1- can you introduce yourself and tell me a bit about how you started in visual effects?
Hey! My name is Rodolphe Pierre-Louis and I’m the CEO of ActionVFX. I’ve been into Filmmaking since I was 10, but it wasn’t until I was about 14 that I was introduced to my first VFX software. I remember browsing the internet one day in 2006 and landed on FXhome’s website. Up to that point, I had no experience with VFX and I remember being blown away that I could actually start creating effects right at home. Begged my parents to buy me one of their software, and that was the start of my journey.
2- how was your beginning? Challenges you faced
Like most people who get started that young, most of the challenges I faced early on had to do with being a kid with no money. I couldn’t buy my own software; I couldn’t buy good gear, and I definitely couldn’t afford to spend money on courses. So most of my early years consisted of learning from the internet and learning through trial and error.
While Visual Effects was something I was passionate about, my main focus was Directing and Cinematography. I was always more interested in capturing the footage than I was in editing it. My experience shooting actually ended up playing a big role in helping me start ActionVFX, so it all worked out!
3- what made you start up ActionVFX? What was your motivation?
When it came to high-quality VFX elements, there was an obvious lack of variety in the industry. It was very easy to notice that a lot of TV shows and movies were using the same assets in their projects. From muzzle flashes to explosions, everyone seemed to only have one place to choose their elements from.
I realized I was in a unique position to do something about this problem, so in 2015 I started working on ActionVFX.
4- tell me about your company?
ActionVFX is the world’s largest library of Visual Effects elements. Our mission from the beginning has been to build the best and largest VFX stock footage library for professional compositors. The concept of VFX elements is not new, but we felt we could capture these assets in a way that we hadn’t seen done before.
We launched in June 2016 with a handful of collections, and have since grown the library to over 3,300 individual elements. ActionVFX is used by artists and studios from all around the world producing content for TV and Film.
5- can you suggest some ways to shoot stock elements?
At ActionVFX, we put a lot of effort into trying to keep every element we shoot within the frame. It’s not always possible, but this simple step makes a world of difference for the end-user. So the first advice I’d give to anyone hoping to shoot stock elements would be to make sure they’re either far back enough to capture an uncropped image, or they have the right lenses for the situation.
Lighting also makes a huge difference because of everything from the keying, the overall look of the element, and how well it fits into a scene depending on the lighting. Before hitting “Record” on the camera, spend the time to properly light the scene.
7- plans for the future?
ActionVFX is established now, which puts us in the best position to innovate than we’ve ever been. During the past 4 years, we’ve seen that there is a lot more value we can bring to artists than simply creating traditional VFX stock footage. Currently we only have one library—a pretty large library, but it’s still only one! The biggest shift for 2020 is ActionVFX will start launching new libraries that will help fill gaps that are still present in the market.
Essentially, we plan on going beyond helping only compositors. VFX is more than just compositing, so the plan is to cater to other areas of our industry as well.
8- How can one apply in your company
The easiest way is to simply click the “Jobs” link on our website’s footer and you’ll see our current openings. You can also contact us directly on our website.
9- any advice for artists?
Put in the effort to stand out in a major way. It’s a very competitive world out there, so if an artist doesn’t stand out among the crowd somehow, they may have a harder time with their career. I know this advice is a bit broad, but that’s intentional because there isn’t just one way to “be special”. For example, maybe you don’t stand out when it comes to creative skills alone, but if you’re a lot more knowledgeable in some areas than the average artist is, that could be your edge.
What I’m trying to say is to find your angle, and cultivate that. Sooner or later, the world will notice.