Men’s Day Special Interview – Rajeev B.R., CG Supervisor, Pixomondo Beijing
November 19, 2019 – International Men’s Day on the 19 November was founded in 1999 by Dr Jerome Teelucksingh a history lecturer at University of the West Indies in Trinidad Tabago. Interestingly calls for an International Men’s Day (IMD) have been going on since at least the 1960’s when it was reported in the New York Times, Feb 24 1969 that “Many men have been agitating privately to make February 23 International Men’s Day, the equivalent of March 8, which is International Women’s day“ This Day for women was first inaugurated in 1909.
International Men’s Day encourages men to teach the boys in their lives the values, character and responsibilities of being a man. Mahatma Gandhi said, “We must become the change we seek.” It is only when we all, both men and women, lead by example that we will create a fair and safe society which allows everyone the opportunity to flourish in their families and communities.
November is an important month for the masculine soul because it celebrates several events that are important to men. So, we encourage you to wish everyone a happy International Men’s Day on 19 November.” For more info, visit at www.internationalmensday.com
Rajeev has over 15 years of experience of working in the VFX industry, providing his expertise in feature film, television and theme park projects. His work has been nominated for Emmy &VES awards.
Rajeev is based at Pixomondo’s Beijing facility where, as a CG Supervisor, he is currently working on a Chinese feature film, and a theme park project in China. He is also actively involved with the pipeline team to improve workflows.
Prior to joining Pixomondo, Rajeev was working with Prana Studios. During his 12-year stint there, he worked on featuring films such as Disney’s animated Planes, Tron: Legacy, Game of Thrones and Hellboy to name a few. He was also part of themed entertainment teams on such China-based projects as Lotte Seoul Fly Venture and Beautiful Hunan.
Today, Rajeev B.R. talks to VFX Online about his experience about VFX and Animation Industry.
// From Rajeev B.R., CG Supervisor, Pixomondo Beijing
How do you describe yourself professionally?
A few traits that describe me professionally are being calm, composed, passionate, always hungry to learn new things and outperform myself. I have an innate desire to adopt and learn new things, while being completely OK to fail and to be critiqued. I see myself as a team player who can, alongside the team, achieve a common goal of stunning imagery.
What sparked your interest in visual effects?
A very cliched answer, but it was the movies that I saw as a kid and the ability to play god (at least in the digital world, where I could create the CG world around me). The feeling of playing god faded away a long time ago though.
How did you enter in this industry? What was the key to getting inside?
I am a commerce graduate. I did try my hand at completing a course in Business Administration too. But as a kid I always leaned to be more creative and that feeling only grew stronger. I just knew that I had to do something creative and something that I love doing to sustain many years of “working.” So I dabbled unsuccessfully from studying interior design, multimedia and finally one day I remember seeing a demo of 3dsmax. That blew my mind. I could create 3D objects, I could build a world and anything else that I wanted to. That, plus my interest in movies, naturally gravitated me into this industry. While there have been hardships, I don’t regret it one bit. I don’t know if I could or would love anything else.
What is the current state for men in the industry?
The state of men in this industry is similar to the state of men in any industry. I don’t see any difference in this. I just think all of us need to be paid more though, compared to our counterparts in other industries. On a serious note, apart from overall state of the industry, a few things like having a more organized / standardized way of operating the industry is missing, which lends to the absence of things like longer paternal leave, etc.
What is it like to work as a man in your current place of work?
I feel this question should not exist, not because it is inappropriate, but due to the fact that there is often disparity between being a man at work and a woman at work. I’m lucky to work in place that doesn’t seem to have that disparity. Nonetheless, as a topic of discussion, we need to work towards a more inclusive work place (all around the world) for both men and women, where decisions are being made on credit or talent rather than gender.
How do you think the industry could improve in those areas?
In areas of equality, I think the industry could improve in terms of having a level playing field for both men & women. Have a fairly equal number of both sexes at the workplace would be a good start. Work style an ideologies tend to change when there is equal representation. Any form of reward should purely be done on merit and talent. We need to more aware and sensitized towards one another.
Any special achievements in VFX or Animation?
I have been nominated for VES awards on 2 projects that I worked on. Plus my team’s work on Game of Thrones- Season 5 was nominated for the Emmy’s.
Any particular artists/professionals that inspire you?
There are too many to list. Plus I am sure I will forget a few important names. I’m just thankful to those people to have inspired me and mentor me to be what I am today.
How has your experience been working at Pixomondo?
It’s been great. Lots of work, lots of things to learn, and a nice culture, which I think is important for an artist to thrive in.
How the Access VFX, Visual Effects Society and many more Organizations support for that industry?
These organizations are helpful in getting people from this industry together. Even though we are a small industry compared to say, Software companies, we, for some reason, find it slightly challenging to unite. These organizations support people like us to unite. Apart from that, events like the annual VES awards is such a great event to attend and meet with fellow artists from all over world and be inspired by the best.
What do you think about future of VFX and Animation Industry?
The future is surely bright. Directors are realizing the use of VFX as a story telling tool. They are now ambitious and confident to have their stories told in an even more visually compelling way than a few years back. Most of the movies now in any part of the world have either hidden, or very apparent, VFX work in it. However, what we lack is some kind of unification as a group. We need to bring in reforms on how the budgets are being laid out for VFX work. In some countries probably even invest in better education.
What will be your ‘dream project’ to work on Animation or VFX?
Hmm difficult question to answer. I know too well that there would never be a “dream project” where everything is rainbow and unicorns running around. But that said, any project that challenges me and allows me to grow, and if I get one of those coveted best visual effects awards for it, that would be my dream project.
What advice would you give to someone who wishes to get in to this industry?
Be passionate about your work. There is nothing else that will help you to be successful. Every day that you wake up, feel happy that you get to do what you do. Stay thirsty to always learn new things. Be aware of all the new technologies. Above all, get into it only if you absolutely enjoy it.
What’s your thoughts about International Men’s Day?
I don’t really believe in having a “day” for it. Being a Man should not mean that I’m privileged and throw my powers around. It is not how it works or how it should work.
We would like to thank Rajeev B.R. for the great interview, and if you would like to know more about him, Feel free to check him out on LinkedIn.