for the future?
We are going to continue our expansion abroad. We are delivering high-end quality and are very competitive to the UK and Canadian companies in quality and estimates. I hope we will open small offices in LA or London or anywhere else to have the ability to get in closer touch with our potential clients. We are also planning to keep growing here in Moscow accumulating the best human artistic resources and pulling jobs from abroad offices here in Moscow.
9- How can one apply in your company
10- any advice for artists and production?
For the artist, I`d like to recommend to generate a personal life goal. The idea of a perfect future what you want. It doesn`t matter maybe even how crazy it may sound today. But always keep moving to this goal each day. Just try to ask yourself in the evening what did I do to make my dream come closer even a very very little bit. What about Productions. Then only thing I always wish is to listen to professionals and rely on us. We are all interested in one, in the same – in the perfect image!
vfxexpress – prabu – thank you Konstantin Listratov
Konstantin Listratov – Thank you prabu
Trehmer Film is Visual Effects facility based in Moscow, Russian Federation. We are doing all kind of VFX for feature films, TV series and game cinematics