International Women’s Day is celebrated on 8 March around the world. It is a focal point in the movement for women’s rights.
International Women’s Day Interview with Natalie Millar Jadhav -Executive Producer at RPM VFX STUDIOS
can you introduce yourself?
I’m Natalie and I grew up in Australia. I studied animation and digital media in London starting over 20 years ago. I’ve worked in VFX, animation and also as a film producer and editor in my career. I worked at Weta Digital for a few years in production and that really gave me the intense experience of a studio that aims for perfection in its work. My husband is an Indian film writer and director, and I’ve done two feature films with him as a creative producer, along with many shorter form projects. That gave me the full experience of film making and it adds to my knowledge of how to plan for VFX.
What inspired you to step into the Production?
I had worked as an artist for several years at the beginning of my career, and I saw how all our hard work went to waste if the project wasn’t managed professionally. So I wanted to learn how to make projects be the best that they can be by getting involved in the management side of things. My aim was to work at the very best studios and production houses to learn that. So I was willing to start as a coordinator even though I had quite a few years of experience already and work my way up.
challenges and experiences in your early years, and would you like to share some of your memories? faced?
Building that first showreel that gets you a good job takes years I would say. Sticking with it for a longer time is needed. But that said, being a little open to how you get your first job, and in what role you get your start can be a good thing, as long as you don’t get stuck somewhere or give up on your ultimate goal. Shifting companies is needed in those first years I think, so you get a chance to grow and learn. Don’t be afraid of your CV having some short stints on it. Also working on short films for free in your early days can be a way to get started and build a reel and CV.
What are your greatest achievements in the VFX/3D Industry?
Working directly with Peter Jackson on the final Hobbit film was a real honour. The techniques and technology he experiments with is just amazing. I’m so glad I got exposed to the incredible Weta world of VFX! The attention to detail in every shot by VFX supervisor legend Joe Letteri is unbelievable. It really taught me what the best takes to achieve.
who is your inspiration Women in the industry why?
I love the way women are getting into lead and supervisor roles more and more. There’s still such a lack of women VFX supes. At some point, many women really need that time off to have children, and I’ve seen many women at Weta successfully navigate that career gap that’s needed and then come back to work and still hold lead and supervisor positions. We need studio support, and I think Weta and many other studios have done a great job in making that possible.
Women in the VFX/ 3D industry?
Women have successfully made it into production roles and artist roles, but we need to support them in taking on that top level of management and supervision. It has to be consciously supported.
challenges for women in the Production / Management?
Too often women take a back seat or shy away from the inevitable conflicts and politics that happen when you get into leadership roles. We need to be ready to face it and be brave!
Any memorable shows you wish to share your experiences with?
There are a few! My happiest experience overall was on Happy Feet Two. The Dr. D studio was one huge warehouse which was a converted railway shed. Over a thousand people all worked in one space. There was a mocap stage in the center where tap dancers performed for the film which made an incredible sound all through the studio. The crew had a thing where everyone clapped and cheered every time a new version of the character Lovelace was published – which was a lot! There was a kitchen stocked with food and amazing buffets were laid out for dinner, so I ate all my meals at the studio. And we got paid for overtime every week! It was such a great experience.
How you feel comfortable in an excecutive producer?
Being on the production floor is a very intense experience these days. We have such tight schedules, and the deadline and delivery requirements constantly shift throughout shows. And in India, we’re not paid for overtime, really. So after 20 years in the industry I’m enjoying being a little off the floor and looking at how to grow business and talk to studios all over the world.
Any advice for Upcoming Women into Production?
Be confident! Work out your own ways of how to be super organized and disciplined in your work. Be ready for long hours! And put yourself forward, ask questions and try to learn as much as you can!
Ritto prabu – Thank you Natalie Millar Jadhav For sharing all with us
Natalie Millar Jadhav – Thank you Ritto Im happy to give